Bites at Animal Planet

Animal Rescue

23 Jul

Alligator Crashes Teens' Camping Trip

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S'mores, spooky stories and a campfire make up a typical, safe, night of camping.

For a group of teens in Texarkana, TX, things became truly spooky when a large guest decided to join the fun. The kids heard something perusing around their tent, but didn't know the size of the visitor until the next day.

The next morning, while swimming in a pond, they were chased out by an eight-foot-long, 300-pound alligator. A wildlife expert said the alligator could have seen the kids as prey, if the gator was indeed following them. 

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This isn't the only time someone has been chased from a nice swim! Watch when Paul and Jimmy, from Gator Boys, had to rescue a gator from someone's pool. 

Make sure to tune in to an ALL NEW season of Gator Boys, August 3rd at 8/7c!

16 Jul

Activists Want to Move Arturo, Argentina's Last Polar Bear, Miserable, Depressed and Hot, In Captivity

Arturo is Argentina's last polar bear — his long time companion died in 2012 and Arturo's grown especially lonely and depressed ever since with noticeable changes in behavior indicating the unfortunate shift in his mental health, according to experts. 

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The 29-year-old bear lives in captivity at the Mendoza Zoo outside of Buenos Aires, where temperatures reach 95 degrees and upward — activists have protested the hot, cramped conditions of his confinement where he also has no contact with other bears or pools of water. The deterioration of his mental state and odd behavior include constant pacing which you can see in this video:

Protesters are calling for him to be moved to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg, Canada. Unfortunately, Canada requires 3 years of health records which the Mendoza Zoo cannot provide.  Additionally, the Argentine zoo officials are against the move, claiming that the bear would not survive the trip.

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What Can You Do to Help?

There's a Change.org petition you can sign — already, close to its goal of 150,000 signatures.

And, you can also contribute to a fundraiser on Reddit which has already raised over $6,000 for Arturo.

Continue reading >

15 Jul

Animal Rescue: Hope Finds a Way!

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Photo Credit: Kira Stackhouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the spring of 2013, a one-year-old pit bull was found tied to a tree by an Oakland animal control officer. She was underweight and had no fur due to a condition called Demodex, a form of mange. She was bright pink, hot to the touch, and starving with no owner in sight when she was brought to Oakland Animal Services, the local animal shelter. Due to the extent of her condition and a lack of shelter resources, there wasn’t much they could do for her.

However, through the love and care of two different foster parents, Steve LaChapelle and Pat Luchak, the aptly-named Hope started to recover. They took her in and took turns administering oral medications and giving her medicated baths to treat the mange, which was exacerbated by stress. Hope didn’t just need medicine; she needed love and care to help eradicate the mange and get her fur to grow back!

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Photo Credit: Steve LaChapelle

Just when things started looking up for this pit bull pup, bad news struck again: Hope was diagnosed with Valvular Pulmonic Stenosis, a congenital heart problem that would kill her within the year without surgery. Surgery isn’t cheap and again, things were looking dire for this brave pup. However, through the compassion of her humans, the money for the surgery was raised. How, you may ask?

Steve and the Friends of Oakland Animal Services set up a crowd-funding campaign through Razoo, with the ambitious goal of $5,000 to cover Hope’s surgery and various other medical expenses. Steve shared it with his friends and family, asking for any little bit they could donate, while the campaign was also promoted on Hope’s own Facebook page. In just three days, the campaign had been shared all over the world and raised almost $6,000, well over the original goal. Hope was now on her way to surgery and a happy, healthy life.

Continue reading >

14 Jul

Abandoned Glastonbury Pup Has Been Reunited With Her Owners

Music festivals: the muddy, loud, dirty, yet fun, events that have come to define summer. However, they are definitely not a place for dogs, as was shown last week at the end of the Glastonbury music festival in England. As the clean up crew was clearing the camp site, they found a white lurcher all alone in one of the 5,000 discarded tents.

With no owner in sight, the pup was taken to the Happy Landings animal shelter in Somerset where they discovered she had a nasty ear infection. However, the infection was cared for by the numerous generous donations made to the shelter upon hearing this dog's story.

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Photo Credit: Adam Gray/SWNS

She was named Dolly as a tribute to Dolly Parton and her amazing set at the festival. When Mrs. Parton heard the news about the dog’s name, she was thrilled and even offered to adopt the dog if her owners did not come to claim her.

However, this story has a happy ending. Last Thursday, Dolly's owners stepped up to reclaim their lost pup. They were actively searching for her after the festival and finally found her at the shelter. While Parton is sad she won't be able to take the pooch home, she is happy that Dolly is finally reunited with her true owners. 

Congratulations to Dolly the Dog and make sure to think of your pet's safety before taking them to crowded and loud music festivals or events.

For more unique animal rescue stories, check out our Top 10 Weirdest Animal Rescues playlist:

 

8 Jul

New Purpose Discovered Behind Koala's Tree Hugging

Koala bears are giving a new meaning to "tree huggers." A new study utilizing thermal imaging has come to find that koalas handle the extreme heat by holding their bodies against the tree trunks, which are cooler in temperature.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Researchers from the University of Melbourne observed the behavior of 30 koalas at French Island during the hot weather.  They noticed that while many animals may pant or lick their fur to cool down, this dehydrates the koalas. Instead, koalas were found to hug the cool trees, which can save about half the water the koala needs to keep cool, reducing their level of heat stress, according to the media release by University of Melbourne.

Continue reading >

3 Jul

Roo and Penny: Unlikely Best Friends

Alicia Williams, a client services receptionist at Duluth Animal Hospital in Georgia, has a habit of rescuing animals that are in bad situations. Roo and Penny are two of Alicia's rescues that have developed a very strong bond with one another.

Continue reading >

1 Jul

Pig the Unusual-Looking Pup is Anything but Ordinary

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and Pig the Akita mix definitely proves it. How is she unusual looking, you ask? Pig has Short Spine Syndrome which is exactly what it sounds like: she is missing several vertebrae, so her body is much shorter than it is supposed to be.

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Photo courtesy of Alabama Media Group

Pig was born to a feral mother and was rescued along with the rest of her brothers and sisters in Jefferson, Georgia. Kim Dillenback, who didn’t originally rescue the litter, met Pig and fell in love with her right away, as Dillenback had previously fostered rescue dogs. However, no one thought Pig was going to make it because of her shape. In an interview with AL.com, Dillenback said, "We assumed that by now, she would be suffocating under her own organs, or something like that, because of her shape." Despite the odds, Dillenback took Pig in and now Pig is almost 8 months old and about 15 pounds.

 

And she is just like any other dog. She loves to play fetch, wrestle with her other dog friends, and even stand on two hind legs. Despite missing part of her spine and vertebrae being fused together, Pig has few health problems and is in no obvious pain. Dillenback does have to make sure she eats slowly to avoid choking. In Pig’s story on AL.com, Dillenback said, "She doesn't have the space in her to eat large meals without getting out of breath because her lungs are crowded."

Despite the odds, Pig is a happy, relatively healthy mutt who definitely turns heads in public. Learn more about Pig and her foundation to help foster dogs on her Facebook page.

For more unusual pets, check out our Too Cute Extra Special Pets playlist:

 

18 Jun

Help Is On the Way for Both Pit Bulls and War Veterans

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You may be familiar with the work of Tia Torres who rescues pit bulls and hires parolees to assist her in running her rescue, but she isn't the only organization aimed at rehabilitation of both pits and people alike. Guardian Pit Bull Rescue (GPBR), located in Houston, Texas, is taking on a similar task but instead of parolees, this rescue is rehabilitating war veterans with PTSD. In conjunction with Club Canine, a dog training facility in Houston, GPBR is launching "Operation Pits Healing Heroes," a campaign where rescued pit bulls will be paired with war veterans. The pair will train together for five to nine months, with the ultimate goal of the dogs being able to provide both physical and emotional support to veterans.

Continue reading >

10 Jun

Baby Farm Animals Earn Their Wheels at Australian Animal Rescue

We’ve all heard the phrase “if pigs could fly,” but what if pigs had wheels? Look no further as this question has been answered by the piglet, Leon Trotsky, a resident at Edgar’s Mission in Victoria, Australia. According to the Huffington Post, he was rescued by Edgar’s Mission after his mother fell on top of him and his siblings at a pig farm. While his siblings didn’t make it, Leon did, but with a crushed femur and severe ligament damage. Things seemed gloomy for the piglet, until the rescue fitted him with his own piggy wheelchair. This wheelchair allowed Leon to heal while also keeping him mobile and active.

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Continue reading >

9 Jun

Game of Thrones Author to 'Kill' Fans to Raise Money for Wolves

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If the prolonged battle at Castle Black in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones didn’t have enough shocking deaths for you, author George R.R. Martin has a few more in store. Only this time he’s killing people off for a great cause.

Martin told CNN, “I've always been fond of wolves... direwolves in Westeros, and real wolves in the real world. U.S. wolf populations hit critical lows during the twentieth century, and finding a way for humans to co-exist with this majestic creature is an important part of the conservation movement.”

To further that end, the famous author is using his bully pulpit to raise money for a wolf sanctuary in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the true spirit of Valar Morghalis (All Men Must Die) this unique fund-raising campaign offers two lucky fans a chance to die a “grisly” literary death at the hands of Martin himself. For a $20K donation you can be a character in a future Song of Ice and Fire novel and meet the same grim fate as so many others.

Continue reading >

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