Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Original MGM Lion

The MGM trademark lion, Leo, famously roars at the beginning of every MGM film. In fact, "Leo" has not been one lion but seven, starting with "Slats" the lion from 1917 to 1928. An actual lion named Leo roared from 1957 to the present day.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Video: Monkey Delicately Pets Puppies

This capuchin monkey feels the same way about puppies as you do.  In the above video, which was submitted to Reddit, a small monkey tenderly pets a litter of puppies, giving each one a thorough scratching — then, remembering its instincts, stops every so often to check their fur for grubs.  If there was a scale to measure cuteness, this video would register dangerously off the charts.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Stray Dog Adopts Orphaned Kitten and Nurses Her

Love knows no bounds, and this unlikely family is living proof. In a remarkable story of survival despite the odds, a stray pit bull was found to be raising a helpless orphaned kitten, keeping the newborn alive with her life-giving milk.  The unlikely pair were discovered last Tuesday on a roadside by an animal rescue group in Texas. At first, it appeared the pit bull was with a puppy, but upon closer inspection they realized that it was in fact a tiny cat, no more than a few days old, suckling on her nipple. They rushed them both to the Mercy Animal Clinic in Dallas where veterinarian Dr. Rick Hamlin was astonished by their story and their bond.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Endangered Species Then and Now

The Endangered Species Act is more than 40 years old, which begs the question: Where are they now? “They” being the thousands of threatened plant and animal species that are protected under the landmark legislation.  Maintaining biodiversity is no easy feat, but many species have rebounded since the act’s inception in 1973. So far, 59 species have been delisted, 20 of which are considered true success stories. But others haven’t been so lucky. An animal can be taken off the list if it is no longer threatened or if it goes extinct. Today, more than 1,400 plants and animals remain endangered or threatened.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Video: Dog Left in Car Blares the Horn

This dog is furious about being left in a parked car with the windows up and wants everyone to know.  According to the video's uploader, the dog was discovered in Eureka, California. Apparently, it'd drawn a few onlookers by the time the videographer arrived due to the fact that it had been blaring the horn on and off for several minutes.  No word on whether or not the road-raging pup ever got the attention of its owner, but you have to assume the reunion was tense. Or at least awkward for the owner to come to a parked car full of strangers watching.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Video: Adorable Golden Retriever Learning How To Catch Food

Fritz the golden retriever is a very good boy, but he’s pretty awful at catching things in his mouth. Watch as his owners toss tacos, strawberries and whole slices of pizza to find out what Fritz can catch. We promise it’s the best video you’ll watch this month.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Cute Mammal With Teddy Bear Face Rediscovered

You could call it one of the world's longest games of hide and seek.  For more than 20 years, the Ili pika (Ochotona iliensis), a type of tiny, mountain-dwelling mammal with a teddy bear face, had eluded scientists in the Tianshan Mountains of northwestern China.  People have seen the furry critter only a handful of times since it was discovered by accident in 1983. In fact, people have spotted only 29 live individuals, and little is known about the animal's ecology and behavior. 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Bomb Sniffing Elephants in South Africa

Armed with a sharp sense of smell, dogs have a long history of detecting explosives for their human handlers. Trained rats sniff out land mines from old African wars. In Croatia, researchers have tried to train bees to identify TNT.  Now elephants. New research conducted in South Africa and involving the U.S. military shows they excel at identifying explosives by smell, stirring speculation about whether their extraordinary ability can save lives.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Funny Animals Lounging Around

Animals, just like humans, have a wide range of personality traits such as laziness, which can gain them quite a reputation. As most others have stated being lazy in the animal kingdom can actually be an excellent tool for survival. Being lazy can help save energy. Laziness is a disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so. It is common for animals to forage for food until satiated, and then spend most of their time doing nothing, or at least nothing in particular. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Video: Fancy Squirrel Eats With a Fork

Wally isn't some common forest squirrel, scratching for nuts in the dirt like a serf.  No, Wally has his very own fork, and his owner liberally coats it in the finest of almond butters for him.  His Royal Highness also enjoys getting his ears scratched and eating a healthy salad, all of which his human servants are only too happy to provide.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Watch Lions, Tigers, Chimps, and Beagles Get Their First Taste of Freedom

From foxes feeling a grass field to beagles finally able to chase tennis balls, animals released from cages have unique ways of showing their joy. Thanks to a new animal-release supercut from The Dodo, we can see lions, tigers, chimpanzees, seals, rabbits, and even chickens stretch their legs, wings, and tails in their newfound environment outside cages and laboratory facilities.  “Huge-hearted humans dedicate their lives to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured animals to sanctuaries and the wild,” Emily Pelleymounter, The Dodo’s video producer, said in a statement. “And that moment when an animal gets his first taste of real freedom? It is unforgettable for animals and humans alike.”

Monday, March 16, 2015

World's Oldest Cat Celebrates 27th Birthday

Tiffany Two, who holds the Guinness World Record for oldest living cat, reached the ripe old age of 27 on Friday.  The short-haired tortoiseshell feline was born on March 13, 1988 in San Diego, California. Owner Sharon Voorhees adopted her when she was six weeks old for just $10, and has been caring for the record-breaking cat ever since.

Friday, March 13, 2015

How Being Vegan Really Helps Animals

More people are moving toward a plant-based diet, owing in part to evidence about human health and environmental sustainability, and in part to the emerging scientific consensus on the breadth and depth of animal consciousness and sentience.  Full disclosure: I am a pesco-vegetarian — I eat an occasional fish.  But how might choosing to eat fewer animals than ever before — or no animals at all (vegetarian), or no animals or animal products (vegan) — make a difference for animals or for the world.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Animal Facts You Never Knew Existed

Animal facts you never knew existed can be both intriguing and almost unnecessary. Regardless, here are a few animal facts in gif format from a wide range of animals including the hippo, dog, giraffe, shark, bear and many more. Enjoy and share with a friend.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dog Sniffs Out Thyroid Cancer in Humans

A scent-trained dog was able to identify the presence or absence of thyroid cancer in human urine samples 88.2 percent of the time, a new study concluded.  The study out of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) gathered urine samples from 34 university thyroid clinic patients before they underwent a biopsy for suspicion of thyroid cancer.  Fifteen of those biopsies came back positive for thyroid cancer, while the remaining 19 were diagnosed as benign thyroid disease.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Photographer Takes Breathtaking Portraits with Real Animals

Katerina Plotnikova is a photographer from Russia who takes dreamy photos with the help of real animals. The creatures she captures on these photographs are just unreal; there is no Photoshop involved, just a group of elite animal trainers. Enjoy the surreal, almost mystical quality of her work. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

What The Shape Of Your Cat’s Face Can Tell You

Turns out, cats are easier to read than we think.  The shape of a cat’s face holds valuable clues to its personality — helpful for strengthening your bond with your current cat or determining if a potential new kitty is right for you.  “Cat face geometry is one of the best tools for matching a cat to a person,” explains Arden Moore, author of “Fit Cat: Tips & Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life” (Firefly Books, $19.95). “It especially helps with ‘mutt’ cats whose breed cannot be determined.”


Friday, March 6, 2015

Central Park Zoo's Adorable Snow-Covered Animals

If you're gonna have unfortunately-timed snow, at least find a way to embrace it. Like going to the zoo to see the animals! For example, can you find a grizzly bear in this picture?  I headed to the Central Park Zoo around noon, and quickly realized the outdoor animals seem to be taking it in greater stride than we are. It was very peaceful to see them in the main zoo and the Tisch Children's Zoo—most were just resting. I felt bad for the ducks, geese and swans who swam over to me and thought I was going to feed them.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Video: Three-Legged Elephant Gets a Prosthetic Limb

Mosha, a three-legged Asian elephant, just got an upgrade.  The nine-year-old pachyderm was fitted last week with a prosthetic leg at the elephant care center that has been her home for most of her life.  In 2006, at just seven months, Mosha stepped on a land mine in Thailand and lost part of her front right leg.  Two days later the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital at MaeYao National Reserve in Lampang, northern Thailand, took Mosha in to treat her injuries. There she slowly recovered and began learning how to get around on three legs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eight Amazing Animals at Risk From Wildlife Crimes

Illegal wildlife trafficking is a multibillion-dollar-a-year business with ties to organized crime and terrorism. In an effort to combat this threat to wildlife, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 3 World Wildlife Day. This year's observance highlights the need to "get serious about wildlife crime."  Countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. have taken steps to beef up laws combating illegal wildlife trafficking and expanding awareness of the issue. The Indonesian Council of Ulama, the country's top Muslim clerical body, even declared a fatwa against wildlife trafficking last March. (See "Opinion: End Illegal Wildlife Trafficking on World Wildlife Day.")


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Why Are Elephants and Other Animals So Wrinkly?

When you write a column called Weird Animal Question of the Week, it's inevitable that you get some smart-aleck inquiries. Recently someone asked me: "What happens when you put anti-wrinkle cream on an elephant?" Any self-respecting pachyderm would turn up its trunk at such an offer. That's because those fabulous folds help keep the big mammals cool, Kathleen Garrigan, spokesperson for the African Wildlife Foundation, said via email.Elephants have few sweat glands and can't use them for regulating their body temperature, so they disperse heat in other ways, including through their baggy skin. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Blind Dog Found Alive After 2 Weeks In The Cold

Eleven-year-old Madera, a Labrador retriever, had the odds against her when she wandered away from her Ester home in the midst of a cold snap earlier this month.Madera is completely blind because of an autoimmune disease, and the temperature was 40 below, said her owner, Ed Davis. Usually when it’s really cold out, she wants to come inside immediately after relieving herself. But for some reason, Madera ventured farther away when his wife let her out on Feb. 6.  Davis was at work at Pump Station 4 of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline when Madera went missing. He came back to Fairbanks on Feb. 19 without much expectation of finding his dog.  “My best hope was to walk those trails and look for a track that might be hers,” he said. “My best hope was to find a frozen dog.”