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21 Aug

Orphaned Eagles Released into the Wild

Check out this news report of my friend Ed Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, releasing three young bald eagles back into the wild.

The eagles were all blown out of their nests by storms earlier this year, and have spent the last few months in captivity under the care of the vets and other staff at the Wildlife Center.  (Die-hard Animal Planet fans will remember the Wildlife Center from the series Wildlife Emergency that aired in the late 90s and early 00s.)

Speaking from experience, there is NOTHING that feels as good as releasing a wild animal back into its natural habitat.

 

Protect Eagles with the National Wildlife Federation. 

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Juvenile Bald Eagle. Photo by Ken Janes via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

29 Jul

Pit Bull Saves Deaf Teen From a Burning Building

Three cheers for Ace the pit bull! This daring dog saved his 13-year-old human, Nick Lamb, from a house fire. Nick was taking a nap when the fire started. You may be thinking, "shouldn't he have heard the fire alarms? Doesn't his family have fire alarms in their house?" Well, Nick is deaf and took out his cochlear implants while he was sleeping, so he couldn't hear the fire alarms.

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Photo Credit: Indianapolis Fire Department

But Ace could. So, he woke up the sleeping teenager by continuously licking his face. It was then that Nick realized that the house was on fire. Nick told ABC 6, "I took a breath and I went downstairs with Ace and the whole house was covered in smoke and a little bit of fire."

Nick and Ace safely made it outside where Nick called his mother and the fire department. While the house was severely damaged, no one was hurt and Ace is now a hero!

In an interview with Fox 59, Nick's mom, Lindsay Bernard said, "Pit bulls get bad reps, he loves his family," Nick's mom, Lindsay Bernard, told Fox 59 in the video above. "If it wasn't for him, I could have lost my little boy."

Learn more about these amazing dogs, and other bully breeds, here:

 

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. 

 --

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!

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:

 

11 Jul

Could Sloths Hold the Cure for Cancer?

Just a few days ago, Vice News posted a 20-minute documentary about the rainforests of Panama and how they might hold the cures for diseases such as malaria, Chagas, and even breast cancer. Among the plants and animals highlighted in the documentary, the sloth, everybody’s favorite slow-moving critter, was one of the most important. But how could the laziest creatures of the animal kingdom possibly hold the cures for fatal diseases -- even cancer?

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The answer lies in their hair, which is especially adapted to carry algae which can only be found on the backs of sloths. Hair is usually smooth, but the hair of a sloth is cracked to accommodate the growth of algae and fungi. On average, a sloth could be carrying up to 85 different kinds of fungi whose compounds could help in fighting diseases. In the documentary, sloths are called, “little pharmacies,” and it isn’t far off from the truth.

Continue reading >

10 Jul

Celebrate 'Don't Step On a Bee' Day! Save the Bees & Be Like a Bee Today

Today is national "Don't Step On a Bee Day" and we want to take a moment to honor our friend, the BEE.

Bees have been disappearing on a frighteningly large scale around the world, a phenomenon that has been dubbed "Colony Collapse Disorder" and we are at a tipping point, according to many researchers.  Since World War II, circa 1945, bee populations have declined from 4.5 million to 2 million, as of 2007. According to entomologist Marla Spivak in her below Ted Talk, the main threats to bees causing the decline are believed to be:

* Pesticides
* Parasites and disease
* Agricultural monocultures from modern farming practices
* An increasing flowerless landscape

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Photo: Thinkstock

So, why should we care? Aside from bees being awesome, we should care because more than 1/3 of the world's crops depend on bee pollination. As bees have been dying over the last 50 years, we've increasingly needed them more and more — worldwide crop production dependent on bee pollination has increased by 300%.

See BEAUTIFUL close-up photos of bees >>

How can we help? Dr. Spivak offers two simple ways we can help bees:

* Plant bee-friendly flowers.
* Don’t contaminate them with pesticides.

Easy, right? We need to nourish a diversity of bee-friendly, flowering plants year-round — at home, in public spaces, roadsides and farmlands. However, some garden plants may be harmful to bees, depending on where you purchased them — so be sure you vet your source. Check out Discovery News for the full report >> 

"We need to diversify our farms. We need to plant flowering crop borders and hedge rows, to disrupt the agricultural food desert and begin to correct the dysfunctional food system that we’ve created," Dr. Spivak says. 

Continue reading >

8 Jul

Too Cute Tuesday: Germany’s First Walrus Pup is Born

 

On June 15, an adorable, whiskered male walrus pup was born at Hamburg’s Hagenbeck Zoo. But this isn’t an ordinary walrus pup.

Why? Because he is the first and only walrus to be born in Germany. The zoo’s website states that this group of walruses (the pup’s mother and enclosure mates) came to them about a year ago from the Moscow Zoo to fulfill the dream of Tierpark Hagenbeck to host the only walrus breeding group in Germany. And their dreams have come true! This little guy doesn’t have a name yet, but it will be decided by zoo visitors.

Continue reading >

13 Jun

Are Cat People Smarter Than Dog People?

Your preference of dogs versus cats could say a lot about you. 

A recent study by Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., found that "dog people" and "cat people" each have distinctive personality traits. 

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600 college students answered questions about what types of pets they preferred, what qualities they liked most about their pets, as well as questions about their own personalitites. Those who identified as "dog people" were found to be more entergetic, outgoing, and enjoyed companionship.  "Cat people", however, proved to be more introverted, open-minded, and sensitive.  Most notably, the results of this study, presented at the Annual Convention for the APS, found "cat people" to be more intelligent than "dog people".

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 >

29 May

Amputee Sea Turtle Gets Second Chance With Jet Fighter Fins

 

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Hofesh's new fins enables him to swim and float. (Photo from Ariel Schalit/AP)

Just call this sea turtle Maverick! Thanks to some good Samaritans and a little military ingenuity, an amputee green sea turtle can swim again with the help of artificial fins.

A bad encounter with a fishing net cost Hofesh (which means “freedom” in English) his two left flippers, leaving him unable to lift his head and breathe, according to the Huffington Post. But with a little help from Israeli design student, Shlomi Gez, and the team at the Israel Turtle Rescue Center, Hofesh can now swim and balance with a pair of artificial fins built specifically for him.

Continue reading >

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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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