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Nature

28 Aug

Swan Couple Separated by Sickness has Sweetest Reunion

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

They're the kind of couple that would finish each other's sentences — if they spoke in sentences.

But when one swan got sick, he was separated from his love.

Saddled with a severe infection, the swan had to leave the Netherlands canal the pair calls home to be treated. For probably the first time since they chose each other 10 years ago, the perfectly matched couple was torn apart.

A beautiful video making the internet rounds among animal lovers everywhere shows the moment when the recovered swan returns to his love. 

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28 Aug

Whale Washes Up On Beach and People Do the Exact Right Thing

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

A minke whale who washed up on a coastline was slowly drying out, and time was running out to save him.

Good samaritans alerted Project Jonah, an organization in New Zealand that helps whales in need.

  Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 5.05.18 PM

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28 Aug

Rhino Flies Across the World to Save the Last 100 of His Kind

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

A critically endangered rhino in Ohio is preparing for the trip of a lifetime.

Already declared extinct in Malaysia, the Sumatran rhino is one of the rarest animals on Earth — there are only about 100 left.

In an effort to breed the species and prolong the Sumatran rhino's survival, a rhino named Harapan will voyage from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Indonesia to help, the Cincinnati Zoo announced this week. He has been the only rhino of his kind on view to the public anywhere in the world. But because breeding efforts are crucial for the species' survival, the zoo is saying goodbye to Harapan, who was born there in 2007.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.10.33 AM

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27 Aug

Park Visitor Leaves the Most Ridiculous Note About Bears

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

For some folks, the great outdoors is apparently only "meh."

One recent visitor to Yellowstone was evidently less than fully satisfied with his stay at the world-famous National Park — all because of one major disappointment. As it turns out, the performance of the park's wildlife fell quite short of expectations, with bears showing particular disregard for his vacation plans. It's like they didn't even try.

In a note to park staff, the guest left a ridiculous suggestion for how the park might improve 

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27 Aug

It’s Alive! Half Praying Mantis, Half Wasp Is Both Creepy and Cute

 

You might be asking yourself, "how can this possibly be real?" and you are not alone. The creature in the video above certainly looks like some bizarre mutation or unnatural hybrid, but the truth is that it's a totally normal and natural insect known as the mantidfly.

Mantidflies look like mantises, and this particular species has coloration that mimics a wasp, but in reality it's neither a mantis or a wasp, but belongs to a different order of insects called Neuroptera and is related to lacewings, antlions and dobsonflies.

They are carnivorous and feed on other insects, but luckily their coloration is just a ruse and they don't sting or even bite (people, at least).

So if you see one, sit back and enjoy the wonders of that the natural world produces.

Mantidfly

 

 Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation.

 

26 Aug

Cougar Defies Nightmare Zoo by Learning to Walk Again

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

Mickey the cougar could barely walk when rescuers found him.

Mickey had languished for years in a nightmarish backyard zoo in Alabama that was operating without a license — its USDA license was revoked in 2006. It had been discovered that the woman running the zoo, which was also serving as the local dog pound, was feeding domesticated dogs to her exotic cats. Big Cat Rescue was determined to save any animals it could from this horror story.

In 2014, Big Cat Rescue negotiated with the owner of the captive wild animals, and last August she finally surrendered Mickey to the Tampa-based rescue organization.

Big Cat Rescue 

When Mickey was finally rescued, he was emaciated, his teeth were rotting and his legs were so debilitated from what specialists believed were torn ACLs that he could barely stand up. After further examinations, veterinarians determined that Mickey's knees were ravaged, with no ligaments or cartilage left at all. 

"It had to be incredibly painful," Susan Bass, of Big Cat Rescue, told The Dodo, "but he's such a sweetheart, he never even let on that he was in pain."

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25 Aug

Bears Kept in Tiny Cages Finally Run Free

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

Forced to perform tricks and kept in tiny cages, four bears spent years languishing in a roadside zoo in Pennsylvania.

And when the zoo was shut down in 1995 because of violations of the Animal Welfare Act, Fifi, Bruno, Pocahontas and Marsha were never allowed to leave their enclosures, not even for humiliating bicycle-riding for small crowds.

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25 Aug

Shy Octopus Turns Serious Scientists into Total Softies

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

Scientists were talking normal scientific stuff over live footage of the sea floor just off the coast of California.

"The forced feedback — it gives us a 40 pound to one ratio —," one scientist was saying.

"Can I just step in for a second?" another interrupted. "This is almost like a posed picture."

A striking image of a jellyfish floated across the screen, just above a tiny dumbo octopus.

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25 Aug

Man Saves the Life of a Bee

An Un-bee-lievable Story! This guy nursed a Bumble Bee back to health!

Posted by AMHQ with Sam Champion on Sunday, August 23, 2015

 

The life of a bee isn't a long one. In hive-forming species, queens can live multiple years, but workers spend their days gathering nectar and pollen and tending to their hive, dodging pesticide sprays as well as birds, mantises, toads and other predators. They work until they exhaust themselves and die.

The same goes for solitary bees, where the males only live long enough to mate and the females work tirelessly to lay eggs and provision them with "bee loaves" of pollen and nectar before they die. 

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Photo by Marilyn Peddle via Flickr Creative Commons.

But bees can only survive if they've got habitat, and sadly, bees are in real trouble. Domesticated honey bees are suffering major declines due to Colony Collapse Disorder, and many of our native bees are declining rapidly too from overzealous use of pesticides and removal of native plants that bees need in favor of lawns and parking lots.

The bee in the video above got lucky to get a helping hand from a kind soul. You can help save hundreds or even thousands of bees in your neighborhood by planting lots of native wildflowers, installing bee nesting houses, and by eliminating the use of pesticides in your yard.

Help Save Bees and Other Pollinators with the National Wildlife Federation. 

 

25 Aug

Happy 99th Birthday to the National Park Service!

FOOTT.09321
Mount Moran and Jackson Lake in the fall. Photo by Jeff Foott

Today marks the 99th birthday of the National Park Service! Since 1916, the National Park Service has played a pivotal role in preserving the country's natural beauty while providing educational resources to the public. Some of the most famous national parks include Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.

Want to celebrate like you know Leslie Knope would? Here are some ideas!

LeslieKnope

1. Take your pet for a walk at your local national park. We even have a list of 10 dog-friendly hiking trails for you to explore!

2. Peruse the National Park Service's list of 99 Ways to Find Your Park and try a few of them out. 

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