1An abandoned hairless guinea pig becomes an Instagram star
A guinea pig named Ludwik has gone from abandoned rescue animal to beloved pet and Instagram star in less than a year. His owner, Agata Nowacka, found him abandoned in a pet store, riddled with fungal infection and diseases. She took him in and nursed him back to health. In 2015, she set up an Instagram account for Ludwik, who is a “skinny pig” (a hairless breed). Ludwik needs weekly baths and a strict moisturizing regime to stay healthy. The beloved pet and adorable Instagram start has garnered more than 150,000 followers by posing in cute outfits.
2A mystery illness makes a German zoo's bears bald
Vets are baffled as to why female bears at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany have gone bald. In 2012, a mystery condition caused three spectacled bears to lose hair from their heads, legs, and backs. Typically, before winter, the bears (Dolores, Lolita, and Bianca) grow an even thicker fur coat in preparation for the cold months ahead. However, they had to huddle together for warmth until a cure was found.
3A naked parrot has become an icon for the disabled
Sweet Rhea, the Naked Birdie, suffers from psittacine beak and feather disease which leaves her completely without feathers.
What she lacks in fluff, she makes up for in attitude—and this little birdie has plenty of personality to spare. Her daily adventures and adorable outfits have made her a star on Instagram, and she has even become an icon for the disabled, as she proves that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking a little different.
4The hairless hamster who dons a sweater to keep warm
Meet Silky, an adorable hamster who was given up by her owners when they had to make a move. She’s now living at the Oregon Humane Society.
Silky’s got a very special, unique quality. Thanks to a genetic mutation, she’s completely hairless and smaller and slimmer than an average hamster. She, therefore, has to be kept warm and cozy during colder seasons.
An animal care technician, Selene Mejia, felt bad after seeing the hamster huddling in the corner of its cage. So, she made a sweater for Silky that fits just right over its soft, sensitive skin.
5A bald penguin with a bad molting pattern is helped by a surf company
Unlike most penguins, who lose their feathers gradually, Ralph sheds his coat all in one go. This leaves the poor, 16-year-old Humboldt vulnerable to freezing winter temperatures. He is also particularly susceptible to sunburn because of his unusual molting pattern. Surfing brand O’Neill came up with an ingenious penguin-friendly wetsuit for Ralph, complete with his name on the back. The suit, with holes for his wings and head, allows him to play with his friends at Marwell Wildlife Center, near Winchester, Hampshire.
6A lab in Israel creates featherless chickens
Behold the featherless chicken, created by scientists at the genetics faculty at the Rehovot Agronomy Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel. It is thought this naked bird will create a more “convenient” and energy efficient chicken which can live in warm countries where feathered chickens don’t thrive and cooling systems are too expensive to be commonly affordable. Not growing feathers saves energy that can be used to produce meat.
Critics say the feather-free chickens will suffer more than ordinary birds. Males might be unable to mate, because they cannot flap their wings, and “naked” chickens of both sexes are more susceptible to parasites, mosquito attacks, and sunburn.
7Meet Ashes, a 13-year-old hairless chimp
Ashes is a 13-year-old chimpanzee with no hair. When he was born, he had beautiful fur, but a year later, he was completely bald. He is believed to suffer from alopecia universalis, which is also found among humans.
Looking at his arms, I can understand why a chimp could easily rip a human’s arms off if it wanted to—he’s just a huge pile of muscles.
8The hairless Peruvian dog that almost went extinct
The Peruvian Inca Orchid, or Peruvian Hairless, is one of the rarest and weirdest looking dog breeds in the world. Dating back to pre-Incan times, this dog is rooted deep in Peruvian culture. The breed got to the 21st century on the brink of extinction, and that’s when the government decided to safeguard it by ordering all archeological sites along the coast to have at least a pair. They are now also Peru’s only own world-registered breed.
The dogs are characterized—as their name indicates—by their stark, hairless appearance. However, some do occasionally give birth to pups with hair. Most hairless specimens often have tufts of hair on their tails, feet, and head and are black, brown or elephant gray in color. Certain dogs also have large, pink freckles that blend into the skin tone as the dog ages.
9The shaved kittens that were sold as a more expensive breed
Someone in Alberta is scamming buyers by selling them shaved kittens as if it were of the hairless and expensive Sphynx breed. At first, they looked similar to Sphynx, but their hair grew back in a few weeks, leaving the owners in shock. It turned out that the hairlessness was not a product of breeding, but of abuse. The cruel scammers plucked out whiskers and use razors or hair removal creams to pull off the ruse.