Bites at Animal Planet

Animal Rescue

8 Apr

Help Us Spread the Word on Whaling: Vote for Webby-Nominated Whale Wars: Blood and Water

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Animal Planet's interactive experience Whale Wars: Blood and Water has been nominated for a Webby Award in the "Web: Television" category. Not familiar with Blood and Water? It follows the life of Paul Watson and his journey to end whaling.

If you're a Whale Wars fan, consider casting a vote in the people's choice award for the Webbys in order to help raise awareness for the program that shined a light on the important issue of whaling.

Cast Your Vote Now >>

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5 Apr

Hop On Down the Bunny Trail to the Newest Live Cam

Are you searching for something to put a hop in your step and a smile on your face?  Look no further because Animal Planet L!VE just teamed up with the House Rabbit Society to give life to your newest obsession: Bunny Cam!

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Credit: zzcapture/Veer

This spring APL!VE is absolutely bouncing with cuteness with the addition of Bunny Cam to our growing collection of adorable animal cams. Brighten your day by watching sweet bunnies munch, jump, and play around in their very own bunny castle.  With Easter just weeks away, this is a cam that you're going to want to share with friends and family.

It's also an excellent opportunity to get to know one of America’s most popular household pets. To help you understand exactly what welcoming a bunny into the family means, we're hosting weekly chats with our partners at the House Rabbit Society, an international non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing abandoned rabbits, finding them forever homes, and educating people on the responsibilities of rabbit ownership. Join us on Bunny Cam every Wednesday at 3PM ET for Bunny Chats!

Hippity-hop over to APL!VE where floppy ears and bushy tails await you!>>

 

 

Need more bunnies to fill your day?  Check out this playlist of the Hoppiest Bunny Videos!

27 Mar

It Takes a Country: Nepal’s Year of Zero Poaching

Contributed By Shubash Lohani, Deputy Director, Eastern Himalayas Program, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

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© Wim van Passel / WWF-Canon

Nepal recently celebrated a great achievement: 365 days of zero poaching. This means that there were zero killings of elephants, rhinos and tigers in the country. The New York Times even penned an op-ed about the feat.

Sadly, this is a rare achievement. Wildlife around the world is under threat due to demand for their parts for high-end luxury items, such as tiger-skin rugs, elephant ivory carvings and traditional medicine. This demand is emptying forests around the world that support both biodiversity and the livelihood of local communities.

Since 1970, Nepal has been considered a model for conservation when it brought rhinos and tigers back from the brink of extinction, when fewer than 100 of each of these animals remained in the country. By the beginning of this century, 612 rhinos and about 123 breeding tigers thrived in Nepal. However, the country has faced a grave poaching crisis in recent years. Between 2000 and 2005, at least 94 rhinos were killed in famed Chitwan National Park for example, resulting in a 31 percent decline in the park’s rhino population.

As the threat of poaching and illegal wildlife trade reemerged, Nepal took swift action in a major collaborative effort involving park authorities, army, police and local communities. This led to two years – 2011 and 2013 – of zero poaching.

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24 Mar

BREAKING: Baby Moose Freed By Good Samaritans, Hangs Out Looking Cute

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Photo: YouTube image

One adorable baby moose was trying to hop over a fence when its hooves got stuck in between the wood planks. With ax in hand, kind fence owners help free the little guy. The cutiepie is obviously grateful judging by its decision to hang out with the kind rescuers afterward:

Not all rescues are as adorable and sweet as this baby moose video. Watch a collection of the Top 10 Greatest Animal Rescues from our vault:

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14 Mar

Ricky Gervais ROARS Against Canned Hunting - and So Can You

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Ricky isn't the only one roaring about this issue. Join thousands across the globe (myself included) this Saturday, March 15 as activists march to draw attention to the cruel, but perfectly legal, practice of canned lion hunting in South Africa. Unfamiliar with this practice? It's been outlawed in many places, including 20 states, but is still abundant in South Africa. It's a form of hunting that limits the animal's ability for a "fair chase" since it's kept in an enclosed area in order to make it easier for the hunter to come home with a "trophy." Essentially, hunters are guaranteed a kill since the animal is unable to escape.

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Lion breeders argue  that it’s better to shoot captive-bred lions than the dwindling population of wild lions. However, in the last 20 years the number of wild lions has declined by 80 percent. This suggests that the argument for canned hunting in order to protect wild lions is invalid.

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13 Mar

Prince William Sound Otters Recovering 25 Years After Oil Spill

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David McNew/Getty Images News

Twenty-five years after the Exxon Valdez spilled approximately 10.8 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound, the otter population has appeared to recover.

According to the Scientific American, nearly 40 percent of area's population of 6,500 otters was killed following the spill, including the 871 that perished in the first few days after the event. The Exxon Valdex Oil Spill Trustee Council, which was established to oversee the restoration of the Prince William Sound ecosystem, noted that there were high juvenile death rates and blamed that and the slow recovery on “chronic exposure to hydrocarbons” that were present in the otters' feeding grounds.

In 1993, the U.S. Geological System started monitoring otter populations aerially. Over time the populations would rise then fall, but since a drop in 2011, the otter populations have risend steadily, with 4,277 otters living in the area last year. In addition to monitoring the otter populations, the USGS tested otters "for multiple genetic expressions that would indicate continued exposure to oil," according to Scientific American. When tested in 2008, the otters still showed high strong signs of these genetic expressions, but animals captured four years later did not.

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Gary Braasch/CORBIS

While there is still much to be done in Prince William Sound, the recovery of otters is a move in the right direction.

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3 Mar

World Wildlife Day Shines Light On Illegal Ivory Trade

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Chinese actress and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Li Bingbing plays with a baby elephant in a short film made by Save the Elephants in honor of World Wildlife Day (Photo taken from YouTube)

It is estimated an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory, according to Save the Elephants. There are less than 400,000 African elephants today, a noticeable decline from the 1.3 million found in 1979. At this rate, the species is on track to become extinct in the next 10 to 20 years, according to China’s Southern Weekend newspaper.

Even though the commercial trading of African elephant ivory was outlawed internationally in 1989, it can still be found in parts of the world, like China, the world’s largest consumer of illegal ivory.

Chinese actress Li Bingbing is a superstar that is using her celebrity to raise awareness about elephant poaching in her country. In celebration of the inaugural World Wildlife Day, Li, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador, traveled to Kenya to learn about African elephants and poaching. Her journey was documented in a short film found on YouTube (you can also watch the 6-minute Director’s Cut online):

Continue reading >

24 Feb

Endangered Whale Gets Second Chance at Life

Thanks to the efforts of The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission an endangered whale has been given a second chance at life.

After several attempts, a team of biologists partially freed Whale No. 4057 from 100-plus yards of weighted rope he was dragging along. No. 4057 is one of only about 450 remaining North Atlantic right whales.

Authorities have not yet pieced together where the rope came from or the specific type of fishing it had been used for. “Judging from its wounds, I suspect this whale had been hauling that rope for weeks or longer,” said Clay George, who heads right whale research for Georgia DNR. “It’s impossible to know if he’ll survive, but at least we gave him a fighting chance.”

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Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Georgia Wildlife Resources Division.

Entanglement is a chronic problem for the species, said Barb Zoodsma, NOAA Fisheries’ coordinator of right whale recovery efforts in the Southeastern U.S. “Most entanglements occur in gillnet and trap/pot gear that is left to soak in the water unattended for long periods.” According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, more than 80 percent of North Atlantic right whales bear scars from rope entanglements, and almost 60 percent have been entangled twice.

Biologist Clay George cautions, “Disentanglement can’t save every whale, the focus must be on prevention.”

Watch the amazing rescue below.

Click here for the full story

19 Feb

Boy And Dog Show Off Special Bond In Short Film

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Owen and Haatchi (Credit: "A Boy and His Dog," published to YouTube)

The bonds we share with our pets are unbreakable. For 8-year Owen and his Anatolian shepherd Haatchi, that bond was cemented the moment they met. Owen has Schwartz Jampel syndrome, a disease that causes his muscles to tense on a regular basis. Then there’s Haatchi, who lost a leg after being tied up to railway line and hit by a train. Both boy and dog faced difficulties opening up to others, until they found one another. Now it seems like nothing is impossible for either of them.

Owen, who avoided others due to his disability, can now venture out of the house with confidence, while Haatchi has found the best friend he's longed for all his life.

Their relationship is captured in a short film entitled “A Boy and His Dog,” made by a group of student filmmakers at the University of Hertfordshire.

Keep the tissues handy, because this one’s a tearjerker:

For more amazing stories between man and dog, check out videos from Saved and Pit Bulls and Parolees.

 

7 Feb

Military Working Dog Latest Taliban Militant Hostage

Taliban-dogThe latest hostage of Taliban militants appears to be a military dog. The New York Magazine reports that this is a U.S. military dog, while the Huffington Post suggests that it's a British military dog. Other reports from the Washington Post and Daily Telegraph suggest that the dog is attached to a British special forces unit.

The dog is a Belgian Malinois, a breed commonly used by U.S. Special Operations troops because of its light weight, agility and endurance, according to the Washington Post.

The Taliban responsible for the dog-napping released a video which can be viewed here, though we couldn't watch ourselves.

Some kind-hearted folks have also set up a petition asking for the dog's release. The petition can be viewed here.

For more information on military working dogs, check out this Glory Hounds video below.

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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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