For months, construction workers would show up at their North Carolina job site like clockwork. And every morning, they were met by the same sorrowful scene from a yard across the street.
A dog had been living in a muddy pen, on a Hendersonville property slated for demolition. He would run to the fence, his tail wagging feverishly. The construction workers were his only visitors and rarely saw anyone emerge from the house, except to occasionally throw dry dog kibble over the fence, where it scattered in the mud.
The workers would share their sandwiches with him. Other days, they'd bring spare construction materials and build him a makeshift shelter from the elements.
The dog, who they named Demo, was all licks and gratitude for every scrap of compassion. At some point, a worker, worried about the dog's condition, called an animal rescue.
How great are these wildlife images from World Wildlife Fund? Here's more on how they were captured and how they are helping in wildlife conservation from WWF:
"Will Burrard-Lucas (the inventor of the BeetleCam!), set up five camera traps and gathered images over a three month period to secure high-definition photographs of shy, skittish carnivores. On assignment for WWF, Burrard-Lucas captured unique photos of servals, hyenas, bush pigs, lions and elephants in the Namibia region of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, known as KAZA.
The images will help WWF scientists better understand wildlife migration patterns and subsequently establish additional protected areas. Camera traps are a preferred method of surveying land use and movement of large carnivores because they don’t interfere with wildlife’s natural, daily activities. The traps are able to collect valuable images of wildlife without a photographer needing to be present.
Encompassing 109 million acres and crossing five southern Africa countries—Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe— KAZA is the largest transboundary conservation area in the world. It provides habitat for nearly 50% of Africa’s elephant population.
WWF works with the governments of KAZA and also helps local communities to manage and benefit from the sustainable management of their natural resources. Species conservation and nature-based enterprise development are also part of our ongoing work in KAZA. A KAZA Carnivore Conservation Coalition is in the process of being formed following the very successful Carnivore Conservation Workshop held in October 2015 in Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe."
While out for a walk along a beach in Western Australia recently, this friendly pup named Koda had a completely drama-free encounter with a large shark swimming near shore. Rather than run to dry land for safety, as some skittish humans might, the dog instead bounded out into the surf as if to greet the curious creature passing by while keeping a safe distance.
Animal zoo escapes are rare here in the United States, only happening about five times a year. However, when an animal does get on the loose, the zoo keepers need to know how too wrangle them.
But how can zoo keepers practice wrangling a wild animal without actually letting a wild animal free? Zoos usually have a written protocol, but in practice catching a rogue animal is easier said than done. Remember when the black and white llamas escaped a assisted living facility in Arizona? Just llamas were a struggle, imagine if it was a lion or cheetah!
Well, the Tokyo Zoo has created it's own system of capturing animals on the loose... and it involves a staff member and a zebra costume.
Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but pretty close. In this drill, a staff member dresses up and runs around the street like a zebra would. The rest of the staff practices herding capturing the "zebra" in a net.
screenshot from Daily Mail Online Video
This annual drill may seem silly at first, but it is actually good practice if an escape ever were to happen.
screenshot from Daily Mail Online Video
This annual drill has become a spectacle to the locals. People crowd around and take photos of the peculiar procedure.
Baby Moyo was found when he was only a few days old, nearly drowned after being swept away from his family while trying to cross a river. He was brought to Wild Is Life, where Roxy Danckwerts, the sanctuary's founder, became his everything.
When Moyo was still very small, he used to follow Danckwerts around her house, never wanting to let her out of his sight. Now 14-months-old, Moyo still loves to follow Roxy everywhere ... but his rapidly growing size makes this a little tricky.
The only home one pit bull knew was a homeless camp near a busy freeway.
Sharra Platt, a volunteer from Karma Rescue, started seeing the white and black pit bull whenever she took the Crenshaw Boulevard exit on the Santa Monica (I-10) Freeway in Los Angeles. The dog would often be lying on a pile of old clothes, or sitting beside a man as he panhandled at the corner.
Platt figured someone was taking care of the pit bull, but she wanted to make sure the dog was healthy and had enough food and water. But going into the homeless camp took courage. "I was very tentative about going in," Platt told The Dodo. "Then one day I saw two women in there, so I decided this was the safest it's going to get."
Platt introduced herself to the camp residents and learned that the pit bull was a female dog named Clarissa. She looked healthy, but there was no food or water out for her. So Platt started visiting every few days to bring Clarissa food, make sure she had clean water and, of course, to give her some affection.
At first, Clarissa seemed wary of people, probably because she wasn't used to getting much attention. But each time Platt visited, Clarissa became more and more affectionate. "She'd crawl on my lap every time after the first few visits," Platt said. "It became clear to me that she craved attention."
Then everything changed for Clarissa. Her main caretakers at the camp moved to another part of Los Angeles. They told Platt they'd take Clarissa, but they ended up abandoning her for three days without food, water or shelter.
Thankfully Platt noticed, and she phoned Karma Rescue, getting permission to pick Clarissa up. "When I put a leash on her, walked out with her and put her in my car, she was so happy and had a huge smile on her face," Platt said.
Yet Clarissa still had a long road ahead of her. When Karma Rescue placed her in a temporary foster home, she developed anxiety, and would "scream" whenever she saw another dog, making it impossible for Clarissa to attend adoption events.
Instead of giving up, Karma Rescue ended up spending thousands of dollars for Clarissa to be trained at K9s Only, a training facility in Los Angeles, where Clarissa learned social skills and got basic training. It was here — at the training facility — that Clarissa met her future sister.
"There was a dog named Penny who would go to K9s Only, and her owners noticed that Clarissa looked a lot like their dog, but with opposite markings," Platt explained. "So they asked to meet her, and the meeting went well. The trainers started walking the dogs together, and Penny's owners had the dogs go into play care together."
Penny and Clarissa hit it off so well, the family adopted Clarissa. Now Clarissa enjoys walks with her sister, snuggles on her new owners' laps and long snoozes on the sofa. But whenever Platt visits, Clarissa makes it quite clear she has never forgotten her.
Clarissa's story has a happy ending, but other pit bulls aren't so fortunate. Pit bull mixes are one of the most common types of dogs who end up in shelters in the Los Angeles area, and many of them end up being euthanized. According to Pit Bull Rescue Central, pit bulls comprise of 40 percent of all dogs in the 12 registered Los Angeles shelters, and 200 pit bulls are euthanized every day just in Los Angeles County.
Karma Rescue is a non-profit group that rescues pit bulls, as well as other dog breeds and cats. They rely completely on charitable donations from the public to provide their rescues with food, housing and veterinary care. To support Karma Rescue, please visit its website.
Brianna and Ivy are proof that some dogs and people are meant to be together, making this adoption extra special for Mariah.
We think of jaguars as big cats of the South American tropics, and they do indeed roam the rainforests and vast wetlands on that continent. But they once also ranged as far north as the United States, from the desert Southwest, west to California and east to Louisiana--that is, until humans hunted them to local extinction decades ago.
In recent years, however, evidence that these spotted carnivores could eventually reclaim their former habitat has been cropping up. A fleeting visual encounter here, possible footprints there, and even the occasional photo. Since 2013 a male jaguar named El Jefe has been photographed living in Arizona's Santa Rita Mountains outside of Tucson.
Now, the first video footage of El Jefe has been recorded and released to the public. The video, recorded by Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity, is part of a conservation project aimed at protecting habitat in the region for jaguars and their smaller feline cousin, the ocelot. El Jefe is the only known jaguar surviving in the United States, and unfortunately, his habitat is now at risk of destruction at the hands of a Canadian mining company.
Jaguars are impressive predators and the largest cat found in the New World, followed by the cougar, which shares its range. Only tigers and lions are larger. Jaguars are opportunistic predators, feeding on everything from capybara and deer to birds, large snakes and even alligator-like caiman, which they dispatch with a skull-crushing bite to the head.
When Blanquita's family brought home a new baby, she wasn't so sure about the whole thing ... until she realized that the baby came with super awesome toys, including a swing.
Suddenly, the whole baby thing didn't seem so bad after all.
Of course, just because Blanquita loves the baby's toys doesn't necessarily mean she loves the baby ... and I have a feeling she's probably going to be a little peeved when she has to let the baby have a turn.
But hey, at least she's making an effort. Baby steps, right?
Bringing anything new in to a situation with a cat can be tricky, but it is especially so with a newborn baby. Jackson discusses what to do when you bring home a baby for the first time.