Video: Turtles’ Underwater High Five

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Last week we discovered beluga whales say hello by waving and blowing bubbles. Now it’s the turn of sea turtles to show us their underwater greeting. And if this YouTube video is anything to go by, the shelled ones apparently do it with a ‘high five’ style flipper slap. In the 35 second clip, which is sure to go viral, two turtles can be seen gracefully swimming towards each before both extending a flipper. The pair then give a perfectly timed high five before spinning around and continuing to swim together.

http://tinyurl.com/6teot4e

Video: Elvis The Crotchety Croc Steals Unsuspecting Lawnmower

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Two workers at a reptile park near Sydney, Australia had a narrow escape after a 16 foot, half-ton crocodile named Elvis suddenly lunged at them, making off with their lawnmower and successfully dragging the unsuspecting lawnmower down to his watery lair.  This sort of unruly behavior is not new to Elvis, who apparently has a long record of crocodile conduct unbecoming, in that he has already eaten two girlfriends at another crocodile park where he lived.  According to the Daily Mail, Billy Collett, the employee who was handling the lawn mower, told reporters that it happened very quickly, and that his heart almost jumped out of his chest.“We’d just started mowing, the croc’s sitting about five foot away from me in the water, then [the] next second he’s attached to the end of the mower, dragging it in, and almost taking me into the drink with him,” he said.

http://tinyurl.com/6q4laf6

Donor Gives $1.5 Million For No-kill Animal Shelter In Detroit

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An anonymous California donor has given a fledgling animal rescue organization in Detroit a $1.5 million gift toward building the city’s first no-kill shelter, rescue officials said today.  Detroit Dog Rescue, founded nine months ago by filmmaker Monica Martino and hip-hop artist Daniel (Hush) Carlisle, received the gift in the form of stock options last Thursday from the woman, who was moved by a on-air news segment showcasing their work in finding and rehabilitating some of Detroit’s thousands of stray dogs.

http://tinyurl.com/7tbyjab

Video: Tearjerker Alert: Former Lab Beagles See The Sun For The First Time

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Dog videos never fail to conjure up some sort of emotion. And this one really brings the waterworks. The video footage shows male beagles that were rescued from a California university animal testing lab seeing sunlight and stepping on grass for the first time.  The rescue mission, which happened in June, was recently followed by a much larger one from a lab in Spain. The group that undertook the cause, Animal Rescue Media Education (ARME), rescued a total of 72 dogs in the most recent effort, 32 of them having already been adopted in Europe, according to NBC Los Angeles.

http://tinyurl.com/ctbmg2k

Rare Asian Bird Takes “Wrong Turn,” Lands In Tennessee

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A rare Asian hooded crane, normally seen only in Southeast Asia, China and Japan, apparently “took a wrong turn” and has joined sandhill cranes wintering at the Hiwassee Refuge in southeast Tennessee, bird experts say, drawing flocks of curious birdwatchers along with it. “It’s a great thrill,” said Melinda Welton, conservation chair for the Tennessee Ornithological Societyand a bird migration researcher. “People are coming in from all over the country to see this bird.”

http://tinyurl.com/cpv8yl6

Video: Red Panda Found In House

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Okay, seriously now, what is with animals these days? First a baby seal waddles its way out of a bay in New Zealand, through a cat door, into a house,and takes a nap on a couch.  Then, a New Jersey cable guy finds a 500-pound bear snoozing in the basement of a customer’s house.  Now, a woman in China reportedly came home to find an adorable red panda hanging out in the corner inside her house.  According to ITN News, the curious little panda has since been released back into the wild, but not before a fortunate few were able to visit and take photos.

http://tinyurl.com/7ggzwa5

The New Face Of Pet Therapy

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The practice, once limited to nursing homes, is aiding people, young and old, with a range of ills.  No doubt about it. People have a deep and complex relationship with animals, which elicit a wide range of emotional responses by their very presence and interactions with human beings.  But these days, animals are being involved in human therapy in innovative ways that depart drastically from traditional notions of animal-assisted therapy.  “Most people think of nursing homes, and people going in to cheer up the elderly,” said Bill Kueser, vice president of marketing for the Delta Society, a nonprofit group that promotes animal-assisted therapy. “It’s really become much more than that.”  Animals have become part of many types of psychotherapy, physical therapy and crisis response, Kueser said. And it’s not simply using a therapy dog to calm or soothe a person, either, he said.

http://tinyurl.com/7bejtm2

Rare Malaysian Rhino Gets New Mate To Save Species

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Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have captured a female Borneo Sumatran rhino who will be paired with a new mate in a breeding program meant to save their species from extinction.  The plan is the cornerstone of efforts to preserve the bristly, snub-nosed animal, whose numbers have fallen to fewer than 40 in the jungles of Borneo island.  Officials have spent more than three years seeking a suitable mate for a middle-aged male rhino named “Tam,” who was rescued in Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state in 2008 while wandering in an oil palm plantation with an infected leg likely caused by a poacher trap.

http://tinyurl.com/6ue8x59

Blind Dog, Lost Last Month And Thought Dead, Makes It Back To San Antonio Family For Christmas

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SAN ANTONIO — A blind dog that was lost and believed to be dead is reunited with his San Antonio family for Christmas, thanks to Craigslist, a school teacher and an animal care agency.  Nearly a month after Stevie Oedipus Wonder disappeared — and was reported dead — the cairn terrier mix puppy is home for the holiday, the San Antonio Express-News reported Saturday.  “This is my Christmas miracle,” Stevie’s owner Belinda Gutierrez said. “I actually thought I was going to have a sad end of the year and a sad Christmas.

http://tinyurl.com/7a5k7z5

Photos: Rare Wild Animal Searches Of 2011 On Google Zeitgeist List

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Each year, Google releases its Zeitgeist review of the most popular and fastest rising search terms of the year. Analyzing the world’s queries, Google is able to show which people, places and things represent the “spirit of the time” for 2011. One of the Zeitgeist lists is of the fastest rising searches for “rare wild animals” in 2011. Ranging from the intimidating Komodo dragon to the majestic bald eagle, a number of amazing creatures were searched this year.  See if any of the animals you searched for made the top 10, and vote for your favorites.

http://tinyurl.com/6qo986p

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