Bites at Animal Planet


10 Mar

Rare Leatherback Sea Turtle Rescued from South Carolina Shore


A rare leatherback sea turtle found itself on a South Carolina beach Saturday, becoming one of just a few live leatherback strandings reported in the United States.

The turtle, named Yawkey based on where it was found (Yawkey South Island Reserve) South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital to receive treatment, according to a press release. The turtle is a juvenile, under 10 years old, and weighs in at 475 pounds.

It is unclear how Yawkey became stranded. According to the same press release, during the spring and fall seasons, leatherback sea turtles migrate through South Carolina's coastal waters. They can currently be found nesting off of the Florida coast - a key reason why the Aquarium hopes to release Yawkey back into the wild within the next two days.

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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.

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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15 Jul

Untold Stories of the ER: Snapping Turtle Latches on and Won't Let Go

Our friends over at Discovery Fit & Health shared this crazy video with us from Untold Stories of the ER.

Patient Bo was noodling for catfish (just like our friends on Hillbilly Handfishin'!) when a 25-pound alligator snapping turtle latched onto his neck. Shouldn't be a problem to remove it, right?

Wrong. If the doctor harms or, worse, kills the turtle during removal, the catfishers risk serving jailtime according to the game warden who accompanied the group to the emergency room. Not to mention that pesky little detail of how strong the turtle is and the fact that it can hold its breath for an extended period of time.

Check out the video above, then watch some more awesome turtle videos.

29 May

Amputee Sea Turtle Gets Second Chance With Jet Fighter Fins


Hofesh's new fins enables him to swim and float. (Photo from Ariel Schalit/AP)

Just call this sea turtle Maverick! Thanks to some good Samaritans and a little military ingenuity, an amputee green sea turtle can swim again with the help of artificial fins.

A bad encounter with a fishing net cost Hofesh (which means “freedom” in English) his two left flippers, leaving him unable to lift his head and breathe, according to the Huffington Post. But with a little help from Israeli design student, Shlomi Gez, and the team at the Israel Turtle Rescue Center, Hofesh can now swim and balance with a pair of artificial fins built specifically for him.

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19 Sep

LIVE ACTION! Live Tweet with Turtleman and Neal This Sunday @ 9PM!


Calling all Turtle fans!  Love LIVE ACTION?! Try LIVE tweeting! Catch an all-new episode on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m. e/p and live tweet with Turtleman and Neal!


Use the hashtag #turtleman to tweet during the show -- and YOUR tweet might make it on air! Ernie and Neal will be tweeting along with everyone and checking out what you have to say. Make it good!


Watch More Call of the Wildman Videos >>




Betty Chu is a Digital Media Executive Producer for Follow her on Twitter @beddychew or Facebook for the cutest animal posts EVER.

27 Jun

Two Heads Are Better Than One!: Two-Headed Turtle Born at San Antonio Zoo


Credit: San Antonio Zoo

Check this out! An adorable two-headed turtle was born June 18, at the San Antonio Zoo - which means she's twice as cute.They've named her Thelma and Louise - perfect, right?

In a statement, Craig Pelke, Curator of Curator of Reptiles, Amphibians, and Aquatics, said that while the birth of a two-headed turtle is uncommon, it's not unheard of. In fact, bicephaly occurs most commonly in snakes in turtles and is the result of twins that did not separate.

The turtles went on display June 25 with its three other siblings born in the same brood.Thelma and Louis appear to be healthy - eating from both mouths, swimming and walking.

See more photos of Thelma and Louise!

To see more live turtle action, tune into Call of the Wildman, every Sunday at 9PM E/P!

Jodi Westrick is a Digital Media Producer for Follow her on Twitter @jodilyn and/or Instagram @jodilynw for photos of and posts about her ridiculously cute cats, Otis and Etta.

26 Sep

Swim with Sea Turtles ... From the Comfort of Your Monitor!


You can now explore the ocean depths and discover marine creatures for yourself with Google Street View!


Google is taking visitors swimming through coral reefs alongside sea turtles and other marine life with Caitlin Seaview Survey - and, it's pretty stunning. You can check out six different locations around the world, including this reef off the coast of Australia.

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13 Jun

Gettin' Wild on the Tonight Show, YI YI YI YI YI YI YI!!!


Guess who paid a Mr. Jay Leno a visit this evening? 

Here's a hint: YI YI YI YI YI YI YI!! 

You guessed it: Turtleman and Neal dropped by The Tonight Show for a wild ol' time!  See pics from tonight:


Always come prepared for an evening with Jay!

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7 Jun

What Would the Wildman Do?

Having trouble with the ladies? Just ask yourself "WWWD?"

What Would the Wildman Do?



7 Jun

Call of the Wildman, Starring … Jared Albert?


When he signed on for a publicity role with Animal Planet, Jared may not have anticipated he’d be wading into murky waters, to do barehanded battle with snapping turtles.  Watch as he wrestles with his first foe … Think he’s got what it takes for a starring role?  Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!

When I originally booked a flight to Kentucky to staff an Associated Press interview with Ernie Brown, Jr. (aka Turtleman), I had no intention of diving head first into a dirty pond to experience the Animal Planet "Surprisingly Human" brand face-to-face. But before I knew it, I had smelly mud up to my waist and a few inspiring "yiyiyis" in my ear…there was no turning back. Take a look above for a "rough cut" from my turtle rescue adventure with Turtleman. Will I submerge myself in unknown waters again? Well, there's always Hillbilly Handfishin'! Now that's live action!

Tune in to Animal Planet every Sunday night at 10 PM for new episodes of Call of the Wildman.


Jared Albert is a Publicist for Animal Planet.

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