Bites at Animal Planet

31 Jul

That Dog is Super Cute, but Can He Breathe?

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ben Kerns from thedodo.com)

With those perpetually pouty mugs, scrunched-up noses and hanging jowls, dogs with flat faces are undeniably cute. The problem is, breeding dogs to have flat faces causes numerous health problems that could easily be avoided.

Pug (Shutterstock)

Flat-faced or flat-nosed dog breeds, also known as brachycephalic breeds, are prone to a variety of conditions that affect their breathing and ability to live long, healthy lives. The conditions caused by the flat face are collectively known as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).

BOAS is sort of a blanket term referring to the various upper airway problems found in the these dogs. These breeds include English bulldogs, boxers, Pekingese, pugs and Shih Tzus, among others. Their shorter skulls and flat faces are the result of decades of selective breeding for what some consider "desirable" traits, and goes directly against the ancestral, natural shape of a dog's head. BOAS can occur in any breed that has a flat face or nose, though it's more common in certain breeds, like pugs, who all suffer from BOAS.

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31 Jul

Cats Smooshing into Bowls

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Emily Watson from thedodo.com)

Apparently cats do not have bones.

Check out more hilarious cats here!

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31 Jul

Happy National Mutt Day!

National-mutt-day-2015

It's a good day to celebrate your favorite mixed breed! There's just something about these dogs that bring something special to our lives. However, according to the ASPCA, are approximately 3.9 millions dogs in shelters and only 35% of those dogs are adopted to their forever homes. 

So, check your local shelter when looking for your next canine companion. You just might find the dog of your dreams!

Already have the dog of your dreams? Then here are some ways the National Mutt Day web site says you can celebrate!

  1. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.
  2. Have a National Mutt Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!
  3. Take your mutt to the dog park for a romp.
  4. Microchip and I.D. tag your mutt so the shelter can locate you if he/she gets lost.

You can also check out Walk for a Dog, an app that will donate to your favorite shelter every time you walk your dog! Get some exercise AND donate to a good cause, what better way to celebrate this holiday?

Share your celebration with us on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments!

Celebrate the day with some time spent over at the Animal Planet LIVE Puppy Cam!


Live video by Animal Planet L!ve

Learn more about the benefits of adopting a mix breed here!

31 Jul

NYC's Empire State Building to Be a Canvas for a 'Noah's Ark' of Endangered Species Images

In the wake of a horrific week for animals -- Cecil the lion's murder, the death of one of 5 remaining northern white rhinos on Earth, and elephants slain in Kenya, to name a few -- massive digital images of critically endangered species will be projected onto the Empire State Building in New York City tomorrow, in an effort to raise awareness of the urgent plight of these animals.

The team behind the event is led by filmmaker and photographer Louie Psihoyos, director of the documentary Racing Extinction, to air on Animal Planet's sister network Discovery Channel on December 2.

Racing-extinction

What Psihoyos described as a "Noah's Ark" of animals to the New York Times will be projected onto 33 floors of the southern side of the historic landmark, from 9 p.m. to midnight this weekend. Expect to see everything from snow leopards, manta rays, birds, snakes, to a golden lion tamarin!  The images should be visible within 20 blocks of the building.

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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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