Category: Animals

Shakira survives close call with roaring South African sea lion


Dear Shakira: "I decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists" is not something we want to see you writing on a postcard any time soon. Especially if you're getting closer to, oh, wild animals. Like sea lions.

Singer-dancer-philanthropist Shakira, 34, was attacked by a sea lion Sunday afternoon during a nature tour out of Cape Town, South Africa, and had to be rescued by her brother Tony, whom she says literally saved her life.

After seeing some seals and sea lions, the Colombian singer said on her Facebook page, "I thought to myself how cute they were so I decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists and went down to a rock trying to pet them doing a baby talk while taking pictures.... Suddenly, one of them jumped out of the water so fast and impetuously that it got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury and tried to bite me."

(Maybe the critter was just a rabid fan? OK, that's not nice, especially since a male South African sea lion can weigh more than 600 pounds.)

"Everyone there screamed, including me. I was paralyzed by fear and couldn't move. I just kept eye contact with it while my brother 'Super Tony' jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast."

The "Hips Don't Lie" singer said she thought the animal mistook her BlackBerry for a fish, and believed she was teasing it. Brother and sister escaped with scratches on their hands and legs from clambering over the rocks.

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Ex-KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent arrested on suspicion of beating wife

Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent arrested This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent, real name Vincent John Cusano, was arrested Saturday in Tennessee after allegedly beating his wife and keeping dead dogs in containers, according to authorities.

Deputies were called to his home after his wife, Diane Cusano, arrived at a Rutherford County Sheriff's station smelling of booze and "covered in blood," according to TMZ. Diane indicated the dispute with her husband was over another woman.

She claimed Vinnie, 58, told her to "get ... out of the house," a quote corroborated by a neighbor who overheard them yelling, E! News reported. She then said Vincent "smacked her in the face" and "grabbed her by the hair and threw her down to the ground," dragging her through a pile of broken glass on the floor. She escaped and drove herself to the station.

When deputies arrived at the home to investigate, they discovered four sealed containers with dead dogs inside, which she claimed had been "killed by one of their [other] aggressive dogs."

Rutherford Animal Welfare officers were called to investigate.

Diane was then taken to Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro to be treated for gashes on her body, a bloody nose and bruised forehead. She was released soon after.

Vincent was booked into jail at 11:33 p.m. and released 12 hours later after posting $10,000 bail. He has been charged with one count of aggravated assault.

The musician, who got the nickname "The Ankh Warrior" for painting the Egyptian symbol of life on his face, replaced guitarist Ace Frehley in 1982. Vincent eventually left after a royalties dispute and went on to form the group Vinnie Vincent Invasion.

For the Record, 2:35 p.m. May 25: An earlier version of this post said Vinnie Vincent was the last KISS member to join the band during its reunion era; he was not. The post has been updated to reflect that change. Thanks to commenter Daniel Siwek for the catch.


Russell Brand deported from Japan, wife Katy Perry tweets

Rosie Perez sues 'Law & Order: SVU' producers over injuries

Rick Springfield allegedly threatened deputy during DUI arrest

-- Nardine Saad
Twitter.com / NardineSaad

Photo: Vinnie Vincent performing live onstage without makeup in 1983. Credit: Phil Dent / Redferns

Slash to receive award at L.A. Zoo's annual Beastly Ball

Slash to receive GLAZA award Rock icon Slash is set to receive a leadership award from the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. at its 41st Annual Beastly Ball this June, the group said Wednesday.

The Guns N' Roses guitarist will be given the inaugural Tom F. Mankiewicz Leadership Award, which recognizes his longtime contributions to establishing environmental welfare programs. He's also a trustee on GLAZA's board and has supported the L.A. Zoo and zoos around the world.

The charity ball is June 18 at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Funny lady and GLAZA chairwoman Betty White hosted last year's event, which helped raise $1.226 million for the zoo's exhibits and various plant and animal species conservation projects, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs. She took over for her predecessor Mankiewicz after he died in August 2010.

Mankiewicz was a television writer and director ("Superman," "Diamonds Are Forever," "Hart to Hart") who advocated initiatives to promote opportunity for and interaction among the world's diverse communities.

"Tom championed the cause of saving and protecting wildlife and the environment through education and on-the-ground conservation," GLAZA President Connie Morgan said in a statement.

"The biggest compliment for me is that it's Tom's award," Slash said. "I really adored that man. I miss him very much, and that aspect is very special and resonates deeply. Additionally, I profoundly appreciate the implications of the award itself. It's a fantastic honor."


Exclusive: Olivia Wilde, producer Scott Stuber top 2011 Chrysalis honors

For Betty White, the belle of the Beastly Ball, it's all happening at the zoo

 L.A. Zoo hosts annual Beastly Ball; Betty White gets up close and personal with a boa

-- Nardine Saad

Photo: Slash with a boa constrictor snake. Credit: Genie Vasels

Amanda Bynes loses dog Little Angel, Katy Perry posts photo of Kitty Purry

Amanda Bymes loses her dog  Amanda Bynes has lost her dog Little Angel forever.

The "Easy A" actress took to twitter Tuesday to ask her approximately 54,000 followers for help finding her teacup pomeranian.

Amanda Bynes' dog Little Angel"Everyone: I have the worst news to tell you....little angel got out of my house somehow and is LOST," she tweeted, adding " If anyone finds her I BEG you to please contact me thru twitter, I will give a reward. She means the WORLD to me & I can't find her anywhere."

The actress who celebrated her 25th birthday the day before losing her pet said the light brown pup was only four months old and posted the photo above of the pom.

Hours later, Bynes posted on the micro-blogging site that it was a "sad day."

"Little Angel is in heaven now," she wrote. "RIP I love you." 

A sad day, indeed.

In lighter celebrity pet news, meet Katy Perry's cat Kitty Purry, who became a top trend on site Tuesday when the singer posted this photo of the feline in her shark-shaped bed.


Bronx Zoo cobra lands TV deal?

Martha Stewart head-butted to the hospital by her dog

'Biggest Loser' host Alison Sweeney gets her dog into the weight-loss game

-- Nardine Saad
Twitter.com / NardineSaad

Left photo: Amanda Bynes at a Golden Globes after-party. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press. Right photo: Amanda Bynes' dog Little Angel. Credit: Amanda Bynes' Twitter account.

Bronx Zoo cobra lands TV deal?

Snakestory Is the Bronx Zoo cobra headed to Animal Planet?

Well, not exactly. The zoo escapee and Internet sensation, who spent the week sharing her escapades on Twitter, is back behind bars, and it appears her big TV deal might be an April Fool's joke.

A fake Animal Planet press release was issued, advertising "never-before-seen footage, the cobra's home movies, photography and an exclusive interview with confessionals" but ended with the editor's note, "April Fools fun courtesy of Animal Planet!"

The snake's online persona was also busy hacking Ryan Seacrest's Twitter account and his website, replacing the usual content with all things snakes, including articles like "Britney Spears' Albino Python: Where Is He Now?" and "5 Dos and Don'ts for Dating a Cobra."


Kristen Stewart and her new hair talk wolf dogs with David Letterman

Martha Stewart head-butted to the hospital by her dog

'Biggest Loser' host Alison Sweeney gets her dog into the weight-loss game

-- Emily Christianson

Photo: Bronx Zoo cobra. Credit: Julie Larsen Maher.

Nicole Richie, Joel Madden get married

Madden-richie Nicole Richie and Joel Madden paid off weeks of buzz on Saturday, tying the knot at the Los Angeles home of the reality TV star's famous father, Lionel Richie.

The couple of four years, parents of Harlow and Sparrow, kept ceremony details tightly under wraps (they barely nodded at their engagement), but there's no such thing as a secret once more than one person knows about it. Some of the dish that's emerged:

The bride wore a gown by Marchesa, the design house headed by Harvey Weinstein's wife, Georgina Chapman, and she and the Good Charlotte lead singer exchanged wedding bands by Neil Lane, the jeweler who designed her engagement ring.

"They wanted an Old Hollywood, glamorous feel to their wedding," a source told People. "They're going all-out with the decor. Nicole wanted a memorable, elegant affair for only their closest friends and family on their special day."

Guests reportedly included Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Samantha Ronson, and Madden's brother Benji. Nicole's close pals Christina Aguilera and Kim Kardashian RSVPd with regrets.

The service was officated by Rev. Run of Run-DMC, according to Us, beneath two tents in the spacious backyard.

While little Harlow likely stole attention as a flower girl, photographers' attention was caught by  a trained elephant being led onto the property.

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Hollywood flocks to PETA's 30th-anniversary gala

Getprev Much of Hollywood is a sucker for a furry face, so it was only natural that a herd of celebs would turn out for the 30th-anniversary gala of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday night.

PETA The event, hosted by "30 Rock's" Alec Baldwin, brought out an eclectic group joined by their love of animals, including honorees Anjelica Huston, "Glee's" Lea Michele, Eva Mendes, "Twilight's" Kellan Lutz and Christian Serratos, Dave Navarro and "Inglourious Basterds' " Eli Roth plus presenters Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Abbie Cornish, Pamela Anderson, Iggy Pop, Jena Malone, "One Tree Hill's" Sophia Bush and a glittery Kelly Osbourne, showing off her new svelte self. (Click the pic of Michele, above, to launch a gallery of red carpet arrivals.)

And Charo. Si, Charo.

The refugee from "Laugh In," "The Love Boat" and other TV shows of the '70s resurfaced last year in "The Surreal Life," and she's been busy nudging Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to ban bullfighting. The anti-bullfighting forces claimed their first headline-making victory a month ago, when Barcelona banned it.

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Kristen Stewart and her new hair talk wolf dogs with David Letterman

Kristen Stewart's new hairstyle at the Twilight Eclipse New York premiere. Kristen Stewart swung by David Letterman's show Monday, sporting a flirty, lighter-colored 'do and expressing an affection for wolves.

OK, wolf dogs. The hybrid kind. The kind that are legal for her mom to keep as pets, she assured Letterman -- who kept pressing. 

And pressing.

"Whattya tryin' to do to me, man?" an animated Stewart joked to her host, "seriously, c'mon!?"

According to the actress -- whose most recent film, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," premiered Thursday -- the pack is her mom's way of coping with a bit of empty nest syndrome.

"She's awesome," Stewart said of her mother. "She's just a little funny."

Who'd've thunk it ...

-- Christie D'Zurilla

P.S. Ownership of first-generation wolf hybrids is prohibited in California; second-generation and beyond is fine.

Photo: Kristen Stewart at "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" at the Crosby Street Hotel on June 28, 2010, in New York City. Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Click and scroll to read more from the Ministry about David Letterman, Kristen Stewart or pets. Want the headlines? Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs). Or become our fan on Facebook.

John Travolta's dogs killed in accident at Maine airport


File this under the saddest story of the day: Two small dogs belonging to John Travolta were killed in an accident in the wee hours Thursday morning at Bangor International Airport in Maine.

It seems that a plane carrying Travolta family members touched down on the runway around 1 a.m. and while the pups were being walked, the driver of an airport service vehicle didn't see the pets and accidentally hit them. That according to Gossip Cop, which has a few more details. According to a release from the city, the airport is investigating what happened.


-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: John Travolta signs autographs after arriving at the track before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 27, 2010. Credit: Mark Baker / Associated Press

Want the headlines? Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs) or 'like' us into your news feed on Facebook.

Avril Lavigne, Tommy Hilfiger, Paris Hilton hit the Race to Erase MS gala

Ms-gala-puppy Recession? What recession? The grim economy seemed to have met its match Friday evening at the 17th annual Race to Erase MS.

Founder Nancy Davis has grown this event into one of the biggest on the L.A. social calendar, and she's been working full time to make sure it doesn't slip.The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza's ballroom -- the largest in Los Angeles -- was teeming with more than 1,000 nattily dressed people who'd dropped $1,000 a plate to be there. One of them even spent $210,000 on a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Coupe in the live auction.

Davis' efforts garnered her two standing ovations and a sizable and eclectic turnout from the entertainment industry. Treading the red carpet were Anne Heche and James Tupper, Buzz Aldrin, Erik Estrada, Mayim Bialik and "Brothers & Sisters" heartthrob Gilles Marini. There was not one but three musical performances -- featuring Avril Lavigne, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson and Doc Hollywood


As Davis -- diagnosed with MS in 1991 -- told the glittery crowd, "With the downturn of the economy, so much research has been halted in the last two years. When you're suffering with a disease like multiple sclerosis, you don't have the luxury of waiting until the economy gets better. Every day is precious and so unpredictable. I know. I call you year after year to help this monumentally important cause. ...Thank you for simply taking my call."

Celebs modeling casual wear in co-host Tommy Hilfiger's fashion show included actress Ali Landry, "Dancing With the Stars' " Chelsie Hightower, singer Deborah Gibson and "Heroes' " Robert Knepper. Among the presenters were Olympians Apolo Ohno and Lindsey Vonn, newly clean-shaven Dr. Phil McGraw and wife Robin, and "Dancing With the Stars' " Brooke Burke, who ...
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