Bites at Animal Planet

29 Sep

10-Year-Old Goldfish Gets Second Chance at Life with Surgery to Remove Brain Tumor

A 10-year-old goldfish named George received life-saving surgery to remove a brain tumor earlier this month, giving him a shot at another 10 to 20 years to live.

The goldfish, who calls Melbourne, Australia, home, developed trouble eating, swimming and interacting with other fish, over the past year.

His owners Lyn Orton and Pip Joyce took him to Lort Smith Animal Hospital, where Dr. Tristan Rich diagnosed the little fella. He gave Mum and Dad the option to put him to sleep or to try the delicate surgical procedure. They opted to see their pet get another chance.

Goldfish-1

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29 Sep

#NothingButOctober: Feline All-Stars Show their #Catitude on the Animal Planet L!VE Kitten Cam!

Catitude30
Photo: Joseph Schaefer

Last night, the Washington Nationals finished their regular season in historic style with their first ever no-hitter. Delighting fans and pets alike, the Nats’ win made the biggest impression on five feline fans who are now meowing their support for the hometown team via the Animal Planet L!VE Kitten Cam!  

Streaming LIVE 24/7 from the Washington Animal Rescue League, Kitten Cam underwent a spirited baseball transformation and introduced a new team of furry players who are ready to showcase their #Catitude and rally their team to victory in the postseason. At press time, they’re running laps around their room, sleeping in player’s helmets, and cuddling up with two plush versions of their favorite Nationals teammates.

#Catitude
Meet the players on the APL!VE Kitten Cam

Now who may you ask are the five fantastic felines in the APL!VE starting line-up? We have the dynamic & adoptable team of Bryce Harpurr, Kitten Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermeow, Adam LaRoar, and Whiskers Werth.  And if those names look slightly familiar, you need not look any further than the National’s team roster for their human counterparts!

So this fall, step up to bat and hit a home run with the cutest players around!  Watch the baseball-lovin’ kittens of the Washington Animal Rescue League bringing their A-game and #Catitude straight to a screen near you on the APL!VE Kitten Cam.

 

26 Sep

“Werewolf” Cat Breed Raises Questions And Curiosities

Blog-lykoi-cats-1-500w
Lykoi Cat (Photo by: Nelius Rademan/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

At first glance, werewolves and housecats go together like oil and water. But breeders have bridged the two into a new cat: the Lykoi.

The breed’s distinct look is due to a natural mutant gene variation that interferes with hair growth, resulting in a sparse, patchy coat, according to Nautilus. Not only does the Lykoi resemble a werewolf, it shares some similarities with dogs. Lykoi cats are particularly affectionate and known to follow their owners around.

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25 Sep

Sheep Aren't as Dumb as the Seem

SheepSheep don't have a reputation for being the most intelligent animals out there. Generally, there might even be some truth behind that stereotype.  

Every once in a while, howver, a sheep with more smarts than most catches our attention. Such is the case with this lovely lady, who figured out how to navigate over a series of grates installed in the ground spefically to deter hooved livestock such as cattle--and yes, sheep--from leaving the pasture.

Check her out.

 

Via Laughing Squid. Photo by Stefan Powell via Flickr Creative Commons. 

25 Sep

Meet Cuda, The "Deformed" Pit Bull That's Changing Minds and Hearts

Blog-cuda-short-spine-500
Photo by Julie LaRoy

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. With her short spine, long legs and overbite, Cuda isn’t the most attractive dog around. But look past her unusual appearance and you’ll find a sweet dog that has now become an unlikely advocate to change the stigmas some animals face on a regular basis.

This girl’s story began when her owner, Julie LaRoy, she came across the dog while working as an animal control officer in North Carolina, according to the Huffington Post. She sent her husband a picture as a plea to let the dog come home with them. After some initial resistance, LaRoy’s husband relented.

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25 Sep

Guess What a Vet Finds 43 1/2 of in a Great Dane's Stomach?

When one family's beloved Great Dane fell ill, they raced him off to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon. After examination and x-rays, the vet found this:

DoveLewis-Sock-Dog-2
Photo: Courtesy of DoveLewis

Oh, what's THAT, you ask? Well, on surgery and extraction, THIS:

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24 Sep

ROAD TRIP! Tia Torres + Team Are NYC-Bound to Meet Jon Stewart on The Daily Show!

Guess who's on the road and entering New York City today?! Tia and the Pit Bulls & Parolees crew have been driving northward from New Orleans to meet the forever brilliant Jon Stewart! So, CLEAR your evening plans and get ready to watch the meeting of two great minds.

Tia of course also has a few pups in tow — HOW do you travel with a handful of dogs?! With many, many "pit" stops. Here are a few snaps of her taking one of the many — in Pennsylvania:

Pbp-tia-torres

 

Sept. 25 UPDATE! Miss the show last night?! Here's the full interview:

 

Visit the Pit Bulls & Parolees site for more videos and get ready for Season 6, premiering Saturday, Oct. 4, @ 10PM e/p!

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23 Sep

Yao Ming Steps Up to Help Save Africa’s Elephants & Rhinos

  

Stop the Killing. Stop the Trafficking. Stop the Demand.

The new feature documentary SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS WITH YAO MING is premiering on Animal Planet this November.  Narrated by the brilliant actor Edward Norton, the film follows basketball icon Yao Ming who travels to Kenya, home to the ancient Samburu people and a natural habitat of African elephants.

Elephants are part of the Samburu heritage and are critical to their livelihood. Poaching not only destroys the wild species but also the tribal villagers who depend on them. Yao meets with Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton, renowned elephant expert who echoes WildAid’s dire conservation message, which he urges Yao to bring home and disseminate globally: it’s a race against time for these elephants; when the buying stops, the killing will too.

“The huge price motivates poachers to persist,” says Yao. “And if we buy ivory, it makes all of us killers as well.”

Every year, the death toll rises with 25,000 African elephants murdered last year alone, and 4.5 million killed in the last 60 years. These magnificent creatures are victims of ivory poaching, perpetrated by one of the most organized, widespread wildlife trafficking networks in history.

Yao-ming-saving-elephants-500
Photo: Kristian Schmidt/WildAid

See More Photos of Yao Ming in Africa >>

Fortunately, Africa’s giants have their defender: basketball superstar and wildlife advocate Yao offers his unique combination of strength, vision and voice to serve as a megaphone to help spread awareness about the cruelty of poaching. 

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23 Sep

5 Facts You Otter Know About Sea Otters

Happy Sea Otter Awareness Week
Photo Credit: Rolf Hicker/Getty Images

It's Sea Otter Awareness Week, and we're otterly excited to put the spotlight on these amazingly cute and intelligent superstars of the marine world! On Animal Planet L!VE, we invite you to take a look into the natural habitat of California's southern sea otter on the LIVE Sea Otter Cam, powered by our partners at seaotters.com. While you watch wild sea otters swim, play and socialize on the cam, here are 5 exciting facts you otter know about sea otters!

1. Sea otters are social animals and a group of them is called a raft.

To humans, rafting is a sport or a leisurely weekend activity, but to otters rafting is a way of life!  If you see one otter, there’s a good chance that many more are swimming nearby.  Sea otters prefer to swim in same-sex groups called rafts. These groups can range from just ten otters to larger groups of hundreds or thousands. Something cute to note is that rafting sea otters can often be seen holding each others' paws to prevent themselves from floating apart while sleeping.

 

sea otter pup
Photo Credit: Arthur Morris/Corbis

 

2. Baby sea otters are absolutely adorable, but it’s hard work being a sea otter mom.

Can you imagine being a new mother and having to swim through waves with an infant sleeping on your stomach? Sea otter moms do it all the time.

 

Born in the water with only the ability to float, sea otter pups cannot swim until they reach 2 months old and shed their newborn fur coat (lanugo).  During this time frame, the female otter serves as her baby’s crib, ferry, groomer, and feeder

 

At 2 months old, an otter pup will learn to swim and dive on its own, but life doesn’t get any easier for mom until the pup is weaned after 6 months of age. This is due mainly to the fact that sea otters do not have blubber to keep them warm. In order to regulate temperature, an adult otter must eat approximately 25% of their body weight each day and that doesn't even include the additional amounts mothers need to eat to nurse their babies.

 

According to a June 2014 research study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, a female sea otter requires 14 hours of hunting per day to gain enough energy and nutrition to care for a 6 month old pup. Unfortunately, this means that otter mothers are more suceptible to health issues and mortality by the time the pup can be weaned. Some otters will abandon their babies to ensure their own survival, particularly when faced with food limitations within an area.

 

Since sea otters normally give birth to one pup every year, an otter mom's job really is never done!

 

3. Sea Otters are one of the few mammals on earth that use tools to hunt and eat.

Most of us will admire sea otters for their cute looks and silly antics, but they're also a smart species. They belong to a small club of mammals that use tools to hunt and eat. Since shellfish like clams and crab make up a large portion of their diet, sea otters have to find clever ways to crack their shells open. This is usually done by finding a rock, placing it on their stomach, and then hammering the shellfish into the rock until it yields the meat within.

 

Even cooler is the fact that sea otters have their own convenient hiding places for their favorite rocks. Each of their forelegs has a pocket of skin which can be used to safely store the otter's tool of choice and their freshly caught prey while diving to and from the surface.

 

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22 Sep

Meet Adorable Baby Hippo, Olivia, a.k.a. "Michelin Man"

FRIENDS! Drop everything! Take a break and LOOK at this adorable baby hippo! Her name is Olivia and she's a teeny baby pygmy hippo, born at the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden in August.

Parken-zoo-olivia1-500Photo: Courtesy of the Parken Zoo

The little love nugget was about 13 lbs. at birth. She's all wrinkles and nothing but CUTE — her caretakers have already dubbed her "Michelin Man."

Parken-zoo-olivia2-500Photo: Courtesy of the Parken Zoo

The endangered pygmy hippo is native to West Africa.  Olivia was born to her parents Anton (father) and Krakunia (mother) under a international breeding program. She will be sent to live at another zoo after 2 years under mom's care.

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