Monthly Archives: November 2016

Rare Baby Sifaka Makes Public Debut

Yousstwo, a Crowned Sifaka, was born in December at the U.K.’s Cotswold Wildlife Park to mom Tahina and dad Bafana. This rare breed of lemur is native to Madagascar. Yousstwo’s parents are the only breeding pair of Sifakas in the UK, and his mom is the first hand-reared Sifaka in history to parent-rear her own offspring. Only seven zoos around the world have this rare species. Yousstwo has been in a heated enclosure under his mom’s watchful eye since he was born, but he has now ventured outside and made his public debut. — Get updates from the Cotswold Wildlife Park’s Facebook


Bald Eagle Hatches in D.C.

A pair of bald eagle parents, Mr. President and The First Lady, made headlines earlier this month as they huddled over their nest at Washington’s National Arboretum during a late winter snowstorm. Well, their hard work and protection has paid off. The first of their eggs hatched on Wednesday morning, and is being referred to as DC4. The pair’s second egg has not hatched yet. Another patriotic pair of D.C. eagles, Justice and Liberty, had an eaglet of their own on March 15. — Read it at Washington’s WTOP


“Wonder Dog” Saves Her Owner

A woman who fell down a cliff in South Australia has her dog to thank for going to get her help. Sue Pethnick, 55, was walking with her Red Heeler, Abby, at a beach camping area on Monday afternoon when she tumbled down a sandy embankment and broke her leg. Abby knew what to do, and returned to the campsite to get the woman’s husband, Michael. “Abby the wonder dog, then led the man back to the cliff face several hundred meters away,” South Australia Police said. Rescue crews arrived to help and Sue was flown by helicopter to a local hospital, where she’s now in stable condition. “She’s certainly a little hero now,” Michael said of Abby. He planned to reward his dog with a big bone back at home.

Great Dane Rescued From Freezing River

Earlier this month during a snowy walk near the Willimantic River in Connecticut, a 140-pound Great Dane named Mike got a little too close to the edge, and tumbled 16 feet down an embankment and into the ice-cold water. “I was frantic the strong river current would carry him away,” said his owner, Patricia Halloran. Mike managed to stand in chest-deep water on a ledge of tree roots while Halloran called 911. Two firefighters donned cold weather gear and rappelled into the water to reach the 11-year-old dog — who was quite happy to see them. Once they guided him to the bank, Mike was able to walk up the hill on his own. The firefighters wrapped the shaking dog in a thick blanket and police drove him to the veterinarian, where he was treated for mild hypothermia. “I am so thankful that Mike was OK,” said Halloran, who made him chicken soup and gave him TLC once he was back home. “He’s a tough old boy.” The rescue happened on March 10, but the video was recently shared on Facebook by a local meteorologist. — Watch it at Today


Rare Florida Panther Kittens Spotted in New Area

In a “major milestone on the road to recovery” for the endangered Florida panther, a trail cam recorded a nursing mom followed by two female kittens earlier this month. It’s evidence that panthers are expanding their breeding territory across the Caloosahatchee River naturally, establishing a second, distinct population. This is the first wild female who’s been seen north of the river since 1973, when they were added to the endangered species list. A recovery plan for the species calls for three distinct populations to protect the cats from disease. — See photos at the Miami Herald


Footage of Wild Tiger Cub Sparks Hope

Around the world in Thailand, there’s exciting news for another rare cat. The discovery of a new breeding population of tigers in Thailand has been considered “miraculous” for a sub-species almost wiped out by poaching. Six cubs, as well as their moms, were seen on footage from camera traps in an eastern Thai jungle in 2016. It’s the second known breeding population of the endangered Indochinese tiger. “The extraordinary rebound of eastern Thailand’s tigers is nothing short of miraculous,” said John Goodrich, the tiger program director at Panthera, a wild cat preservation group. Experts warned that the breeding populations remain vulnerable.

Dog Saved From Burning Apartment

Crystal Lamirande came home to find her apartment on fire Tuesday afternoon but couldn’t get through the thick smoke to find her 10-year-old dog. Nalu was found unconscious and rescued by Santa Monica, California, firefighters, who then performed CPR on the dog for 20 minutes and saved his life. The grateful and emotional owner and her Bichon Frise mix visited the station Thursday to thank the crew. “That was just a great morale booster for all of the guys here in our department,” said firefighter Andrew Klein. — Watch it at Los Angeles’ ABC 7


First U.S. Bumble Bee Listed as Endangered

The rusted patch bumble bee was added to the government’s list of endangered species on Tuesday, making it the first wild bee in the continental U.S. to get federal protection. The addition came after President Trump’s administration lifted a hold it had placed on federal protections proposed by the Obama administration last fall. The population and range of the bee, once widely found in the Northeast and upper Midwest, has declined more than 90 percent since the 1990s due to disease, pesticides, climate change and loss of habitat, wildlife officials said. — Read it at Reuters


Study: Sea Otters Used Tools Before Dolphins

Scientists say sea otters have been using stone tools for thousands or even millions of years. Tool use seems to be innate in sea otters, unlike in dolphins, researchers said. A genetic study of wild sea otters living off the California coast suggests their ancestors living millions of years ago also showed this behavior. “Orphaned otter pups raised in captivity exhibit rudimentary pounding behaviour without training or previous experience, and wild pups develop tool-use behaviour before weaning regardless of their mother’s diet type,” the researchers wrote. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters.

Kitten Stuck Inside Wall

Using a thermal imaging camera, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, firefighters managed to find the location of a tiny kitten who was stuck inside the wall of a resident’s home. Firefighters said the kitten was a stray whose mom may have given birth in the homeowner’s attic, or brought her little ones there looking for a safe place to stay. Either way, this kitten apparently wandered away and fell into the wall space. “The owner was more than happy to let us cut a hole in the wall. They found the little guy in there,” said deputy fire chief Timothy Heiser. “They didn’t know how long he was in there for. They washed him off and brought some food for him back to the station.” The kitten has been named Wall-ee, and will be up for adoption at Broward County Animal Care. — Read it at ABC News


Study: Cats Like You Better Than Food

Cats often get a reputation as being rather aloof. But a new study finds that felines favor human interaction over toys, smells and even food. The researchers tested 50 cats from private homes and an animal shelter and took away their access to those four types of stimuli. Then, they reintroduced the stimuli to figure out which of them the cats liked best. Half of the cats most favored human interaction over anything else, although 37 percent went for the food. The study was published in the journal Behavioural Processes. — Read it at SF Gate


Panda Cub Twins Play Outside for First Time

Now nearly 7 months old, Zoo Atlanta’s twin panda cubs reached an adorable milestone on Monday when they had their first outdoor playdate. Their personalities were on full display as Ya Lun the adventurer quickly started to explore her new space while her more reserved sister, Xi Lun, was a little more cautious. Now that spring has arrived, the sisters will continue to explore their outdoor space at limited times during the day.