Bites at Animal Planet


6 Oct

New Designer Pigs are Tiny, Cute and VERY Expensive

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Eager buyers already shell out hundreds of dollars for pet "teacup" pigs, and are often shocked when their so-called micro pigs grow to a hundred pounds (or more). Many of those pigs wind up in need of new homes when their misinformed owners realize they're not equipped for such a large, demanding animal.

Now scientists in China have gone and made the whole situation even messier by breeding a new kind of genetically altered mini-pig, Nature reports.

Beijing Genomics Institute, or BGI, originally bred the genetically altered mini-pigs as test subjects, but quickly realized that there was money to be made by selling them as pets.

To keep them small, scientists artificially "turned off" a growth hormone receptor gene, stunting their size.

The new pigs will be only about 30 pounds at most, and will cost about $1,600. The company even plans to allow buyers to "customize" their new pet by choosing the color and pattern of his or her coat.

"Teacup" pigs are often kept small through inbreeding, which is its own type of genetic modification, or by keeping piglets permanently malnourished. These new designer pigs are being kept small because of work that's happening in a laboratory. Either way, the results are the same — more little pigs being sold to families who may or may not be able to properly care for them.

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6 Oct

Snack Time Turns Intense as Guinea Pig Sisters Reach the Final Bite

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

A tasty treat is always best when shared with a friend — except maybe as the tasty treat nears its end.

Like many siblings, guinea pig sisters Gracie and Suzie seem to love nothing more than spending snack time together. Well, to a point. In this video uploaded to Facebook, the snow-white sisters are seen happily enjoying a nibble on the same leafy green, putting them on a collision course to a less-than-sweet little smooch as they both vie for the final bite.

No fairy tale ending here, but we love it just the same. Watch more adorable pets in slow motion below.

6 Oct

Man Spends $4,500 for 'World's Biggest' Puppy Then He Gives Him Up

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Bred to be a trusty guard dog, a puppy who was recently surrendered to a shelter in England is in need of a home. His name is Tzar. And he's possibly the biggest puppy in the entire world.

At only 10 months old, he already weighs a whopping 140 pounds. A Caucasian Ovcharka — a rare breed originally used by farmers to protect flocks of sheep from wild animals and later used as guard dogs — Tzar was imported to England from Russia by a man who paid over $4,500 dollars for him.

Then the man simply gave him up.

"We believe Tzar is the biggest puppy in the world," Kathy Trout, of West Yorkshire Dog Rescue, told The Mirror. "It's going to take a special kind of person to look after him. You cannot have a dog like this running loose," but she added that Tzar "is a great big silly puppy and is totally adorable."

According to Trout, Tzar eats about $455 of food per month, and he'll likely eat even more as he grows to be full size, probably about 225 pounds.

Trout has her doubts that Tzar, whose breed has been stereotyped as being aggressive, in the right hands, could hurt anyone. "He is as soft as butter ... I don't think he could ever be aggressive, he is just a big teddy."

Check out more adoptable pups. They're live!

Live video by Animal Planet L!ve

5 Oct

Moose Fight Filmed in Alaskan Neighborhood [VIDEO]

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.01.28 PM

A father and son were treated with ringside seats to what could be Alaska’s fight of the century.

Only in Alaska will you find two moose going at it in a random driveway.

VIDEO: Rutting moose duke it out in Anchorage subdivision

"My son and I had front row seats," says Bill Tyra -- who captured these 2 moose duking it out in a South #Anchorage subdivision.FULL video:

Posted by KTVA 11 News on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bill and Josh Tyra captured the moment, which was shared by local news affiliate, KTVA Alaska. The rut (that’s the word experts describe these moose confrontations) begins randomly in the driveway, before spilling out to the street.

“My son and I had front row seats,” said Tyra, who filmed the encounter from behind a car, according to KTVA.

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3 Oct

Homeless Kittens Born Without Eyelids Need Lifesaving Surgery

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from

In late August, two tiny kittens fighting for their lives were found stuck in a drainage pipe in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The kittens were rescued and rushed to safety — but rescuers soon realized they had a much more serious problem on their hands.

When found, the kittens, now named Anna and Elsa, were terrified and filthy, and rescuers assumed getting them cleaned up, fed and loved would do the trick. However, the kittens suffer from a rare congenital condition called agenesis, according to a press release from MSPCA-Angell. The kittens were born without eyelids, and would need a major intervention in order to lead a normal life.


Anna and Elsa now need surgery to essentially reconstruct their eyelids. Dr. Martin Coster is slated to perform the surgery on October 5, according to MSPCA-Angell, during which he will take tissue from the kittens' lower lips and attach it to the muscles that allow them to blink. If the surgery is not performed, irritation from their lack of eyelids could eventually lead to complete blindness. 


The surgery will cost over $2,000, but no expense is being spared to help save these precious lives. "We're pulling out all the stops for Anna and Elsa so they can enjoy a long and healthy life in an adoptive home," Alyssa Krieger, adoption center manager at MSPCA-Angell, said in a press release. The surgery is being funded by Spike's Fund, a resource for homeless animals.

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3 Oct

Terrified Little Dog Rescued from Worst Place Imaginable

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

This tiny, homeless pup was living in a trench next to a biohazard disposal company, curling up each night in a dusty pile of trash.

The rescuers from Hope for Paws, a California dog rescue, often save dogs from some pretty dirty places, but this case was particularly heartbreaking. The first day they came for the little dog he ran right up to them...

... and then ran away, terrified. They lost him when he ran out of the other side of the dirty, trash-filled trench. 

The next day, the two rescuers set themselves up at different ends of the trench, so the tiny dog wouldn't be able to get past them.

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3 Oct

Starving Dogs Rescued From Life of Fighting Wild Hogs to Death

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Deep in pockets of the rural South, there's a secret problem no one is talking about — hog-dog fighting. It's a gruesome practice in which spectators flock to organized events, place bets on animals, and then watch as dogs and wild hogs are made to fight to the bloody death.

But rescuers from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are trying to do something about it — by saving one dog at a time.


"We first started finding out about it 15 years ago," HSUS's Chris Schindler, senior manager of animal fighting response, told The Dodo. The hog-dog fights were advertised as "family entertainment" and are often referred to by participants as "rodeos."

"This [hog] is basically being ripped apart by dogs," Schindler said. "People would bring children."

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2 Oct

Mountain Lion So Spooked He Climbs 35-Foot-High Pole

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

High power lines are a common stomping ground for winged animals, but a mountain lion in Lucerne Valley, California, decided to try out a perch typically claimed by birds.

The lion, who was spotted on Tuesday, was reportedly spooked by something — either another mountain lion, dogs or people — and scaled the pole to get away from them. Someone snapped a photo, and it quickly went viral.

This unusual image of a mountain lion on top of a power pole was captured by a photographer in the Lucerne Valley...

Posted by KTLA 5 News on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Reactions to the strange sight ranged from "WOW!! Amazing sight!" to "Officials warning residents to be on alert," often in the same breath. But the overall consensus was to hope for the big guy's safe landing.

These wild animals are incredibly strong and this mountain lion's brethren have weathered more dangerous trials than this one, so it's likely this mountain lion will be perfectly fine after his fright.

By Tuesday night, he'd given up his avian dreams, vacated his post and disappeared back into the wild.

Learn more about mountain lions and their incredible agility below.

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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30 Sep

Smart Bird Brings His Hurt Friend to the Man He Knows Will Help

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Some people think of pigeons as a nuisance, but this sweet video reminds us just how intelligent they are.

Redditor Rydogger shared the video with an explanation, saying that his grandfather used to go down to the pier near his home to feed the pigeons, but "for some reason, the city did not like it. They said they were going to gas the birds and kill them. So my grandfather, being the kind person he is, decided to feed them on the roof of his house."


Now every day at around 3:30 p.m., the birds all begin to line up along the roof — getting ready for their friend to feed them.

But Rydogger's grandfather doesn't just feed the birds, he knows them all individually and helps them out when they get hurt.

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