Bites at Animal Planet

18 Jul

National Zoo Welcomes New Red Panda Cubs!

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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Photo: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. has welcomed four new litters of red panda cubs! However, you won't be able to see them just yet, as they are living at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, or SCBI, in Front Royal, Virginia. This is where the zoo does much of its research concerning animal reproduction. According to The Washington Post, four pairs of red pandas live there, all of which have had babies within the last year. That means 10 babies, more than the zoo has ever had in one year!

The little guy pictured above was born to Regan and Rocco. The cub is currently being hand-reared to increase its chance of survival, as Regan has been known to neglect cubs in the past. However, zookeepers are working hard to keep these cubs alive as well as care for the parents. In about 12 months, the cubs will be full grown and the size of a house cat!

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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Photo: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Out of these panda pairs, one of the fathers is Rusty, the infamous red panda who escaped the zoo and ran the streets of D.C. last summer! Hopefully his babies won't be as mischievous. 

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17 Jul

Finding Bigfoot: Bobo's "Squatchy Backyard" Turns Up Intriguing Evidence

This week on Finding Bigfoot, the team heads to "Bobo's backyard" in Humboldt County, California, to investigate some exciting photographic evidence. Considered the place where the term "Bigfoot" was coined, Humboldt is packed with acres of Redwoods, which would make for a perfect Sasquatch habitat.

The photograph, taken by a man named John Johnson, features a figure partially hidden by brush. Bobo has investigated the picture in the past on his own and is excited to bring the whole team back to the same spot to examine the location one more time. 

 

Matt, Ranae, Cliff and Bobo also have more witness encounters to look into, as well as two nights of investigating in the forests of Humboldt County. Tune in to Finding Bigfoot Sunday at 10 PM to hear compelling witness accounts and to see what happens during the team’s night investigations in some of the Squatchiest woods in America.

16 Jul

Activists Want to Move Arturo, Argentina's Last Polar Bear, Miserable, Depressed and Hot, In Captivity

Arturo is Argentina's last polar bear — his long time companion died in 2012 and Arturo's grown especially lonely and depressed ever since with noticeable changes in behavior indicating the unfortunate shift in his mental health, according to experts. 

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The 29-year-old bear lives in captivity at the Mendoza Zoo outside of Buenos Aires, where temperatures reach 95 degrees and upward — activists have protested the hot, cramped conditions of his confinement where he also has no contact with other bears or pools of water. The deterioration of his mental state and odd behavior include constant pacing which you can see in this video:

Protesters are calling for him to be moved to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg, Canada. Unfortunately, Canada requires 3 years of health records which the Mendoza Zoo cannot provide.  Additionally, the Argentine zoo officials are against the move, claiming that the bear would not survive the trip.

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What Can You Do to Help?

There's a Change.org petition you can sign — already, close to its goal of 150,000 signatures.

And, you can also contribute to a fundraiser on Reddit which has already raised over $6,000 for Arturo.

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15 Jul

Happy Shark Awareness Day!

Today is Shark Awareness Day! And with Shark Week swimming up quickly, what better way to celebrate everyone's favorite week a little early? Don't know how to celebrate? You could head over to our Shark Cam full of Blacktip sharks on APL!VE!

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You could also read some of these fast shark facts that show just how cool sharks are and why they need to be protected!

  • There are over 400 species of shark around the world, ranging in size from mere inches to over 50 feet!
  • Out of those 400 species, only 20 species of shark are known to attack humans.
  • Sharks can smell one drop of blood in a million drops of water.
  • Sharks have lived in our oceans for over 400 million years.
  • A shark's liver is full of oil, which makes the shark buoyant and better able to keep its balance in the water.
  • You are more likely to be injured by a cat, a dog, your toilet, lightening, or a bucket than be injured by a shark.
  • Humans are sharks' #1 predator, followed by killer whales, crocodiles, and seals.

Other ways to help and learn about sharks:

Need more convincing? Watch this video to learn What's To Love about Great White Sharks!

 

15 Jul

Animal Rescue: Hope Finds a Way!

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Photo Credit: Kira Stackhouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the spring of 2013, a one-year-old pit bull was found tied to a tree by an Oakland animal control officer. She was underweight and had no fur due to a condition called Demodex, a form of mange. She was bright pink, hot to the touch, and starving with no owner in sight when she was brought to Oakland Animal Services, the local animal shelter. Due to the extent of her condition and a lack of shelter resources, there wasn’t much they could do for her.

However, through the love and care of two different foster parents, Steve LaChapelle and Pat Luchak, the aptly-named Hope started to recover. They took her in and took turns administering oral medications and giving her medicated baths to treat the mange, which was exacerbated by stress. Hope didn’t just need medicine; she needed love and care to help eradicate the mange and get her fur to grow back!

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Photo Credit: Steve LaChapelle

Just when things started looking up for this pit bull pup, bad news struck again: Hope was diagnosed with Valvular Pulmonic Stenosis, a congenital heart problem that would kill her within the year without surgery. Surgery isn’t cheap and again, things were looking dire for this brave pup. However, through the compassion of her humans, the money for the surgery was raised. How, you may ask?

Steve and the Friends of Oakland Animal Services set up a crowd-funding campaign through Razoo, with the ambitious goal of $5,000 to cover Hope’s surgery and various other medical expenses. Steve shared it with his friends and family, asking for any little bit they could donate, while the campaign was also promoted on Hope’s own Facebook page. In just three days, the campaign had been shared all over the world and raised almost $6,000, well over the original goal. Hope was now on her way to surgery and a happy, healthy life.

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15 Jul

Testicle-Biting, 'Ball Cutter' Pacu Fish Caught in Michigan Lake

A Michigan woman caught a 14-inch pacu, a "testicle-biting" native of South America and relative of the piranha, in Lake St. Clair last week. 

Last summer, pacu were caught off the coast of Sweden as well. The fish has been dubbed the "ball-cutter" per its reputation of attacking human testicles.

Our own angler Jeremy Wade caught this "nutcracker fish"  when he investigated reports of two men who died from severe hemmoraging after being castrated by something in the water. His search took him to Papua New Guinea. Watch his report: 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week's catch by Holley Luft on July 9.  Officials believe the fish may have been dumped in the lake once it became too large for a private aquarium. Pacu can grow to be up to 55 pounds and 3 feet in length in the wild — and could become too aggressive as well for your home tank.

In other words ... maybe NOT get a pacu for the house.

Watch Jeremy Wade's How to Catch a River Monster digital series and learn how he caught the ball-cutter:

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15 Jul

Untold Stories of the ER: Snapping Turtle Latches on and Won't Let Go

Our friends over at Discovery Fit & Health shared this crazy video with us from Untold Stories of the ER.

Patient Bo was noodling for catfish (just like our friends on Hillbilly Handfishin'!) when a 25-pound alligator snapping turtle latched onto his neck. Shouldn't be a problem to remove it, right?

Wrong. If the doctor harms or, worse, kills the turtle during removal, the catfishers risk serving jailtime according to the game warden who accompanied the group to the emergency room. Not to mention that pesky little detail of how strong the turtle is and the fact that it can hold its breath for an extended period of time.

Check out the video above, then watch some more awesome turtle videos.

14 Jul

It's World Orca Day! Celebrate with Orca Kisses ... And/Or, a Conservation Message

Happy World Orca Day!  Today, a summit of the leading international researchers, filmmakers and former Sea World trainers have gathered in San Juan Islands, Wash., to celebrate orcas in their natural habitat rather than in captivity.

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Photo: Whale and Dolphin Conservation

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a global marine organization, hosts the event, which is in its third year.  Experts in the field have come together to share their conservation efforts and experiences to help the majestic mammals.
 
Presenters include orca researcher Ken Balcomb and former SeaWorld trainer Dr. John Jett, both of whom were featured in the award-winning documentary, Blackfish.  The film explores the shocking death of Sea World trainer, Dawn Brancheau, who was killed in 2010 when the orca known as Tillikum dragged her under the water in front of horrified spectators at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.  WDC has long advocated for an end to the captivity of whales and dolphins, but it was last year’s premiere of Blackfish that fully brought the issue to the public’s attention. 

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14 Jul

Together Counts Want You and Your Pets to Have a Healthy Summer

The Together Countstm program helps children and families maintain an active, healthy lifestyle through energy balance: balancing the calories you consume with the calories you burn.  Energy In and Energy Out – It’s as simple as that!

However, it isn’t just people that need to be active and healthy: our pets need to be as well. It’s a classic example of treat others as you would like to be treated! Our pets are our best friends and we need to keep them in the best shape possible. Apl-together-counts-kids-dogs-field-500w

But it isn’t always easy! How much exercise does a dog need? How much exercise does a cat need? Why are there so many different kinds of food? What’s the benefit of dry food vs. wet? All of these questions seem impossible to answer. Well, we are here to help with our many guides about pet health and the best ways to care for your pet while also caring for yourself. Check out some of our guides now to get started on optimizing your pet’s health!

Check our Facebook page every Monday for tips and activities to keep you and your pet healthy. Make sure to tag your pics and progress with #movemondays! We know how hard it is to motivate yourself on Mondays, especially in the summer, but with your workout buddy (or buddies) and a little push from us, both of you will be active and balancing your energy in no time!

Check out the Together Counts website for more information about how you and your family can lead active and healthy lifestyles this summer.

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:

 

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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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