Bites at Animal Planet

Current Affairs

12 Mar

Animal Planet #MEOWS in Austin

By Matthew Windsor, Publicist for Animal Planet

Over the weekend, Animal Planet clawed it’s way to Austin, Texas and left a gigantic sized scratch mark on the SXSW scene with it’s participation in a "paw-some panel," Cat Cash: The Economy of Cats, and with a celebration of all things feline at the Cats Live Here party.

On Saturday, Grace Suriel, social media director of Animal Planet, appeared on the feline themed panel to discuss the network’s role in the global phenomenon that is internet cat videos. Grace mentioned Animal Planet’s dedication to cats on-air runs the gamut from shamelessly cute with the likes of TOO CUTE! KITTENS and LIL BUB’S SPECIAL SPECIAL, to ferociously frightening with MY CAT FROM HELL. In addition, she touted the success of APL L!VES’ Kitten Cam and the network’s role in changing the perception of cat ladies online. Gracel was joined by Scott Stulen, of the Cat Vid Fest, of which Animal Planet is the exclusive sponsor, Will Braden, creator of Henri Le Chat Noir, and Ben Lashes, manager of famous feline’s Nyan Cat, Keyboard Cat and Grumpy Cat, who made a surprise appearance at the panel and sent social media into a frenzy. The panel was also covered by The Guardian, OnlineVideo.net and The Star Online.

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30 Oct

Animal Oddities: Zombies vs. Animals: Who Would Win?

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From David Mizejewski, Animal Oddities

Between Halloween and the latest season of The Walking Dead, the zombie craze is in full-force.

Zombies are scary. We humans are evolutionarily pre-programmed to abhor the dead bodies of our own species. It's a natural reaction that helps healthy individuals avoid picking up potentially fatal pathogens. The thought of being eaten alive is another totally natural fear, and when it's your own species doing the eating, it's somehow even more terrifying.

So, when you're lying in bed after watching The Walking Dead, unable to fall asleep with the vague anxiety of half-rotten corpses getting you in the dark, remember this: if there was ever a zombie apocalypse, wildlife would kick some serious zombie [butt].

Zombie
Photo by Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

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22 Oct

Penguin Receives First Ever MRI at U of M Veterinary Medical Center

Meet Fluffy. Fluffy is the first ever known penguin to receive an MRI.

Fluffy

 

When Fluffy arrived at University of Minnesota's Veterinary Medical Center he was having trouble balancing, standing and waddling. When veterinarians couldn't find the root cause they turned to a diagnostic first for penguins: An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. As a result Fluffy was diagnosed with encephalitis, properly treated and four weeks later is nearly fully recovered.

Click here to read the full story from the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center

Can't get enough of penguins? Check out our LIVE Penguin Cam brought to you in partnership with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

 

17 Oct

Deadly Wasp Attacks on the Decline in China

 

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Imaginechina/Corbis

Here's some good news for the people of Ankang, a city in China's Shaanxi province. Deadly wasps, whose stings have taken the lives of 42 people, seem to be on the decline as the number of cases of severe stings has decreased over the last week. The number of cases was as high as 40 per day in September and were now down to about 10 per day in early October. No cases have been reported in the last five days.

According to CNN, the wasp, formally known as Vespa mandarinia, carries a venom that destroys red blood cells. Yet, as with any stinging insect, allergic reaction to the sting is just as dangerous, if not more so, than the venom.

Want to learn more? Read up on wasps then take our wasp quiz!

Watch how Turtleman (Ernie) traps wasps safely and effectively with his homemade bottle trap:

20 Sep

The Importance of Foster Homes: Sir Stuffington's Story

Earlier today we were introduced to a very brave kitten named Sir Stuffington. Our little friend has been through the unimaginable in his short little life and is currently recuperating in a foster home in Oregon.

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Photo Credit: Multnomah County Animal Services

Sir Stuffington will be ready for adoption in a few months. On behalf of Animal Planet we'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to foster mom Blazer Schaffer for caring for Sir Stuffington until he is at a healthy and adoptable weight. We'd also like to thank all of the pet foster moms and dads out there. You are all an essential part of ensuring that all animals find happy and healty forever homes. Check out Sir Stuffington's Facebook page to follow his progress. 

 

Click here to learn more about Sir Stuffington! 

Click here to learn more about unique pets! 

 

19 Sep

BFFs: Bubbles the Elephant and Bella the Dog are Best Friends

 

Sometimes friendships are totally unexpected — but there's no denying true love and connection between two kindred souls.  Meet Bubbles the elephant and Bella the dog — they're BFFs. And, it's ADORABLE.  Check out the photo gallery >>

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And, watch the video of the adorable pair:

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18 Sep

Happy 80th Anniversary to Granddad, an Australian Lungfish

 

The oldest living fish in any zoo or aquarium, Granddad, an Australian lungfish, celebrated his 80th anniversary at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago yesterday.

One of the aquarium's most popular seniors, Granddad is about 4 feet long and 20 pounds. When he moved in to Shedd in 1933, he was full grown so his exact age is unknown — Granddad could be anywhere from 82 to 85 years old.

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Photo: Granddad, the Australian lungfish ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The Australian Consulate honored Granddad and the top quality care he's received over the decades with an official proclamation and a visit by Australia's Consul General Roger Price.

Granddad also received a special "ice cake," complete with smelt, herbivore gel squares, yellow squash, green peas, grated carrot and sweet potato. The two tiers are covered with a seaweed frosting and garnished with shredded escarole greens, carrots and raspberries. Um ... Yum!?  Check out the frozen, work of art:

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Photo: Granddad's special anniversary cake ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

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29 Aug

10,000 Strong: Cat Community In Full Force at Second Annual Cat Video Festival

Ten years ago, if you had asked me what the average “cat lady” was like, I would have responded with some typical and snarky comment about seclusion and frumpy sweaters. Today, I am more than happy to admit I was wrong.

In my time here at Animal Planet I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know our fans quite intimately through our many social media channels. I don’t always have the time or the resources to respond to every single tweet or Facebook post but still read through and pass along your passionate stories, your hilarious videos and your adorable photos.

Last night, the cat community was in full force at the Minnesota State Fair. More than 10,000 of you attended the Walker Arts Center’s second annual Cat Video Festival. I got a chance to meet and chat with many of you on all things cat. Throughout the evening we all laughed together at hilarious cat videos, unveiled an amazing butter sculpture, witnessed the monumental meeting of Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat and had an all around amazing time.

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Thank you to everyone who came out to this incredible event. I believe I speak for all of Animal Planet when I say; we are your biggest fans.

Check out more photos from the Cat Video Festival!

27 Aug

RESCUED! ASPCA Helps Bust Second Largest Dogfighting Ring Ever

It's been an incredible week for pit bull advocates! On the heels of President Barack Obama's public opposition towards Breed Specific Legislation comes news of the takedown of what is believed to be the second largest dogfighting ring in U.S. history.

 

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Image Courtesy of ASPCA
Yesterday, the ASPCA announced the takedown ranging across several southern U.S. states and the rescue of more than 350 dogs. Dogs were found in varying degrees of health and most showed the telltale scars from dogfighting. All were left to suffer in extreme heat with little or no access to fresh food and water. Sadly, several dead animals were also found across the properties.

The sting comes at the end of a nearly three year operation involving 16 animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, as well as at least 10 federal and state law enforcement agencies.

Tia Torres, Founder of Villalobos Rescue Center and star of Animal Planet's hit series Pit Bulls and Parolees, regarding the rescue said, "I'm very happy and relieved at the same time that law enforcement around the country is now working together to end this barbaric ritual that some like to call a 'sport.' I can remember the day when dog fighting was tossed to the side like it was not important enough to even acknowledge. To see a surge of power such as this raid, actually brings a smile to my face and lets me know that there is still hope."

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Image Courtesy of ASPCA
Currently, ten suspects are now in custory and facing up to five years in prison. Matthew Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO closed an earlier blog post with a promise, "I'm very proud that we saved these animals, and the unprecedented ways we did. This is not the last dog fighting ring we'll break up, but you can be sure we'll be working hard until the day we can finally say it is."

Congratulations to all involved on this historic rescue! We look forward to seeing how these dogs progress. For updates on the rescue, stay tuned to the ASPCA's blog or follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #367rescue. 

9/16/2013 UPDATE: A trial for the defendants is currently scheduled for February 2014. If convicted, they face up to 15 years in prison. Recently, CNN was granted exclusive access to the ASPCA's rehabilitation center. The images and stories emerging from the rehabilitation center are quite heartbreaking yet an aura of hope remains prevalent. We're rooting for you! Click here for the full story from cnn.com. 

See more pictures from the historic takedown! >>


22 Aug

Horned 'Sea Monster' Carcass Found on Spanish Beach

 

A mysterious, horned, marine creature approximately 13-feet long was found, washed ashore on the beaches of Villaricos, Spain. A woman on Luis Siret Beach first discovered the head of the "sea monster," then the body separately, further down the beach.

VIDEO: Mermaids and 15 Other Mythical Creatures Believed to be Real

Local authorities were contacted and removed the pungent, rotting remains from the scene.  Due to the highly decomposed state, they have yet to identify the creature. Officials were able to identify the "horns" as displaced bones but reported they have never seen anything like it on the beaches in the region.

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Photos from Ideal.es Ameria Facebook page

Samples of the remains have been turned over to the marine protection agency PROMAR for testing, according to Think Spain

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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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