Video Shows Lions Licking Tent With Camper Still Inside

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A camper in Africa experienced a too-close-for-comfort encounter with nature when she recorded three lionesses licking her tent while she was still inside.  Francie Lubbe was camping at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Botswana on May 9 when she recorded the lionesses licking water on the tent leftover from a heavy rain the night before. The lionesses, inches away, were visible through the tent’s clear mesh. Drinks and sunblock lotion can be seen on the other side of the tent, directly opposite the lionesses’ heads.

Could a Child Really be Raised by Animals?

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I recently became a first-time mother. In addition to my daughter, Myrtle, I share my home with a motley collection of rescued animals including dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and pigs. This multi-species, multi-generational co-habitation—along with the release of a new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book—left me thinking about the phenomena of feral children, a topic I had considered in my book about human-animal interactions more generally. Certainly in some exceptional circumstances I can now appreciate how it might be possible for a human child to be cared for by a non-human surrogate.

A New Code of Conduct to Protect Animals From Drones

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A quick search online will reveal dozens of videos of drone and bird encounters. While it’s always impressive to see a bird of prey take down a pesky quadcopter, the disturbance could impact the animal in ways we don’t yet understand.  As the commercial drone industry kicks off and drones are increasingly used in conservation efforts, two Australian researchers have developed an animal-drone code of conduct to begin the conversation about how these machines should be ethically used.

Secret Life of Animals, Captured on Camera

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Scientists trying to learn about the lifestyles of elusive critters (tigers and cougars come to mind) have their work cut out for them.  Many animals will smell or hear a researcher long before the researcher sees them. As for observing nocturnal animals? Forget it. But in the last few years, many wildlife researchers studying animals in their natural habitat have had a technological assist from camera traps. These devices lie in wait until a passing animal triggers their motion sensor.

Johns Hopkins Ends Use of Live Animals for Surgical Training

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The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will end its use of live animals in medical education, school officials announced Wednesday.  For many years, surgical procedures on live pigs have been part of the core clerkship in surgery for Hopkins medical students at Hopkins. But the School of Medicine is now joining the nationwide trend of switching entirely to computer simulations for such training.  “Given that almost all medical schools have stopped using live animals in medical student education and that the experience is not essential, the School of Medicine has decided that the use of live animals in the surgical clerkship should stop,” school officials wrote in a message sent to students Wednesday.

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What would you say is the world’s most dangerous animal? A shark? A tiger? What about a crocodile?  An Australian man was killed by a crocodile this week; his friend escaped with his life after a three-hour ordeal.  Crocodiles are dangerous enough, they kill an estimated 1,000 per year. But the world’s deadliest animal, year after year, is a much smaller creature: the mosquito.  Here are some of the world’s deadliest animals.

Are We Smart Enough to Understand How Smart Animals Are?

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Is a human smarter than an octopus?   “It’s really the wrong question to ask,” says primatologist Frans de Waal. “Because I’m smarter than an octopus in things I’m good at, like language and technology. But the octopus is smarter than me in many other ways.”  Inky the octopus recently made an astounding escape from his tank in the national aquarium of New Zealand. Under the cover of darkness, he squeezed through a crack in the top of his tank, stretched his long body through a drain hole in the floor and slithered down a 50 meter pipe to escape into the sea. Is Inky a genius?

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