Bites at Animal Planet

Rescue

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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20 Oct

Nothing is Cuter Than This Baby Rhino Playing With a Goat

Today's installment of utter cuteness comes to us from the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa.

The centre's mission is to conserve rare, vulnerable or endangered animals. A big part of their work is captive breeding of endangered species. While they specialize in cheetahs, the Centre cares for many other species as well, including Gertjie the orphaned white rhinoceros

Gertjie--nicknamed "Little G"--has a sad story that is all too common. He was found next to the body of his dead mother, who was killed and mutilated by poachers. They hacked off her horn for the lucrative traditional Chinese medicine black market.

Practiced throughout Asia, traditional Chinese medicaine holds that rhino horn is used to treat a variety illnesses--despite the fact that science has shown that it actually has no medicinal value and despite the fact that killing rhinos for their horns is illegal. Rhinos are rapidly declining and some species are close to extinction. Yet such is the power of tradition and faith.

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Southern white rhinoceros calf.

Luckily for Little G, he was rescued and brought to the Centre. White rhinos are the most social of the five rhino species, and even after Little G recovered from the trauma of losing his mother, it was evident that he needed companionship. So the folks at the Centre introduced Little G to a pair of goats, and a fast friendship was born.

Here is Little G frolicking with Lammie the goat. The joy the two animals are experiencing in this video is evident and infectious. Whenever I get down about the horrible things people do to animals, videos like this one and the story of Little G's rescue help remind me that there are still good people and good things happening in the world.

 

Photo by Vanessa via Flickr Creative Commons.

3 Sep

R.O.A.R. To Their Rescue - Calling All Pet Pics! Send Us Your Adoption Stories

Sept. 1 marked the launch of the R.O.A.R. To Their Rescue program where Animal Planet is teaming up with the ASPCA® to cover adoption fees in Austin, Texas; Miami, Fla.; and Cleveland, Ohio. You can get the details all about the initiative and partner organizations here! >>

To celebrate the launch, we want to hear from Animal Planet fans, far and wide — and we want to know all about your beautiful adoption stories!

Send us your adoption stories and photos and we'll feature our favorites right here on AnimalPlanet.com at the R.O.A.R. website and share them with the hashtag #ROARToTheirRescue.  To submit, email us at animalplanetdotcom@gmail.com. Be sure to send us:

  • Your Name
  • Where You Live (City/State)
  • Your Pet's Name
  • At Least 1 Photo of Your Pet (and any other family members)
  • Your Adoption Story — Tell us why you chose to adopt and how you found your pet soulmate! <3

See additional rules about photo submissions below ... And, stay tuned for YOUR stories!

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2 Sep

Golden Retriever Adopts an Orphaned Kitten

It feels good to be loved.

When this kitten was rejected by its mother, a superhero came to save the day. This Golden Retriever took in the kitten as if it was one of its own. Why? Maybe it's instinctual to take care of young and help them survive, or maybe it's just empathy.

Regardless, this relationship is TOO CUTE! View the full photo album HERE.

 

Tune in Saturday at 8/7c for more cuteness on Animal Planet's Too Cute!  

21 Aug

Orphaned Eagles Released into the Wild

Check out this news report of my friend Ed Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, releasing three young bald eagles back into the wild.

The eagles were all blown out of their nests by storms earlier this year, and have spent the last few months in captivity under the care of the vets and other staff at the Wildlife Center.  (Die-hard Animal Planet fans will remember the Wildlife Center from the series Wildlife Emergency that aired in the late 90s and early 00s.)

Speaking from experience, there is NOTHING that feels as good as releasing a wild animal back into its natural habitat.

 

Protect Eagles with the National Wildlife Federation. 

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Juvenile Bald Eagle. Photo by Ken Janes via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

20 Aug

Bighorn Sheep Rescued from Near-Fatal Swim

Bighorn sheep are creatures of the desert and mountains. They are specially adapted to survive in the extremes of arid habitats, where vegetation is tough and brown and water is hard to come by during much of the year. So when one showed up swimming in a golf course canal in La Quinta, CA it was a surprise sight for many.

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Photo via Riverside County Animal Services' Facebook page.

Turns out there's a herd of bighorn sheep that hang around the Arnold Palmer Golf Course to take advantage of lush green grass and the regular water source in the otherwise arid Southern California.

This particular sheep apparently got a little too close to the water while getting a drink, and fell in. The steep, slick sides prevented it from getting out.

Fortunately for this sheep, rescuers from Riverside County Animal Services got to the scene in time.

They reported that there were scrape marks on the side of the canal where the exhausted animal had tried but failed to pull itself out.

Unfortunately, wild animals in trouble don't know that rescuers are trying to help them. Rescuers ultimately had to loop the rope on a control stick around one of the sheep's horns and pull it out that way. At that point the sheep realized it was being rescued and didn't resist. Once it was free of the water, it fled the scene and headed for the hills. Hopefully it learned its lesson and will avoid the canal. 

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4 Aug

How to Help Villalobos Rescue Center

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As you may know, Villalobos Rescue Center is the largest pit bull rescue facility in the world, housing 400 dogs on any given day. With that many dogs, costs begin to stack up, from food (they go through about 3,500 pound of dog food a week!) to general upkeep of the facility.  In fact, it costs about $1000 a day to run Villalobos. So how can you do your part to help the facility? Here’s how:

Monetary Donations

Villalobos is always accepting monetary donations through their web site or by mail. Even better, all donations made to the rescue are 100% tax deductible. You can also make special donations in honor of a birthday, special event or in memory of a loved one.

Donation of Supplies

Villalobos has extensive wish lists on both Amazon and Petflow.com. You can also help them through Amazon Smile! It’s still good ol’ Amazon, you’re still shopping and ordering products to your home, and the prices are the same; the only difference is a portion of the purchase price goes to the charity of your choice. So, if you choose Villalobos as your charity, .5% goes to their funds. It might not sound like much, but every little bit helps! You can even donate to the facility through Amazon Smile.

Sponsoring a Dog

You can also sponsor specific dogs that live at Villalobos. That pit bull you loved on the show but can’t adopt? You can send him or her any amount of money you want either per month or one time only to help with their day-to-day lives. As a sponsor, you can even come out to visit the dog and spend the day with them!

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Volunteering

Villalobos is always looking for volunteers, especially dog walkers. One particularly great program is the Nightwalkers. You go out on a group or “pack” walk in the evenings with special needs dogs from 7 – 8:30 p.m., rain or shine. Then, there is Bully Boot Camp where you can get the full Villalobos experience over a 5-day period. You walk dogs, clean kennels, pick up poop, and help around the facility. You really get a feel for what it’s like to work at Villalobos. Lastly, there are various special projects you can volunteer for, from flood clean up and control to minor construction projects. Remember, their facility in is New Orleans and they won’t provide travel or accommodations.

Think about how you can give back, and keep checking in on the Villalobos Rescue Center and Pit Bulls and Parolees Facebook pages for the latest! And don’t forget to tune in for the season premiere of Pit Bulls and Parolees Saturday, September 27 at 10/9!

28 Jul

Zoo Elephants Said to Have Too Much Junk in Their Trunk

Zoo keepers and researchers are faced with a very big problem. African elephants in captivity are reportedly becoming obese, which could have serious consequences for the species.  

Similar to what we see with humans, this obesity can lead to “the development of heart disease, arthritis, a shorter lifespan and infertility,” said Daniella Chusyd, M.A., a doctoral student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences. Because elephants in the wild are continuously threatened by loss of habitat and poaching, the infertility found in elephants in captivity is the most troubling side effect of the rising obesity issue.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

With the threats that animals face in the wild, zoos remain one of the few ways to protect species from extinction. In the United States specifically, zoos need to average about six elephant births each year in order to maintain their current population. Currently, the birthrate is only about three births per year, which has raised worry that the elephants could disappear from zoos within the next 50 years, as reported by LiveScience.

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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:

 

3 Jul

Roo and Penny: Unlikely Best Friends

Alicia Williams, a client services receptionist at Duluth Animal Hospital in Georgia, has a habit of rescuing animals that are in bad situations. Roo and Penny are two of Alicia's rescues that have developed a very strong bond with one another.

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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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