Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Video: Koala Seen Running Down The Hall At Edinburgh Zoo

If you're looking for a bit of cuteness today, look no further to Yabbra the koala. In this adorable YouTube video, the animal is spotted behind the scenes at the Edinburgh Zoo. The clip shows Yabbra wandering the halls of the zoo after he hangs out in his outdoor sanctuary. Like most Koalas, he can sleep for around 22 hours in a single day. But when he's awake, he's really awake.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Video: Sleeping Hummingbird Snores Just Like Us

Okay, so the little lady isn't technically snoring -- but she's still adorable. Reddit users got an unexpected treat this weekend when a video of a sleeping hummingbird -- a female Amethyst-throated Sunangel to be exact -- spread like wildfire on the site's front page.

Monday, February 27, 2012

4 Healthy Games To Play With Your Cat

Never underestimate the power of play for your indoor cat: Cats not only need but enjoy regular play sessions. Just don't expect your Persian to revel in a game of fetch, and forget trying to engage your Siamese in a friendly game of tug-of-war.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Video: Ruby The Giraffe Born At England's Marwell Zoo

In front of an audience of roughly 60 people, baby Ruby entered the world at England's Marwell Zoo. The baby giraffe is the first to be born to Irsula, the zoo's resident giraffe. The zoo is celebrating it's 40th year, and Ruby's name was chosen to reflect the stone signifying the anniversary.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Video: 27-Pound Lobster 'Rocky' Caught 5 Miles Off The Coast Of Maine

The giant weighs in at a whopping 27 pounds and has been christened "Rocky.  Rocky won't be boiled and served with drawn butter, though. Robert Malone, the shrimper who caught him, donated him to the Maine State Aquarium. He's the biggest lobster ever to be brought into the aquarium by a solid four pounds, and the largest one people can recall ever being caught in Maine. But his stay in the aquarium has already come to an end: he was released into the Atlantic yesterday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Potamites Montanicola, New Lizard Species, Discovered In Andes

Researchers have discovered a new species of lizard in a strange place. The brightly colored, water-loving lizards live in the Andes Mountains in southern Peru -- an odd place to find them, scientists say, because of the chilly conditions.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baby Aardvark Born At Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo announced the arrival of the first aardvark born at the suburban Chicago facility in a decade Wednesday.  According to the zoo, the baby aardvark was born on Jan. 12 at 4.5 pounds, and was already 13 pounds on Wednesday. Its mother, Jessi, and its father, Hoover, were part of a breeding program and on loan from other zoos.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Video: Kansas City Zoo Gorillas Briefly Escape Their Enclosure

A recent escape at the Kansas City Zoo may have shocked some visitors, but they were never in harm's way. Half-brothers Mbundi and Ntondo -- two western lowland gorillas who each way over 400 pounds --escaped from their enclosure Sunday, prompting zookeepers to lock down parts of the zoo for about three hours, reported The Kansas City Star.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Having a Dog is Good for Your Health According to Igor Purlantov

Top 10 Health Reasons to Have a Dog According to Igor Purlantov

Although the phrase a “Man’s Best Friend” only dates back to the 19th century, dogs have long played a key role in the lives of humans says animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov.  It is believed that modern day dogs were domesticated from gray wolves around 15,000 years ago.  Since that time, dogs have become best friends with both men and women and have gained increasingly popularity throughout the years according to Igor Purlantov.  

Adding to the increased popularity of dogs is the fact that many people enjoy their companionship.  Along with providing companionship, there are numerous health benefits of having a dog in your household says Igor Purlantov.  Here is a list of some of those health benefits that may surprise even the greatest dog lover:

Improved Social Interactions
Dogs are a great natural conversation starter and provide an easy way for people to socially interact with others.  Dogs are also great for making love connections between people especially for those that may otherwise be socially shy.

Great for Mind and Soul
It has been shown that people with a serious illness such as cancer are far less likely to suffer from depression when they have a dog.  The health benefits are particularly good when the person has a strong attachment to their dog.

Good for Blood Pressure
People with dogs are believed to have lower blood pressure than those without.  One study showed that stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than those without a dog. 

Increased Serotonin and Dopamine
Studies have shown that playing with a dog can raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, usually achieved with drug use, and thus providing an all natural way to increase feelings of pleasure and calm.

Asthma and Allergy Prevention in Children
Studies have shown that early and regular contact with dogs can help children avoid developing a number of respiratory problems including asthma.  There is also evidence that living with a dog can also help prevent allergies in children. 

Improved Immune System
Having a dog has been shown to boost your immune system and also improve how it functions.  It is believed that dogs often have a very good sense of when a person is ill and are great at providing comfort to help a person feel better.  

Improved Mood and Reduced Depression
Simply interacting with a dog can improve your mood and help make you feel better in general.   Also, having a dog can help relieve depression since playing with a dog helps take your mind off your issues and allows you to focus on something else.

Reduced Loneliness
Having a dog has been shown to help people that are feeling lonely, especially those who are single or widowed.  Having a dog also provides a connection and allows for someone feeling lonely to be able to spend time with another living being. 

Good for the Heart
It has been shown in several studies that heart attack patients who have a dog survived longer than those without. Also, males who have a dog have less sign of heart disease including lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than other males that do not.

Helping with Age
Walking a dog has been shown to provide both exercise and companionship for the elderly.  Studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog in the home.  Some insurance companies even ask their clients over age 75 if they have a dog as part of their medical screening as it is often seen as a good sign.

With all of these heath benefits, it is no surprise that a dog can be both a man and woman’s best friend says Igor Purlantov.  Along with providing companionship, having a dog provides numerous health benefits including helping you age so why not go to your local animal shelter and find a new best friend to age gracefully together with as you enjoy each other’s company.  

Video: Jack Hanna's Animals Go Wild, Taking Over 'Late Show With David Letterman'

With most late night shows following a pretty strict unwritten formula, things can seem fairly predictable most times. That's why it's always a lot of fun when animals get introduced into the mix. They simply will not follow expected protocols, and that very unpredictability makes for some brilliant spontaneous television, as with Jack Hanna's latest trip to "Late Show".

Monday, February 20, 2012

Video: Puppy Teaches Baby To Use Teething Ring

Here's one way to teach your baby how to use a teething ring -- just wait for the dog to show him! This 5-month-old has a rather elaborate toy to practice with, complete with all the colors and textures that babies love. And, now he has the right teething mentor too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Video: Gigantor River Worm Spotted In Iceland?

A massive snakelike creature was captured on video this week by an amateur cameraman slithering through the icy waters of Lake Lagarfljot in Iceland. Resembling a cross between a monster worm from hell and a loch ness monster, locals and the world alike are befuddled by what is dwelling just beneath the surface. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Video: Jealous Alpha Male Monkey Attempts Acrobatic Attack On Man

According to YouTube user NRucker5, a recent trip to a cafe inside the Memphis Zoo turned into a surprise encounter with one very jealous, very acrobatically talented monkey. "The manager of the cafe told me that the alpha male monkey noticed me the second I walked in the door and started going crazy, because, as the alpha male, he feels threatened by tall males," NRucker5 wrote in the video's description. "So she told me to go stand by the window and turn my back on him and that he would 'attack' me. Or, at least attempt to.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Video: French Bulldog Adopts 6 Wild Baby Piglets

Six darling little piglets have found a new surrogate mom in a sweet-natured, maternal eight-year old French bulldog named Baby. The Lehnitz animal sanctuary outside Berlin told MSNBC that Baby took straight to the 3-day old wild boar piglets when they were brought in last Saturday, shivering from cold.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Atlantic City Horse Diving Revival Scrapped After Protests

What happened in Atlantic City's past should stay in Atlantic City's past-- especially if it involves high-diving horses. That was the decision made by Anthony Catanoso, owner of the Steel Pier amusement park, who scrapped plans for a comeback of the legendary Jersey Shore high-diving horses attraction in response to the cries of outraged animal rights advocates.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly Vanishes From Last Florida Refuge; Iguanas Blamed, Hunted

For more than a year, Bahia Honda State Park biologist Jim Duquesnel traversed the nature sanctuary with two hopes. He wanted to see a Miami blue butterfly and rid the Florida Keys outpost of as many iguanas as he could. The reason: The Central American invader may be driving the Miami blue into extinction by eating the leaves where it lays its eggs – a bit of butterfly caviar in every bite.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Westminster Dog Show 2012: Pekingese, Dalmatian, German Shepherd Win Big

Wobbling the whole way, a people-pleasing Pekingese made quite a walk down the green carpet at Madison Square Garden. A Dalmatian and a German shepherd were in more of a hurry to win at America's most prestigious dog show. Malachy the Peke drew cheers that grew louder with every tiny step Monday night and repeated as the top toy at the Westminster Kennel Club event. Pink tongue peeking out from his black face, he beat a prize affenpinscher called Banana Joe in a most competitive group.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love it Forward: Valentine’s Day Ideas for Pets

Great Ways to Give Back and Help Animals According to Igor Purlantov 

Throughout the year animal lovers are always looking for ways to give back to animal shelters or charities according to animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov.  Valentine’s Day is a great time for people to show their love by giving back to their favorite animal charity or shelter in honor of their beloved pet.  

When researching an animal charity, a good place to start is Charity Navigator (  As for animal shelters, it is always good to first ask family and friends as there is a good chance one of them has adopted a pet from a local shelter either directly or through wonderful websites such as Pet Finder ( says Igor Purlantov

Once you have chosen an animal charity or local animal shelter that you would like to give back to, figure out how you can reasonably help, which can including donating time or money.  Here is a list of ten great ways you can help out your local animal shelter or charity for Valentine’s Day or during any other time of the year according to Igor Purlantov.

10)        Donate a bag of dry cat or dog food to your local shelter or charity.  You can buy large bags of dry pet food at retailers such as Costco that should help feed the bellies of several animals.

9)         Ensure that bedtime is extra cozy for shelter animals and donate old sheets, towels and t-shirts.

8)         Raise awareness in your neighborhood on the importance of having pets tagged since animal shelters spend a lot of time and money trying to reunite lost pets with their families. 

7)         Post a photo of a shelter pet in need of adoption on your Facebook page or other social media page.

6)         Make a financial donation to charities such as the ASPCA or to your local shelter to help ensure that all homeless pets find a new home.      

5)         Volunteer to help with assorted tasks including feeding the animals, keeping their kennels clean, walking dogs, and brushing and grooming cats and dogs so they look their best when they are up for adoption.

4)         Offer to collect any supplies that a shelter may need including newspapers, books about animals and how to care for them, pens, pencils, and other office supplies.

3)         Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered and encourage family, neighbors and friends to spay or neuter their pets as well.

2)         Always mention your local animal shelter whenever you hear someone say they are thinking of adopting a pet, whether it is a cat, a dog or even a rabbit.  

1)         Make special toys to keep shelter animals socialized and happy which will in turn make it easier for them to be adopted.  You can use tennis balls for puppies or pipe-cleaners to craft toys for kitties.

Panda Webcams At China Conservation And Research Center

What's better than videos of giant pandas? Live panda webcams! The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Ya'an City, China has partnered with for several live webcams from the world's "largest facility for preserving and re-introducing the species to the wild," according to an press release.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Uggie Takes Home Top Prize At Pawscars

Who needs an Oscar? Not Uggie!  Though the 10-year-old star of The Artist is slated to perform at the Academy Awards on Feb. 26, he's one step ahead of his costars and crew. On Thursday, the American Humane Association gave the Jack Russell terrier the Pawscar for Best Scene Stealer. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Artificial Beaks Helping To Save Hornbills From Extinction In India

For centuries the tribal Nyishi people in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh have worn the magnificent beaks of hornbill birds as a part of their traditional headgear, called pudum, which are considered a sign of manhood and tribal identity. Hornbills are the state birds of Arunachal Pradesh, but overhunting for pudum threatened all five resident species with regional extinction at the end of the 20th century.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Video: Baby Bear And Wolf Play Together At Woodland Zoo Gift Shop

They were unlikely friends, a grizzly bear cub and a wolf pup. But the pair shared a friendship that lasted beyond their days tumbling around the gift shop at the Woodland Zoo as youngsters.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Video: Sick Puppies Walk To Human Hospital, Wait In Lobby

In what may be one of the most 'aww'-inducing stories of the day, two sick dogs from Corpus Christi, Texas, made their way to a human hospital and waited patiently in the lobby, KIII TV reports. According to the station, hospital staff treated the "emaciated" pups, and a doctor carried them to the station's van, which then transported them to the Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Video: Cats Vs. Vacuum Cleaners: The Epic Battle Continues

The complicated, fascinating relationship between cats and vacuum cleaners is well documented on the Internet. Some cats love 'em, some hate 'em. But rest assured that no matter what, it will always be adorable one way or another when vacuums and cats come together. We collected our favorite videos of cats facing off against their old foes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Video: 'Houdini,' Runaway Goat In Australia, Prompts Wild Chase With Officials

You may be familiar with a wild goose chase, but have you ever heard of a wild goat chase? Police in Melbourne, Australia learned firsthand this week just how frustrating such a chase can be. After four hours, officials finally captured a goat that was running through traffic near the city's zoo, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Use of Animal Therapy in PTSD Treatment Set to Increase According to Igor Purlantov

More Pets Are Expected to Help Soldiers Returning Home from Combat

With an increased number of military personnel returning home from deployment overseas, there has been an increased focus on ways to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through animal therapy according to animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov.  The need for an effective treatment of PTSD is crucial given that an estimated one in five Iraq war veterans has some degree of PTSD or combat related stress but only one third of those screened receives any treatment.  

Although animal therapy has long been used to treat physical disabilities, it is now being used more frequently to treat psychological complications such as PTSD and other combat related stress.  According to Igor Purlantov the use of animal therapy to treat PTSD has shown some very promising results with more than 80% of patients reporting reduced symptoms of PTSD thanks to animal therapy.  This is much needed relief for war veterans that suffer from the effects of PTSD which includes depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and sleeplessness that can unfortunately also lead to suicide.

More veterans are now being written prescriptions for companion animals to treat PTSD as doctors are realizing that pets can help alleviate anxiety, stress, panic disorder and depression says Igor Purlantov.  Studies have also shown that having a pet such as a cat can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. At the same time, having a pet such as a dog can increase the likelihood of engaging in exercise, outdoor activities and socializing with others.  Also, when animal therapy patients find themselves caring for a pet it encourages them to be responsible and follow a daily schedule which is helpful in the treatment of PTSD.

One successful program that is helping treat veterans through pet therapy is Pets for Vets (  Pets for Vets was founded in 2008 by animal behaviorist and trainer, Clarissa Black who was looking for ways to help veterans suffering from PTSD and other related combat stress.  Pets for Vets finds companion dogs from local rescue groups and gives them the necessary training before partnering them with a veteran that adopts the dog into their home forever.  Wonderful programs such as Pets for Vets have been shown to help veterans reclaim normalcy in their lives and ease the often painful transition back to civilian life according to Igor Purlantov.  

As for the animals, with an estimated eight million dogs and cats abandoned at shelters across the United States, it allows for them to have a second chance at life as well.  With five out of ten shelter dogs and seven out of ten shelter cats euthanized each year, these animal therapy programs can reduce euthanasia rates by giving these shelter animals the chance to be an excellent companion for a war veteran.  At the end of the day, these animal therapy programs are a real win-win situation in that shelter animals are giving a second chance at life and war veterans are given a second chance at health and happiness says Igor Purlantov. 

Video: Top 5 Animal Commercials Of The Super Bowl

Was anyone else disappointed in the commercials during last night's Super Bowl? To me, the best ads always have animals or babies, bonus points if it includes both. Last night seemed to be lacking. In case you missed them, or just want to watch again, below are my top 5 favorite Super Bowl commercials starring animals.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chimp: You Ma Dawg!

This loving mastiff didn’t mind adding one more to her litter of pups, even though it didn’t have a tail to wag and was suspiciously wearing a diaper. The little ape had been rejected by its chimpanzee mother at a Russian zoo. So a worker took it home, not realizing her 100-pound dog, who had just given birth to four puppies, would take over maternal duties and raise the little chimp as her own.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Supergiant Prawns Discovered In The Depths Of New Zealand's Deep Sea

Scientists on an expedition to sample a deep-sea trench got a surprise when their traps brought back seven giant crustaceans glimpsed only a handful of times in human history. The "supergiant" amphipods are more than 20 times larger than their typical crustacean relatives, which are generally less than a half-inch (1 centimeter) long, and thrive in lakes and oceans around the world. They are sometimes called the "insects of the sea."

Friday, February 3, 2012

In "Savage," Zoo Miami Animals Create Unique Paintings In Exhibit Benefiting Conservation

This Saturday, Bakehouse Art Complex is hosting "Savage," an exhibit by animals for animals. Critters and beasts from Zoo Miami used their snouts, trunks, and feet to paint one-of-a-kind artworks. Sales will benefit conservation efforts at the local zoo and beyond. And before animal rights activists get worked up about the bright paint on Roshe the Tiger's chin, zoo staff says the animals' well-being was a top priority.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cats Sleeping: Submit Your Own!

There's a reason it's called a "cat nap". If dogs are the unplug-and-recharge professionals, then cats are the kings and queens of sleep. We hope these photos of resting felines will inspire you to catch a little extra shuteye of your own.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Albino Hummingbird Photos Captured In Virginia

Stunning photographs of an extremely rare albino ruby-throated hummingbird have been captured in a backyard in Staunton, Va. The astonishing images showcase the delicate bird's features like white feathers, a pink bill, pink legs and red eyes.