Bites at Animal Planet

25 Jan

Learn More About Treehouse Masters' 'Treehive Beehive'

Contributed By Tory Jones

Get an in-depth look at how the beautiful designs inside these treehouse masterpieces come together with Treehouse Masters' own Tory Jones. Find out more about the Treehive Beehive inside this blog post!

Mosaic-glass-e

Donald and Alison Farmer’s beehive treehouse was an unusual request – not just because the exterior was so different, but also because the space was very small and Alison did not want furniture inside. Instead, she wanted shelving and soft places to sit.  My solution was to have my trusted carpenter Lisa Mei Ling Fong build 22 hexagonal shelving units to create a modular hive like structure inside so it would act as shelving, cabinets and surfaces. The modular hive cells were then painted primary colors; some were backed with mirrors and some were fronted by stained glass by a local artist from Whidbey Island Dennis Meszaros of Meazaros Glass Studio.

Dennis not only fronted the cabinets, but did a custom hive hexagonal window for the front door that hints at what is to be revealed inside.  Not wanting to waste anything, he then took the leftover pieces of glass and formed hanging hex mosaics in the kiln to hang from the ceiling.  The effect it creates is as thought you are inside a kaleidoscope.

Glass3-e

For the hive lighting, I needed a fixture that would emit the shadows of hive life, so I put out a call to the Seattle based knitting and crochet group Web of Dreams and Zippy La Rue. One of the happy (crochet) hookers answered my quest and knitted up two fantastic globes. It's the bee's knees!

Beehive1-e

For the flooring I sourced pure New Zealand wool felted shag carpet and cut and patterned it into yet another series of hexagons and top it off by adding soft bean bags from Comfy Sack.

23 Jan

Puppy Bowl XI: You're Gonna Hear Her ... ROWR! Katty Furry to Headline Kitty Halftime Show

In case you missed it, PUPPY BOWL XI is right around the corner!  And, this year, the Bissell Kitty Halftime show is blowing it out with a very special guest — the one, the only, the fabulous, feline sensation ... KATTY FURRY!

Katty-furry-puppy-bowl

That's right — she'll be headlining everyone's most anticipated TV event of the year on PUPPY BOWL SUNDAY and performing her chart-topping hits! Here's a sneak peek:

Katty Furry brings the MEOW to the doggy dog party and trust us — you won't want to miss this!  All the COOLEST puppy lovers will be watching. SEE? —

 

V important puppy bowl meeting 🐶🏈

KATY PERRY (@katyperry) tarafından paylaşılan bir fotoğraf (Oca 22, 2015 at 9:47ös PST)

 

Tune in Sunday, Feb. 1, at 3 p.m. for PUPPY BOWL XI

 

In the meantime, watch the PUPPY BOWL Pregame Show to get all the details on the big day:

Puppy-bowl-pregame-videos

 

And, who will win that other game taking place on PUPPY BOWL SUNDAY?  Watch our puppies predict the winner:

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21 Jan

Orcas in the Wild Put On a REAL Show Worth Seeing, Off California Coast

Paddle boarder Rich German has always dreamt of seeing Orcas in the wild. Well, earlier this month, his dream came true ... and it was SPECTACULAR:

Orcas-wild-video
Photo: YouTube image

Gray whales, blue whales and orcas can be seen off the coast of Southern California this time of year making their annual migration. Though, orcas are not as commonly seen.  But, thanks to German, he captured the beautiful footage for all of us to now enjoy! Check out his full video which happened off the coast of Laguna Beach, Calif. a couple weeks ago:

 

For more on the latest in orca news, visit our friends at The Dodo >>

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21 Jan

Meet Mini-Moby the White Porpoise

Mini Moby 2

Meet Mini-Moby the white harbor porpoise. Named after Moby Dick, the famous fictional white whale from the Herman Melvin book of the same name, Mini-Moby is an exceptional animal in more ways than one.

First, the condition that causes his white coloration is very rare. Mini-Moby is leucistic. Leucism is a genetic condition that causes an animal to lack pigmentation and appear white or mostly white (albinism is similar, but causes a total lack of pigmentation). Mini-Moby is mostly white with some darker coloration on his fins. Harbor porpoises are normally a gray color.

Second, harbor porpoises are special because they have made a remarkable comeback in the last few years in the San Francisco Bay, where they were absent for decades.  The return of the species is a notable wildlife recovery success story in these times where the news about wildlife populations is usually bad. Here's a great video about the recovery.

Here's an excerpt about the work biologists are doing to study these harbor porpoises, Mini-Moby in particular, from an upcoming book by my National Wildlife Federation colleague Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, NWF's California Director. NWF is partnering with and supporting Golden Gate Cetacean Research's work on harbor porpoises.  

Mini Moby 1“If it seems like making these connections from pattern identification would be an extremely time-consuming endeavor, then you are understanding the process. It requires an insane level of attention to detail. Sometime nature cuts the researchers a break with a very distinct looking animal. Take for instance, Mini-Moby. It’s a cetacean anyone can be trained to recognize. Mini-Moby is an albino porpoise first spotted in the Bay in 2011. He’s pretty hard to miss,” observes Bill, “he’s definitely the most recognizable porpoise in the Bay Area, if not the entire coast of California.” Almost entirely white, black accents decorate his dorsal fin and blowhole as if he donned the porpoise version of a tuxedo.

 
In the past 100 years, only a small number white porpoises have been documented worldwide, ranging in causes from true albinism to leucistic (reduced pigmentation) to hybridization with another animal. A GGCR paper, “First Record of Anomalously White Harbor Porpoises from the Pacific Ocean” characterized Mini-Moby’s condition as leucistic and also noted these animals appear to have a normal life span and despite their unique color don’t appear to be ostracized by their peers. Since Mini-Moby has proved social with other porpoises, he’s also employed as a natural marker for their research to track movements of his porpoise companions over time.

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20 Jan

SHOW RECAP: Finding Bigfoot in Minnesota

Revisit last night's episode of #FindingBigfoot with Animal Planet's SHOW RECAP! Tune in to the SEASON FINALE Sunday at 10/9c!
 
 
Watch Aninal Planet LIVE's Bigfoot Cam for some at-home squatching!

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16 Jan

Design Specifics from the 'Meditating Maple' Episode of Treehouse Masters

Contributed By Tory Jones

Get an in-depth look at how the beautiful designs inside these treehouse masterpieces come together with Treehouse Masters' own Tory Jones. Find out more about the Meditating Maple inside this blog post!

Maple-3-e

For the Meditating Maple in West Seattle, the lovely client, who is a Reiki master, wanted to include other healing modalities that engaged all the senses within the interior of the treehouse. We decided we would address halotherapy with a Himalayan Salt Wall, so I contacted the husband and wife team of Matthias and Annett at Salt Mine Arium – The Salt spa of Bellevue. The couple runs an incredible salt covered and infused spa and Matthias specializes in constructing custom walls.  Matthias was excited to design a wall and seat combo for the treehouse. To get a dose of heliotherapy as well, he also included lighting functionality within the bench - it even changed all the colors of the chakras. 

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15 Jan

Thandi the Rhino, Poaching Survivor, Gives Birth

Thandi the rhino — and poaching survivor — gave birth to a calf this past Tuesday at the Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa. ... HOORAY THANDI!

Thandi-calf-Kariega-Jan2015-ASteirn1-sm
Photo: Kariega Game Reserve / Adrian Steirn (www.adriansteirn.com | instagram.com/adriansteirn@adriansteirn

Thandi and two male rhinos were the victims of a horrific attack by poachers armed with machetes in March 2012. Very tragically, the two males died. But, Thandi survived after losing her horn — though she endured many surgeries including a skin graft procedure thanks to Dr. William Fowlds.

Remember Thandi's story? The horrifying attack was featured in the Animal Planet program SAVING AFRICA'S GIANTS WITH YAO MING just this past Fall:

Dr. Fowlds reports this week that after observing Thandi and calf from a distance, both appear to be doing well.

“I am sure that the whole rhino caring community will share in the joy of this amazing birth. Thandi’s story has always been an incredible testimony of the will to survive against all odds. She represents so much of what her species faces under the current poaching crisis. Her survival has already given us inspiration but the birth of her calf brings a new dimension of hope to the crisis showing us that a future generation of life is possible if we put our minds and hearts to it.” - See more at: http://www.kariega.co.za/blog/poaching-survivor-thandi-the-rhino-gives-birth#sthash.g1wozyC8.dpuf
“I am sure that the whole rhino caring community will share in the joy of this amazing birth. Thandi’s story has always been an incredible testimony of the will to survive against all odds. She represents so much of what her species faces under the current poaching crisis. Her survival has already given us inspiration but the birth of her calf brings a new dimension of hope to the crisis showing us that a future generation of life is possible if we put our minds and hearts to it.” - See more at: http://www.kariega.co.za/blog/poaching-survivor-thandi-the-rhino-gives-birth#sthash.g1wozyC8.dpuf

"I am sure that the whole rhino caring community will share in the joy of this amazing birth. Thandi’s story has always been an incredible testimony of the will to survive against all odds. She represents so much of what her species faces under the current poaching crisis. Her survival has already given us inspiration but the birth of her calf brings a new dimension of hope to the crisis showing us that a future generation of life is possible if we put our minds and hearts to it,” Dr. Fowlds said.

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14 Jan

TODAY Show Welcomes a Pup With a Purpose

Today-puppy

This morning, the TODAY Show welcomed another member to their ranks: a puppy with a purpose!

The 10-week-old Yellow Labrador Retreiever, which has yet to be named, is being raised by TODAY anchors, staff and an experienced handler. They've partnered with the nonprofit organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind and will help raise the little guy to become a seeing-eye guide dog.

The show is also holding a contest, which allows viewers to choose what to name the puppy: Wrangler, Waldo, Wes or William. See details for voting in the Tweet below!

Head to Today.com to learn more about the pup and his training.

Want to see other guide dogs in training? Check out this super cute clip from Too Cute!

13 Jan

Take the Challenge to Help 85-Pound Beagle 'Kale Chips' Slim Down

When a sweet beagle was surrendered by his elderly owner to the Chicago Animal Care & Control, the staff had never seen a dog as overweight as the fittingly renamed dog, "Kale Chips."

Kale Chips weighed in at 85 pounds — a healthy, average beagle weighs about 22 to 25 pounds.

Kale-chips-beagle-1
Photo: Courtesy of One Tail at a Time. Visit the One Tail at a Time Facebook page for more photos >>

The organization One Tail at a Time stepped up to help to pup — but, when a representative came to pick him up, he was so heavy, he could barely walk and had to be wheeled out by wagon.

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13 Jan

Crazy Smart Pup Rides Bus to Dog Park, All By Herself

Eclipse, a black Labrador and Bullmastiff mix in Seattle, Wash., rides the bus ... ALONE. Pretty smart, eh?

That's right -- she's learned how to hop on the bus in front of her apartment and carefully watches for her destination, 3 or 4 stops later, at the dog park.

Dog-rides-bus-alone
Photo: KOMO News Video image - Watch the full video report >>

It all started when her owner, Jeff Young, would have a cigarette as they waited for the bus. And one time, when he hadn't finished yet, the bus arrived and she just hopped on. He got on the next bus and caught up with her at the park shortly after.  And, she's been doing her solo ride ever since!

She's totally "urbanized," Young told KOMO News. "She's a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog," he said. "Probably once a week I get a phone call. 'Hi. I have your dog Eclipse here on 3rd and Bell,'" he recounted. "I have to tell them, 'no. She's fine.' She knows what she's doing."

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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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