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17 Sep

Tiny Hamster Takes On Competitive Eating Champion, Takeru Kobayashi

In one of the greatest internet moments known to mankind, a teeny, tiny hamster challenges the world-renowned competitive eating champion — master of all things hot and dog across all of Coney Island and the U.S. of A. — Takeru Kobayashi!

Can this hairball in miniature take down one of the greatest eaters the world has ever seen?! He may be petite but his appetite is not one to underestimate! Watch the unforgettable face-off:

Thank you, Internet. We <3 you, hamster ... and Kobayashi! WELL DONE.

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 Photo Credit: YouTube image

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  Photo Credit: YouTube image

Continue reading >

11 Sep

Bulldog Puppy, Late to the Party, Takes on #IceBucketChallenge

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Welp ... minus the bucket and water part. But this adorable clip is TOO CUTE to pass up!

Watch this precious little bulldog challenge one frigid adversary — brrrr! We'd much rather watch moments of cuteness like so, than dump a bucket of ice water over our heads.

We can't get enough cute bulldog clips here at Animal Planet HQ — here are a few awww-inspiring videos of the fun, silly and determined breed:

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9 Sep

Copperhead Gives Birth

Crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes are reptiles, and generally speaking, most reptiles lay eggs--but not all of them. Some snakes give birth to fully formed live young, just like mammals. Copperheads are one of them, and this time of year is birthing season for these beautifully camouflaged snakes.

At National Wildlife Federation, copperheads are causing quite a buzz. Our headquarters landscape is a Certified Wildlife Habitat, which means it is filled with native plants that provide food, cover and places to raise young for all sorts of wildlife. Several ponds offer a water source. The landscape is filled with songbirds, butterflies, frogs--and yes, snakes.

A few of my colleagues spotted a copperhead on their walk into the office earlier this week and sent an email out alerting others to the presence of the snake so folks could avoid the area. It was a great wildlife sighting and they snapped this picture of the gorgeous animal:

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Photo by Greg Hudson.

But that's not all that was going on. The snake was a female and she was there giving birth! The next day, several small snake skins were found in the exact location. Shortly after coming into the world, the tiny newborn snakes shed their skin and let us know that mom had given birth to her babies.

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6 Sep

Dog Books it for Ocean for One Last Summer Splash

If you've ever had a Labrador in your life, you're probably pretty aware of the fact that they LOVE the water.

Case in point, watch one Italiano pup named Walter make a run for it, straight for the sea - he knows the way! Summer may be over, but there's still time for one last dip in the ocean:

*SIGH* ... We know exactly how you feel, Walter!

Dog-loves-ocean
Photo: YouTube image

 

Visit our DOG BREED SELECTOR to learn more about the wonderful Labrador >>

 

6 Sep

Two Deer Ran Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Check out this video of two deer trotting across the Golden Gate Bridge during rush hour traffic yesterday. I mean, sometime you just gotta get places.

 

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

27 Aug

Hideously Cute Baby Bat Munches on Mealworms

Some animals are just so ugly that they are cute.

Here's a video of a tiny bat named Frank being raised by wildlife rehabilitators in Australia, happily munching on mealworms.

 

Continue reading >

25 Aug

Moray Eel Eats Lionfish

It's an eel-eat-fish world out there!  Check out this video below of a spotted moray eel attacking and eating a lionfish.  

Pay special attention to the eel's hunting technique. It bites the lionfish in the middle of its body and uses its double set of jaws to both hold and cut the lionfish in half. Then it pulls the lionfish through its coils and tears it in two. It's pretty amazing to watch!

 

Eel:1, Lionfish: 0!

Continue reading >

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.

 

9 Aug

RARE Wild Animals - Part 2

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Here is part two of my highlight on some of the rare wild animals the conservation organization Rare works to protect.  (See part one here.)

Yellow Eared Parrot
The population of the yellow-eared parrot is only about 1,000 since its rediscovery in 1998 near Roncesvalles, Colombia.  It is bright green with yellow ear patches and a dark, heavy bill. Considered critically endangered, it nests and lives among wax palms in a few areas of Colombia where it nests in the hollow trunks of the palm trees in cloud forests about 1800 – 3000 meters above sea level.  Its main food is fruit of the wax palm, which is itself an endangered species.  The yellow-eared parrot has declined dramatically in the face of hunting for food and habitat destruction for farming and cattle.

Here's more on this rare parrot species:

 

The bird’s habitat and survival are now better protected because of a Rare Pride campaign.  Water agreements have been forged between the government of Roncesvalles and the utility company, for watersheds supplying the town and several downstream locations. Water users pay a voluntary fee in their water bill that goes toward a water fund that provides an incentive for long-term owners to conserve the wilderness, forests and endangered yellow-eared parrot found in the area.   

Harlequin Frog
Colorful harlequin frogs are found in neotropics from Costa Rica to Bolivia. They belong to the genus Atelopus and include about 80 species.  Most live in forested mountains where rainfall is abundant, and most have only a small range or area where they live. Night-owls as well as daytimers, they are active 24/7.  Harlequin frogs are small-to-medium size amphibians (20-60 mm from the tip of the nose to the vent) with females always larger than males. Rising temperatures, habitat destruction, and the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus have wiped out dozens of species of harlequin frogs in recent years. Further, most of the harlequin frog species are listed as critically endangered.  

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Harlequin frog Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons. 

For several years Rare worked to protect water sources in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, which feed the urban and rural systems of water from different parts of the city of Cuenca and provide habitat for endangered species such as the frog Atelopus Nanay, commonly known as the harlequin frog Jambatu Black Boxes.  Nanay means sadness in Quechua, deriving from the extinction of many species of frogs in this region. 

The local utility started a small water fee to support conservation projects upstream.  The Pride campaign aimed to show creating such water agreements are a “win-win" for people and conservation.  Some of the Andes’ most valuable ecological indicators and most threatened inhabitants are myriad frog species whose populations are so imperiled that numbers do not even exist in science.  Rare developed strong relationships with the Cajas National Park to work together in the reproduction of the species of harlequin frog Jambatu the Black Boxes, including a plan for reintroduction in riparian forest areas once they achieve an appropriate degree of recovery.

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Harleguin frog photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons.

Pride campaigns use proven marketing techniques to move the hearts and minds of local communities, accelerating the adoption and increasing the sustainability of the solutions. Rare has conducted over 250 Pride campaigns in more than 50 countries, empowering local communities across geographies and cultures to shift from resource users to become natural asset managers.

To see Rare’s work all over the world, click here.

 

7 Aug

The Internet Cat Video Festival Is Every Cat Lovers's Dream!

You read that right, there is an Internet Cat Video Festival! On Thursday, August 14, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, to be precise! It's every cat lover's dream as attendees sit together and enjoy 75 minutes of the best cat videos the Internet has to offer. Oh, and did I mention there may be some surprise kitty celeb guests in attendance?

This year, one lucky kitty will receive the Golden Kitty, or the Viewer's Choice Award. Check out all of the finalists here, but here's a little taste of what's to come:

Can't make it to Minneapolis? Never fear, Animal Planet has you covered! We will be covering the entire event, from the pre-event activities to the actual show, via live stream. Starting at 7 pm EST on August 14, you can experience every purr-fect moment from the comfort of your own couch!

Don't want to wait until then? Well, we have highlights and clips from the previous festivals waiting for you! You can also get updates about the festival on Twitter!

Get excited, just like Ohagi here:

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Don't forget to check out some of the fan photos from the 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival!

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Oh, and the kitty cuteness doesn't end at the festival! Too Cute! Pint Sized airs two days later on Saturday, August 16 at 8/7c!

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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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