Saturday, June 30, 2012

Video: Teeny, Tiny Piggy Conquers Stairs

I feel a strange sense of bliss--euphoria even--after watching little Hamlet conquer the stairs, and I just want to share that feeling with all of you. Someone needs to learn how to bottle this feeling legally, because the rest of my day is made!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Video: It Ain't No Thang: Dog Herds Siberian Tigers

Solo, a border collie at a South African wildlife reserve, has apparently found sheep herding life too mundane for his liking. In actuality, Solo doesn't have any sheep to herd, so he used his natural instincts with an entirely different species - Siberian Tigers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Video: Hounds Hang Ten In San Diego

Canines, owners, and dog-lovers alike hit up the coastal city of San Diego this past Saturday for some healthy competition at the seventh annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition. Dogs competed amongst other dogs within their size category and were judged based on their skills and confidence out in the surf. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The End Of The Affair: Tortoise Marriage Ends After 115 Years

The apparent split of giant tortoises Bibi and Poldi after 115 years of wedded bliss has left an Austrian Zoo, let alone the entire tortoise community, shell-shocked as the two tortoises throw in the towel. According to the Austrian Times, Bibi and Poldi, who were born in 1897, can no longer stand each other’s company at the Happ Reptile Zoo in Klagenfurt, Austria, which they call home.  Rather than merely drifting apart with age, they've become violent — Bibi especially, who first alerted zoo staff to the breakup by attacking Poldi, biting a chunk out of his shell.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What Were They Thinking? Studies Reveal Animal Intellect

The more we study animals, the less special we seem. Baboons can distinguish between written words and gibberish. Monkeys seem to be able to do multiplication. Apes can delay instant gratification longer than a human child can. They plan ahead. They make war and peace. They show empathy. They share. "It's not a question of whether they think — it's how they think," says Duke University scientist Brian Hare. Now scientists wonder if apes are capable of thinking about what other apes are thinking.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Will Elephants Still Roam Earth In 20 Years?

At the start of the 1980s there were over a million elephants, during that decade 600,000 were destroyed for ivory products. Today perhaps no more than 400,000 remain across Africa, according to Samuel Wasser of the University of Washington, who is widely recognized as an authority on the subject. It is a tragedy beyond reckoning and humanity needs to pay attention to the plight of the elephants before it is too late.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lions On The Loose In Kenyan Capital

Big cats are under pressure as one of Africa's fastest-growing cities creeps onto hunting grounds.  The encroachment of the urban jungle onto lion habitat is increasing the probability of attacks. Development needs to be managed in a sustainable manner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Video: Polar Bear Cubs Born In China Celebrate Their First 100 Days

A pair of twin polar bear cubs born at an aquarium in China have celebrated their first 100 days on earth. Born March 5 at Tianjin Haichang Ocean World, the baby bears spent their first days in an incubator, and staff were unsure if they would survive. "They were so tiny at birth. The elder sister was 497 grams and the younger one was 560 grams," keeper Sun Qinbao told the Daily Mail. But now, the bear cubs are healthy and doing well. They celebrated their "100th-day birthday" by romping around with a ball.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bears Can 'Count' And Compare Numbers, Showing Cognitive Ability, Scientists Say

If there's anything more impressive than a bear's size, it's its intelligence. Bears can learn to ride bicycles, use tools, and as new research shows, "count." Scientists trained three American black bears (Ursus Americanus) to discriminate between groups of dots on a touchscreen computer: Two bears learned to pick the group with fewer dots, while the third learned to choose the group with more dots.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wing Bling: For Female Butterflies, Flashier Is Better

If female butterflies are programmed to identify males of their species by the patterns of spots on their wings, how can new wing patterns evolve in males? The answer is that while females are predisposed to prefer a specific pattern, they learn to like flashier ones more, according to a new Yale University study. The study published online the week of June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives a partial explanation of an evolutionary mystery.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rare White Rhino Born In Israeli Zoo

A rare white rhinoceros has been born in a zoo in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, a zoo official told AFP on Saturday. "This baby rhino, a male, was born early on Friday afternoon without any problems," said Netta Guetta, who heads the African animals department, adding that the newcomer has yet to be named. "This is an extremely rare event in captivity, and it's touching. Immediately after giving birth, the mother tenderly licked her calf and began to breast-feed," she said. The 20-year-old mother, named Tanda, weighs two tonnes and comes from South Africa.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Blue Lobster Found In Nova Scotia, Canada, Now For Sale

Canadian fisherman Bobby Stoddard caught a striking electric blue lobster in Nova Scotia early last month and is now looking to sell the rare crustacean to the highest bidder, reports CTV News. Blue lobsters occur only in one of about every two million lobsters and the coloring is the result of a genetic defect, according to the University of Maine.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Video: Baby Dolphin: It's A Boy!

Baby Dolphin at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium a Boy: The Pacific white-sided dolphin mother Piquet (pee-KEHT) probably knew already, but veterinarians at the Chicago's Shedd Aquarium announced yesterday that her calf, born two weeks ago, is male. The pair made their debut swim for the paparazzi, but will remain off exhibit to the public for a few more weeks. The calf is nursing and has put on an extra five pounds since he was born on May 28; he now weighs about 30 lbs. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Take Your Dog To Work Day: More Dogs Sit, Stay At The Office

Like any new addition to an office, Dolly had an adjustment period. The hardest part: learning not to bark at the mailman. Dolly is one of millions of dogs that accompany their owners to dog-friendly businesses every day. Even more will join her next Friday for Take Your Dog to Work Day. "I consider it a benefit like health care. It's a huge attraction," said Dolly's owner Erin McCormack, who works at Authentic Entertainment in Los Angeles as a producer on the Discovery Channel's "Auction Kings."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Too Few Salmon Is Far Worse Than Too Many Boats for Killer Whales

Not having enough Chinook salmon to eat stresses out southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northwest more than having boatloads of whale watchers nearby, according to hormone levels of whales summering in the Salish Sea.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stealth Behavior Allows Cockroaches To Seemingly Vanish

New cockroach behavior discovered by University of California, Berkeley, biologists secures the insect's reputation as one of nature's top escape artists, able to skitter away and disappear from sight before any human can swat it. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shar Pei Nurses Two Endangered Tiger Cubs

Currently, there are less than 400 Siberian tigers living in the wild -- which is why it is so heartwarming to see dogs being so passionate about wildlife conservation. A sweet Shar Pei, named Cleopatra, took it upon herself to nurse two young Siberian tiger cubs after their mother abandoned them.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Animal Photos Of The Week

In animal news this week, several bears have been turning up where they're not always expected. A bear swam across the canal separating Cape Cod, Massachusetts from the mainland and is now traversing the peninsula. According to the Associated Press, "Officials say research dating to the 1700s suggests this is the first bear on the Cape." Later in the week, another bear turned up for work at an office complex in Parsippany, New Jersey. The bear was tranquilized and moved to a park.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

First Photos Ever Of Jaguars In Colombian Oil Palm Plantation

Panthera's camera traps recently produced the first photographic evidence of wild jaguars with cubs in an oil palm plantation in Colombia, including photos of two male jaguars and a female jaguar with cubs. Placed in the Magdalena River valley, these camera traps were set to gather new data about the impact of Colombia's ever-increasing oil palm plantations on jaguars. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cute Puma Cub Makes Her Public Debut

Missoula, a seven week old female puma cub, made her furry debut on Wednesday, May 30th at the Tierpark Zoo in Berlin, Germany. What makes her debut so special? She is the first successful birth at the zoo in 22 years!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Video: 'Glen,' Bald Eagle, Rescued By Good Samaritan And North Spokane Veterinarian

A good samaritan and a veterinarian in North Spokane, Wash., are being credited with saving the life of an injured bald eagle. ABC News reports that Robert Hutton was driving home from work the evening of June 1 when he spotted the injured eagle "struggling in the middle of the road" at an intersection. He stopped traffic, got out of his car and wrapped the rare bird in a blanket from the back of his truck.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gooey New Frog Species Will Turn Your Fingers Yellow

Meet the Yellow Dyer Rainfrog, an adorable but slimy new frog species recently discovered by researchers in a remote mountain range in Panama, according to Science Daily. The colorful little amphibian measures less than 2 centimeters in length, and was named after its gooey yellow skin, which apparently turns anything it touches into gold-- or at least, it turns it gold-colored. After handling the first few specimens, researchers noticed that their fingers had been stained yellow.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Video: Mark Dumas, Animal Trainer, Swims With Polar Bear In Pool

In a video that's both nerve-wracking and beautiful, Mark Dumas swims with an 800-pound polar bear like it's nothing out of the ordinary. The experienced animal trainer has been working with Agee the polar bear since she was a cub. According to video released by Barcroft Media, the bear grew up in Dumas' household, where she was bottle-fed and even played with the family's pets. In the clip, Dumas hugs and kisses the bear like an oversized toy as they continually wrestle on land and in the water.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Video: Polo The Macaw Laughs Like An Evil Villain

There's hardly anything funnier than when an animal thinks he's people. Take Polo the Macaw here, for example. Doesn't he laugh just like an evil villain plotting world domination? What's even more amazing is how he shrugs his shoulders, "stomps" his feet and appears to double over with laughter, just like we do when we can't stop laughing.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ken Schmidt Reunited With Pet Iguana 5 Months After Burglary

They didn't have to call Ace Ventura, or any other pet detective. A group of Los Angeles County deputies solved a case of lizard larceny on their own. The Sheriff's Department said in a statement Thursday night that deputies have reunited a man and his iguana, whose name is just "Lizard," five months after he was stolen. Lizard lived at Ken Schmidt's auto shop for 17 years and was apparently the only thing stolen when the Bellflower business was burglarized in December.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Video: Adorable Rescue Cat Cuddles Dog

Just because someone is bigger than you doesn't mean you can't be friends. And this heartwarming YouTube video is further proof of that. The clip features a rescue cat named Thomas O'Malley Flufferpants cuddling next to a dog named Murkin.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth Population Down to Less Than 100

Maybe it's their tousled hair, pug nose, or their laid-back, leisurely demeanor, but few animals are at once so raggedy and charming as sloths. That's just part of what makes this news so unpleasant: the world's smallest species of sloth, the pygmy three-toed sloth, is in imminent risk of extinction after a recent survey of their population counted less than 100, reports