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1 Sep

Unique Fish Species is Dangerously Close to Extinction

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

After roaming the ocean for the last 55 million years virtually unchanged, the end may soon be nigh for one of the planet's most unique species.

What makes spotted handfish so special is evident in their name. Instead of swimming, these rare little fish evolved hand-like pectoral fins, which they use to quite literally 'walk' along the sea floor. Throughout their long tenure on Earth, spotted handfish endured while others died out β€” but now they face their greatest challenge yet. 

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1 Sep

Deaf Dog Who Took a Bullet For His Owner is Now Homeless

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from thedodo.com)

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes β€” including canine. A dog named Kiko took a bullet for his owner, lost his home and is now looking for his second chance.

Kiko made the news in 2012, when he saved his owner from a home invasion. A man masquerading as a UPS delivery driver tried to break into Kiko's home on Staten Island, New York. When Kiko tried to stop him, he was shot in the head. Luckily for Kiko, the bullet ricocheted off his skull, and he was miraculously able to make a full recovery, even though he is a senior dog.

Mighty Mutts 

That would have been the perfect happy ending, but, unfortunately, Kiko's owner ran into some hard times about two years ago. He was forced to move and couldn't take Kiko with him. Kiko saved his owner's life and home, and then suddenly found himself without a home at all.

 

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31 Aug

Mount McKinley to Be Restored to Native Alaskan Name, 'Denali' (PHOTOS)

As President Obama sets off on a historic trip to Alaska, a beautiful land that has become the planet's ground zero of global climate change, the POTUS announced plans to restore the name of North America's tallest peak Mount McKinley back to its native Alaskan Athabascan moniker, Denali, meaning "The High One."

Denali
Photo: National Park Service

Alaska is facing unprecedented receding glaciers, warming temperatures, melting sea ice, eroding shorelines and subsequent shifts in animal behavior -- the POTUS lands in Anchorage this week to tour the state and draw attention to the urgent state of the climate.

As part of President Jimmy Carter's final act before leaving office in 1980, he signed into law, legislation for Alaska that established over 100 million acres of new national preserves, parks and wildlife refuges.  Mount McKinley National Park became Denali National Park and Preserve and increased from two to six million acres of protected lands.

With only one partially paved road that bisects the park -- and limited to park vehicles, much of the park is untouched and only accessible by foot. And, it's a haven for wildlife, home to everything from grizzly bears, brown bears, bighorn sheep, caribou, moose and an abundance of other animals you've never even heard of!

In honor of President Obama's visit, here are a few sights from Denali just last week. It may be warm summer temps where you are, but a 66-mile drive into the park will take you straight to winter -- 30-degree temps and SNOW.

Denali-0
Photo: Betty Chu

Denali-2
Photo: Betty Chu

Denali-6
Photo: Betty Chu

Denali-4
Photo: Betty Chu

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31 Aug

UPDATE: Officer Booted After Refusing to Kill Bear Cubs

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

A conservation officer in Canada who was suspended for refusing to kill two orphaned bear cubs is now set to pay an even higher price after that laudable act of defiance.

Earlier this summer, Bryce Casavant of the Conservation Officer Service, was called to a residence in rural British Columbia after a mother bear, with two cubs in tow, broke inside. While it was ultimately decided that the adult bear needed to be euthanized as a result of the incident, he saw no use in cutting short the lives of her helpless offspring.

Instead of euthanizing the 8-week-old cubs, the officer defied protocol by capturing them and sending them to a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. For his actions, Casavant had initially been suspended from duty, but was later reinstated.

But now he's being removed from the job entirely, transferred out of the Conservation Officer Service into an unspecified new position, reports CBC

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31 Aug

Abused Dog with Cut-Off Nose Completely Transformed by Surgery

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

Her spine, ribs and kneecaps were broken, her legs dragged behind her and her nose was completely cut off.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.20.53 AM

There are no answers to how anyone could endure such inexplicable cruelty. But a dog named Khaleesi, found deformed and starving in Orlando, Florida, is proving to everyone that she's a survivor.

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30 Aug

Slain Coyote is Proof Exotic Animals Are Not Pets

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ben Kerns from thedodo.com)
 
A coyote was found wandering the streets of Maryland earlier this week and was killed for doing no harm.

The poor coyote was found loose in the town of North Beach, where onlookers called in sheriff's deputies and animal control out of fear that he could hurt them. It turns out someone had been keeping him illegally as a pet.

635762619547425980-Coyote-2
Calvert County Sheriff's Office 

The coyote had a blue collar and leash still attached when he was picked up by animal control officers on Wednesday. He was subsequently euthanized due to "possible exposure" to rabies. Tests showed that he was rabies-free, but animal control decided not to wait for the results.

Officers spoke with the owner of the coyote and learned that he might have mistakenly believed the animal to be a puppy when he purchased him. Charges are pending.

Not only did the coyote do nothing wrong, but he was unfairly punished for the misdeed of another. Coyotes are not domesticated animals and this guy needed space to roam, which might explain why he tried to make his escape.

Maryland law expressly forbids the possession of any exotic animals, including any canine other than domesticated dogs. Coyotes are just one of many species of animals that people attempt to own illegally in the U.S., though there are some you can own β€” even though it's generally a bad idea.

It's thought that millions of exotic animals are kept as pets throughout the country, and the exotic pet trade has become a multibillion dollar industry.

This just goes to show that it's never a good idea to try and domesticate a wild animal and take him from the wild where he belongs. In the end, the animal ends up suffering and, as in this case, dying through no fault of his own.

You can see photos of the innocent coyote on the Calvert County Sheriff's Office website.

Wild animals are meant to remain in the wild. When humans come in contact, their actions are unpredictable.

29 Aug

From Instagram: Pit Bull Best Friends Love Each Other ... Most of the Time

Dodo Circular

All siblings and best friends get on each other's nerves sometimes, and that's exactly the case for these adorable pitties.

Meet Sookie and Ivy!

Sookie and Ivy are two rescue pit bulls that live with their human mama and each other, and they love each other ... most of the time. Just like many siblings, these two friends are very different.

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28 Aug

Swan Couple Separated by Sickness has Sweetest Reunion

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

They're the kind of couple that would finish each other's sentences β€” if they spoke in sentences.

But when one swan got sick, he was separated from his love.

Saddled with a severe infection, the swan had to leave the Netherlands canal the pair calls home to be treated. For probably the first time since they chose each other 10 years ago, the perfectly matched couple was torn apart.

A beautiful video making the internet rounds among animal lovers everywhere shows the moment when the recovered swan returns to his love. 

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28 Aug

Whale Washes Up On Beach and People Do the Exact Right Thing

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

A minke whale who washed up on a coastline was slowly drying out, and time was running out to save him.

Good samaritans alerted Project Jonah, an organization in New Zealand that helps whales in need.

  Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 5.05.18 PM

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28 Aug

Dog Nanny Helps Stray Kittens Feel Loved and Protected

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ben Kerns from thedodo.com)

Ten years after surviving the devastating onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, Boots the dog is alive and well and still helping out hopeful kittens at the Arizona Humane Society (AHS).

Boots, a chow/shepherd mix who was rescued by AHS emergency animal medical technicians a decade ago, has been hard at work paying it forward for dozens of kittens through AHS's kitten nursery. The vivacious little pup was one of nearly 300 animals retrieved in New Orleans and brought back to Arizona for treatment. After making a full recovery, he was adopted by one of the volunteers who helped rescue him. 

We previously reported on Boots's escapades in comforting these little guys and helping them acclimate to their new surroundings while also providing them with an important outlet for socialization. The Dodo is happy to say that on the eve of his anniversary of survival, he's still hard at work being a buddy for his feline friends.

"Boots is amazing!" AHS's public relations manager Bretta Nelson told The Dodo. "He puts on his kitten nanny vest and comes every Wednesday to volunteer in the Arizona Humane Society's kitten nursery."

The kitten nursery was created to fill a critical need in the social development of the kittens who come into the care of the shelter. Studies have shown that there's a brief period in the early weeks of a kitten's life where social interactions can determine how he'll act toward others the rest of his days.

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