Animal shelter celebrates adopting all their dogs in heartwarming video

One Colorado animal shelter has a lot to celebrate this holiday season.

For two days in a row, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region adopted all of their available dogs.

The group was able to achieve the heartwarming success with their #HomeForTheHolidays promotion, helping them adopt over 25 dogs and 23 cats.

The non-profit shared the news through a triumphant video on their Facebook page, accompanied with the proud message, “What happens when your last available dog gets adopted? Your staff and volunteers jump into the kennels to celebrate!”

The shelter already has new animals in need of homes, and asks that people, “keep those adoptions coming!”

You can adopt, or sponsor an animal’s stay at “Hotel HSPPR” here.

Source: http://mashable.com/

Whales and dolphins lead ‘human-like lives’ thanks to big brains, says study

The cultural brain hypothesis of human development could also explain cetaceans forming friendships and even gossiping

Life is not so different beneath the ocean waves. Bottlenose dolphins use simple tools, orcas call each other by name, and sperm whales talk in local dialects. Many cetaceans live in tight-knit groups and spend a good deal of time at play.

That much scientists know. But in a new study, researchers compiled a list of the rich behaviours spotted in 90 different species of dolphins, whales and porpoises, and found that the bigger the species brain, the more complex indeed, the more human-like their lives are likely to be.

This suggests that the cultural brain hypothesis the theory that suggests our intelligence developed as a way of coping with large and complex social groups may apply to whales and dolphins, as well as humans.

Writing in the journal, Nature Ecology and Evolution, the researchers claim that complex social and cultural characteristics, such as hunting together, developing regional dialects and learning from observation, are linked to the expansion of the animals brains a process known as encephalisation.

The researchers gathered records of dolphins playing with humpback whales, helping fishermen with their catches, and even producing signature whistles for dolphins that are absent suggesting the animals may even gossip.

Another common behaviour was adult animals raising unrelated young. There is the saying that it takes a village to raise a child [and that] seems to be true for both whales and humans, said Michael Muthukrishna, an economic psychologist and co-author on the study at the London School of Economics.

Dolphins
Dolphins off the coast of South Africa. Photograph: Rainer Schimpf/Barcroft Media

Like humans, the cetaceans, a group made up of dolphins, whales and porpoises, are thought to do most of their learning socially rather than individually, which could explain why some species learn more complex behaviours than others. Those predominantly found alone or in small groups had the smallest brains, the researchers led by Susanne Shultz at the University of Manchester wrote.

Luke Rendell, a biologist at the University of St Andrews who was not involved in the study, but has done work on sperm whales and their distinctive dialects, warned against anthropomorphising and making animals appear to be like humans.

There is a risk of sounding like there is a single train line, with humans at the final station and other animals on their way of getting there. The truth is that every animal responds to their own evolutionary pressures, he said.

There is definitely a danger in comparing other animals to humans, especially with the data available. But what we can say for sure, is that this cultural-brain hypothesis we tested is present in primates and in cetaceans, Muthukrishna said.

There was still much more to learn, though, he added. Studies with underwater mammals are difficult and vastly underfunded, so there is so much we dont know about these fascinating animals, he said.

The fascination, however, should not only be interesting for people studying animals. We dont have to look at other planets to look for aliens, because we know that underwater there are these amazing species with so many parallels to us in their complex behaviours, said Muthukrishna.

Studying evolutionarily distinct animals such as cetaceans could act as a control group for studying intelligence in general, and so help the understanding of our own intellect.

It is interesting to think that whale and human brains are different in their structure but have brought us to the same patterns in behaviour, Rendell said. The extent of how this is close to humans can educate us about evolutionary forces in general.

However, Muthukrishna points out that intelligence is always driven by the environment an animal finds itself in. Each environment presents a different set of challenges for an animal. When you are above water, you learn how to tackle fire, for example, he said. As smart as whales are, they will never learn to light a spark.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

The Science Behind Why Cats Meow Is Oddly Touching (And Very Surprising)

Everyone knows that dogs bark and cats meow, but we really didn’t know why. That’s what inspired this group of scientists to dig around and figure out what causes the cat’s meow.

The answer that they found is pretty flattering, and so surprising. When you learn the truth, you’ll never look at your feline friends the same way again.

That certainly explains a lot. Here’s what veterinarian Dr. John Bradshaw of Bristol University had to say:

The meow starts off as a kitten vocalization. It’s something they use in order to call their mothers over…the mother is very attentive to those meows. And then as the kitten grows up, it gradually stops meowing, presumably because it just stops working. The mother wants to wean the kittens and stops responding. A pet cat is constantly meowing at its owner. It’s a way of getting the owner’s attention.

Pretty cute, am I right? They’re just trying to talk to us!

Source: http://www.viralnova.com

16 animals that are totally not dogs

Image: louise docker/Getty Images

Oh, are you looking for dogs? You have come to the wrong place.

You see, there are no dogs here. Not even one dog. All the dogs are elsewhere, and none of them are here.

If you’re looking for dogs, please go somewhere else. Sure, there are lots of animals here, but none of them are dogs.

Here. We’ll prove it to you.

No dogs here. Just two rabbits.

Image: Getty Images/EyeEm

And a nice red lobster, who is also not a dog.

Image: richard j. newstead/Getty Images

Please stop looking for dogs and let this sheep and cow enjoy their day.

Image: robyn beck/AFP/Getty Images

Insane that you would think this spider is a dog.

Image: timothy a. clary/AFP/Getty Images

What, have you never seen a squirrel before?

Image: bryant scannell/Getty Images

Please leave this shark alone. You’re scaring him.

Image: genevieve morrison/Getty Images

There is nothing out of the ordinary about this group of sheep. Thank you for asking, though.

Image: louise docker/Getty Images

How dare you insinuate that this fine fish or mermaid is a dog?

Image: justin sullivan/getty images

Nice try, but this is Cerberus, the three-headed guard of the underworld.

Image: Mandel ngan/afp/getty images

This is Big Bird.

Image: timothy a. clary/AFP/Getty Images

Are you trying to ruin Christmas? Let the reindeer do his job.

Image: aleksandar nakic/Getty Images

We don’t know what these are, but they are certainly not Dalmatians wearing hoodies.

Image: gandee vasan/Getty Images

This is a person in a dog costume. Don’t be ridiculous.

Image: roy rochlin/Getty Images

OK, whatever. We see there’s no reasoning with you.

Good luck searching for dogs. We truly hope you find what you are looking for.

Source: http://mashable.com/

Eleven lions die at Ugandan national park in suspected poisoning

Authorities suspect poisoning caused deaths at popular tourist destination

Eleven lions, including eight lion cubs, have been found dead in Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda after possibly being poisoned, a conservation official said on Thursday. The three lionesses and eight cubs were found dead near Hamukungu fishing village in the popular tourist destination.

An investigation has been opened, but we suspect poisoning, said Bashir Hangi, a communications officer with the Uganda wildlife authority. It is still only a suspicion. We will try to establish the real cause of death.

Lions have been killed in a number of poisoning incidents in Uganda. In May 2010, five were killed in the park in another possible poisoning case. Between May 2006 and July 2007, 15 lions died in the area in attacks blamed on landless herdsmen defending their cattle.

The parks grasslands are home to more than 600 species of bird and about 100 types of mammal including buffalo, waterbuck, leopards, hyena and elephants.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Tourists Were Taking Selfies With A Baby Dolphin…And It Died As A Result

In Argentina, people lined up for what seemed like a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity with a baby dolphin, but their actions possibly ended the creature’s life.

After a person spotted a baby Franciscana dolphin close to the shore at a local beach, they took it out of the water so that people could take selfies with the animal. Allegedly, they kept it out of the water for too long, the dolphin overheated and died.

What’s worse is that this particular species is endangered.

People couldn’t resist the temptation of taking pictures, and their actions ultimately doomed the poor creature.

Baby dolphin dies after tourists ‘pull it out of ocean for selfies’

Posted by The Independent on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Various wildlife organizations have responded to the tragic incident.

It’s possible that the baby dolphin perished before the crowd got their hands on it (which is why it was so close to the shore or possibly washed ashore). Whether or not it was already dead, there is a lesson to be learned here: love our planet and give nature the distance and respect it deserves.

Source: http://www.viralnova.com

17 totally true facts about black bears that’ll bring the warm and fuzzies.

1. This is a Louisiana black bear.

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Don’t recognize it? If you ever had a stuffed animal toy, maybe you should.

2. The Louisiana black bear allegedly inspired an American shopkeeper to make the original teddy bear.

The story goes that way back in 1902 President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was on a hunting trip in Mississippi. Despite Roosevelt being a famously avid hunter, when his hosts captured and tied up a black bear (intending to give it to him as an easy trophy), Roosevelt refused to shoot the animal, saying it was unsportsmanlike.

The press eventually got hold of this story, and this excellent cartoon was born:

This political cartoon in The Washington Post depicted Roosevelt’s historic refusal. Image from Clifford Berryman/Wikimedia Commons.

Well, the story goes on to say that the cartoon was seen by a shop owner named Morris Michtom. Now, at this time there were other stuffed bear toys around, but it was apparently Michtom who first called them “Teddy’s bears,” which proved immensely popular and eventually turned into teddy bears.

3. While many subspecies of of black bears are thriving, the Louisiana black bear in particular have been struggling.

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There are 16 different subspecies of black bears, and most have been doing well, but the ones in Louisiana haven’t been doing so hot.

Part of this is because while Roosevelt didn’t shoot that captured bear, other Louisiana bear hunts continued on. And it wasn’t just that: As people chopped down the forests, the black bears were losing their homes. This one-two punch dropped the population of Louisiana black bears to under a hundred.

4. But thanks to a lot of people working hard to restore its home, the iconic Louisiana black bear finally has a brighter future ahead.

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In the 1992, the government, recognizing the bear’s plight, added the Louisiana black bear to its list of endangered species, granting it special federal protections.

Now, more than two decades later, it’s been declared that the Louisiana black bear population has recovered. So much that they’re going to be removed from the list of federally protected species. A lot of that is thanks to landowners helping to restore the forests the black bears depend on as homes.

5. That’s great news for a true icon! Why so iconic, you ask? Well, they didn’t just give us teddy bears; they were also the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh.

President Calvin Coolidge also had a pygmy hippo and a wallaby. Can we please get Obama a wallaby? National Photo Company/Wikimedia Commons.

President Calvin Coolidge kept a pet black bear in the White House. Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt also had pet bears, but we don’t know the species, unfortunately.

7. Which is kind of amazing, considering they can weigh half a ton.

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That was the weight of the biggest black bear even seen, although the typical specimen is more like 400-500 pounds.

8. Their size doesn’t stop black bears from being super athletes.

Image from Joshua Kenney/Flickr.

They’re also quite good at swimming and can run 30 miles per hour.

9. Believe it or not, black bears aren’t just black.

Image from Jon Rawlinson/Wikimedia Commons.

Black bears aren’t just great at sports; they’re fashion models too! They can be blueish, brown, cinnamon-colored, or even white. The white ones aren’t albinos, by the way. That’s just what their fur looks like.

10. Some of their relatives, like these sun bears, look a little goofy.

Two sun bears in Viet Nam. Image from Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images.

American black bears are most closely related to the Asian black bear and the Internet meme-inspiring sun bear.

11. But their ancestors were mega-awesome.

Image from Ghedoghedo/Wikimedia Commons.

All bears are descended from big, ancient predators known as “bear dogs.” Guess who else is descended from bear dogs? (Hint: It’s dogs.)

12. Black bears generally aren’t picky eaters…

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Black bears are omnivores, which means they’ll eat both plants and animals. And yes, they do eat honey, although they also love the bee grubs as well.

13. …but with a sense of smell that is seven times better than dogs’, black bears often find themselves in trouble when they go digging for food in trash cans and campsites.

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16. Keeping bears away from our campsites and homes is good for us and for them; that’s why it’s such welcome news to hear that conservation efforts have given Teddy’s bears their homes back.

Source: http://www.upworthy.com/

New ruling on sonar use is a big victory for whales

For nearly the last half century, the U.S. Navy has blasted loud, low-frequency sounds into the ocean in the name of national security. While they were looking for sneaky submarines, they were also causing undue stress to the mammals of the ocean.

According to Wired, the sonars loud, low-frequency waves hit a sweet spot where whales and other marine mammals communicate with one another. In extreme cases, author Nick Stockton wrote, the sonar could spook whales and dolphins into mass beaching events. But the sonar also acts like white noise, creating a lead curtain for whales messages to one another and disrupting the fabric of their social groups.

After a long fight between the U.S. Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Resources Defense Council, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the current regulations for sonar use by the U.S. Navy does not adequately protect marine mammals. So now the Navy will have to re-configure how they use sonar during peacetime to be less disturbing to marine mammals.

H/T: Wired, NBC News

Source: http://www.dailydot.com/

The owners putting pets on vegan diets: ‘We feed our animals without exploiting others’

Veganism is on the rise, and not just among humans. But is the trend safe especially when it comes to carnivorous cats?

The owners putting pets on vegan diets: ‘We feed our animals without exploiting others’

Veganism is on the rise, and not just among humans. But is the trend safe especially when it comes to carnivorous cats?

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Mozambique: 6,000 animals to rewild park is part-funded by trophy hunting

Donation of animals by Zimbabwe wildlife conservancy to rewild war-torn park could not have happened without big-spending hunters

Call it Noahs Ark on lorries. Dozens of trucks rolled over the Zimbabwe savanna carrying elephants, giraffe, African buffalo, zebras, and numerous other large iconic mammals. Driving more than 600km of dusty roadway, the trucks will deliver their wild loads to a new home: Zinave national park in Mozambique. The animals are a donation from Mozambiques Sango Wildlife Conservancy a gift that the owner, Wilfried Pabst, says would not be possible without funds from controversial trophy hunting.

In remote places and countries with a weak tourism industry and a high unemployment rate, it is very difficult or almost impossible to run a conservancy like Sango without income from sustainable utilisation, Pabst said.

Sustainable utilisation means the use of wildlife for hunting or trophy hunting. Pabst, who purchased Sango in 1993 and opened its doors 10 years later, says that trophy hunting provides approximately 60% of the revenue required to keep Sango running every year. Another 30% comes out of the German businessmans own pockets.

While Sango does welcome non-hunting tourists, Pabst says it is not possible to attract enough in this remote area to equal the revenue made by trophy hunters willing to travel to pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot iconic megafauna, includingNile crocodiles, elephants and lions.

Sango to Zinave

Over the next six years, Pabst will donate 6,000 large mammals from Sango to Zinave as part of the Peace Park Foundations programme to rewild a vast tract of land in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area (TFCA).

Mozambiques 15-year-long civil war left its once world-renowned parks almost empty of any animal large enough to shoot and eat, but numerous efforts today are working to bring back animals to Mozambique, often transporting them from either neighboring South Africa or Zimbabwe.

But, Masha Kalinina, a trade policy specialist with the Humane Society International, said the plan to transport thousands of animals across Zimbabwe to Mozambique was misguided and potentially deadly for individual animals. Indeed, such transports are not without risk: an elephant died last year en route to Zinave from South Africa.

Mozambique continues to have one of the highest rates of poaching in southern Africa, she said. Mozambique lost nearly half of its elephants to poachers in five years.

Now both South Africa and Zimbabwe are transporting their own animals to this park just so that they may die at the hands of either trophy hunters or poachers. Is that what we are calling conservation? Kalinina asked.

Giraffe
Giraffe at Sango. Photograph: Eric De Witt/Sango Wildlife Conservancy

Still, there is little chance of rewilding Zinave without bringing animals overland. A similar transportation project was done for Mozambiques Gorongosa national park though nowhere near this scale and it succeeded in bringing new species that had been lost during the war. While poaching is particularly high in parts of Mozambique, it is also a pressing concern in Zimbabwe and most other countries few African mammals live beyond the cloud of the global poaching crisis.

Pabst say he is not making any revenue from the donation of 6,000 mammals but views it as a part of Sangos commitment to wildlife conservation in Africa. The funding for transporting the animals, which includes a small army of veterinarians, rangers, ecologist, truck drivers and helicopter pilots, is coming from the Peace Park Foundation.

Sango is at the center of Zimbabwes Sav Valley conservancy, in remote eastern Zimbabwe. A few decades ago, Sav Valley nearly the size of Cornwall was overrun by cattle. Now, it is bustling with herds of iconic African species, including 160 rhinos that require constant guarding against poachers.

Pabsts Sango covers about 17% of Sav Valley and is run under whats known as a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements (BIPPA), which allows Pabst to manage the conservancy privately via permission from the Zimbabwe government, including setting quotas for trophy hunters.

Kalinina contends that Sav Valley Conservancy is nothing more than a profit-driven wildlife ranch stocked with wild animals. She says they are not doing this for conservation but to sell animals to globetrotting trophy hunters.

Blood sport or conservation?

Trophy hunting has been controversial for decades, but the issue took on a new global awareness last year after the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe went viral. Despite the fact that around 600 lions are killed yearly in Africa by trophy hunters, something about this particular story and this lion captured the publics attention.

Kalinina said despite the attempt by hunting groups to greenwash it, trophy hunting is unethical, cruel, a threat to non-consumptive tourism like wildlife watching, offers no long-term conservation benefits, and provides minimal economic and employment value.

For his part, Pabst insists that Sango couldnt survive without trophy hunting. He said if trophy hunting were suddenly outlawed in Zimbabwe as some organisations may wish his operation would run out of money within months and most of the 200,000 animals will be poached probably within one year.

While trophy hunters, by definition, shoot to bring a trophy home, the meat of the animal killed is often eaten as well. In Africa, the meat is usually shared with local communities. Although there are some animals you typically dont eat: lions, leopards and rhino. Elephants are only eaten in some places.

The only two large animals that are not hunted in Sango are African wild dogs and rhinos, because these endangered species are protected in the country.

We exclude additional species from hunting as the situation dictates, Pabst added.

Sango keeps a close track of its animals. Depending on the species, Sango allows hunting of approximately between 0.2-1% of an animals total population annually.

Sustainable [hunting] means that the off take will neither hinder the growth, nor allow any given species to fall below ecologically sustainable numbers, Pabst explained. This is a highly complex issue and very difficult to understand for a non-conservationist operating in Africa.

In total, Pabst says around 200 animals are hunted in Sango annually or one 10th of 1% of the parks estimated 200,000 mammals.

These regulations and their strict control at Sango is the key factor of successful management through sustainable use which now [allows] us to donate 6,000 of our animals to Zinave, he said.

The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), a global not-for-profit organisation that advocates for conservation and hunting, says that hunting tourism is an important tool to combat one of the biggest threats to African wildlife: poaching.

Zebras
Zebras at Sango. Photograph: Sango Wildlife Conservancy

They argue that so long as local communities benefit in some way from hunting funds through jobs, payouts, or developing projects they are far less likely to poach wildlife such as elephants and lions that they view as dangerous or destructive to their livelihood.

What would these local people [have] turned to in absence of alternative employment? Poaching! a spokesperson for CIC wrote in an email. As strange as it sounds, yes, the hunting of a few individual animals leads to the conservation of the species, killing of an animal saves the species.

Pabst say Sango is living proof that trophy hunting can support broad conservation goals.

But Kalinina contends that trophy hunters only support conservation to buy themselves public acceptance.

One wonders, take away the thrill of the kill … would trophy hunters still invest in protecting our planets last remaining wildlife?

Conflicting evidence

Hunting proponents, however, contend that its animal rights activists who dont realise their actions are actually hurting conservation not helping it.

Kenyas wildlife areas have decreased by almost 80% since the 1977 hunting ban was imposed, while at the same time being home to some 200 NGOs trying unsuccessfully to repair the damage done, Probst said.

Hunting advocates commonly point to Kenya as an example of what happens when hunting is banned: they say habitat shrinks, populations decline, animals vanish because the economic incentive for local communities and the government to keep alive evaporates eco-tourism just doesnt pay enough to keep animals alive and secure habitat, according to them.

The reality, though, is complicated.

Black
A black rhinoceros with young one, shortly before sunset, at Sweetwaters in Kenya. The countrys wildlife population has plummeted over the last four decades, but so have many nations in Africa. Photograph: Angelika/Getty Images

Kenya is hardly the only African nation to see a catastrophic decline in wildlife: a grim study in 2010 found that Africas big mammals had declined on average by 59% over the last 40 years and this was inside protected areas.

The reasons were complex according to scientists: habitat loss due to expanding agriculture and poaching for bushmeat or to feed the illegal wildlife trade, but underlying all of this: explosive human population growth.

Kenya, like most African countries, has seen human population rise at a shocking rate in the past 40 years. In 1977, Kenya had 14.5 million people; today it has more than 48 million people. This trend is similar across Sub-Saharan Africa, whose population has basically tripled since 1977, hitting a billion people in 2015. This rise in human populations has placed crushing pressure on the continents wildlife.

Parks in southern Africa fared best in 2010 study, but the researchers noted that this region also had lower population densities and spent more money on its parks than its neighbours. The worst hit areas were West and Central African countries a staggering 85% decline in wildlife including a number of nations which allow trophy hunting.

So, while hunting policy undoubtedly plays a role in animal populations, whether for the positive or negative its likely a more minor one than either critics or advocates claim.

Like so many things: the devil is in the details. Hunting proponents argue that trophy hunting is essential to conservation efforts but this argument only holds water if money actually makes its way to local communities or helps secure and manage habitat. Levies on trophy hunting may be important revenue for governments, but will only aid species if that money is then funneled back into conservation efforts and protected area management something that is difficult to measure in many countries given high levels of corruption and other pressing priorities.

A US congressional report by democrats on the committee on natural resources concluded, unsurprisingly, that trophy hunting is managed well in some areas and poorly in others.

In many cases, the laws, institutions, and capacity necessary to make trophy hunting benefit conservation are lacking, the report continues.

A 2009 report by the IUCN an organisation that supports trophy hunting found similar mixed results. Though its take away message was more damning: hunting does not … play a significant economic or social role and does not contribute at all to good governance. The report criticised the sector for supporting few jobs, bringing little money to locals, and benefiting a few at the expense of the many.

Still, one country that seems to have found a positive way to link conservation with trophy hunting is Namibia. Here, local communities have been given local control over communal land giving them an economic incentive to manage animal populations both for tourism and trophy hunting. Money goes directly to the local families who live with the animals. Now, Namibia is one of the few places in Africa where animal populations are on the rise.

Both sides of the argument like to claim they have science and facts on their side, but things are never so simple.

Research on the subject tends to assert that trophy hunting might support conservation but the key here is might. It depends on how well the programme is run and who is really benefiting. Scientists are concerned not only by some programmes that allow too many animals to be killed, but also the evolutionary consequences of trophy hunters often targeting the biggest and most impressive animals.

At the same time, many of the worlds major conservation groups including WWF, the Nature Conservancy, and the IUCN continue to support trophy hunting, in part because they view the hunting community as a key ally in advancing conservation.

As the debate simmers, one country to keep an eye on is Botswana. Botswana announced a ban on hunting in 2014, but it has come with costs. The plan included no exemption for Botswanas indigenous populations, such as the San People, that have depended on game meat for millennia. Many have been arrested and beaten simply for hunting on their ancestral land (the government has announced it is rethinking this policy). Some villages have reportedly seen job declines due to lost revenue in trophy hunting. At the same time, Botswana maintains some of the strongest populations of African wildlife on the continent and is hugely popular with tourists.

Kalinina pointed to Great Plain Conservation, an initiative run by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, as an example of how to move beyond trophy hunting. Great Plains often purchases private hunting concessions to turn them into luxury photo-only tourism areas. Renowned lion experts, the Jouberts have long been critical of trophy hunting.

While killing one lion may generate $15,000-$30,000, the value of that animal to photographic tourism may be as much as $2m during the lions lifetime, said Kalinina.

But you first have to get tourists and for Pabst, thats a problem in remote, lesser visited Zimbabwe.

Goals

Peoples views of animals are undergoing a transformation. As a society, we are finally recognising that the worlds non-human species are not the automatons that Rene Descartes insisted they were a view that tainted animal science for centuries. Instead, we now know that other animals experience complex emotions, experience suffering and many show surprising levels of intelligence (the number of animals known to use tools rises every year).

In this debate, animal rights groups have moral outrage and increasingly, it seems, the public on their side. There havent been a lot of polls taken on the issue of trophy hunting, but a poll in 2015 found that 84% of Albertans and 91% of British Canadians, including those living in rural areas, opposed trophy hunting. Try to think of another issue in which 80-90% of people polled would agree?

Another poll found that 62% of Americans believe big-game sport hunting should be outlawed, including 32% of American hunters.

It may be that both trophy hunters and animal rights activists have something in common, though. Conservation is an important, but largely secondary, concern to both.

Workers
Workers prepare animal skins in front of animal trophys at the taxidermy studio in Pretoria. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Many animal rights activists see establishing the rights of animals as the ultimate goal. If conservation suffers from doing this (due to a plunge in funding), it may be a risk that many activists see as worth taking.

On the other hand, many trophy hunters view the experience of the hunt as paramount. If the hunt promotes conservation all the better, but it may not be the primary goal when looking at an outfitter or pulling the trigger.

Still, if the goal really is conservation, it comes down to money. If animal rights groups want to eliminate trophy hunting in Africa without potentially undercutting some vital conservation efforts they have to find alternative revenue streams that can make up for the gap, especially in places like remote Zimbabwe.

On the other hand, if trophy hunters want to keep shooting they need to convince the world their hobby isnt a self-indulgent blood sport. They need to make sure hunting concessions are actually benefiting local people and the long-term survival of local species. They need to prove they are conservation-focused by demanding much better from the industry.

Conservation is a great challenge that can only be achieved if we perceive Africa differently, Pabst said.

Indeed, Africa is the only continent that didnt see a widespread extinction of its megafauna in the last 10,000 years as such it is a time capsule of a truly lost world, a place of giants. But its vanishing. Throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa, habitat loss represents one, if not, the biggest threats to species. But here is Zinave national park: a habitat the size of Rhode Island thats just waiting for animals to return.

Kenyan
Kenyan wildlife rangers stand near the carcass of an elephant, in Tsavo East, Kenya. Poaching is one of the biggest threats to animals worldwide. Photograph: Khalil Senosi/AP

And over the next eight weeks, Pabst in one of the biggest overland transports of African animals yet will be sending 900 impalas, 300 wildebeests, 200 zebras, African buffalo, and eland antelopes, 100 giraffes, and 50 kudus. Even 50 African elephants will be making their way to Zinave. If all goes according to plan: Zinave will be wild and full again.

And such stories just prove: nothing in conservation is black and white. Well, except the zebras.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Fluffy Samoyed puppies bravely fight off evil wind-up toy frog

This little wind-up frog is no match for two of the fluffiest, cutest, most ferocious 8-week-old Samoyed puppies in the world.

Watch as the siblings battle the evil toy with their merciless poofy paws and their deafening roars. After countless attempts to hop away from its attackers, the frog waves its white flag and is carried off by one of the giant beasts like a well-earned trophy. Poor frog didn’t know what was coming and ended in defeat.

Victory to the pups! Huzzah!

Source: http://mashable.com/

Snake on a plane: reptile panics passengers on Mexico City flight

Plane gets priority landing after large serpent appears on ceiling of the cabin before dropping to the floor

Passengers on a commercial flight in Mexico were given a start when a serpent appeared in the cabin in a scene straight out of the Hollywood thriller Snakes on a Plane.

The green reptile emerged suddenly on an Aeromexico flight from Torreon in the countrys north to Mexico City on Sunday, slithering out from behind an overhead luggage compartment.

Mobile phone video shot by passenger Indalecio Medina showed it wriggling briefly as if trapped before partially dropping down into the cabin.

I was reading a magazine and the passenger next to me saw it and, Oh my word! Medina said on Monday. He estimated it was more than 3ft (about 1m) in length.

Passengers hastily unbuckled themselves to get clear of the snake before it dropped to the floor, where people trapped it between rows 5 and 6 with blankets provided by a flight attendant, Medina said.

It was a frightening situation … but people remained calm because it didnt get out of that space and nobody became hysterical, Medina said. Some people got up to see what kind of reptile it was, but nobody got carried away.

After the pilot radioed ahead, the plane was given priority landing in Mexico City and touched down 10 minutes later. Passengers exited out the rear, and animal control workers came on board to take the stowaway into custody.

Aeromexico said in a statement that it was investigating how the snake got into the cabin and would take measures to keep such an incident from happening again.

Snakes on a Plane was a 2006 action movie that was about exactly what the title suggests. It is treasured by fans for its campy premise and star Samuel L Jacksons profanity-laced declaration of war on the CGI-generated serpents.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Experience: my dog rescues cats

We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats

Molly is the worlds first trained cat detection dog. Her job is to rescue missing moggies. We had been looking for a dog with a particular temperament and intelligence to join our team of pet detectives for 18 months. We had scouts out and had spoken to the countrys top breeders.

We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats.

I came up with the idea in 2014. Ihad been doing the job for 20 years and my business, Pet Detectives, was getting around 30 calls a week about missing cats. When cats go to ground, they go into a comatose-like state and if they are not found quickly, within a fortnight, they often dont survive after being rescued.

One particular couple who called me had bought their cat after struggling to have children. We found it in a neighbours garden shed, but it later died. Seeing them so bereft was a tipping point for me.

I worked in the police as adetective inspector for many years, and had seen dogs search for drugs and bombs and help with murder investigations. I figured, if a dog can be trained to find amphetamines, then it can be trained to find cats.

We found Molly, an 18-month-old black-haired cocker spaniel, on Gumtree. She was a giveaway. The ad said: Needs a good home, cannot cope. If cocker spaniels are not stimulated they become uncontrollable. She had been passed from pillar to post and had three owners in under two years.

I first met her in February 2016, at the home of Medical Detection Dogs, the charity that would help train her. We had already rejected 12 dogs without seeing them. Three others didnt make it through initial training: one was too timid, one got car sick and the other was too inclined to chase.

At first, Molly was anxious. But she had intelligent eyes and was a problem-solver. She was also hyper and fixated on catching tennis balls. She had the right temperament: abright working dog from a breed with a natural disposition to search for game. We just had to channel that instinct into finding cats.

She had to be cat-tested, so we took her to a farm with a dozen cats to see if she would chase them. She didnt even bark. Her focus was on interacting with her handler.

Her training took nine months with experts, including two doctors of canine behaviour. This had never been done before. She was aquick learner. The first phase was lab training, where we taught her to isolate scents. She then worked with a behavioural specialist who taught her to understand signals and commands. The final stage was teaching us to work together.

On assignments, Molly is trained to pick up cats scents from their bedding. When she finds the missing cat, she lies down to signal success, so as not to scare them, but you can see her trembling with excitement. She gets rewarded with her super-treat: black pudding.

Her first success was in February this year. A tri-coloured moggy had been sighted six miles from home on the roof of a garden shed. Molly quickly picked up her scent on the grass. I sent her across the back of 30 gardens until she started clawing at a fence. She charged across the lawn to a summer house and lay down. The cat was inside. The owners were over the moon and quite amazed by her.

Molly has helped to rescue 11 cats so far, and our search success has increased by a third. She wears afluorescent harness and has her own abseiling kit, which we once used to lower her over a 10ft wall. Were getting special boots made to protect her feet in outbuildings where there may be nails or glass.

Many people said that training a dog to rescue cats was crazy; that all dogs chased cats and it couldnt be done. Nothing has felt quite so rewarding as seeing it work. People are fascinated when they watch Molly at work, but shes not fussed. She still doesnt know that those things with four legs that she searches for are called cats. To her, itis just her favourite game.

As told to Deborah Linton

Do you have an experience to share? Email experience@theguardian.com

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

National emergency? Belgians respond to terror raids with cats

An official request for citizens to avoid tweeting anything that could inform terrorists what is going on resulted in a national outbreak of pet pics

When, on Sunday evening, Belgian police asked citizens not to tweet about the armed operations that were being carried out around the country, anyone could have been excused for reacting with fear.

Brussels in lockdown for a third day

Belgian forces searching for suspects in the aftermath of the Paris attacks told citizens to stay indoors and not go near their windows for safety reasons.

They also appealed for social media silence about any police action users might witness presumably to keep the suspects in the dark.

A tense time, no doubt. But Belgium reacted how else? with cats.

Instead of speculation about the sort of threat police might be reacting to, many people used the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag to post pictures of their pets.

Seimen Burum (@SeimenBurum) November 22, 2015

Don’t share info on situation #BrusselsLockdown that may help suspects. Confuse them with #cat pics @lopcute pic.twitter.com/0MlbjgCF4v

Lore De Witte (@loredewitte) November 22, 2015

“I got this” #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/l97iQz47Pb

Delphine Jory (@Ladyblogue) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown en live. pic.twitter.com/z9qVWhtMA9

anna-rose phipps (@lopcute) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown CodeNameSpinner pic.twitter.com/1KG0GePEN5

Amit Bhat (@amitbhatr) November 22, 2015

Don’t worry super cat is here #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/ocou9Bagly

TineEeckhout (@TineEeckhout) November 22, 2015

May the force be with us. #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/m9OuEVhfXS

JaneAustenMaMaschio (@ExTimUpperClass) November 22, 2015

#relax, Mes amis #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/LENxVUnnv9

melissa jacobs (@deathrep) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown You ROCK Belgian people! Showing the world how to deal with terrorism! Love from #NativeAmerica ! pic.twitter.com/EyCPO8345q

And after the all-clear was announced by officials with the news of arrests there was a sigh of relief and a message of gratitude.

CrisisCenter Belgium (@CrisiscenterBE) November 22, 2015

Thanks to the media and citizens for their silence online as asked during the juridicial intervention tonight #BrusselsLockdown

Belgian police later thanked the cats for their help.

Police Fdrale (@PolFed_presse) November 23, 2015

Pour les chats qui nous ont aid hier soir… Servez-vous! #BrusselsLockdown pic.twitter.com/7O5ENF6nXa

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

‘Catastrophe’ as France’s bird population collapses due to pesticides

Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, because insects they feed on have disappeared

Bird populations across the French countryside have fallen by a third over the last decade and a half, researchers have said.

Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, the scientists said in a pair of studies one national in scope and the other covering a large agricultural region in central France.

The situation is catastrophic, said Benoit Fontaine, a conservation biologist at Frances National Museum of Natural History and co-author of one of the studies.

Our countryside is in the process of becoming a veritable desert, he said in a communique released by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), which also contributed to the findings.

The common white throat, the ortolan bunting, the Eurasian skylark and other once-ubiquitous species have all fallen off by at least a third, according a detailed, annual census initiated at the start of the century.

A migratory song bird, the meadow pipit, has declined by nearly 70%.

The museum described the pace and extent of the wipe-out as a level approaching an ecological catastrophe.

The primary culprit, researchers speculate, is the intensive use of pesticides on vast tracts of monoculture crops, especially wheat and corn.

The problem is not that birds are being poisoned, but that the insects on which they depend for food have disappeared.

There are hardly any insects left, thats the number one problem, said Vincent Bretagnolle, a CNRS ecologist at the Centre for Biological Studies in Chize.

Recent research, he noted, has uncovered similar trends across Europe, estimating that flying insects have declined by 80%, and bird populations has dropped by more than 400m in 30 years.

Despite a government plan to cut pesticide use in half by 2020, sales in France have climbed steadily, reaching more than 75,000 tonnes of active ingredient in 2014, according to European Union figures.

What is really alarming, is that all the birds in an agricultural setting are declining at the same speed, even generalist birds, which also thrive in other settings such as wooded areas, said Bretagnolle.

That shows that the overall quality of the agricultural eco-system is deteriorating.

Figures from the national survey which relies on a network of hundreds of volunteer ornithologists indicate the die-off gathered pace in 2016 and 2017.

Drivers of the drop in bird populations extend beyond the depletion of their main food source, the scientists said.

Shrinking woodlands, the absence of the once common practice of letting fields lie fallow and especially rapidly expanding expanses of mono-crops have each played a role.

If the situation is not yet irreversible, all the actors in the agriculture sector must work together to change their practices, Fontaine said.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Happy dogs of all sizes frolic in a leaf pile

Right now, we’re in the middle of the dog days of summer, with temperatures exceeding ten million degrees. But think about this: what if it were autumn?

More specifically, what if we had crisp fall leaves? Also, what if dogs were playing in those leaves? And they were very happy? And no one was sweating?

Sorry, is this cruel? Anyway, here are some dogs playing in a leaf pile. Please try to stay cool.

Source: http://mashable.com/

Everything Wrong With The Secret Life Of Pets

A few hours ago Cinema Sins uploaded their new issue of “Everything Wrong With…”. This time the animated movie “The Secret Life Of Pets” gets a video critic – and you can be sure that this video will get a lot more than the 70,000 views it now has.

“Here is a movie that wants so very hard to be a good movie. It’s not, but it wishes it was. Instead it’s just… ugh.”

Source: http://www.viralviralvideos.com

The Weirdest Senses Animals Have That You Dont

People like to imagine that theyre the pinnacle of evolution, but the animal kingdom suggests otherwise. The discovery that bumblebees use hair on their legs to detect a flowers electromagnetic field offers another reminder that human senses dont always measure up. You share the planet with creatures that can smell veins, see colors you cant imagine, and communicate through their feet. Here are just a few animals with senses sharper than yours.

01

Bumblebees

Bumblebees rely on many things to find those roses in your garden, including voltage. They accumulate a small positive charge as they fly, and flowers have a negative charge just by sitting there. Mechanosensory hairs on a bees legs respond to the attraction between these opposite charges, guiding them to a bloom. A flowers charge changes once a bee stops by, something their sisters pick up on so they know to move along to the next one.

Credit: Getty Images

Bumblebees rely on many things to find those roses in your garden, including voltage. They accumulate a small positive charge as they fly, and flowers have a negative charge just by sitting there. Mechanosensory hairs on a bees legs respond to the attraction between these opposite charges, guiding them to a bloom. A flowers charge changes once a bee stops by, something their sisters pick up on so they know to move along to the next one.

02

Sharks

Beyond being among the most skillful predators on the planet, sharks possess the best biological conductor of electricity yet discovered. Its called Lorenzini jelly, and it fills a network of pores all around the sharks face. As Jaws swims toward lunch, the jelly detects minute differences between the electrical charge of the animal and the water around it. Its like a homing device that guides the shark right to a meal, even in the darkest, murkiest water.

Credit: Getty Images

Beyond being among the most skillful predators on the planet, sharks possess the best biological conductor of electricity yet discovered. Its called Lorenzini jelly, and it fills a network of pores all around the sharks face. As Jaws swims toward lunch, the jelly detects minute differences between the electrical charge of the animal and the water around it. Its like a homing device that guides the shark right to a meal, even in the darkest, murkiest water.

03

Octopuses

If youve ever worn Ray-Bans, youve tasted life as an octopus. Their skin has patterns that are entirely invisible to human eyes because theyre hidden in lights polarization the direction (up and down or side-to-side) that light waves oscillate as they travel. The world usually doesnt look too different through polarized sunglasses, which only show you light oscillating in one direction, because human eyes cant tell the difference between the two. But photoreceptors in octopuses eyes can differentiate between them, revealing those subtle patterns that people cant see without special cameras.

Credit: Getty Images

If youve ever worn Ray-Bans, youve tasted life as an octopus. Their skin has patterns that are entirely invisible to human eyes because theyre hidden in lights polarization the direction (up and down or side-to-side) that light waves oscillate as they travel. The world usually doesnt look too different through polarized sunglasses, which only show you light oscillating in one direction, because human eyes cant tell the difference between the two. But photoreceptors in octopuses eyes can differentiate between them, revealing those subtle patterns that people cant see without special cameras.

04

Mantis shrimp

Mantis shrimp are famous for striking prey so hard that the water around them gets as hot as the sun. Its a cool trick called cavitation, but its not their only superpower. Lights polarization can also rotate clockwise or counterclockwise, giving it whats called a circular polarization. Mantis shrimp have patterns in this circularly polarized light that are invisible to every animal on Earth except for other mantis shrimp. To facilitate signalling and mating, their eyes have evolved filters that can distinguish between the two circular polarizations. Score one more for the mantis shrimp.

Credit: Getty Images

Mantis shrimp are famous for striking prey so hard that the water around them gets as hot as the sun. Its a cool trick called cavitation, but its not their only superpower. Lights polarization can also rotate clockwise or counterclockwise, giving it whats called a circular polarization. Mantis shrimp have patterns in this circularly polarized light that are invisible to every animal on Earth except for other mantis shrimp. To facilitate signalling and mating, their eyes have evolved filters that can distinguish between the two circular polarizations. Score one more for the mantis shrimp.

05

Vampire bats

Everyone hates a phlebotomist who keeps poking away in search of a vein. Vampire bats avoid this by sniffing out veins using the same TRPV1 proteins that tell you that your tea is scalding hot. Instead of alerting them to danger, these proteins concentrated in a bats nose tell them when theyre above skin warmer than about 86 , where theres a big, juicy blood vessel hiding underneath.

Credit: Getty Images

Everyone hates a phlebotomist who keeps poking away in search of a vein. Vampire bats avoid this by sniffing out veins using the same TRPV1 proteins that tell you that your tea is scalding hot. Instead of alerting them to danger, these proteins concentrated in a bats nose tell them when theyre above skin warmer than about 86 , where theres a big, juicy blood vessel hiding underneath.

06

Pit vipers

Pit vipers have night-vision goggles built into their faces. One of their namesake pits resides below each nostril, and these pits act like a pair of eyes that only see infrared light, which we feel as heat. So they distinguish temperatures instead of colors. Though the pits arent focused well enough for the snake to pinpoint prey without visual help, theyre so sensitive that they can notice temperature variations of as little as a thousandth of a degree.

Credit: Getty Images

Pit vipers have night-vision goggles built into their faces. One of their namesake pits resides below each nostril, and these pits act like a pair of eyes that only see infrared light, which we feel as heat. So they distinguish temperatures instead of colors. Though the pits arent focused well enough for the snake to pinpoint prey without visual help, theyre so sensitive that they can notice temperature variations of as little as a thousandth of a degree.

07

Elephants

Elephants communicate in all sorts of wonderful ways. They trumpet, of course, and flap their ears and rumble at frequencies so low you might feel it, but never hear it. Cooler still, their feet and trunks are sensitive enough to pick up vibrations created by elephants as far as 10 miles away. These messages convey more than the presence of food or danger, too. Elephants can tell if the stomper is a friend or a stranger, and use subtle differences in what each foot feels to triangulate the source—like how you know where someones yelling from just by hearing them.

Credit: Getty Images

Elephants communicate in all sorts of wonderful ways. They trumpet, of course, and flap their ears and rumble at frequencies so low you might feel it, but never hear it. Cooler still, their feet and trunks are sensitive enough to pick up vibrations created by elephants as far as 10 miles away. These messages convey more than the presence of food or danger, too. Elephants can tell if the stomper is a friend or a stranger, and use subtle differences in what each foot feels to triangulate the source—like how you know where someones yelling from just by hearing them.

08

Roundworms

Even the lowly roundworm needs to know which way is up as it shimmies through dead plants or squirms in a petri dish. These creatures, just a millimeter long, rely on a single nerve that detects Earths magnetic field and orients them accordingly. Although roundworms are among the most exhaustively studied species, no one realized this about them until last year, when scientists in Texas discovered their worms from Australia burrowing in the wrong direction.

Credit: Getty Images

Even the lowly roundworm needs to know which way is up as it shimmies through dead plants or squirms in a petri dish. These creatures, just a millimeter long, rely on a single nerve that detects Earths magnetic field and orients them accordingly. Although roundworms are among the most exhaustively studied species, no one realized this about them until last year, when scientists in Texas discovered their worms from Australia burrowing in the wrong direction.

09

Honeybees

Bees are another animal that can detect the Earths magnetic field, but unlike birds and other creatures with this ability, no one is quite sure how they do it. The leading theory is a magnetic mineral called magnetite lining cells in the bees abdomens creates something akin to a compass telling them which way is north. But others think that sunlight sets off a chemical reaction in the bees whose products are affected by magnetic fields. While humans work that out, the bees will just continue using Earths magnetic field mocking our limited senses in the process.

Credit: Getty Images

Bees are another animal that can detect the Earths magnetic field, but unlike birds and other creatures with this ability, no one is quite sure how they do it. The leading theory is a magnetic mineral called magnetite lining cells in the bees abdomens creates something akin to a compass telling them which way is north. But others think that sunlight sets off a chemical reaction in the bees whose products are affected by magnetic fields. While humans work that out, the bees will just continue using Earths magnetic field mocking our limited senses in the process.

Source: http://www.wired.com/

America’s horrifying new plan for animals: highspeed slaughterhouses | Scott David

There is still time to stop an imminent program that would allow facilities to increase slaughter speeds, while reducing the number of trained government inspectors

If you care about animal welfare or food safety, this news will concern you: the nationwide expansion of a risky US Department of Agriculture (USDA) high-speed slaughter program is imminent. But the good news is there is still time to stop it.

The USDA is now accepting public comments on its proposed rule that it euphemistically dubbed the Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection. As a former undercover investigator who worked inside a pig slaughterhouse operating under the pilot project that was, at the time, called HIMP, Ive seen firsthand the hazardous and cruel nature of this controversial program and can say with certainty that its anything but modern.

This expanded program, formally called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), would allow facilities to increase slaughter speeds, while reducing the number of trained government inspectors on the lines. In other words, the responsibility of food safety oversight is largely shifted into the hands of slaughter plant employees. Combine this with faster speeds on the kill floor and the result is problems that can and do go unnoticed.

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For nearly six months, I worked undercover inside Quality Pork Processors (QPP), no typical pig slaughterhouse. An exclusive Hormel Foods supplier, QPP kills about 1,300 pigs every hour operating under the high-speed pilot program. Thats more than 21 pigs per minute, making QPP one of the fastest pig-killing facilities in the nation.

QPP has widely been considered a model for the USDAs nationwide expansion of the pilot program through NSIS, but when no one thought the public or USDA was watching, behind the slaughterhouses closed doors, I documented pig carcasses covered in feces and abscesses being processed for human consumption, and workers under intense pressure to keep up with high line speeds beating, dragging, and electrically prodding pigs to make them move faster.

NSIS may also allow higher numbers of sick and injured pigs too weak even to stand (known as downers) to be slaughtered for food. As documented on my hidden camera, these animals endured particularly horrific abuses as they were forced to the kill floor in a desperate attempt to keep the slaughter lines moving as fast as possible.

I even documented a supervisor sleeping on the job when he was in charge of overseeing the stunning process to ensure pigs were effectively rendered unconscious before their throats were slit.

One QPP employee even said to me on camera, If the USDA is around, they could shut us down.

That, in a nutshell, is the underlying problem with this initiative: its a program that largely allows the slaughterhouse to police itself.

Though Ive witnessed these horrors firsthand, Im far from the only one warning of the dangers of NSIS. USDA whistleblowers, labor unions, and even members of Congress have expressed their objections to this program.

A 2013 report by the USDAs own Office of the Inspector General stated that since FSIS did not provide adequate oversight, HIMP plants may have a higher potential for food safety risks, concluding that this program has shown no measurable improvement to the inspection process.

In 2016, a letter from 60 members of Congress to the USDA stated the available evidence suggests the hog HIMP will undermine food safety, and that rapid line speeds present some of the greatest risks of inhumane treatment as workers are often pressured to take violent shortcuts to keep up. The letter further states: We are concerned that these new rules are being pushed by the industry to increase profits at the expense of public health.

More than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition against the pilot programs expansion through NSIS, and earlier this month, a coalition of 35 animal, worker, environmental, and consumer protection organizations also urged the USDA to drop the proposal.

At a time when consumers are rightfully demanding more transparency in the food industry, the USDAs so-called Modernization program is a big step backward.

Halting the expansion of the dangerous pilot program and bringing it to an immediate end is the only conscientious and compassionate choice for the USDA, a federal agency that has the opportunity, and the responsibility, to put animals, consumers, and workers above powerful pork industry interests.

To sum it all up in the words of a USDA whistleblower who worked as an inspector at QPP: Its no longer meaningful for consumers to see that mark indicating that their product has been USDA-inspected.

  • Scott David is a former undercover investigator and current investigations associate at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal protection organization based in Washington DC.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Google Photos can now recognize the lovable faces of your cats and dogs

I wish this was one of the approximately 8,000 dog photos on my phone.
Image: Ruud Lauritsen/Kennel Club/REX/Shutterstock

Google knows that your phone holds untold gigabytes of snapshots of your favorite animal friends. So the search giant is making it even easier to group those pics all together.

The algorithm behind Google Photos will now be able to recognize your Very Good dogs and cats automatically, and will group the reams of photos you’ve taken of them just like it does with pics of people. Google announced the new functionality in a blog post, which is alone worth a read for the sheer number of paw puns pulled off in five short paragraphs. 

You’ll also be able to assign a label to each grouping of pet photos, so when you’re in need of an Instagram-worthy pupper shot, you can just search your photos by your dog’s name. 

Image: google

Google claims you’ll be able search your photos by breed, too, but the company acknowledged to BuzzFeed that the algorithm could have trouble differentiating between multiple animals within that parameter. You’ll also be able to search using 🐶  and 🐱 emoji through all of your animal images, whether they’re actually your own, or just the funny cat pics you download from the internet.  

The new search and organization features are only available for dogs and cats, though. If you love your horse or iguana or massive rideable python, you’re sadly out of luck. You’ll have to organize those pics yourself.       

Source: http://mashable.com/

Cats help a Japanese chef take on American sushi

There’s something so satisfying about watching sushi being made.

JunsKitchen carefully crafts five American-inspired sushi rolls, which explores the difference between American and Japanese sushi. Jun says in the video’s comments that Japanese sushi focuses on “enjoying the pure flavor of ingredients that are in season,” while American sushi is based on the combination of flavors.

As Jun assembles the sushi, his two cats (Haku and Nagi, according to the description on his website) look on, giving their approval as he lets them sniff the ingredients. 

Sushi is good. Cat-approved sushi is even better. 

Source: http://mashable.com/

Awkward half-cat loafing on the stairs sparks Photoshop battle no one expected

Image: reddit, catcatdogcat

The Internet will never tire of the strange beauty of an awkwardly placed cat.

This poor feline who is stuck on the stairs, somewhere between a comfy cat-loaf position and actually being able to stand is a perfect example.

Poor cat.

Image: reddit, catcatdogcat

We’re sure the cute kitty was able to find a way to another part of the house, but not before a picture was taken for the Internet’s amusement and so Redditors could photoshop it to their hearts’ content.

You made it weird, Internet.

Image: reddit, meganlee

Image: reddit, InnererSchweinehund

Image: reddit, zvoidx

Image: reddit, SOWTOJ

Image: reddit, errathingistaken

Image: reddit, evil-i

Image: reddit, TheBlazingPhoenix

Image: reddit, doctordollaz

Image: reddit, bonkavonk

Image: reddit, stolenwastedyouth

Image: reddit, Jelecno

Image: reddit, TheBlazingPhoenix

Image: reddit, RexLeou

Image: reddit, JAGUART

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Source: http://mashable.com/

Ever wonder what itd sound like if animals could talk?

Do animals also complain about dating apps? Yep, pretty much. Introducing our new series ‘Talk Like The Animals’! Subscribe for new episodes weekly: http://on.mash.to/SubscribeWatercooler

Ever wonder what it’d sound like if animals could talk? We were so curious we made it happen with sarcastic, silly and even sassy personalities. Watch all episodes right here: http://on.mash.to/TLTA

Source: http://mashable.com/

‘Bank’ the turtle dies after swallowing 900 coins thrown into her pond

Sea turtle that lived in public pond in Thailand dies of blood poisoning despite surgery to remove 5kg of loose change from her stomach

A sea turtle nicknamed Bank has died of complications following surgery to remove nearly 1,000 coins she swallowed during captivity, vets in Thailand have said.

The cause of death was blood poisoning from the loose change, doctors at the veterinary faculty at Bangkoks Chulalongkorn University confirmed.

She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed, said Dr Nantarika Chansue, who removed 5kg (11lbs) of coins from the turtles stomach in a lengthy operation on 6 March.

At 10.10am she went with peace, Chansue, the vet in charge of Chulalongkorn hospitals aquatic research centre, told reporters, adding: She is my friend, teacher and patient.

Thai media began publicising the turtles tale last month and members of the public donated about 15,000 baht (350) towards her surgery.

Coins
An officer shows the coins the turtle ate over many years. Some had corroded or partially dissolved. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn Universitys veterinary faculty removed the coins over four hours while the turtle was anaesthetised. The mass of coins was too big to take out through a 10cm incision, so they had to be removed a few coins at a time. Many of them had corroded or partially dissolved.

Chansue said when she discovered the cause of the turtles agony she was furious. I felt angry that humans, whether or not they meant to do it or if they did it without thinking, had caused harm to this turtle, the vet said at the time.

At first Bank appeared to be recovering well after the operation, but a checkup on Saturday revealed problems with its intestines. Doctors performed a second operation but Bank never woke up and died on Tuesday morning.

Bank lived for two decades in a public pond in Chonburi province, about 110 miles (175km) south-east of Bangkok. The turtle swallowed 915 coins that tourists threw into the pond. Eventually, the money formed a mass that cracked Banks shell.

Vets hope that media coverage of the stricken creature will make people think twice about throwing coins into ponds where animals live.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Rogue cats steals the spotlight in interview with Latvian mayor

An online Q&A session with Nils Uakovs, the mayor of Latvia’s capital, Riga, was all well and dandy until a fluffy feline made its debut and casually crashed the interview.

Uakovs is an animal lover and has two cats living at Riga’s Town Hall building, so sometimes this means things can get a bit unpredictable. The cat got a little thirsty, strutted onto the scene, and boldly sipped out of the mayor’s cup like it owned the place.

You can see Uakovs trying to stare his pet down so it’d get the hint. He tries to remain cool, but can’t keep a straight face after the adorable interruption.

Cats rule everything around us, even Latvian government work.

[H/T: Independent.ie]

Source: http://mashable.com/

Nobody Believed Him When He Described His Birds Nightly Ritual, So He Caught THIS

Heres a must-see talented bird who is a total entertainer! Hes a gray and white cockatiel, and he is certainly gifted and loves sharing his talents alongside his partner.

Here he is whistling a tune while joined by his human partner who accompanies him on piano. They performance is the theme song from My Neighbor Totoro. This is a Japanese animated fantasy film that was made in the 1980s. This bird is an expert whistler! Seriously, have you seen humans whistle this well? Hes totally enjoying himself and is pitch perfect throughout the whole performance! This would be a trip to own a bird like this!

Share this great bird and human performance with all your friends and family!

Source:

Polar bears aren’t actually white and more amazing facts about Arctic animals who need your help

It’s hard out there for an Arctic animal.

The Arctic Circle is one of the last intact ecosystems on the planet to be mostly unaffected by industrialization (so far). But between the wind and the cold and the encroaching industrialization of the Arctic region, things are pretty rough above 66 degrees north latitude.

That’s exactly what makes these animals so remarkable. Adorableness aside (so much adorableness), these majestic critters are survival experts, built to tough out the most extreme conditions. But the looming threat of Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil drilling might be the one challenge they can’t overcome.

So while we celebrate their utter cuteness which is of course important let’s not forget that they’re also Mother Nature’s Arctic BAMFs, but it’s up to us to keep ’em around.

Here they are, from the smallest to the, erm, not-so-small.

Lemmings

Most people think lemmings are the opposite of survivalists, thanks to Disney and a certain addictive video game. But lemmings are actually tough little creatures. They’re decent swimmers, and they have some incredible migratory patterns that continue to boggle scientists with their dramatic seasonal fluctuations. Rather than having a reputation for mass suicide, these creatures ought to be known for being able to endure whatever nature throws their way.


There are all kinds of ice seals in the Arctic. Harp seals probably think they’re pretty fancy because their scientific name means “ice-lover from Greenland.” But that doesn’t intimidate the bearded seals; they only get annoyed when people point out that what they have are actually mustaches not beards. Meanwhile, the ribbon seals pretty much just keep to themselves, floating alone on patches of ice. Maybe because they’re all self-conscious about how they’re the only seals born with a weird air sack and scientists don’t understand what it’s for.

But all of the ice seals can agree on one thing: They’d really like people to stop killing them and stealing their fur.


Blubbery buddies. Mustachioed mammals. Kind-of-like-seals-but-totally-different. Whatever you wanna call ’em, walruses are incredibly social. So social, in fact, that their mating rituals are basically giant, violent, sing-song-y orgies. And if that weren’t enough to make a shy walrus feel self-conscious, it turns out that walrus society is also very judgmental about tusk size. Which makes it that much more insulting when humans hunt them for their ivory.

On the bright side, it’s a good thing walruses are used to close quarters because they’ve been making like lemmings and moving en masse thanks to the rapidly melting landforms they once called home.

Source: http://www.upworthy.com/

The Facebook study about cat v dog lovers misses the point: pets are gross | Ijeoma Oluo

The world isnt divided into cat and dog people, but pet and petty ones

To celebrate International Cat Day this week, Facebook put its best and brightest to work on this groundbreaking study: cat people are single; dog people like horrible movies.

As I read through the descriptions of things cat people like reading The Hobbit alone in a basement, apparently I was like, Thank god Im not a cat person. And as I read through the things that dog people like watching Duck Dynasty in a group I was definitely like, Dogs are the worst. I am, as scientifically confirmed by my dislike of all the things cat people and dog people love (including cats and dogs), not a cat or dog person. But try as I might, the cat v dog debate is not one Ive been able to avoid.

Ive always been a little surprised how often it comes up. Yes, I know its supposed to be lighthearted fun, but its still everywhere. Ive been asked if Im a cat or dog person in job orientations, on online dating questionnaires, at cocktail parties. My answer has usually been, Im whatever type of person doesnt ask pointless questions.

And as I was rolling my eyes in judgment of the tastes of both types of people as described in the Facebook study, I realized there are two types of people in the world, but they arent dog people and cat people: they are pet people and petty people, and Im the latter.

I scorn both cat and dog people alike. I wrinkle my nose in disdain at your pet pics. I judge your movie choices whether you are a cat person who loves Alien or a dog person who loves the Blind Side. I laugh inwardly at whatever music it is you listen to (which this study didnt cover, but Im going to go ahead and be petty and assume its awful, whatever it is).

I dont want your dogs slobber on me, and I dont want your cats hair on me. I cant tell if that picture you posted on Facebook is of a new cat or an old cat because all cats look like cats to me. I will not attend your pet weddings. I will not celebrate your pet birthdays. And unless your pet has learned how to tell some great jokes, I firmly believe it has no place in dinner party discussion.

And, petty as I am, Im really sick of this cat v dog discussion excluding people like me. So, using Facebooks ultra-scientific information on cat and dog people (pet people) and my own personal knowledge (petty people), Ive decided to reframe this data in a way that includes me and my petty brethren. Youre welcome.

Books and movies

Cat people tend to like sci-fi and fantasy, while dog people like books about love and animals, according to Facebooks data wizards. That is: pet people like books and movies. Petty people like Twitter beefs, Instagram fights and YouTube response videos.

Facebook
Photograph: Facebook. https://research.facebook.com/blog/cat-people-dog-people/

TV shows

Cat people like anime and cartoons, while dog folks like shows with oddballs, like Duck Dynasty or One Tree Hill. To which petty people say: Lol, seriously One Tree Hill? In 2016?

Relationship status

Cat people are more likely to be single, and dog people are more likely to be paired. That is, pet peoples relationship status: they have one. Our relationship status: petty.

So the next time youre at a dinner party and you feel the urge to ask about cat and dog people, instead ask: Are you a pet person or a petty person? A pet person will answer you by immediately digging their phone out of purse or pocket to show you 500 pictures of their cat laying on various surfaces, like all other cats in the entire world. A petty person will blink at you slowly and sigh.

Because whether a pet person likes their furry house animals to crap in a litter box or prefers that they crap out in the yard, they are being judged equally by those who do not like animal crap at all.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

These smartphone pics of animals will give you all the Instagram envy

The park rangers were asked to capture unique images of the animals as only they see them.
Image: PORT LYMPNE RESERVE / PARQUE DE CABRCENO

LONDON Need a mental break from all the negative news out there? Here are some magical pictures of the incredible wildlife housed in two of Europe’s remarkable conservation parks.

Partnering with Port Lympne Reserve (Kent, UK) and Parque de Cabrceno (Cantabria, Spain), Sony Mobile challenged park employees to capture more intimate glimpses of wildlife by getting up close and personal with its new Xperia X smartphone.

Park rangers and animal keepers attended a masterclass taught by renowned wildlife photographer Neil Aldridge to pick up some photography tips and learn how best to utilise the phone’s unique features.

Those lessons obviously paid off, because they came through splendidly with some magical images that will make your fingers itch for Instagram. Take a look at some of their shots:

The Xperia X features a 23MP camera.

Image: Parque de Cabrceno

Xperia X boasts a “Quick Launch and Capture” feature.

Image: Parque de Cabrceno

Both parks are supported by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).

Image: PARQUE DE CABRCENO

Park employees were tasked with capturing images of the animals in motion.

Image: PARQUE DE CABRCENO

Both parks featured work for the conservation of endangered species.

Image: PARQUE DE CABRCENO

Not 100% what it is, but it’s cute!

Image: Port Lympne Reserve

Port Lympne Reserve houses over 50 species and has around 700 animals living in the park.

Image: Port Lympne Reserve

Some moisturiser might be useful here.

Park rangers and animal keepers were encouraged to get up close and personal to the animals.

Image: Port Lympne Reserve

In Sony’s video below, the photographer says features like the phone’s Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, which creates sharper images while tracking moving objects, are useful for taking pictures of the animals.

You can watch a video of the fun below:

Source: http://mashable.com/

Insanely cute puppy is a 10/10 in the smile department

We may have a next social media dog in the making. Is there anything a dog can’t do?

The answer is no. Dogs can do everything, including smile.

Blink and you’ll miss this dog slowly smiling directly at the camera, like only the cutest of cute things can do.

Give it a bone because this pooch just won our hearts. This Twitter video was posted on Sept. 5 and it already garnered 141k retweets. We can totally see why.

Can someone look at me the way Hoss looks at its owner? Thanks. 

Source: http://mashable.com/

A stunning photo project shows how dogs age through the years.

For many people, dogs are so much more than just a pet.

Dogs can be an integral part of life. They’re loyal companions who, just like everyone else in the family, are there for the big moments and the little ones like the birth of a baby or moving to a new home, or the first time you got grounded or binge-watched the last season of “Breaking Bad.” They bring joy and support to our lives every day. It’s easy to see why they’ve held the title of “man’s (and woman’s!) best friend” for … pretty much ever.


Oh my dog! That is precious. GIF via Canal de MASQUENADAmx/YouTube.

That’s the experience Massachusetts-based photographer Amanda Jones had with her long-haired Dachshund, Lily. Jones was inspired to adopt Lily after a photoshoot she did with the breed.

Lily brought 16 wonderful years of energy and love to her family, and Jones was there to capture it all. When Lily passed away, Jones made a memorial card to honor how much she had grown and changed over her lifetime, from a spunky little puppy to a well-loved, experienced senior.

Lily at 8 months, 2 years, 7 years, and 15 years old:

All images from “Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now” by Amanda Jones, published by Chronicle Books, used with permission.

The visual look at Lily’s life gave Jones a bigger idea.

“If I have these photos of Lily, I could probably go back and find some other dogs I’ve taken photos of in the past and do the same,” she recounted to Upworthy over the phone.

As a photographer for 20 years, she knew she had a huge database to work with. So she started following up with some clients from previous dog photoshoots, and turned her idea into a book called “Dog Years.”

In “Dog Years,” Jones shares photographs of 30 dogs in black-and-white at different points in their lives.

“The visual impact of comparing the young and the old varies greatly from dog to dog, just as it does from person to person,” Jones says in the book.

She’s so right.

Abigaile at 4 months and at 8 years old:

Fred at 3 years and 10 years old:

Audrey at 3 years and 12 years old:

You won’t find any props or cutesy backdrops in her photos. Jones focuses on pulling out the dog’s personality instead.

“A dogs life starts off small and then grows to include many different humans, other dogs, new tricks, and new experiences,” she said.

Cooper at 3 years and 10 years old:

Some dogs dont seem to age, yet others show the signs quite openly.

Maddy at 5 years and 10 years old:

“Maddy actually turned completely gray and wasn’t even that old. She had been treated for cancer, and the drugs turned her coat completely gray.”

On that same note, Jones said, she photographed a Yorkie that didn’t make it into the book “because she looked the same at 12 years old as she looked at 1.”

“The easiest part of working with dogs is they dont look at their photos and say, ‘Oh my God, I look awful! Do I really have that many wrinkles?'”

It may be hard to get dogs to sit still and take a picture, but there is one distinct advantage of taking photos of dogs instead of people: They don’t hold themselves to unrealistic standards the way humans do. Which means they’re never self-conscious subjects, and don’t know Photoshop even exists. (And even if they did… they probably wouldn’t care).

“The easiest part of working with dogs is they dont look at their photos and say, ‘Oh my God, I look awful! Do I really have that many wrinkles?'” Jones said.

Visualizing the timeline of a dog’s life is as beautiful as it is bittersweet.

Looking at these photos can bring out strong feelings and personal reflection on the dogs we’ve encountered in our lives, whether or not they were part of our families. There’s a really profound connection between humans and our dogs, and Jones captures it in a very real and touching way.

For a behind-the-scenes look at how she created “Dog Years,” watch this video:

Source: http://www.upworthy.com/

Angry bear charging a car is a good reminder never to mess with bears

Even from the safety of your vehicle, a charging bear is nothing to mess with.

Cody Kunau and his friend Samantha were driving to the Yakutat Lodge in Alaska for dinner when they encountered a large grizzly bear on the side of the road. As they approached the animal, it quickly scurried across the road and into the woods.

“This is a somewhat normal occurrence for here,” Kunau wrote. “Usually, the bears run off and catching a close up glimpse is hard. We slowed our vehicle down to where we saw the bear cross the road when suddenly it erupted from the bushes and came after our vehicle.”

The bear charged the car, following as the two pulled away in a hurry.

“Holy fuck, we just got charged by a bear,” Kunau can be heard saying in the clip.

The two were unable to find anything that would agitate the bear in the area, so they continued to the lodge where they warned locals of the really angry bear down the road.

Source: http://mashable.com/

RIP, Stubbs: Alaska town mourns the death of its cat mayor

Stubbs, a big yellow cat who survived a dog assassination attempt during his 19-year tenure as honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, died peacefully last Thursday. He was 20.

Stubbs was elected in 1998 through a write-in campaign. According to the AP, the 900-person town has no human mayor, and perhaps that’s just as well Stubbs appeared to be extremely popular with the electorate.

Stubbs the Cat Mayor of Talkeetna #whp

A post shared by Stubbs Mayor Cat (@stubbsmayorcat) on

And despite surviving both a dog attack in 2013 and false rumors of his death in 2016, Stubbs remained trusting and cuddly to the end, a quality his family lauded in a statement Saturday.

“[Stubbs] was a trooper until the very last day of his life; meowing at us throughout the day to pet him or to come sit on the bed with him and let him snuggle and purr for hours in our lap,” the statement reads.

“Thank you, Stubbs, for coming into our lives for the past 31 months; you are a remarkable cat and we will dearly miss you.”

The late mayor will likely be succeeded by a kitten named Denali, who reportedly “has the exact same personality as Stubbs.”

Here’s hoping he also has the same political acumen. Rest in peace, Mr. Mayor.

Source: http://mashable.com/

Nobody Believed Her When She Described What Her Rotty Does When She Pets Him. So She Caught THIS

Rottweilers, the cutest and cuddliest of dogs, right? Not exactly!

At least the stereotype leads us to believe that these guys are rough and tumble dogs. While they do have a natural instinct to protect and guard, they do have another side to them that not many people get to see. Even certain towns will ban these dogs due to only seeing the guard quality.

Truth is they are beautiful dogs and they love to show affection. You will see in this video, the beauty of this dog and the sweetness they possess. Hugs and kisses? Yep, he loves em! The trippy part of this video is when the dog actually starts purring like a kitty! Its actually a thing among Rottweilers. They call it the rottie rumbles!

This calm and relaxed beauty is amusing and cute as ever! Enjoy his antics and be sure to share with all of your dog loving friends and family!

Source:

25 Deadliest Animals to Humans

25. Deathstalker

This highly venomous scorpion residing primarily in North Africa and the Middle East is responsible for over 75% of scorpion related deaths every year.

Although healthy adults usually only feel unbearable pain, children that are envenomated suffer fever, coma, convulsions, and paralysis before their lungs fill up and they drown in their own fluids.

24.Africanized Honey Bee

An experiment gone wrong, in 1957 a Brazilian bee keeper who was trying to interbreed European and African honey bees accidently let some of his pets get away. Much more aggressive than their European counterparts, these genetically mixed killer bees have since then spread through out the Americas. They have come to be feared in some regions because of their tendency to swarm relentlessly and aggressively chase their victims for miles.

23. Bulls

Due to farming and riding accidents, 3 people per year die in the US from bulls. In other countries bull riding deaths happen often, especially in Spain.

22. Black Widow and Brown Recluse

In the US, 3 people per year die due to spider bites. Many are young children and they dont receive medical care soon enough to prevent death from occurring. Death is much more common in other countries.

21. Bears

About ten people a year die from bear attacks. They usually try to avoid people, but when an encounter does occur, they can be vicious.

20. Sharks

About 75 shark attacks are reported each year, while 10 of those end up in deaths. Great White Shark and the Bull Sharks are often the attackers.

19. Leopards

Its unclear how many are killed by leopards each year as not many keep records of such. But in India one year, 15 people were indeed killed by the leopard.

1 2 3

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Queen makes dogs’ dinner of corgi hierarchy

Animal psychologist reveals Queens feeding rituals for favourite pets, including homeopathic and herbal remedies

The Queens corgis, which have been described as a moving carpet preceding her as she walks round her royal residences, have become almost as emblematic of the British crown as their famous owner.

So few will be surprised to learn that Her Majesty likes to treat them like royalty, dispensing succulent dishes of steak, rabbit or chicken from individual menus and served from silver and porcelain borne by a liveried servant.

A stickler for protocol, she employs a rigid pecking order, with each receiving their dishes in order of seniority.

The fascinating secrets of her corgis daily dinner ritual is revealed by animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford in a forthcoming special edition of Town & Country, dedicated to the Queens 90th birthday on 21 April. Having worked for the royal household for decades, Mugford has long observed the sovereign and her cherished pets at close quarters.

At feeding times, each dog had an individually designed menu, including an array of homeopathic and herbal remedies. Their food was served by a butler in an eclectic collection of battered silver and porcelain dishes, he writes.

As I watched, the Queen got the corgis to sit in a semi-circle around her, and then fed them one by one, in order of seniority. The others just sat and patiently waited their turn.

She has owned about 30 of the dogs during her long reign, breeding them from her first, Susan, given to her as an 18th birthday present by her father, George VI, and mother, Queen Elizabeth. They have since become a non-negotiable part of her life, though Prince Philip has been heard to exclaim: Bloody dogs. Why do you have so many?

When young princesses, she and sister Margaret, invented the dorgi, by cross breeding her corgi, Tiny, with Margarets dachshund, Pipkin. At the time, the Kennel Club snootily observed: The dachshund was evolved to chase badgers down holes, and the corgis to round up cattle. If anyone loses a herd of cattle down a badger hole, then these are just the dogs to get them out.

Princess

Princess Elizabeth with her first pet corgi, Susan, at Windsor Castle in 1944. Photograph: Getty

The corgis have featured in portraits, official photographs and on a golden jubilee Royal Mint crown. They have their own Wikipedia page, and the question What are the names of the Queens corgis? consistently ranks among the top 10 most asked questions on the British monarchys official website.

When Monty, 13, died shortly after starring in the James Bond/Daniel Craig sketch of a parachuting Queen during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, obituaries praised his on-screen tummy roll.

The Queen made a decision to stop breeding her dogs in recent years, so their numbers have declined. She now has just two corgis, Willow and Holly, and two dorgis, Candy and Vulcan.

Mugford told how the monarch showed deep compassion for her pets and was dismayed by any cruelty to animals, and took a dim view of US President Lyndon Johnson, who picked his dogs up by the ears.

When shes talking about her dogs or her horses, you see a completely different side to her: she relaxes. Dogs are great levellers, and theyre not influenced by social status, which must be a great relief to her. No wonder she enjoys being around them, he writes in the spring issue of Town & Country, which goes on sale on Thursday.

Royal staff have been known to take a less indulgent view of the dogs as they frequently tripped over them while forced to roam her palaces and castles armed with blotting paper and a soda siphon to clear up any little accidents. A few have also been on the receiving end of a sharp nip to the ankles.

One footman, in revenge, was once reportedly said to have spiked the dogs food with gin and whisky then watched them teetering tipsily around the palace gardens before his crime was discovered and he was dismissed.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Cat Found An Orphaned Baby Rabbit. But Her Next Move Left Even Mom SPEECHLESS! OMG!

Watching unusual animal pairs always warms my heart.

They are a great example that the power of love is strongest force in this world and can overcome any differences. If these furry animals can do it, why can’t we? Sometimes you are lucky to see cats and dogs being best friends and even become a mother to children that aren’t theirs. But have you ever heard of a cat adopting a baby rabbit?

In the video below, a cat named Snaggle Puss from Rotherham, UK is not your usual mother. She adopted a tiny bunny baby named Bubbles. Bubbles was left all alone when his mom died when he was just 1 week old. Snaggle Puss, who had a litter at the same time, took in Bubbles as one of her own. The kittens dont seem to mind their new rabbit sibling.

Did this video melt your heart? Share with all your loved ones!

SHARE this adorable video with all your friends on Facebook!

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Orphaned Raccoon Rescued By Family With Dogs Thinks Shes A Dog, Too

What happens when a baby raccoon falls out of a tree and into a family of two dogs?

Well it turns out that the raccoon begins to believe that shes a canine as well! Such was the case with Pumpkin, an injured baby raccoon who was rescued by a family after they were not able to locate the mother. They nursed her back to health and she began to bond with their two rescue dogs.

She instantly bonded with us and our two rescue dogs and follows me and our two dogs everywhere we go. She now thinks she is a dog she is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough, said the rescuer.

Rosie Kemp found a baby raccoon with a broken leg in her yard

It was abandoned so Kemp and her daughter decided to adopt her

She instantly bonded with us and our two rescue dogs

[she] follows me and our two dogs everywhere we go

She now thinks she is a dog

She is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough

Raising heris a full-time job

They are so unbelievably intelligent

I would say they are even able to express emotions

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Cruel Woman Tapes Dogs Muzzles Shut So She Can Take A Nap

While dog barking can be annoying, taking measures like this woman did is inexcusable, disgusting, and for animal lovers everywhere, long term prison punishable. This woman is the prime example of such disgust and hopefully she will serve a long time in prison.

Her name is Claudia Tate, 72, and she was charged with two counts of animal cruelty. What did she do? She actually taped her dogs mouths shut. She apparently did this so they would not bark while she napped!

Turns out authorities were called for a welfare check on two dogs that she kept chained outside. When they arrived they were shocked to find the dogs with tape wrapped around their muzzles. The woman came out once the officers started removing the tape.

Take a look at this piece of work:

Image Credit: Gloversville Police Department

The woman admitted to what she had done, and removed the tape from the other dog. Thankfully the dogs were removed from her home and she was transferred to the Fulton County Correctional Facility. Share this with friends and family.

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Humans Catch This Chipmunk Stealing Bird Food. His Reaction When He Realizes Hes Caught? HILARIOUS

You may have witnessed the guilt-ridden expressions on dogs once they are busted eating someone elses food, but what happens when a chipmunk is totally busted in similar fashion?

This guy is nailed as hes been breaking into a backyard bird feeder. When he realizes he is busted, his surprise look is priceless! Not only does this little guy freeze, but slowly he begins spitting out all the stolen feed he was storing in his mouth! The cameraman couldnt help but comment how gross all of his spitting out of food was, but theres no denying that its also more than a bit funny, and even kind of cute. This little guy was probably stocking up on feed for hibernation time. Often they will grab a bunch and store it in their big, puffy cheeks, so they can transport it back to their own home. But this guy feels so much shame that the food slowly dribbles out. You can almost hear him saying, bird feed, what bird feed?

Check out this amazing capture of a chipmunk caught red-handed and his priceless reaction! Share with all of your animal loving friends and family!

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