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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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