Bites at Animal Planet


22 Apr

Coyote Spotted in New York City; Residents on Edge

Photo: Jeff Foott

It's said of New York that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere - and perhaps that's what a coyote who was spotted in part of New York City's Riverside Park was thinking.

The park was shut down while authorities searched for the animal, according to ABC News.

New York isn't the only residential area that has been visited by coyotes. According to the same report, officials found a coyote den near a school in New Jersey and local residents have been approached by the animals, some even bitten.

Norwood, N.J., police stated that wildlife and animal control officials are doing their part by setting traps and putting more officers on patrol in areas where the animals have been spotted.

Keeping pets and pet food indoors at night can decrease the chances of a visit from a coyote, according to wildlife officials. Additionally, if you come face-to-face with one of these creatures, make loud noises, throw something that will scare it away, then make a call to authorities.

For more, check out the ABC News report.

Learn more about coyotes in the video below:

17 Apr

Bull Shark Makes Unexpected Visit in a Florida Backyard (VIDEO)

If you look in your backyard, chances are you'll see some birds, perhaps some squirrels - depending on what region you live in. But here's one thing we didn't think would show up in a backyard - and likely these residents in Bonita Springs, Fla., didn't either.

According to the Irish Examiner, bull sharks have been showing up in canals right in the backyard of several residents. According to NBC-2, the sharks keep returning to the water because people are throwing leftover bait in the water.

Check out Jeremy reeling in a bull shark in a freshwater river:

Tune in for a brand-new episode of River Monsters this Sunday at 9/8c!

16 Apr

29-Foot Whale Shark Washes Ashore in Ecuador (VIDEO)

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.53.20 AM
Dozens of volunteers did everything they could to put the whale shark back into the ocean.

Fishermen in Santa Marianita, Ecuador were in for a shock when they saw a 29-foot whale shark washed up on the beach Monday morning.

Officials and dozens of volunteers spent hours doing everything they could to move the whale shark back into the deeper waters, according to NBC News. Despite their valiant efforts—which included two police boats and a tractor—the whale shark died.

Take a look at how it all unfolded:

15 Apr

What's Life Going to be like for Katie the Giraffe's New Baby Girl? 10 Facts About Her First Years


After Katie gave birth this weekend to her beautiful baby girl, we thought, you're probably wondering what it's like to be a baby giraffe, huh? 

Well, here are 11 baby giraffe facts that will make you say "oh!" as many times as you'll say "aww." 

1.) You know when your friends joke around and say "Were you dropped on your head as a baby?" Well, baby giraffes actually are! From six feet above the ground from their mom's belly, babies just fall out. Talk about a rough first day!

2.) When baby giraffe's are born, their horns are stuck to their heads. Within the first week of their lives, the horns pop straight up

3.) Calves are never left alone. Moms take turns babysitting their friends' babies in their "towers" (groups) so that other mothers can go grab a bite to eat. These nursery groups continue until the giraffe is about five months old.

4.) Giraffes have bumps on their heads, horns yes, but bumps, too. As giraffes get older, those bumps get larger! Boys grow about three as they age, and girls usually only have one. 

5.) Baby giraffes are taller than most humans at about six feet tall post-birth, and after their first year, definitely are. 

Continue reading >

8 Apr

Arizona Legislature Almost Signed a Bill Saying Livestock Weren't 'Animals'


Arizona Governor Doug Ducey decided March 30 to veto bill HB 2587/SB 1267, that would remove animals raised for food (pigs, poultry, cows and sheep) from the state’s anti-cruelty statute and put them in a separate, weaker law within Arizona’s agriculture code.

Arizona residents were outraged, sending emails, making calls and visiting the governor's office urging him to veto it. If approved, farm animals, under law, would no longer be considered or treated as "animals." 

The bill would have exempted livestock from the anti-cruelty code, "stating that, inside the borders of Arizona, ‘Animal’ does not include livestock," One Green Planet reported.

The Arizona Republic said that the bill would even "prevent cities from banning backyard slaughter of animals. Nor could local communities step in to correct other animal husbandry 'practices' that might occur across the alley from your house." 

Republican House Representative, Brenda Barton, of Phoenix, Az., sponsored the bill to loosen animal cruelty restrictions on farm animals. In a committee hearing in March she said that "eighty-two percent of animal cruelty involves cats and dogs," so the legislation "allows livestock to move out of the way so that law enforcement and appropriate agencies can deal with the animal abuse." 

Basically saying that animal abuse doesn't really happen to livestock, but we all know that isn't true. Exhibit A: factory farms.

Continue reading >

6 Apr

Huge School of Sharks Spotted; How Many Sharks Were There? SO MANY

South of the Sebastian Inlet in Indian River County in Florida, a massive school of sharks was a-swimming. 

Photographer John Massung of Indian River by Air told NBC6 South Florida, "It was something to see," and adds that he "did fly on for about a mile, and it didn't end!" 

A mile?! Just look at the number of sharks in that water! Jawsome. 

HOT OFF THE PRESS: John spotted these sharks this morning just south of the Sebastian Inlet. Unfortunately sharks don't...

Posted by Indian River by Air on Thursday, April 2, 2015

They are still searching for the "type" of shark, and the reason for the gathering, but have a hunch that the sharks are preparing to give birth, reports News 4 New York.

Seems legitimate. A big ol' baby-shark shower in the ocean. 

Massung says he even saw a manatee and its baby calf swimming alongside them.

Spring has sprung! Bring on the baby animals! 

Check out this footage of Jeremy Wade catching a Bull Shark in a river:

Tune in Sundays at 9/8c for brand new episodes of River Monsters!

6 Apr

Splatter Painting Elephant 'Rama' Euthanized

Photo: AP

Rama, an Asian bull elephant, at the Oregon Zoo, was humanely euthanized Monday after mobility issues proved too much to bear for the 32-year-old zoo member. 

He was born April 1, 1983, to the zoo's first member, Rosy, and Packy, the oldest male of his species on the continent.

Twenty-five years ago, Rama suffered a leg injury that eventually impaired him. Older female elephants pushed him out of the herd, something that is common in the wild, and Rama fell into a moat. The zoo helped him with physical therapy techniques and anti-inflammatory medications over many years, but were recently unsuccessful in improving his quality of life. The moat was later filled in.

"We knew Rama's injury would catch up with him someday, but it still doesn't make the loss any easier," Elephant curator Bob Lee said in a press release. "This is a sad day for everyone at the zoo. My heart goes out especially to all the keepers and animal-care staff who have been close to Rama through the years."

Rama was known for his splatter painting abilities, of which resembled a "Jackson Pollock-like painting technique," said zoo spokesman Hova Najarian. He was the smallest of the three bull elephants at the zoo at 8,000 pounds (that's small!?) and also had an incredibly sweet disposition. 

Former Rama caregiver Jeb Barsh said he just adored painting. 

"He would follow me around, just hoping for the opportunity to paint," Barsh said. "Once he grabbed a brush, there was no holding him back from the canvas," the Oregon Zoo reported.

A memorial event for Rama is being planned, and zoo visitors, Rama enthusiasts, artists and elephant advocates, can offer condolences or share memories on the zoo's Facebook page.

 Check out another artistic elephant, Ruby:

3 Apr

A Pond Swimming Pool of Which Even the 'Pool Master' Would be Proud

"For me, Mother Nature is the ultimate swimming pool designer," Pool Master Anthony Archer-Wells said in an episode of The Pool Master

And with the premier of the show's new season tonight (at 9/8c!), it just makes sense to reveal a new London pool masterpiece inspired by Mother Nature, one the Pool Master himself would be proud of. 

In the heart of the King's Cross Station redevelopment project is the new KX Pond Club, a natural swimming pond surrounded by wild flowers and grasses that change with the seasons. 

Unlike a traditional swimming pool, this pond is filtered by wetland and submerged water plants, in a “closed-loop” process. That's right, no chemicals, and no chlorine. Before entering, users will be educated to understand just how the self-sustaining ecosystem works, and even restricted access on any given day if the pool reaches a specific capacity, to allow the pond to regenerate. 

The entire project's infrastructure cost about $4.5 billion and was created by Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč and designed by Ooze Architects, headquartered in the Netherlands. 

“The project is a small-scale enclaved environment; a living laboratory to test balance and to question a self-sustaining system including one nature cycle – water, land and the human body,” says Efa Pfannes, founder of Ooze Architects.

The pool is bordered by the Regents Canal, St. Pancras Grand hotel, and Kings Place, a gallery and concert hall, home to the Guardian and the Observer newspapers, and will be 131 feet long when it's complete.

Archer-Wells and his team designed their own natural pool in Upstate New York, that's a whopping 160 feet across and 145 feet wide, filled with 800,000 gallons of naturally filtered water.

"You know, there's nothing quite like taking a dip in a natural swimming pool. You'll feel at one with nature. Truly, it's a magical experience," Archer-Wells said. 

The King’s Cross natural pool is expected to open this May. 

Tune into The Pool Master TONIGHT at 9/8c!

2 Apr

April is National Dog Fighting Awareness Month

Photo: iStock

Well, dog-gone! Who knew? Organized dog fights still take place in many parts of the country, even though it's a felony offense across all 50 states.

So, the ASPCA is asking animal advocates to #GetTough on this cruel and barbaric practice by speaking out and creating a social movement by using its hashtag and spreading the word throughout the month of April, and especially on National Dog Fighting Awareness Day (NDFAD) on Wednesday, April 8. 

"In recent decades, fights have become informal street corner and playground activities. Many people who participate in these fights lack even a semblance of respect for the animals, often starving and beating them to encourage aggressive behavior," the ASPCA said. 

It's crazy to think that even the dog owners involved come from every community and all backgrounds, with audiences including lawyers, judges and teachers and other upstanding community leaders.

The main reason people participate is because of the financial benefits, sometimes bringing home sums of $20,000 to $30,000 from dog fights. Using breeds like the Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, Tosa Inu, Presa Canario and the American Pit Bull Terrier, to carry out the brutal blood sport. 

Continue reading >

2 Apr

London's Pignic: A Pop-Up Cafe Where You Can Dine with Teacup Pigs

Photo: Richard Austin/Rex Features via AP Images

Small pigs? Good food? Sweet venue? How did no one think of this before?

Because this will be anything but a boar.

The pop-up micro pig cafe is called "Pignic," organized by Yelp and teacup pig animal welfare and education groups PetPiggies and Farms Not Factories

For one weekend in May, Londoners and those dedicated enough to travel to The Proud Archivist cafe in London, can have a sit-down experience of eating with little piggies. 

And definitely stressing the "with," because bacon is obviously not on the menu.

Continue reading >

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