Bites at Animal Planet


2 Oct

This Photo Of Dead Wildebeests Isn't As Shocking As It Looks

(Guest post by Christina M. Russo from

Astonishing photos published at Africa Geographic show hundreds of wildebeest dead in the Mara River in northern Tanzania.

It's a dramatic image. But here's the kicker: It's normal.

Or at the very least, not uncommon. Hundreds — if not thousands — of wildebeest die during their annual great Serengeti migration that finds wildebeest moving 1,200 miles from Tanzania into Kenya and back every year, according to Richard Estes, esteemed wildebeest expert and author of the book "The Gnu's World." 

"Many die crossing the Mara River," Estes told The Dodo. Estes, who is also a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, began studying wildebeest in 1962. "They die all over the place, but the Mara is where the tourists go [and therefore from where more images emerge]."

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23 Aug

Woman Flies Around The World to Find the Dog Who Saved Her Life

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Georgia Bradley, a 25-year-old student vacationing in Greece in July, was all alone on a beach when two men suddenly tried to grab her.

Out of nowhere, a little stray dog ran to her aid, barking at her would-be attackers until they backed off.

"She saved me. She must have noticed something was wrong," Bradley told the U.K.'s Plymouth Herald. "Pepper shot out of nowhere."


The little black stray, whom Bradley decided to call Pepper, followed Bradley and her friends back to the apartment where they were staying. It was clear that she and the dog had a very special connection.

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22 Jul

Polar Bear Mom Accidentally Films Baby's First Steps in Wild

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from

This proud polar bear mother inadvertently filmed her young cub leaving the den for the very first time.

Filmmakers had set up a spy camera outside the den to observe the family's behavior without introducing humans into their environment. At first, mom thinks the camera is quite a toy, spinning it around on the frozen ground as she plays with it.

But she eventually adjusts the camera, allowing it to capture her baby's first nervous steps outside the winter den.


The footage that follows is strikingly similar to humans' own home movies — the shaky adjustments, the sometimes sideways footage and the sweet insight into the subjects' private life.

At one point, mom captures a stunning shot of her and her baby staring into the camera. 


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15 Jul

Baby Orangutan's Rescue Will Make You Sob

Dodo Circular


(Guest post by Christina M. Russo from

Sometime in 2012, an infant orangutan was kidnapped in the forests of Indonesia.

During the incident, the orangutan's mother was likely murdered: the bond between a mother orangutan and her child is powerful, and a mother won't let her baby be taken from her without a fight.

The captors — who were local fishermen — immediately sold the fragile infant to an employee of a large palm oil plantation company situated in the area, Jessica McKelson, director of the quarantine station at the conservation group Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), told The Dodo.

The transaction was not uncommon. Nor was it expensive: The cost of the life of the mother and the illegal sale of the orangutan was less than $8, McKelson says.

SOCP, along with local police, eventually rescued the little orangutan from his predicament and named him Gokong.

Gokong was weak, dehydrated and malnourished. He was in such bad condition that, although he was a year old, "he had the appearance and weight of a 5-month-old and weighed only 800 grams," according to SOCP's senior veterinarian Yenny Saraswati.

Gokong was immediately brought to SOCP's Batu Mbelin Care Centre (the quarantine station which is part of the center) in February 2013, and joined a group of nearly 300 orangutans who have been rescued, rehabilitated and sometimes released back into the wild since the center's inception in 2002.(read this recent article in Mongabay about the rare prosecution of a wildlife trader, caught with a baby orangutan in a bag.)

"We refer to these orangutans," says McKelson, "as the 'lucky survivors.'"

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14 Jul

Four Baby Leopards Stranded in Fire Get the Sweetest Reunion

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from

Four tiny leopard cubs have been reunited with their anxious mother after being saved from near-certain death.

Warning: Graphic images below.

Farmers in Maharashtra, India, were burning a sugarcane field recently — a common practice used to clear fields after a harvest — when they were shocked to hear what sounded like cat screams.

Wildlife SOS

They found a group of four little leopard babies lying in the field. Their mother had apparently been frightened away by the fire. Rescue group Wildlife SOS and the local Forest Department jumped into action, hurrying the babies away from the fire and to safety.

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13 Jul

Rare Cat Appears Where No One's Ever Seen Him Before

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from  

rarely-seen endangered species was just spotted in a region where it has never been documented before.

The endangered snow leopard has been photographed for the first time in the Kumaon Himalayas of Northern India. The photograph was captured 4,100 meters above sea level in Bageshwar, reports Hindustan Times.

With the leopard's newly documented presence, the forest department will be able to "prepare [a] better conservation strategy" for this wild cat, according to Vipul Maurya, who studies snow leopards.

Uttarakhand Forest Department

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13 Jul

Elephant Rescued at Age 70 Celebrates Her Newfound Freedom

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

A 70-year-old elephant is finally learning how to be free.

Noi Nah, known as the grandmother of the Elephant Nature Park rescue and rehabilitation center in Thailand, was rescued last month from the country's tourist industry.

At first, thin and worn, Noi Nah still carried the anger and distrust she'd learned from her life as an animal being used for human entertainment.

But a month later, this grandma looks almost like a different elephant.

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27 Feb

Meet Three Treehouse Masters That Aren’t Pete Nelson

You didn’t think Pete Nelson was the only treehouse designer in America, did you? Pete is only one member of a tight-knit, global community of builders that are redefining the conventional and pushing the boundaries of what society thinks of treehouses.

In tonight’s Treehouse Masters special, Ultimate Treehouses III, we’ll join Pete on a road trip across America to meet three inspiring treehouse builders that have left a lasting impression on him. They are:

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25 Feb

Massive, 280-Pound Wels Catfish Caught in Italy

Just when you thought we’ve seen all the catfish in the world, this behemoth makes its way out of the water and into the news.

Fisherman Dino Ferrari poses with the wels catfish he caught in Italy's Po Delta region.

While fishing in Italy’s Po Delta, Dino Ferrari caught a massive wels catfish, weighing in at 280 pounds and measuring 8 feet, 8 inches in length.

It is believed that Ferrari’s catch could break the record for biggest catfish ever caught with a humble rod and line, according to the Daily Mail.

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18 Sep

Animal Planet Takes Search for Sasquatch Worldwide

Great news for Sasquatch enthusiasts everywhere! Early this afternoon, Animal Planet announed a whopping TWENTY new episodes of its hit series Finding Bigfoot set to premiere Sunday, November 11th at 10PM E/P. 

One big change of pace this go around is that for the first time, the team expand their search in North America and beyond to investigate the sasquatch phenomenon known as "yowies" in Australia and the "orang-pendek" of Indonesia.  

In addition to their global jaunts, the team members will participate in a special “pre-show” special airing Sunday, November 11th at 9PM E/P before the premiere episodeModerated by Animal Planet executive producer Keith Hoffman (you may recognize Keith from his Hillbilly Handfishin' adventures). The special brings the team together in an informal setting to discuss the investigations in greater detail and to provide insights and tips not shared in the show.

Which location are you most excited for? What sorts of questions would you love to see the team answer? Sound off in the comments! 

Check out video from the most recent episodes of Finding Bigfoot! 

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