Bites at Animal Planet

25 Sep

Guess What a Vet Finds 43 1/2 of in a Great Dane's Stomach?

When one family's beloved Great Dane fell ill, they raced him off to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon. After examination and x-rays, the vet found this:

DoveLewis-Sock-Dog-2
Photo: Courtesy of DoveLewis

Oh, what's THAT, you ask? Well, on surgery and extraction, THIS:

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24 Sep

ROAD TRIP! Tia Torres + Team Are NYC-Bound to Meet Jon Stewart on The Daily Show!

Guess who's on the road and entering New York City today?! Tia and the Pit Bulls & Parolees crew have been driving northward from New Orleans to meet the forever brilliant Jon Stewart! So, CLEAR your evening plans and get ready to watch the meeting of two great minds.

Tia of course also has a few pups in tow — HOW do you travel with a handful of dogs?! With many, many "pit" stops. Here are a few snaps of her taking one of the many — in Pennsylvania:

Pbp-tia-torres

 

Sept. 25 UPDATE! Miss the show last night?! Here's the full interview:

 

Visit the Pit Bulls & Parolees site for more videos and get ready for Season 6, premiering Saturday, Oct. 4, @ 10PM e/p!

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23 Sep

Yao Ming Steps Up to Help Save Africa’s Elephants & Rhinos

  

Stop the Killing. Stop the Trafficking. Stop the Demand.

The new feature documentary SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS WITH YAO MING is premiering on Animal Planet this November.  Narrated by the brilliant actor Edward Norton, the film follows basketball icon Yao Ming who travels to Kenya, home to the ancient Samburu people and a natural habitat of African elephants.

Elephants are part of the Samburu heritage and are critical to their livelihood. Poaching not only destroys the wild species but also the tribal villagers who depend on them. Yao meets with Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton, renowned elephant expert who echoes WildAid’s dire conservation message, which he urges Yao to bring home and disseminate globally: it’s a race against time for these elephants; when the buying stops, the killing will too.

“The huge price motivates poachers to persist,” says Yao. “And if we buy ivory, it makes all of us killers as well.”

Every year, the death toll rises with 25,000 African elephants murdered last year alone, and 4.5 million killed in the last 60 years. These magnificent creatures are victims of ivory poaching, perpetrated by one of the most organized, widespread wildlife trafficking networks in history.

Yao-ming-saving-elephants-500
Photo: Kristian Schmidt/WildAid

See More Photos of Yao Ming in Africa >>

Fortunately, Africa’s giants have their defender: basketball superstar and wildlife advocate Yao offers his unique combination of strength, vision and voice to serve as a megaphone to help spread awareness about the cruelty of poaching. 

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23 Sep

5 Facts You Otter Know About Sea Otters

Happy Sea Otter Awareness Week
Photo Credit: Rolf Hicker/Getty Images

It's Sea Otter Awareness Week, and we're otterly excited to put the spotlight on these amazingly cute and intelligent superstars of the marine world! On Animal Planet L!VE, we invite you to take a look into the natural habitat of California's southern sea otter on the LIVE Sea Otter Cam, powered by our partners at seaotters.com. While you watch wild sea otters swim, play and socialize on the cam, here are 5 exciting facts you otter know about sea otters!

1. Sea otters are social animals and a group of them is called a raft.

To humans, rafting is a sport or a leisurely weekend activity, but to otters rafting is a way of life!  If you see one otter, there’s a good chance that many more are swimming nearby.  Sea otters prefer to swim in same-sex groups called rafts. These groups can range from just ten otters to larger groups of hundreds or thousands. Something cute to note is that rafting sea otters can often be seen holding each others' paws to prevent themselves from floating apart while sleeping.

 

sea otter pup
Photo Credit: Arthur Morris/Corbis

 

2. Baby sea otters are absolutely adorable, but it’s hard work being a sea otter mom.

Can you imagine being a new mother and having to swim through waves with an infant sleeping on your stomach? Sea otter moms do it all the time.

 

Born in the water with only the ability to float, sea otter pups cannot swim until they reach 2 months old and shed their newborn fur coat (lanugo).  During this time frame, the female otter serves as her baby’s crib, ferry, groomer, and feeder

 

At 2 months old, an otter pup will learn to swim and dive on its own, but life doesn’t get any easier for mom until the pup is weaned after 6 months of age. This is due mainly to the fact that sea otters do not have blubber to keep them warm. In order to regulate temperature, an adult otter must eat approximately 25% of their body weight each day and that doesn't even include the additional amounts mothers need to eat to nurse their babies.

 

According to a June 2014 research study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, a female sea otter requires 14 hours of hunting per day to gain enough energy and nutrition to care for a 6 month old pup. Unfortunately, this means that otter mothers are more suceptible to health issues and mortality by the time the pup can be weaned. Some otters will abandon their babies to ensure their own survival, particularly when faced with food limitations within an area.

 

Since sea otters normally give birth to one pup every year, an otter mom's job really is never done!

 

3. Sea Otters are one of the few mammals on earth that use tools to hunt and eat.

Most of us will admire sea otters for their cute looks and silly antics, but they're also a smart species. They belong to a small club of mammals that use tools to hunt and eat. Since shellfish like clams and crab make up a large portion of their diet, sea otters have to find clever ways to crack their shells open. This is usually done by finding a rock, placing it on their stomach, and then hammering the shellfish into the rock until it yields the meat within.

 

Even cooler is the fact that sea otters have their own convenient hiding places for their favorite rocks. Each of their forelegs has a pocket of skin which can be used to safely store the otter's tool of choice and their freshly caught prey while diving to and from the surface.

 

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22 Sep

Meet Adorable Baby Hippo, Olivia, a.k.a. "Michelin Man"

FRIENDS! Drop everything! Take a break and LOOK at this adorable baby hippo! Her name is Olivia and she's a teeny baby pygmy hippo, born at the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden in August.

Parken-zoo-olivia1-500Photo: Courtesy of the Parken Zoo

The little love nugget was about 13 lbs. at birth. She's all wrinkles and nothing but CUTE — her caretakers have already dubbed her "Michelin Man."

Parken-zoo-olivia2-500Photo: Courtesy of the Parken Zoo

The endangered pygmy hippo is native to West Africa.  Olivia was born to her parents Anton (father) and Krakunia (mother) under a international breeding program. She will be sent to live at another zoo after 2 years under mom's care.

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20 Sep

Don't Want None, WHAAA? GIANT Anaconda Sighting in Brazil

Move over with the buns, huns — these boaters spotted one monster of an anaconda in a river in Brazil   The woman in the boat is understandably FREAKING OUT while the men want to pursue the beast — WHY?? I'm on your side, lady:

WHY, sirs, would you even touch that?! Don't mess with Mama Nature, friends:

Anaconda-brazil

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19 Sep

When Giant, Mutant, Spider Dog Attacks ... And Is ADORABLE

We're feeling that crisp fall chill in the air and finally accepting that summer is over. And, although it's always sad to see the fun in the sun come to an end each year, there's a whole lot to look forward to come cooler months ... Suuuuuch as?

PETS + COSTUMES.

That's right. Not to jump the gun but Halloween is coming up — and it's NEVER too soon to start thinking about costume ideas. Especially, for your pets. And, ESPECIALLY for extravagant pranks like this incredible effort — meet SPIDER DOG:

What do you think of the prank? Too far?  Or, TOO CUTE? Post your opinion in the Comment Section below.

Spider-dog

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17 Sep

Tiny Hamster Takes On Competitive Eating Champion, Takeru Kobayashi

In one of the greatest internet moments known to mankind, a teeny, tiny hamster challenges the world-renowned competitive eating champion — master of all things hot and dog across all of Coney Island and the U.S. of A. — Takeru Kobayashi!

Can this hairball in miniature take down one of the greatest eaters the world has ever seen?! He may be petite but his appetite is not one to underestimate! Watch the unforgettable face-off:

Thank you, Internet. We <3 you, hamster ... and Kobayashi! WELL DONE.

Hamster-kobayashi-01
 Photo Credit: YouTube image

Hamster-kobayashi-02
  Photo Credit: YouTube image

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16 Sep

Loch Ness Monster Flees to England Ahead of Scotland's Independence Vote?

Is ol' Nessie making her own political statement by fleeing to England? Or, could this be a distant English cousin, "Bownessie"? ... Orrrr, just another HOAX?

Just days away from a historic vote to determine Scotland's future as part of the United Kingdom, photos of a lake monster spotted in England have been circulating the interwebs.  The photo was captured at the Lake District in Windermere, where sightings have been reported since 2006.  If it is Nessie, well, she's a good 300 or so miles away from her Scottish home. 

Loch-ness-monster-1-500
Photo Credit: REX USA/Autographer/Rex

Twenty-four-year-old photographer Ellie Williams had set up her camera to snap a few pics on timer of the lovely changing foliage.  Upon reviewing her images, she noticed her serendipitous capture:

Loch-ness-monster-2-500
Photo Credit: REX USA/Autographer/Rex

What do you think? Hoax or REAL?  Post your theory in the Comments section below.

 

In the meantime, watch what Jeremy Wade's investigation into the Loch Ness monster uncovered:

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16 Sep

Moving Funeral Service Held for Oklahoma City K-9 Officer Killed on Duty

K9-service-dog-funeral-1-650w
Oklahoma City police officer Sgt. Ryan Stark, center, leans over the casket of his canine partner, K-9 Kye, following funeral services for the dog in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. K-9 Kye, a three year old Belgian German Shepard, died Aug. 25 after being stabbed by a burglary suspect on Aug. 24. Sgt. Stark tried to separate the dog and the suspect before fatally shooting the suspect. Credit: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

In a moving tribute to the bond created between police offices and their canine counterparts, funeral services were held for 3-year-old Kye, an Oklahoma City K-9 officer, after he was killed apprehending a suspect Aug. 24.

The Oklahoma City Police Department held a full funeral service, with honors, for the Belgian German Shepherd where more than 1,000 people showed up along with dozens of service dogs, according to BuzzFeed.

On Aug. 24, police were in pursuit of a suspect in a high-speed car chase. When the suspect crashed the car into a ditch, Kye chased after him with his partner, Sgt. Ryan Stark, not far behind. When Stark caught up to them, he found the suspect repeatedly stabbing the dog with a knife, according to Today.com. He died the next day.

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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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