Bites at Animal Planet

3 Mar

Go on a Virtual Safari to Celebrate World Wildlife Day

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At Animal Planet, there’s something wild inside us all. A sort of primal yearning that drives us to connect with the natural world. For many of us that means sharing our homes with “wild things” like Mr. Pouncy Pants, Rover or Nemo. Others develop and create inspiring animal content, volunteer at wildlife rehabilitation centers, lobby for better animal welfare laws and promote animal adoption. We all have different ways of expressing our appreciation for the wild world we love so much. 

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 In celebration of World Wildlife Day, go on a virtual safari to the Okavango Delta with one of our employees . . . and get in touch with your inner wild.   

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3 Mar

Pint-Sized Pony Gets Help Seeing Over His Stall (VIDEO)

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Pedro may be small, but he has a big personality. (Photo from YouTube/Susan Collins)

Meet Pedro, the cutest Shetland pony you’ll ever see.

While it’s easy to fall in love with Pedro for his short stature, it’s also easy to forget that his size can make things difficult for him. So when the young riders at Ebony Horse Club in Brixton, London noticed Pedro couldn’t see over his stall, they decided to do something about it. Watch:

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3 Mar

Weasel Hitches Ride on the Back of a Woodpecker

You may have seen this amazing photo of a weasel on the back of a woodpecker making it rounds on the web.  Although this may seem like a scene out of adorable fairy tale fiction, the reality is, this weasel is apparently trying to KILL this woodpecker, according to multiple reports. Click through to the full ITV News report for the full report and more photos:

 

For more epic animal battles, check out our collection of incredible videos:

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2 Mar

The Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Dog Breeds

America still loves its Labrador retrievers.

Labs have reigned as the nation's top dog last tear for the 24th year after breaking poodles' decades-old record in 2013, according to American Kennel Club rankings set to be released Thursday.

Bulldogs are climbing their way up the leader board to a new high - No. 4 - and their bat-eared cousins, French Bulldogs cracked the top 10 for the first time in nearly a century.

Bulldogs rise can link from their unmistakeable push-faced expressions and generally calm demeanor. The French Bulldog has also surged in popularity from 49th to 9th in a decade. Could appearances in movies, TV shows and advertising be the reason of their recent success?

German shepherds, golden retrievers and beagles are usual repeats, with Dachshunds slitting out of the top 10, to 11th.

The top spot is unmistakable. Labrador retrievers hit the top 10 in the 1970s and haven't left since.

10. Rottweiler

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9. French Bulldog

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2 Mar

Grouper Kills Invasive Lionfish in Open Water (VIDEO)

A non-profit organization believes it has captured the first footage ever recorded of “a grouper making an open water kill of an invasive lionfish without encouragement of any kind by a diver.”

Jim Hart, co-founder and executive director of Lionfish University, recorded the encounter between the lionfish and a Nassau grouper, according the YouTube video below:

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2 Mar

Rescued Circus Lions Get Much-Needed Dental Work

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Little to no teeth? Broken fangs? 

That's what 17-year-old circus lions King and Simba's mouths looked like after serving time in Peruvian circuses. What many lion mouths look like, actually. These circuses are nothing to smile at. 

Circus owners "often break their teeth and remove their claws... It's a painful process in which they do not use anesthesia and those doing it are not veterinarians," Eva Chomba, a Peruvian veterinarian with Animal Defenders,told the Huffington Post.

Peru banned wild animals in circuses in 2011 because of terrible suffering of lions, monkeys, bears and other animals, which were frequently whipped and beaten and kept in deprived and appalling conditions. But it's still going on. That's when Animal Defenders steps in. 

King and Simba, along with 21 others, were rescued by the Los Angeles-based Animal Defenders International. The two lions were transported to the dentist on February 20 and underwent surgery to fix their teeth, or lack there of. 

Unlike the circus, the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation sedated the big cats.

King, unfortunately, wasn't completely cured. He'll have to be taken to an animal sanctuary in Denver, Colorado, to undergo more surgeries, but 26 monkeys took a trip to the dentist that Saturday. 

Wishing King and Simba, plus 21 lions and 26 monkeys a speedy recovery. Get well, you 49! 

Go into a lion's mouth with this clip from Into the Pride:

28 Feb

Should We Watch Weathermen or Animals for Accurate Predictions of Weather?

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"There will be a 90% chance of snow this evening, so gear up for a bad one, people." 

"Thank you, John. Now Rebecca, back to you with sports." 

We've all had that day, or several days, after watching the morning news and bracing for a storm or looking forward to a beautiful day, only to find that the weatherman was wrong. But we always hear stories of animals seeking safety and gearing up for weather changes before anything occurs. So, should we just watch the animals at the zoo? The pets in our home? Or the furry, flighty creatures in our backyards? Does animal instinct predict the weather better than meteorologists can? 

Well, yes and no. 

Animals have the ability to sense things we humans can't: changes in air and water pressure and high and low frequency sound vibrations, main indicators of weather change. 

For example, when a hurricane is brewing, sharks don't know what's happening, but they do know that the hydrostatic (water) pressure is changing, so they seek safety in deeper waters, Jessika Toothman from HowStuffWorks reports.

And elephants can sense earthquakes, or well, they can't sense earthquakes, but they can sense the changes in vibrations beneath their feet triggered from the shock waves produced from its epicenter. These unusual vibrations let them know something is up and they flee to safety. 

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27 Feb

Behind the Scenes: Design Details from Pankiw's Paradise

 Contributed by Celeste Gruenstein of Décor Direct-Sarasota, FL

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The Pankiws, with backgrounds in building and construction, naturally have a love of wood.  So we used Decor Direct's line of natural sustainable tree slabs for their “Insane Pool” build.  Rather than linear pieces, we chose reclaimed felled tree slabs in organic shapes with live edge finishes.  These blend harmoniously with the natural elements of stone, marble and boulders in the pool and bar area construction. With one of our custom thick sustainable slab tables for dining, the Pankiws can enjoy poolside dining in stylish fashion.  

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One of our mission statements at Decor Direct is that every piece has function and artistic qualities, so for a seating area off the Pankiw's bedroom, we showcased a coffee table that is functional art.  This super thick irregularly shaped reclaimed slab coffee table has a fresh vibe with metallic bullet style legs.  We continued the slab theme, with “art” in the form of a 6 foot tall slice of a reclaimed/re-purposed  tree mounted on a pedestal.   The result: a classic Decor Direct organic yet contemporized style for the pool area that builds on the natural elements of the pool area, yet retains an open vista to the wonders of the bay-front setting.

Watch Insane Pools every Friday at 9/8c!

27 Feb

Frank's Creative Audio-Visual Results at Pankiw's Paradise

Contributed by Frank Giuffre

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With limited space in the new outdoor kitchen/bar area, Lucas gave me the challenge of where to place a TV and Terry’s beloved “Dock & Bar” sign. By building a custom enclosure that motorized up to reveal the TV, I was able to locate the TV and bar sign in the same spot. The enclosure also provided protection for the TV in its outdoor environment.

The lack of the typical lush Lucas Lagoons landscaping in this minimalistic design provided problems for speaker locations for me. Satellite speakers were mounted high up near the soffits while the burial subwoofer was installed in the sole landscape bed of the entire project.

27 Feb

Dog Found Frozen to the Ground is OK, but Reminds Us of These Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe in Cold Temps

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Calling all pet owners! It's cold. But we don't need to tell you that. What you should know is that animals think it's cold, too. And sometimes, it's just way too cold for them to be outside.

Little Elsa, a chow-mix from Ecorse, Mich., was found frozen in her backyard on February 17.

Luckily, a neighbor heard her cries and checked on her, otherwise, she'd still be frozen, tangled and bleeding! 

"It took about a half an hour to get her unfrozen from the ground," Patricia Trevino of the River Rouge Animal Shelter told myFOXdetroit. "They had to pour warm water on her. Her two legs were frozen. The side of her face and her side, she was literally laying [sic] frozen to the ground," myFOXdetroit reports.  

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She's being treated for frostbite at Healthy Paws Veterinary Medical Center, but her rescuer Patricia Trevino says that "she may lose a leg or two," myFOXdetroit reports.

Elsa's story is a perfect example of why keeping your dog outside 24/7 is a bad idea in the winter; it's just not safe. 

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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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