Bites at Animal Planet

30 Jul

300-Pound Grouper Caught Off the Coast of Florida

"I was able to swim along side this beautiful animal and even touch its huge scales. After a few minutes of this close...

Posted by The Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's a week of giants for Florida! First the 18-foot python, now this: a gargantuan grouper. On Monday, Florida doctor Sam Gerson went out on Cape Canaveral, Florida with a fishing charter. Little did he know he was going to make the catch of a lifetime. After dropping his line over a shipwreck site, he felt a nibble almost instantly.

"I dropped my line in and within seconds of hitting bottom, I felt a strong jerk. As I started reeling in, the rod bent until the tip was almost in the water. Soon I wasn’t reeling, but instead holding on for dear life as line was running out of the spool at an alarming speed," he told The Huffington Post.

After an hour of reeling, the massive grouper, nicknamed "The Dinosaur," breached the surface. According to their fishing guide, the fish weighed at least 300 pounds and could be more than 50 years old.

After snapping a pic next to his catch, Gerson let "The Dinosaur" back into his watery domain. 

Watch Jeremy Wade catch his own gigantic grouper here!

30 Jul

The World Would be a Better Place #IfAnimalsMadeLaws

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

Early Thursday morning, perhaps as a collective response to the tragic killing of Cecil the lion, Twitter users across the country began tweeting out the laws that would exist if animals were in charge. The hashtag #IfAnimalsMadeLaws was soon trending nationally.

Some of the suggestions are serious.

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Some are silly.

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30 Jul

In the Darkness of Cecil's Death, Jane Goodall Sees Light

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from thedodo.com)

After the tragic news broke over Cecil the lion's death, the internet has been flurried with a mixture of mourning and dentist-bashing. A source of stability in the chaos, Jane Goodall speaks out about Cecil's death as only she can in her always calm, clear and passionate voice.

While many have found it hard to articulate what we should do now that Cecil is dead and his killer is still free, Goodall sees the light: "Only one good thing comes out of this – thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature."

Here is her full statement, released on Wednesday by The Jane Goodall Institute.

"I was shocked and outraged to hear the story of Cecil, Zimbabwe's much loved lion. Not only is it incomprehensible to me that anyone would want to kill an endangered animal (fewer than 20,000 wild lions in Africa today) but to lure Cecil from the safety of a national park and then to shoot him with a crossbow...? I have no words to express my repugnance. He was not even killed outright, but suffered for hours before finally being shot with a bullet. And his magnificent head severed from his wounded body. And this behaviour is described as a "sport." Only one good thing comes out of this – thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature. Surely they will now be more prepared to fight for the protection of wild animals and the wild places where they live. Therein lies the hope."

JaneGoodall.org

See an amazing lion-to-human connection here. 

30 Jul

A Cecil the Lion Video Tribute

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by  Emily Pelleymounte from thedodo.com)

Always in our hearts.

For more on these beautiful creatures, watch these clips from 'Into the Pride.'

30 Jul

Police Officer Responds to a Call, Winds Up Rescuing a Dog Instead

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

When you're an animal lover, you can't help but notice when a creature is in need. Officer Kendra Drucker, of the Newport News Police Department in Virginia, arrived at a local mobile home park to respond to a call about an assault earlier this month — but while she was there she met Smokey.

Smokey, a big brown dog, was living in a filthy trailer. According to a Facebook post on the Newport News Police Department page, the conditions in his home were "deplorable" and he had "bugs crawling in his food." His owners were nowhere to be found.

Officer Drucker couldn't just leave without doing anything for Smokey, so she found a neighbor who was willing to take him in.

Then she drove straight out to a pet store and, using her own money, bought him "25 lb. bag of dog food, rawhide bones, treats and flea medicine for 'Smokey,'" according to the Facebook page. "She gave him a bath, applied the flea medicine and made sure he was fed."

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30 Jul

Brilliant Rat Completes Obstacle Course that Would Puzzle Any Dog

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ben Kerns from thedodo.com)

The next time someone tries to tell you rats aren't intelligent, just show them this video of a rat running her homemade obstacle course. Pepper, a rescue rat owned by YouTuber Abby Roeser, is able to scale books, pull down a drawbridge when she has no other path and even scoot herself along on a makeshift vehicle with a string.

This took some training...

Who knew rats could be such good drivers?

Roeser has a collection of videos on her channel showcasing the amazing abilities she's been able to teach her rats. Some of the videos show the little guys and gals playing basketball, retrieving tissue paper and opening and closing the doors to their homes.

Not only are rats great at agility courses, but they also experience pain and show empathy toward one another, so this is just one more reason they shouldn't be experimented on or given a bad rap.

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30 Jul

Too Cute: Baby Elephant Chases Birds

What's cuter than a baby elephant tripping over its trunk? A baby elephant tripping over its trunk AND chasing a flock of birds. This adorable moment was captured in the Kruger National Park in South Africa as a baby elephant chased a flock of swallows without a care in the world. 

Here are some adorable baby elephant facts!

  1. Elephants have the longest gestation period, up to 22 months, and can weigh up to 200 pounds at birth!
  2. Baby elephants take time to figure out their trunks and have been known to suck on them, like a baby human sucks their thumb.
  3. Elephants can only conceive a baby every four to five years.
  4. They're adorable.

Watch this adorable clip from Saving Africa's Giants where a baby elephant falls in love with Yao Ming, or at least with his long, grey-looking legs!

30 Jul

Seal Frolics With Friendly Dog, Boops His Nose

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from thedodo.com)

Seals and dogs are both notoriously friendly, so it's little surprise that they'd become friends upon meeting.

A recent video shows a curious seal and playful dog bonding over some shared beach playtime. The little seal glides through the breaking waves while the dog bounces in and out of the surf. At one point, the seal appears to "boop" the dog on the nose repeatedly with his flipper.

YouTube/JukinVideo

Dogs and pinnipeds appear to have a special gift when it comes to crossing species barriers. Just last week we saw a dog try to befriend a pod of dolphins, and a sea lion trying to drown a group of divers in cuddles.

You can watch the full video below.

 

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30 Jul

Puppy Mill Dogs Feel Grass for the Very First Time

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

Last Saturday, 93 furry lives were changed forever.

The little dogs were all different: Some were Shih Tzus, some were poodles, some had long matted hair and some had short coats. Some of the dogs lay quietly, while others paced nervously and whined in their crates. But, all the dogs had one thing in common — they had just been rescued from miserable lives in puppy mills.

North Shore Animal League

Nearly one hundred dogs arrived at the North Shore Animal League America from puppy mills all over Oklahoma. They had all been used for breeding, spending their lives locked in cages, forced to have litter after litter of puppies for sale in pet stores.

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30 Jul

Gator Laughs At Humans' Puny Efforts To Contain Him

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from thedodo.com)

This alligator isn't daunted by 3-foot fences.

YouTuber Duce Brickenson worked for a tour company in the Everglades when he took this video, which was posted in 2013. Part of his job was to remove any alligators from the parking lot, so they wouldn't get injured by cars or visitors.

"The tourists that come here are pretty stupid, and are usually the instigators of alligator bites," he wrote in the video description.

In the video, he spots a medium-sized alligator roaming around the parking lot and ushers it over to a fence. Crouching down by the hissing reptile (Note: Don't get this close to an alligator unless you know what you're doing), he encourages it to hop over.

Sure enough, the ungainly gator pulls himself upright and latches onto the fence, quickly scampering up to the top. He unceremoniously plops down on the other side, rights himself and quickly hurries off home.

YouTube/Duce Brickenson

The video is impressive, both for the alligator's skill and because scientists are still learning about them and their climbing abilities; just last year a paper documented their ability to climb trees.

"Gators are truly amazing creatures, and you'll never know all their secrets unless you actually spend time in the everglades; and observe them up close like I did," Duce Brickenson wrote. "It's amazing to think that some scientists don't even know that alligators can do this."

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