Monday, August 31, 2015

Weird Service Animals Show Up In Odd Places

A woman and a kangaroo wearing a diaper walk into a McDonald's, and the woman says: He's my service kangaroo.  No, it's not the setup for a joke. But it may be a sign of the times.  In a culture that has increasingly embraced animals as an extension of family, the kangaroo incident earlier this year seems to be part of a growing problem. With pigs flying — literally — aboard passenger flights, monkeys cruising the grocery aisles and large snakes hanging out in restaurants, the issue of what's legitimately a service animal for someone with a disability can get murky.

Friday, August 28, 2015

World’s Most Endangered Cat May Be on the Rebound

An extremely rare spotted cat could be stepping back from the brink of extinction.The Amur leopard appears to have doubled its wild population in the past several years from fewer than 40 adults in 2007 to 80 or more in 2014 and repopulated some of its historic range in China, according to a joint announcement by Russian and Chinese scientists.  Land of the Leopard National Park, a federal nature reserve that sits on Russia’s far southeastern border with China, released the finding online last week.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Picture Is Worth An Endangered Animals Life

From the blue whale to the orangutan, there are a number of endangered animal species around the world And a nine year old girl from Tea wants to bring awareness to these animals and help save them. The saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words."  "I really like doing the eyes on them and I like doing the background with sponges."  But what if it went, "a picture is worth an endangered animals life"?  "I really love animals and I really wanted to help them," said Bria while working on a painting of the spectacled bear.  Nine year old Bria Neff has been painting and selling picture

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We’re Killing Off All The Animals

Take note, parents: The next time you take your kids to the zoo, if you really want to give them the full experience, be sure to tell them that behind all those cages full of super happy animals, zoos have vials upon vials of animal sperm.  That’s right — vials of frozen elephant sperm might not be as exciting as Dumbo himself, but they’re just as important to wildlife conservation. As Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction, discussed in her interview with Grist last year, scientists are hoping to use all that frozen goo to keep endangered species alive through artificial insemination.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Save Black Rhinos From Poachers By Moving Them

The black rhinoceros went extinct in Chad in 1990 owing to high levels of poaching. But one park in the Central African nation will likely get a welcome boost of biodiversity in the near future.  Conservation organization African Parks plans to introduce between five and 10 black rhinos to Zakouma National Park in Chad next year, The Guardian reports.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Four-Legged Heroes on the Front Line

They seem to come up all the time.  This one was awarded to Private Thomas Byrne who fought in the last major British cavalry charge by the 21st Lancers at the battle of Omdurman in 1898.  But it is worth noting that three times as many horses were slaughtered as Lancers and yet none got a medal or a mention.  Unthanked and unacknowledged, horses have been horribly expendable down the ages.

Friday, August 21, 2015

‘Superpredator’ Humans Hunting Other Animals Out of Existence

A new study drives home the destructive power of our species. Not only do we kill other animals at much higher rates than other predators, but our ability to bring down larger adults can make it very difficult for some prey populations to recover. This superpredator status may fill our bellies, but it has darker implications. "Any predator capable of exerting such impact will eventually drive its prey to extinction," warns Gerardo Ceballos, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Activists: Question Would Protect Farm Animals From Cruelty

Animal advocates are planning to converge on the Statehouse to launch a ballot question campaign they say will help protect farm animals from cruelty.  The coalition, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, includes veterinarians, animal welfare groups, farmers, and others hoping to eliminate what they describe as the extreme confinement of farm animals in small crates and cages.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Meet the Woman Who Reads to Shelter Dogs

After losing her beloved dog to pneumonia last year, Sandy Barbabella decided to help dogs at her local animal shelter armed only with her soothing voice and a stack of children's books.  "I go to the Humane Society to read to the dogs and pet them and talk to them,'' Barbabella told "They do more for me than I do for them. So many of them are so scared and afraid that just the voice relaxes them. A lot of them lay against the door of the cage, and they sleep against the cage."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Video: Young Boy Tries to Wrangle Kittens

Your day is about to get a whole lot better. Trust us on this one. We couldn't help but crack a smile while watching this insanely cute video.  One little boy named Ryder had a "real tough" situation to deal with — a situation of kittens, that it is. Life as a kitty wrangler can be tough (remember this ad?), and boy, can we sympathize with Ryder.  As he tries so hard to get the "situations" under control, new situations emerge. Kitty corral, anyone?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tech Companies Teaming Up to Fight Ivory Trade

Feeling lucky, poachers?  Google is joining Facebook, eBay, Warren Buffett, the United States government and environmental groups in a new effort to fight the illegal trade in elephant ivory, rhino horns, tiger bones, and other products driving wildlife toward extinction.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

These 18 Animals Could Become Extinct In Your Lifetime

According to the Guardian, species around the world are disappearing at almost 1,000 times the natural rate — which means we’re losing around 150-200 species every day. Close to 15% of all mammal species and 11% of all bird species are currently listed as threatened with extinction.  And while the human population shows no signs of slowing down, we continue to appropriate more land to develop cities, acquire natural resources, and build farms, not realizing or caring that we’re destroying other creatures’ natural habitats (not to mention man-made disasters like oil spills, climate change, acid rain, and over-hunting and fishing).  These animals are just a fraction of the thousands in danger of extinction…

Monday, August 10, 2015

Video: Guy Builds Fun Cat Feeder Machine

Ben Millam who refers to himself as an “aspiring geek” built an incredible machine that takes cat feeding to a whole new level. He trained his cat Monkey to look for plastic balls hidden around the house and throw them into the machine. Once the machine recognizes the RFID-tagged balls, the feeder is activated and the ball is filled with cat treats.  Monkey was trained using ‘clicker’ training that is based on associating a desirable behaviour with a distinctive click and a reward. It took some time and patience but as Millam says, Monkey successfully managed to put up with all his experiments.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Nine of the Smartest Animals On Earth

Humans aren't the only intelligent creatures on Earth. As National Geographic points out, research proves that animals are much smarter than people realize. With that in mind meet nine of the planet's cleverest creatures.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Orphaned Baby Wallaby Hugs His Teddy Bear

Meet the internet's newest star - but get the tissues at the ready, because he comes with the saddest backstory.  This is Doodlebug, a brilliantly named wallaby from Australia.  However the adorable critter was orphaned, and is currently being cared for at a wildlife sanctuary in Tasmania.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yes, Other Animals Do Have Sex For Fun

There’s an idea circulating that humans are the only animal to experience sexual pleasure; that we approach sex in a way that is distinct from others. As with many questions about sex, this exposes some interesting facts about the way we discuss the subject.  On one level, the question of whether humans and nonhumans experience sex in the same way is fairly simply dismissed: how would we know? We cannot know how a nonhuman experiences anything – they can’t be asked. Sex as an experiential phenomenon for nonhumans is, quite simply, inaccessible. Science is obliged to propose questions that are answerable, and “how does a leopard slug experience sex?” is, at time of writing, about as unanswerable as they get.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Airlines Ban Transporting Exotic Trophy Animals

As the outrage over the recent killing of a famed Zimbabwe lion — and big-game hunting in general — ripples across the globe, even the airlines are now weighing in and issuing bans on the transport of exotic trophy animals.  On Monday, Delta Air Lines — the only U.S. carrier with direct service to South Africa — issued the following statement that said it was banning the shipment of five type of large animals that are typically shipped as trophies:  Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. Prior to this ban, Delta's strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Wildlife Trafficking

Wildlife trafficking ruins lives and threatens security and economies around the world.  The illicit trade in wildlife products is predicated on the deaths of defenseless iconic animal species, many of which face extinction as a result of this rapidly growing enterprise — and its effects are felt far and wide.  The scale of the problem has exploded in recent years, and policymakers are working to turn the tide before it’s too late.