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26 Jun

If it's Hot Outside, it's Even Hotter in Your Car: Protect Your Pet

Hot-car

There's nothing quite as wonderful as having your dog (or cat!) in the car seat next to you, cruising along with you as you run errands and travel. But before you head out this summer, keep in mind that keeping any pet inside a car on a hot day, even with the windows cracked, could be dangerous for the animal.

Did you know that a car can climb from 85 degrees to 120 degrees in only 30 minutes? The ASPCA provides some great tips above and on their website. A quick trip to the grocery store may not be quick enough on an extremely hot day.

The Partnership for Animal Welfare has some great tips for avoiding a deadly situation for your furry best friend:

  • Leave your dog at home on warm days.
  • On trips with your pet, bring plenty of fresh drinking water and bowl.
  • Don't let dogs ride loose in pick-up truck beds. The hot metal can burn a dog's paws, the sun and flying debris can hurt the dog, the dog can accidentally be thrown out of the truck if the brakes are suddenly applied, and the dog can jump out if scared or upon seeing something interesting to chase. Instead, use a crate to create a safer space for the dog if you can't fit the dog inside the truck cab.
  • Take the dog into the shade, an air conditioned area, or to the vet if you see signs of heat exhaustion, which include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, dark tongue, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, dizziness, or lack of coordination. To lower body temperature gradually, give the animal water to drink, place a cold towel or ice pack on the head, neck and chest, and/or immerse the dog in cool (not cold) water. Call your veterinarian.

Consider, too, that even leaving air conditioning running may not always solve the problem. If a car overheats or the AC falters, it could create an even more dangerous situation for your pet.

In most states and local governments, it's against the law to leave a pet in a hot car, so if you see an animal unattended in a warm car on a hot, sunny day, try to locate the owner. If that's not possible, contact your local authorities who will be able to help you.

Watch as an animal control officer rescues a dog overheating in a car:

18 Jun

'Jurassic World' Inspires Raptor Wranglers in New Meme

"Jurassic World" not only destroyed the box office in its opening weekend, but it has also inspired a new trend on Instagram. In an iconic scene from the movie, Chris Pratt calms and tames a trio of raptors. This scene has sparked the imagination of fans all over, including zoo keepers, to recreate the scene with animals of their own!

 

A photo posted by Joseph Mora (@moraj78_) on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:15am PDT

 

 

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15 Jun

Zoo Animals Loose in Georgia After Flood

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People assist a hippopotamus that has been shot with a tranquilizer dart after it escaped from a flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, June 14, 2015. Tigers, lions, a hippopotamus and other animals have escaped from the zoo in Georgia’s capital after heavy flooding destroyed their enclosures, prompting authorities to warn residents in Tbilisi to say inside Sunday. At least eight people have been killed in the disaster, including three zoo workers, and 10 are missing. (AP Photo/Tinatin Kiguradze)

The streets of Tbilisi, Georgia look like something out of Noah’s Arc, after severe flooding sent hundreds of wild animals into the city.

With at least 13 dead (including two Tbilisi Zoo employees), local residents are urged to stay indoors, while rescue workers and police look for the missing Tbilisi Zoo animals, according to the Associated Press.

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20 May

Man Bitten By Shark Near South Carolina

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A sand shark, like this one pictured, bit a man off the coast of Sullivan's Island. (Photo by MusikAnimal/Wikimedia Commons)

Beachgoers in Sullivan’s Island, SC are on alert after a sand shark bit a man last week.

Officials say that the 30-year-old man was bit on the foot Friday afternoon. He was taken to an area hospital, where he received stitches and was later released.

While the incident was relatively minor, it has raised concerns over the amount of sharks in the region. According to the Post and Courier, a study conducted last year revealed that Sullivan’s Island and neighboring Folly Beach were some of the riskiest places for shark attacks in the continental United States. The study also showed that individuals there were 35 times more likely to be attacked by a shark compared to the rest of the Carolinas.

The town issued a statement, urging residents to exercise caution when swimming or engaging in any water sports. Fortunately, South Carolina hasn’t suffered a fatal shark attack since the 1850s.

Want to get up close with sharks (from the comfort of your own computer or device)? Check out incredible shark videos on our website!

This post is part of our special MONSTER NEWS coverage for MONSTER WEEK! Check out related articles here and watch video highlights in anticipation of Monster Week, starting May 17, only on Animal Planet.

12 May

Mary Lee the Great White Shark Has Traveled 20,000 Miles - and Become a Social Media Darling Along the Way

Mary Lee, a great white shark with her own Twitter account, has been traveling up and down the Eastern coast to the delight of fans and continues to send "pings" to let her followers know where she's at.

Mary Lee is part of a shark tracking program by OCEARCH that is dedicated to tracking more than 100 sharks around the world, according to the Babylon Village Patch. Mary Lee was first tagged off Cape Cod in 2012, and was named after one researcher's mother. Check out the video of her being tagged below:

While the Mary Lee Twitter account isn't run by OCEARCH, it's fulfilling the same goals as the research organization: making sharks less scary by studying their habits.

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9 Mar

Irish Setter Dies After Dog Show, Feared Poisoned

After competing in a preliminary competition at the Crufts dog show, a 3-year-old Irish Setter became ill and passed away Friday shortly after returning home to Belgium.

Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, placed second in his breed at the famous dog show, NBC News reports, then collapsed upon his return home. A veterinarian who performed a postmortem examination found poison-laced pieces of meat in the dog's stomach, CTV News reports.

"We are led to believe that there's no doubt the dog was maliciously poisoned," the dog's U.K.-based co-owner Dee Milligan-Bott told BBC radio on Monday. "We are all devastated."

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Milligan-Bott wrote, "We can't and we won't think that this was the act of another exhibitor, if we thought this we couldn't go on, and the last 30 years would be a complete waste. So I ask all of you to unite in finding the perpetrator who did this, And let's continue to produce and breed our gorgeous dogs who we are all so proud of."

Crufts' organizers, The Kennel Club, are awaiting the results of a toxicology test on the dog's death, which could take several days. Authorities in England and Belgium are aware of the situation, but have not yet been asked to investigate.

In a statement, The Kennel Club said it was "deeply shocked and saddened," but wouldn't be able to move forward until the results were in from the toxicology report.

Milligan-Bott also wrote on her Facebook page: "The timings from the autopsy make it clear the only place this could have been given to Jagger was while on his bench at Crufts."

She told "Dog World" that she believes another Irish Setter she owns, Thendara Pot Noodle, may have actually been the target of the alleged attack. The dog had just won best in breed at Crufts, while Jagger finished second in a preliminary competition.

Learn more about the Irish Setter breed:

18 Nov

Be Ivory Free. Saving Africa's Giants with Yao Ming Premieres Tonight at 10/9c

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Can one person change the habits and mindset of an entire country? For most people, the answer is no. But when that one person in question is basketball superstar Yao Ming, then it’s time to believe in the impossible.

Yao Ming is teaming up with WildAid and using his celebrity to stop ivory demand in China, the world’s biggest ivory consumer. In Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming, airing tonight at 10/9c, Yao ventures to Kenya to learn more about elephants, rhinos and how the ivory trade affects not only the wildlife, but also mankind.

Yao’s image has already made an impact in a country with over one billion people. His work with WildAid to end the shark fin market in China resulted in a 50 percent to 70 percent decrease in shark fin consumption, which leads us to believe history can repeat itself this time around.

Still, it’s important to lend our voices to the cause. There’s a lot we can do individually to help fuel change, and one way to start is to recognize the demand for ivory and rhino horn will do more harm than good. More than 33,000 African elephants are killed every year for their ivory, and if the trend continues, the species may go extinct by 2020. Three species of rhinos are classified as critically endangered, including the Northern white rhino.

Knowing that, will you join us in being Ivory Free? Sign WildAid’s Ivory Free pledge, and see what other ways you can incite change.

5 Nov

Wildlife Photographers of the Year Named: See the Photos

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Duchess of Cambridge with overall winner Michael Nichols. © Trustees of NHM, London

Photographers from 96 countries contributed over 42,000 submissions for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition - and the winners have now been announced! The United States' Michael "Nick" Nichols won the overall award for his black and white photo of lions resting atTanzania's Serengeti National Park. Eight-year-old Carlos Perez Naval of Spain took home the Young Wildlife Photographer of the year award for his photo of a common yellow scorpion against the background of a shining sun.

Check out the other winners and finalists below!

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Winner - Black and White / Overall Winner - Wildlife Photographer of the Year: "The last great picture" by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols (USA) 
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Winner - 10 Years and Under/Overall Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Stinger in the sun - Carlos Perez Naval (Spain)

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2 Oct

35,000 Walruses Crowd Alaskan Shores as Sea Ice Fails to Form

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Credit: Corey Accardo/NOAA/NMFS/NMML

In a somewhat alarming sight, nearly 35,000 walruses have gathered onto Alaskan shores - the result of increasing global warming, according to The Washington Post.

In previous years, walruses would typically navigate north as the sea ice melted and then head south again when it returned. The sea ice serves as a refuge for the walrus, who need considerable rest time between diving deep to the sea floor for food. However, in 2007, the sea ice did not form - which lead to the walruses having to take refuge on Alaskan shores.

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Credit: Corey Accardo/NOAA/NMFS/NMML

Although it is a sight to behold - walrus are quite comical looking with their wrinkles and large tusks - it is actually fairly dangerous for the animals. Close quarters means disease spreads quickly, food runs out, animals such as brown and polar bears are nearby, and a slight disturbance can lead to a stampede.

As Margaret Williams, managing director for the World Wildlife Fund's Arctic program, told the Guardian, "It becomes like a giant pig pile. You have all these animals that are normally distributed on a flat surface. When they lose their sea ice habitat and come ashore in places that are accessible – like flat, sandy beaches – they gather in large numbers. … When they are disturbed it can cause stampedes in large numbers."

So what can be done to help these animals? According to the Post, "Short of immediately reversing global warming, scientists in the Arctic can only do damage control." The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed adding the Pacific walrus to the endangered species list and the Federal Aviation Administration has asked that flights not fly through the area as walrus are skittish and the disturbance could cause a stampede.

Learn more about the arctic and what the WWF is doing to help here.

28 Jul

Zoo Elephants Said to Have Too Much Junk in Their Trunk

Zoo keepers and researchers are faced with a very big problem. African elephants in captivity are reportedly becoming obese, which could have serious consequences for the species.  

Similar to what we see with humans, this obesity can lead to “the development of heart disease, arthritis, a shorter lifespan and infertility,” said Daniella Chusyd, M.A., a doctoral student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences. Because elephants in the wild are continuously threatened by loss of habitat and poaching, the infertility found in elephants in captivity is the most troubling side effect of the rising obesity issue.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

With the threats that animals face in the wild, zoos remain one of the few ways to protect species from extinction. In the United States specifically, zoos need to average about six elephant births each year in order to maintain their current population. Currently, the birthrate is only about three births per year, which has raised worry that the elephants could disappear from zoos within the next 50 years, as reported by LiveScience.

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