Bites at Animal Planet

11 Nov

Elephants Get Ahold Of GoPro, Create Perfect Short Film

When elephants stumble across a GoPro left by tourists, they react just like any human would.  Find out about Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, where the adorable close-ups happened and read The Dodo's full account of the encounter.

  Elephant-gopro-video
Photo: YouTube video by Sue Bowern Zambezi Safaris

By Melissa Cronin

When a herd of elephants at a watering hole in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, stumbled across a tourist's GoPro camera, they reacted, understandably, like the rest of us would: by rushing over to touch it. One hurried over immediately.

Continue to the Full Report at The Dodo >>

 

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10 Nov

Sweet, Compassionate Dog Tries to Save His Fish Friends

When a few poor, unfortunate fish are stuck high and dry, one sweet pup takes action to try and save them! This video is a true testament of the heart of man's best friend:

Good boy — we LOVE you, puppy!! You're a HERO!

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8 Nov

Meet Munchkin, the Cutest Shih Tzu in a Teddy Bear Costume EVER

Miss Halloween? Well, fortunately, dressing up pets in TOO CUTE costumes is totally OK year-round — we promise! Meet Munchkin — the most adorable teddy bear Shih-tzu we have ever seen! Watch and melt:

He even has a Facebook page so you can keep up with all the ADORABLE teddy action! Like his page >>

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.59.32 PM


... WE LOVE YOU, MUNCHKIN.

 

7 Nov

Finding Bigfoot: Searching for Squatch in the Wilds of Alaska

The Finding Bigfoot Team is back Sunday, at 9 PM E/P, for an all-new season of squatching. First up in their travels is Alaska. Its vast terrain has been the home of Bigfoot lore for years. Recent reports from locals range from enormous creatures seen in the distance to up-close-and-personal encounters while camping in the middle of the night.

Some of the most compelling evidence is this video footage that a local from Fairbanks captured while out exploring. It shows giant footprints in the mud of a riverbank that dwarf the local man's metal detector.

 

Could this evidence prove Bigfoot's existence in the Land of the Midnight Sun? Tune in Sunday at 9 PM for the special two-hour season premiere of Finding Bigfoot to find out.

7 Nov

Prepare Yourself for Cute Overload: Shedd Aquarium Rescues Orphaned Sea Otter Pup

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©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

We couldn't send you off into the weekend without something ridiculously cute to look at, so enjoy awwing at the cuteness of Otter 681, who just arrived at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium as part of a joint rescue effort with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the United States Fish and Wildlife Services.

The orphaned six-pound female pup arrived at Shedd last Tuesday after living the first four weeks of her life at Monterey Bay in order to make sure was stabilized.

"Pup 681’s situation was urgent. As an organization dedicated to marine mammal care and conservation, we were perfectly positioned to ensure that this little pup had a home, providing the long-term care needed to survive," Tim Binder, Vice President of Animal Collections for Shedd, said in a statement. "This rescued animal provides an opportunity for us to learn more about the biological and behavioral attributes of this threatened species and to encourage people to preserve and protect them in the wild."

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©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

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5 Nov

Wildlife Photographers of the Year Named: See the Photos

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Duchess of Cambridge with overall winner Michael Nichols. © Trustees of NHM, London

Photographers from 96 countries contributed over 42,000 submissions for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition - and the winners have now been announced! The United States' Michael "Nick" Nichols won the overall award for his black and white photo of lions resting atTanzania's Serengeti National Park. Eight-year-old Carlos Perez Naval of Spain took home the Young Wildlife Photographer of the year award for his photo of a common yellow scorpion against the background of a shining sun.

Check out the other winners and finalists below!

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Winner - Black and White / Overall Winner - Wildlife Photographer of the Year: "The last great picture" by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols (USA) 
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Winner - 10 Years and Under/Overall Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Stinger in the sun - Carlos Perez Naval (Spain)

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5 Nov

Watch the 2014 Polar Bear Migration Live Stream on APL!VE

Feeling that crisp fall breeze in the air? Shivering just knowing that the first snowflakes will be blanketing your lawn soon? While some of us might be wishing for a time machine to send us back into the warmth of summer, there's no doubt that this is the time of year where many cold-loving animals are rejoicing. Winter is coming!

Polar Bear Migration 2014
Katheryn Billing/explore.org

In the small Canadian town of Churchill, Manitoba, the 2014 polar bear migration has begun, marking a period between late October and mid-to-late November where the world's southern-most population of polar bears can be seen making their annual trek to the icy shores of Hudson Bay.  For tourists, biologists, climatologists, and more, this is the best time of year to observe wild polar bears firsthand before they make their way onto the ice for hunting season.   

For those of us who want to see the polar bears on the move, but aren't quite willing to brave a trip to one of the coldest places on earth, there's another fantastic alternative. Take part in this year's migration watch on Polar Bear Cam, streaming now on Animal Planet L!VE.

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4 Nov

Rhinos Heartbreakingly De-Horned ... To SAVE Them

Rhino poaching is at a crisis point. And, conservationists are taking drastic measures to try and save them. 

Wildlife warriors with Rhino Revolution are leading the effort to save rhinos by de-horning them — a tragedy in itself but the method serves as a deterrent that will help buy time for the wildlife rescue workers to act. The animals are sedated for the procedure, marked, then released.  Read the Rhino Revolution's 7-Point Plan of action >>

1,004 rhinos were murdered last year for their horns — and, that number only accounts for the killings uncovered by conservationists. 668 rhino were murdered in 2012 — compared to 10 years ago, in 2003, which saw 22 rhinos killed.

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In this video by Shannon Wild of AnimalBytesTV, watch Rhino Revolution rescuers work to de-horn and save these beautiful creatures: 

Coming up this month in a documentary on Animal Planet, former NBA superstar and wildlife advocate Yao Ming travels to Africa to investigate the poaching crisis threatening both elephants and rhinos.

Teamed up with the organization WildAid, Yao's previous efforts to campaign against shark fin demand changed traditional hearts and minds in China, resulting in a drop in sales by 50-70% of the food delicacy. WildAid, Yao and Animal Planet are all hoping to see a similar impact against poaching of elephants and rhinos ... before, it's too late.

 

Tune in to the program, SAVING AFRICA'S GIANTS WITH YAO MING on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 10/9c. And visit IvoryFree.org to SIGN THE PLEDGE TO BE IVORY FREE!

  Yao-ming-be-ivory-free

 

3 Nov

Dogs in Cars: Capturing Canine's Happiest Moments

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Chulo, Dapple Chiweenie (Lara Jo Regan)

What do dogs love almost as much as their best friend? We're guessing probably long car rides with their heads out the window, with the wind blowing through their fur. Photographer Lara Jo Regan captured these extreme moments of happiness in her new book Dogs in Cars, which you can purchase here. We've got a few photos as a sneak peek, though, and the book is not only adorable, but it also is a guaranteed way to make you smile as you see dogs in their purest form of happiness.

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Napoleon, Lulu and Stitch, Pugs (Lara Jo Regan)

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30 Oct

Bats Need Love Too

Halloween is upon us, and what animal is more a symbol of the holiday than the bat? It's also Bat Week, a designation created to help raise awereness about how awesome bats are, how important they are to us, and to help people realize that most of what you THINK you know about them is wrong. Read on to have all of your bat myths dispelled!

3642531568_a1a9253ef2_bPhoto by Mark Evans via Flickr Creative Commons.

Did you know?

  • Bats are diverse. With over 1,000 species, bats are the most diverse group of mammals.
  • Bats are not rodents. They're not even closely related to rodents. They belong to the mammal order Chiroptera (rodents belong to the order Rodentia), so calling them "flying rats" is flat-out wrong.
  • Bats eat more than mosquitoes. Some bats do eat mosquitoes, but that's not all they eat. Most species in North America feed primarily on insects and help control populations of beetles and moths that are agricultural pests. Other species feed on flower nectar and are important pollinators. Some eat fruit. There are other species that specialize in feeding on fish, frogs or small mammals. And of course, there are three species of vampire bat that feed on the blood of other animals.
  • Bats aren't blind. All bat species have eyes and none are blind. Many species do primarily rely on echolocation to find their prey.
  • Bats won't get tangled in your hair. Bats sometimes swoop close to people, likely in an effort to catch mosquitoes trying to bite us, and so it's possible that behavior inspired this myth.
  • Bats are not dangerous. While bats can carry rabies like most other mammals, your chances of being bitten by a rabid bat are exceedingly low. That chance goes down to zero if you never try to handle a bat. A bat can't bite you if it doesn't touch you, and the only way that will happen is if you try to touch it. Here's how to remove a bat (or bats) that get into your home.
  • Bats are in trouble. Over six million bats have died in North America in just the last few years. The deadly killer is a disease known as white-nose syndrome that mysteriously appeared in 2006 and proceeded to wipe out mass numbers of bats. Biologists are still trying to figure out what white-nose syndrom is and how to stop it.
  • Bat boxes do work. Many people try to help bats by putting out bat boxes, only to be disappointed when bats don't move in. Bats boxes do work, but you have to have the correct model and you have to mount it properly. Here's a good tutorial on building and mounting a bat box.

So there you have it: bats are awesome! If you're still not convinced, watch this video of an orphaned bat responding to its caretakers, and your heart will melt. 

  

 Adopt a Bat with the National Wildlife Federation.

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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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