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13 Jan

Take the Challenge to Help 85-Pound Beagle 'Kale Chips' Slim Down

When a sweet beagle was surrendered by his elderly owner to the Chicago Animal Care & Control, the staff had never seen a dog as overweight as the fittingly renamed dog, "Kale Chips."

Kale Chips weighed in at 85 pounds — a healthy, average beagle weighs about 22 to 25 pounds.

Kale-chips-beagle-1
Photo: Courtesy of One Tail at a Time. Visit the One Tail at a Time Facebook page for more photos >>

The organization One Tail at a Time stepped up to help to pup — but, when a representative came to pick him up, he was so heavy, he could barely walk and had to be wheeled out by wagon.

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12 Jan

Adorable Tortoise Can Walk Again with Custom Lego Wheelchair

Meet Blade, an adorable little tortoise with a very special story. Blade was born with a metabolic bone disease, gradually leaving him unable to support the weight of his shell.

When his owner Iris Pleste started to notice his slowing pace, she took him to the local veternarian, Dr. Carsten Plischke in Bielefeld, Germany.

Dr. Plischke was able to fashion a very special, custom, "wheelchair" made of Legos.

Blade-turtle-wheelchair
Photo: RuptlyTV via YouTube image

“We mounted Lego wheels on the tortoise Blade because he had a bone metabolism illness and his shell was too heavy and he had a loss of muscles,” Plischke told CNET. “That’s why he couldn’t pick up himself and walk anymore. The bones were like rubber and the musculature had clearly diminished,” Dr. Plischke said, according to a Yahoo News report.

The wheelchair should help strengthen Blade's legs so he can, hopefully, eventually walk on his own one day.

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6 Jan

Did Traffic Cameras Catch Glimpse of a Bigfoot Family?

Highway cameras caught something mysterious along the side of an Arizona highway.

Sasquatch

Courtesy: Arizona Department of Transportation Facebook page

The Arizona Department of Transportation posted the photos above on its Facebook page on Jan. 1 with the caption: “We might have spotted a family of sasquatches on SR 260 near Heber this afternoon. What do you think?“

The post has garnered more than 2,000 likes and 3,000 shares on Facebook. 

Finding Bigfoot

Catch Up On Finding Bigfoot Full Episodes!

 

24 Nov

Stray Dog Treks 430-Mile Adventure Race, Makes New Human Friends for Life

When a team of four endurance athletes from Sweden set off on the most grueling journey of their lives, they didn't expect to pick up a fifth — FURRY — teammate along the way.

Stray-dog-follows-endurance-racers-facebook
Photo: Krister Göransson / Peak Performance | Peak Perfomance on Facebook

The Swedish team embarked on a 430-mile trek to compete in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador.  As they began the rainforest portion of the race, team member Mikael Lindnord noticed a hungry, stray dog and gave him a meatball ... And, it was LOVE at first bite.

The dog who they soon dubbed "Arthur" continued to follow them the rest of the epic journey, which usually takes a team of four, about 10 days. The rigorous race includes biking, hiking, trekking and kayaking — Arthur kept up every step of the way! 

By the end of the race, they certainly couldn't leave their new friend behind — he's headed back to Sweden to his new forever home with Lindnord. Awwww.  *TEAR*

You can get even more details on the story from our friends at The Dodo >>

Congratulations, Arthur and Team Sweden!

See More Race Photos with Team Sweden & Arthur >>

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5 Nov

Wildlife Photographers of the Year Named: See the Photos

01-Duchess-of-Cambridge-and-overall-winner-c-NHM,-London
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!

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

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22 Oct

Meet the Hellbender

Just in time for Halloween, I introduce you to the hellbender.

No, it's not one of Satan's minions or a CGI monster. It's a type of salamander native to the streams and rivers of eastern North America.  Despite its demonic-sounding name, this spectacular amphibian is completely harmless to people. Yet the species is rapidly declining due to human activity such as deforestation, erosion and chemical runoff into our streams--which is the real horror story.

Watch this video put out by the Forest Service and partners about one of North America's most fascinating and little-known wild animals.

 

The Last Dragons - Protecting Appalachia's Hellbenders from Freshwaters Illustrated on Vimeo.

Here's a close up of the ancient beauty of the hellbender, an animal perfectly adapted to and camouflaged in its environment.

8438953051_43b48a7076_k
Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons. 

Save Appalachian streams and the hellbenders that live in them with National Wildlife Federation.

26 Sep

“Werewolf” Cat Breed Raises Questions And Curiosities

Blog-lykoi-cats-1-500w
Lykoi Cat (Photo by: Nelius Rademan/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

At first glance, werewolves and housecats go together like oil and water. But breeders have bridged the two into a new cat: the Lykoi.

The breed’s distinct look is due to a natural mutant gene variation that interferes with hair growth, resulting in a sparse, patchy coat, according to Nautilus. Not only does the Lykoi resemble a werewolf, it shares some similarities with dogs. Lykoi cats are particularly affectionate and known to follow their owners around.

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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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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:

Continue reading >

6 Sep

Poop-Eating Pika Makes History

My friend and National Wildlife Federation colleague Beth Pratt-Bergstrom is a self-avowed pika lover. Pikas are small mammals that live in high-elevation cool mountains west of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico. They are very, very cute.

Even though they look like it, pikas are not rodents. They belong to the taxonomic order called Lagomorpha and are closely related to rabbits and hares. They feed on on grasses and other vegetation, and spend much of their time gathering and hoarding plants in their rocky burrows, which they feed on during the long winter. You can often see them with their furry little faces stuffed with a huge amont of vegetation, scurrying through the rocks.

Apparently, that's not all they collect. Beth snapped this picture of a pika with what looks like a poop pellet in its mouth. She thought it was a funny and odd photo (right on both counts) but there's more the story than that. 

  

Pika Poop
Photo by Beth Pratt-Bergstrom.

 

From Beth:

Wow! Just heard from top pika researcher and my hero Eric Beever and he said I made a pika discovery! "I think this photo is the first photographic evidence of pikas moving / consuming fecal pellets of marmots." My contribution to science involves poop! How fitting.

Marmots are large members of the squirrel family that share the pika's habitat. Perhaps there's still available nutrients in the marmot droppings, and in nature such resources rarely go to waste. Lagomorphs are known for their coprophagia (poop-eating), and pikas are no exception, but usually it's their own droppings that they feed upon. More study is required to figure out what's going on with pikas in this regard. Science is cool!

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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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