Bites at Animal Planet

18 Aug

Team Villalobos & Pit Bulls & Parolees EP Lisa Lucas Take on the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

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EVERYONE's getting on board with the ALS Association's #IceBucketChallenge! When Earl and Matt from Villalobos took on the challenge and SOAKED themselves, they also nominated our very own Pit Bulls & Parolees Executive Producer Lisa Lucas! Here's Lisa taking one for the whole Animal Planet team - WAY TO GO, Lisa!!

Hey Moe and Kanani ... YOUR MOVE!

Watch Earl and Matt's original video — we know it must have been especially frigid in the middle of those NOLA summer temps!

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15 Aug

Treehouse Masters: Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line!

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This week's season finale of Treehouse Masters is one you can't afford to miss. Pete Nelson will be building a very special treehouse for Brian Kelley from Florida Georgia Line, and his beautiful wife, Brittney Cole.

Kelley and his wife already have a beautiful home built into the mountainside right outside of Nashville, but when they decided they wanted to do a little addition, they called up Pete and the crew. The treehouse masters constructed them a modern two-story structure that features a recording living room, master suite, and recording studio. Possibly best of all, the new treehouse connects to thier home by breezeway, which was no easy feat.

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Brian and Brittney react to the unveiling of their new treehouse.

Will the couple love thier new addition? Be sure to tune Friday at 10 PM E/P to see if Pete and the rest of the crew is successful in building Brian and his wife the perfect space they are looking for!

You can also check out some exclusive pictures from the filming here!

14 Aug

APL!VE now on Facebook!

By now you are probably well aware of Animal Planet L!VE, your online home for the most interesting live animal cameras including kittens, puppies, cockroaches, calves, sharks, and much more. (If you haven't, you are officially behind the times and should check it out and find your favorite channel immediately.)

What you probably didn't know yet is that Animal Planet L!VE has it's own Facebook page! Here you will be able to see videos of what you may have missed recently, stay up to date on any new channels or updates, and join the community of people who also enjoy a good livestream of their favorite animal.

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There's a lot to keep track of from puppy and kitten adoptions to new osprey hatchlings and our Facebook page will keep you up to date on all of it! (You can also stay up to date on our Tumblr page!)

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So head over to Facebook and like our page, and then head to APL!VE now, and watch over 20 great LIVE cameras , where great moments happen all the time!

14 Aug

Happy Shark Week!

Shark Week returned to Discovery Channel earlier this week, with 14 hours of brand new programs combined with a live talk show each night gives this year's Shark Week the highest number of programs and premiere hours ever featured in this event's 27-year history.

Coming up this evening at 9/8c, tune into I Escaped Jaws 2 to hear shark attack victims recount their harrowing near-death experiences and reveal how they escaped with their lives. Later in the evening at 10/9c, watch what happens as Hawaiian native and surf legend Kala Alexander sets out to uncover the truth behind what’s disrupting the Hawaiian food chain after a spike in shark attacks including two fatalities in Sharkageddon.

Don't forget to tune in each night for Shark Week's late-night live talk show, Shark After Dark. Host Josh Wolf will lead viewers through an hour-long celebration of all things shark-related, including celebrity guests and shark experts. Stayed tuned for the rest of the week for even more new shows such as Megladon: The New Evidence, Great White Matrix, and Sharksanity. For all you shark fanatics, videos, shark cams, games, and more can all be found on the Shark Week website.

Animal Planet has been doing their own fair share of getting in on the Shark Week action as well. Have you seen the stars of our Kitten Cam lately? They've seen to have made a new friend!

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Continuing the spirit of Shark Week, check out our Shark Cam featuring beautiful Blacktips!

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If after all of this you still can't get enough sharks, head over to our website where we have an entire playlist of shark videos waiting for you! Happy Shark Week!

14 Aug

TONIGHT: The Internet Cat Video Festival Live Stream!

For a third year running, cat lovers will unite in Minneapolis for an evening filled with food, music, and most importantly, cat videos. Tonight, at Walker's Open Field, over 10,000 people and a few kitties, will gather to celebrate the worldwide online phenomenon of cat videos. 

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Rudy Fig - Cat-tastic artistic ability Image Credit: Grace Suriel/APL

Are you a cat lover that unfortunately won't be in Minneapolis tonight? You're in luck because Animal Planet will be live streaming the event starting at 7 PM ET, so you won't miss a moment! You will be able to see everything from the live music by Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers, to the presentation of the coveted Golden Kitty Award.

What is the Golden Kitty Award you ask? It is a special award bestowed upon the best internet cat video of the year. During the first Internet Cat Video Festival, Will Braden’s Henri 2: Paw de Deux took home the prize, and last year, Grumpy Cat was awarded the top prize for her work in The Original Grumpy Cat. There is much anticpation over who will be announced the winner this year. You can check out the five nominees for the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival People’s Choice Award to get a preview of what you will likely see this evening!

There are some extraordinarily entertaining felines in the running such as Gotcha! (Попался!) by Youtube user ignoramusky...

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...and Jedi Kittens Strike Back by Youtube user FinalCutKing

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Get ready for the third annual Internet Cat Video Festival by checking out some of the great videos from last year and join us tonight for the live stream!

 

12 Aug

Bronx Zoo Puppy Bowl XI Sweepstakes!

This summer Animal Planet is partnering with the Bronx Zoo! Families are encouraged to visit the Optimum & Animal Planet Too Cute! Craft Zone at the Bronx Zoo now through Labor Day. Children can enjoy custom Too Cute! themed craft activities and express their creativity and love for animals and the environment through making their own artwork.

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Visitors can also enter the Bronx Zoo Puppy Bowl XI Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for 4 to the taping of Puppy Bowl XI in New York City! The grand prize winner will also receive a one year Bronx Zoo Premium Membership along with a Bronx Zoo and Animal Planet Gift Pack. So what have you got to lose? Visit the Bronx Zoo and enter to win today!

Want a preview of what it might be like to be behind the scenes at the infamous Puppy Bowl? Check out the video below:

February seems too far away? Wishing you had Puppy Bowl pictures, videos and more to look at until then? Just follow the Puppy Bowl on Tumblr! It's your daily dose of cuteness.

12 Aug

Honoring Earth’s Majestic Giants on World Elephant Day

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Can you imagine a world without elephants? How about a day when children will learn about them only in a state of extinction like their ancient predecessors: the Wooly Mammoths? It may surprise you to hear that this day is frighteningly close with some major wildlife conservation organizations predicting that the majority of the earth’s elephants will be extinct in the next two decades.

 

Thirty-five years ago in 1979, African Elephant populations were estimated to be at 1.3 million which itself was drastically down from about 10 million at the start of the 20th century. Today, those numbers are even smaller at less than 400,000 due largely in part to anthropogenic (human-related) causes. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign, poachers kill 96 elephants per day in Africa in order to sell their tusks in international markets. This continues despite a 1989 ban on the ivory trade from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Last year, CITES’ research revealed that 22,000 African elephants died as the result of poaching in 2012.

 

Similar declines are evident in Asia where there are only 40,000 Asian elephants left, and 30% of those elephants live in captivity, as reported by the World Wildlife Fund.

 

To put a spotlight on the insurmountable damage poaching, habitat loss, and other factors impose upon the elephant populations in Africa and Asia, the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation launchedWorld Elephant Day in 2012. Celebrating its third year on August 12, 2014, World Elephant Day's main goal is “to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face.”

 

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

 

So what can you do this World Elephant Day to spread awareness about the plight of the world’s largest land mammal and give these species a chance at survival? Here are five great places to start:

 

1. Support the cause from home. The first step to helping elephant conservation efforts is to prevent the sale of ivory and lessen its value as a commodity in countries around the world, but you can start the change by advocating locally. Sign a petition and write to your local legislators telling them that you want laws passed that stop the sale of ivory in your state. Of the 50 states in the USA, only one has done just that with New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie signing a bill banning the sales statewide on August 5, 2014.

 

2. Go Grey! Many zoos and organizations participating in the 96 Elephants campaign and World Elephant Day events are encouraging elephant lovers to wear grey for the day and share their “Elphies”--selfies with real elephants, photographs, or homemade artwork-- on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using #elphies.

 

4. Learn more fascinating elephant facts and share them with friends, family, and even strangers you may meet. For example, did you know that an elephant drinks up to 50 gallons of water per day and has an innate ability to find and dig for it underground? The holes they make are often used by other animals to quench their thirst in dry seasons.

 

Impress others with your knowledge by checking out 10 Things You Should Know about the Elephant Crisis and the Summer of Fun Safari elephant profile.

5. Go elephant watching on Animal Planet L!VE’s newAfrican Watering Hole Cam. Located in Kenya, one of the countries with the largest surviving elephant population, this cam brought to you by the multimedia organization explore.org and the Mpala Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation puts you in the midst of their native habitat. During its online hours between 11:30pm and 12:30pm ET, you may catch a glimpse of elephants and other animals coming to this bustling watering hole for a drink. At other times, enjoy highlights of recent elephant visits.

On August 12th, Explore.org will also hold a special live chat at 12pm ET with renowned elephant expert Simon Hedges of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Make sure to tune in!

There's no time to waste. Honor the earth's majestic giants and take a stand against poaching today on World Elephant Day!

 
See more LIVE cams like this African Watering Hole Cam on Animal Planet L!VE, where great moments like this happen all the time.

 

9 Aug

RARE Wild Animals - Part 2

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Here is part two of my highlight on some of the rare wild animals the conservation organization Rare works to protect.  (See part one here.)

Yellow Eared Parrot
The population of the yellow-eared parrot is only about 1,000 since its rediscovery in 1998 near Roncesvalles, Colombia.  It is bright green with yellow ear patches and a dark, heavy bill. Considered critically endangered, it nests and lives among wax palms in a few areas of Colombia where it nests in the hollow trunks of the palm trees in cloud forests about 1800 – 3000 meters above sea level.  Its main food is fruit of the wax palm, which is itself an endangered species.  The yellow-eared parrot has declined dramatically in the face of hunting for food and habitat destruction for farming and cattle.

Here's more on this rare parrot species:

 

The bird’s habitat and survival are now better protected because of a Rare Pride campaign.  Water agreements have been forged between the government of Roncesvalles and the utility company, for watersheds supplying the town and several downstream locations. Water users pay a voluntary fee in their water bill that goes toward a water fund that provides an incentive for long-term owners to conserve the wilderness, forests and endangered yellow-eared parrot found in the area.   

Harlequin Frog
Colorful harlequin frogs are found in neotropics from Costa Rica to Bolivia. They belong to the genus Atelopus and include about 80 species.  Most live in forested mountains where rainfall is abundant, and most have only a small range or area where they live. Night-owls as well as daytimers, they are active 24/7.  Harlequin frogs are small-to-medium size amphibians (20-60 mm from the tip of the nose to the vent) with females always larger than males. Rising temperatures, habitat destruction, and the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus have wiped out dozens of species of harlequin frogs in recent years. Further, most of the harlequin frog species are listed as critically endangered.  

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Harlequin frog Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons. 

For several years Rare worked to protect water sources in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, which feed the urban and rural systems of water from different parts of the city of Cuenca and provide habitat for endangered species such as the frog Atelopus Nanay, commonly known as the harlequin frog Jambatu Black Boxes.  Nanay means sadness in Quechua, deriving from the extinction of many species of frogs in this region. 

The local utility started a small water fee to support conservation projects upstream.  The Pride campaign aimed to show creating such water agreements are a “win-win" for people and conservation.  Some of the Andes’ most valuable ecological indicators and most threatened inhabitants are myriad frog species whose populations are so imperiled that numbers do not even exist in science.  Rare developed strong relationships with the Cajas National Park to work together in the reproduction of the species of harlequin frog Jambatu the Black Boxes, including a plan for reintroduction in riparian forest areas once they achieve an appropriate degree of recovery.

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Harleguin frog photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons.

Pride campaigns use proven marketing techniques to move the hearts and minds of local communities, accelerating the adoption and increasing the sustainability of the solutions. Rare has conducted over 250 Pride campaigns in more than 50 countries, empowering local communities across geographies and cultures to shift from resource users to become natural asset managers.

To see Rare’s work all over the world, click here.

 

7 Aug

The Internet Cat Video Festival Is Every Cat Lovers's Dream!

You read that right, there is an Internet Cat Video Festival! On Thursday, August 14, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, to be precise! It's every cat lover's dream as attendees sit together and enjoy 75 minutes of the best cat videos the Internet has to offer. Oh, and did I mention there may be some surprise kitty celeb guests in attendance?

This year, one lucky kitty will receive the Golden Kitty, or the Viewer's Choice Award. Check out all of the finalists here, but here's a little taste of what's to come:

Can't make it to Minneapolis? Never fear, Animal Planet has you covered! We will be covering the entire event, from the pre-event activities to the actual show, via live stream. Starting at 7 pm EST on August 14, you can experience every purr-fect moment from the comfort of your own couch!

Don't want to wait until then? Well, we have highlights and clips from the previous festivals waiting for you! You can also get updates about the festival on Twitter!

Get excited, just like Ohagi here:

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Don't forget to check out some of the fan photos from the 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival!

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Oh, and the kitty cuteness doesn't end at the festival! Too Cute! Pint Sized airs two days later on Saturday, August 16 at 8/7c!

7 Aug

Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You- A Fresh Look at the World Around Us

Our world is filled with living things that want to eat us, poison us, or make our bodies their homes. Dan Riskin, Ph.D., however, shows us how these organisms are actually some of the most fascinating parts of nature in his new book, Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You. Riskin is an evolutionary biologist and was host of the show Monsters Inside of Me. From his many adventures and studies, he has learned a lot about the predators, parasites, and decomposers that our modern, Westernized society often overlooks.

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Photo Courtesy of: Touchstone Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The book takes you on a journey using the seven deadly sins as a road map to share the many morally questionable behaviors that can be found in nature. From birds that impale their prey onto barbed-wire fences, to blue whales that consumer more than 500,000 organisms per day, readers are sure to gain a new perspective on the way we perceive nature. While the many examples could be considered gross, they are eye-opening and fascinating at the same time.

As Riskin points out, we often don’t get the whole picture when we think of the natural world because of the image advertising and marketing has created for us. When you finish reading however, you will be compelled to appreciate not only the beautiful parts of nature, but also the gross, freaky, and scary parts, as well as work to create an environment of sustainability for all organisms.  Pick up your copy of Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You today, and we promise the natural world won’t be the same to you again!

Dan Riskin (credit Vanessa Heins, used with permission of Exploration Production Inc)

Photo Credit: Vanessa Heins, used with permission of Exploration Production Inc

about the blog

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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