Bites at Animal Planet

24 Nov

Stray Dog Treks 430-Mile Adventure Race, Makes New Human Friends for Life

When a team of four endurance athletes from Sweden set off on the most grueling journey of their lives, they didn't expect to pick up a fifth — FURRY — teammate along the way.

Stray-dog-follows-endurance-racers-facebook
Photo: Krister Göransson / Peak Performance | Peak Perfomance on Facebook

The Swedish team embarked on a 430-mile trek to compete in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador.  As they began the rainforest portion of the race, team member Mikael Lindnord noticed a hungry, stray dog and gave him a meatball ... And, it was LOVE at first bite.

The dog who they soon dubbed "Arthur" continued to follow them the rest of the epic journey, which usually takes a team of four, about 10 days. The rigorous race includes biking, hiking, trekking and kayaking — Arthur kept up every step of the way! 

By the end of the race, they certainly couldn't leave their new friend behind — he's headed back to Sweden to his new forever home with Lindnord. Awwww. *tear*

Congratulations, Arthur and Team Sweden!

See More Race Photos with Team Sweden & Arthur >>

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22 Nov

Dolphin Laughs at Cartwheeling Girl

There's no way that there's not some form of interspecies communication going on in this video. A member of FunDipped Productions, an Orlando based circus theatre company, decided to do bit of a routine in front of the viewing window of a dolphin enclosure. She definitely got the dolphins' attention.

What do you think, is the dolphin in the video experiencing joy at her acrobatics?

 

 

 

Dolphin acrobat
An acrobat performs for a dolphin.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

21 Nov

Over 22,000 Species Are Now Facing Extinction, Conservationists Say

Over 22,000 plants and animals are facing extinction — 33 species have been declared extinct just in the past year. Read the full report from The Dodo and find out which surprising animals are topping the list.

Dodo-animals-extinction

Photo: Danilo Cedrone/FAO vis The Dodo

 

By Melissa Cronin

Conservationists named 22,413 out of 76,199 species of plants and animals surveyed as at risk for extinction, according to the annual update to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, released this week. In the past year alone, 33 species have been declared extinct. The update points to pressures from activities like fishing, logging, mining and agriculture as the main drivers for species loss.

Continue to the Full Report at The Dodo >>

 

 

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20 Nov

Watch a Lion "Sleep Roar"

You've heard of sleep walking, but what about sleep roaring?

If you have a pet dog, you know that canines dream. You've probably seen your dog flipping his or her paws, breathing heavily and maybe even barking--all while sound asleep.

This video is the cat version of that:

The lion's name is Hercules and he lives in Colorado at a facility called Wild Animal Sanctuary which specializes in rescuing large carnivores. Large carnivores such as big cats, bears and wolves face euthanization more than any other group of captive wild animal due to the high cost of feeding them and the extreme danger associated with caring for them.  

(Sidenote: please don't try to get a big cat, bear, wolf--or any other kind of wild animal--as a pet. It's not cool and usually end badly for the animal. Getting to live in a wildlife sactuary like Hercules did is the rare exception.)

They had this to say about the video:

"...he sometimes dreams of roaring while he is sleeping. Much like dogs do (where they dream of barking or running in their sleep), lions also have vivid dreams, and Hercules is having one heck of a wild dream!"

What do you think lions dream about?

Lion sleeproar

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

18 Nov

Be Ivory Free. Saving Africa's Giants with Yao Ming Premieres Tonight at 10/9c

Saving-africas-giants3-tunein-500x500.jpg

Can one person change the habits and mindset of an entire country? For most people, the answer is no. But when that one person in question is basketball superstar Yao Ming, then it’s time to believe in the impossible.

Yao Ming is teaming up with WildAid and using his celebrity to stop ivory demand in China, the world’s biggest ivory consumer. In Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming, airing tonight at 10/9c, Yao ventures to Kenya to learn more about elephants, rhinos and how the ivory trade affects not only the wildlife, but also mankind.

Yao’s image has already made an impact in a country with over one billion people. His work with WildAid to end the shark fin market in China resulted in a 50 percent to 70 percent decrease in shark fin consumption, which leads us to believe history can repeat itself this time around.

Still, it’s important to lend our voices to the cause. There’s a lot we can do individually to help fuel change, and one way to start is to recognize the demand for ivory and rhino horn will do more harm than good. More than 33,000 African elephants are killed every year for their ivory, and if the trend continues, the species may go extinct by 2020. Three species of rhinos are classified as critically endangered, including the Northern white rhino.

Knowing that, will you join us in being Ivory Free? Sign WildAid’s Ivory Free pledge, and see what other ways you can incite change.

18 Nov

Baby Goose Jumps Off Cliff - Dramatic Video

Life is tough in the wild. Baby barnacle geese learn that the hard way when leaving the nest for the first time. Check out this dramatic video of what barnacle geese goslings are up against when it comes time to strike out into the great big world. Talk about extreme cliff diving!

Barnacle geese are birds of the north. Their spring breeding grounds are the rocky cliffs in Greenland, Norway and Russia. In winter they fly south to England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands. 

As a species their populations are doing well. 

12178665936_7a85924b8b_bBarnacle geese. Photo by Åsa Berndtsson via Flickr Creative Commons.

 Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

 

 

17 Nov

Here's How Yao Ming Is Helping. Now It's Your Turn.

 

Alison Kim Perry reports on what YOU can do to help end the poaching crisis in Africa. It's not entirely hopeless — so, read up and do you part!

Yes, it is true that a big difference can be made one person at a time. Elephants are being killed every day for their ivory tusks (their incisor teeth). To elephants, tusks are an essential body part. To poachers, they are a financial gold mine.

Yao-ming-elephants-3
Photo: Kristian Schmidt/WildAid

You have the power to speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves. Here are just a few ways to help you get started:

Donate. While many of us may not have the time or means to head to Africa, every dollar DOES count you can make even the smallest contribution to the cause without even having to board a plane. Groups like WildAid and the World Wildlife Fund are focused on ending illegal wildlife trade. Hop over to their websites (links preceding), read about the organizations, and see if donating to them is a good fit for you.

Ask. Before you purchase those “pretty” ivory beads, chess sets and toy elephants to sit in your armoire, ask yourself  and more importantly, the retailer  if it’s worth the lives of the elephants that were taken to add these pearly trinkets to your collection. If there were not a huge consumer demand for ivory, there would be no need to wage a war against poachers.

March. The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos puts on various events around the globe including of simultaneous marches in 137 cites in October. The group posts many opportunities for people to get involved in various events on their facebook page. Log on to their website or Facebook page to find the closest event to you.

Post. We all love to share stories about cute kittens playing the piano on our Facebook page. And, who doesn’t post the pic of the rigatoni dish you ate for lunch on Instagram? So why not use the power of Social Media for meaningful content? Like, share and post news stories and web pieces about the illegal sale of ivory to make sure this topic spreads like wildfire to everyone in your circle and beyond. And, be sure to use the hashtag #IvoryFree to spread the word and encourage your network to sign the Ivory Free pledge!

Read. Many of us are not even aware that with the fast rate of poaching, elephants, rhinoceros and even tigers in Africa and Asia face the possibility of extinction in our lifetime. Imagine this: man could ultimately be responsible for the demise of these creatures. Get to know the history of these beautiful mammals and gain knowledge about the grave nature of their endangered statuses. Learn about the real implications of illegal wildlife trade. The World Wildlife Fund released the 10th edition of their Living Planet Index, reporting that we've lost half of our planet's wildlife in the last 40 years. Their full report would be a good place to start reading >>

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14 Nov

Finding Bigfoot: The Team Brings in Reinforcements

In Sunday's all-new episode of Finding Bigfoot the team enlists the help of fellow Squatchers to see how much ground they can cover in Idaho. Among the stories and evidence they explore is an eyewitness account that took place near a casino.

Two men claim to have seen a large creature in the distance picking debris up off the ground and tossing it in the air. After the sighting, the two ventured to the location where they saw the potential Squatch and found some very interesting - and very large - footprints.

 

And this is just one of the accounts the team investigates in this episode. Don't miss Sunday's premiere. Tune in at 10 PM E/P for some serious Squatchin'!

12 Nov

Chinese Leaders Accused Of Smuggling Absurd Amount Of Illegal Ivory

Reports from last week revealed that Chinese officials and business leaders, part of a delegation on a state visit with President Xi Jinping to Tanzania, was used to smuggle massive amounts of illegal ivory — the obscene demand causing local prices to double. Read The Dodo's in-depth report below.

Elephants-thedodo
Photo: Matt Bidulph/Flickr vis The Dodo

 

By Melissa Cronin

A Chinese presidential delegation has been accused of recently trafficking a huge amount of illegal ivory out of the country worst hit by elephant poaching.

During a March 2013 visit to Tanzania, Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, brought a large entourage along with him. The group was there to purportedly promote relations between their two countries. But, according to a new report, that wasn’t their only goal. Local traders allege that the arrival of the delegation caused local ivory prices to skyrocket because they bought so much of it.

Continue to the Full Report at The Dodo >>

 

 

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11 Nov

Animal Friends Salute Our Vets

Seal-salute-shedd
Ty, a 13-year-old male California Sea Lion, provides a salute to America’s veterans. A popular resident pinniped of Shedd Aquarium’s Abbott Oceanarium, Ty spent his first four years as a member of the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, before receiving the equivalent of a medical discharge due to his limited vision. Shedd aquarium adopted him in 2005, where he has been thriving in their care ever since. (©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez)

We're following Ty's lead and saluting our veterans today. Ty himself is a veteran having served in the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program in San Diego. When he was discharged due to limited vision, he came to live at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium in 2005.

See more animals who have served their country:

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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