Bites at Animal Planet

5 Oct

Brave Little Dog Defends Her Home Against Trespassing Bears

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

When a situation called for this bold little French bulldog to serve as security guard in defense of her humans' estate, it was a duty she didn't take lightly.

The pint-sized pup, named Jules, more than proved her canine mettle on Friday after three bears wandered onto the porch outside her family's home in Southern California. Undaunted by the bears' superior size and big-clawed paws, the 20-pound bulldog leapt into action, squaring off against the intruders seemingly without fear for her own safety.

Cameras outside the home captured the remarkable scene as Jules drove the bears back from whence they came.

Homeowner David Hernandez was as surprised as anyone by his dog's bravery in keeping the family safe from the roving pack of bears, which included a mother and her two cubs.

"She wasn't having it, you're not coming in to her property," he told CBS Los Angeles. "She blew me away, couldn't believe that she turned into a Wolverine."

The bears are believed to have wandered into suburbia from the surrounding foothills in search of food, an increasingly common occurrence given California's ongoing draught. But while it may be alarming for folks to suddenly find themselves in such close proximity to these oft-feared animals, they pose far less of a threat than most people might think. In fact, as Jules' recent experience proves, bears are surprisingly skittish creatures, so encounters can often be resolved peacefully by simply scaring them away.

Watch another close encounter with bears below.

5 Oct

Dog Abandoned with Heartbreaking Note Finds Someone to Believe in Him

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from

When Joey was abandoned, tied to a pole with a sign around his neck, no one who passed was brave enough to approach him. He was terrified, barking and growling at people because he didn't know where he was or if anyone would try to hurt him.

The sign around his neck read, "My name is Joey. I am looking for a home. Please take care of me!" It seemed that no one would step up to help him, until the most unlikely person did. 

A woman named Lisa who was living in her broken down van in San Pedro, California, saw Joey and his plight, and knew that somehow, she had to help him. Lisa tried to enlist help to get Joey somewhere safe, but the local shelter told her that she would need to bring him there herself. Seeing as Lisa's van didn't work and she refused to leave Joey suffering, there was only one other choice: to walk Joey the three miles to the shelter.

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5 Oct

Rescuers Stop at Nothing to Save Orangutans from Devastating Jungle Fire

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

The last thing endangered orangutans need is a blazing wildfire threatening their already diminishing habitat.

But rescuers are going above and beyond to make sure the orangutans they've so carefully rehabilitated and rereleased into the wild forests of Borneo, in Southeast Asia, are free from even this fiery contingency.

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A heavy haze currently covers Samboia Lestari, an area of Borneo so precious to the rare orangutans, where a wildfire erupted on September 23 .

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5 Oct

Rare 'Sofa Shark' Surprises Scientists, Who Promptly Let Him Go

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

A rare deepwater species has been spotted by scientists in Scotland for the first time in over a decade, offering the world a fresh reminder of what fascinating forms lurk beneath the ocean's depths.

The bizarre-looking fish, known as both a "sofa shark" or "false catshark," was captured by a team of marine biologists from the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme. Weighing in at over 130 pounds, with a length of 6 feet, the rare shark's appearance left scientists stunned.

"I was pretty surprised when it landed in our boat," marine biologist Francis Neat told The Scotsman. "We quickly measured and weighed it before sending it back into the water. We hadn't seen one in ten years."

Read more about the discovery on The Scotsman.

Remember when Jeremy Wade caught a rare Glyphis shark? Relive the moment here!

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5 Oct

Moose Fight Filmed in Alaskan Neighborhood [VIDEO]

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A father and son were treated with ringside seats to what could be Alaska’s fight of the century.

Only in Alaska will you find two moose going at it in a random driveway.

VIDEO: Rutting moose duke it out in Anchorage subdivision

"My son and I had front row seats," says Bill Tyra -- who captured these 2 moose duking it out in a South #Anchorage subdivision.FULL video:

Posted by KTVA 11 News on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bill and Josh Tyra captured the moment, which was shared by local news affiliate, KTVA Alaska. The rut (that’s the word experts describe these moose confrontations) begins randomly in the driveway, before spilling out to the street.

“My son and I had front row seats,” said Tyra, who filmed the encounter from behind a car, according to KTVA.

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5 Oct

Dog Found by the Side of the Road Finally Has a Reason to Hope

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Fate must have had a hand in Maya's rescue — staff from Howl of a Dog, a rescue group in Romania, were on their way from dropping off a newly-adopted dog at her forever home when they saw Maya lying in a parking area by the side of a country highway.

As soon as they approached Maya they realized she was a sweetie at heart — she immediately rolled over and offered the rescuers kisses. 

Maya was probably hanging out in a parking area in hopes that passing cars would give her some food scraps and a belly rub. She had probably given up hope that any of the people who stopped would give her a real home. 

Imagine how excited Maya must have been when the rescuers picked her up and put her in their car — she had no idea where she was going, but she could probably sense that everything was about to change.

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5 Oct

Womans Upsets Bear, So He Eats Her Kayak

Maybe this video is a testament to just leaving wildlife alone. While on a 107-mile kayaking journey, Mary Maley encountered this bear who took quite a liking to her boat. She politely asks him to leave her kayak alone, which he seems to be doing. Until she pepper sprays him in the face. That prompted the bear to do exactly what she told him not to: eat her kayak. Maley then starts screaming at the bear, which doesn't seem to faze him in the slightest. 

Without her kayak, Maley reportedly had to swim out to a nearby sailboat since she no longer had any means of transportation. From there, she got a ride to the nearest city to get her kayak fixed. The bear, presumably, is simply full of kayak. 

Bears can be scary, but the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife knows how to handle them. Watch as they humanely catch and release nuisance bears here:

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5 Oct

Bouncy Emu Plays Fetch Just Like a Puppy

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Move over dogs — this adorable emu proves that giant birds can also be man's best friend.

Mimi the emu loves playing fetch with her family just like a puppy! As soon as her little human throws the ball, she goes racing off after it.


She doesn't exactly have the fetching part down though — as soon as she gets to the ball, she just sort of dances around it. But tell us this isn't the most adorable happy dance you've ever seen!


At least she keeps her family smiling. Watch the whole video below:

This emu may have fetch down pat (sort of), but this dog on the other hand isn't really sure how it works!

4 Oct

Obama Administration Sues School on Behalf of Girl and Her Service Dog

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

A little girl and her faithful service dog, who've been at the center of a legal dispute with the girl's local school district, just gained a powerful ally in their fight to stay together.

Devyn Pereira, a 7-year-old from Rochester, New York, has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that manifests as extreme cases of both autism and epilepsy. Due to the condition, Pereira requires the assistance of her life-saving service dog, named Hannah. The fluffy white pup not only helps Pereira walk and stay focused on learning, she's trained to detect when the girl's about to have a seizure.

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Despite the crucial role Hannah plays in Pereira 's education, officials from theGates Chili Central School District, where Pereira attends a special class, have put up roadblocks to keep the dog away. In order for Hannah to be at the school, the district says her family has to pay for a full-time handler to accompany them, and that Pereira's school aide can't help with the dog.

For the last three years, the Pereiras have made repeated requests that the district's policy be changed, but to no avail. The family has since paid more than $25,000 for the handler, all so that a little girl and her dog could stay together.

But now the Pereiras aren't alone in their fight.

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4 Oct

Man Who Beheaded Four Dogs Gets Up to 28 Years in Prison

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

In a striking show for animal welfare, a Nevada man who gruesomely tortured and killed seven dogs was sentenced to up to 28 years in a state prison on Thursday.

Jason Brown, 25, was arrested last year after a dismembered dog was found inside his Reno motel room. When officers investigated further, they made a shocking discovery — inside the motel room's fridge were four severed dog's heads.

Shutterstock / Twitter/KTVN

Brown had been responding to local Craigslist ads, offering to take dogs and puppies whom people were giving away for free — and promising to give them good homes.

Some of the owners who gave or sold Brown dogs testified that he "seemed like a normal clean-cut kid," AP reports.

During the trial, the jury heard the terrifying audio from several videos Brown had recorded as he tortured and dismembered the dogs – including the screams and cries from the animals.

"I'm making a jacket out of them," Brown says in one video. "The little white Chihuahuas are my favorite. If I get one of those, they are coming to Jason's house of pain."

Brown told the judge on Thursday that he was doing drugs at the time and "no longer had control of myself."

People who abuse or neglect animals are often able to adopt or buy animals again and again, avoiding punishment and repeating the tragic cycle.

In this case, the shocking, horrific nature of Brown's crimes led to his harsh sentence. He won't even be eligible for parole for 11 more years.

"Those images I watched, I will never forget," Judge Elliott Sattler said before delivering the maximum sentence on Thursday. "The cruelty, the sadism you exhibited is simply shocking." 

Thankfully, there are authorities who take animal protection seriously. Check out when the North Woods Law Wardens got justice for illegal trapped wildlife.

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