Animals
Amazing Animal Stories!

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Have a look at the photo above. Does that look like an acceptable habitat for a gorilla? Fortunately for this gorilla, a 30-year campaign to free her from an old Bangkok mall has gained momentum with Thai authorities ruling that the gorilla must be released.

Bua Noi, the 26-year-old gorilla, has lived in her concrete home for the vast majority of her life. Kanit Sermsirimongkol, the “owner” of this zoo’s prized possession, says he opened the zoo 30 years ago because he loves animals.

“There is no regulation how big the cage should be for a monkey, a snake or a bird. There is no rules yet,” Mr. Sermsirimongkol said.

But Thai authorities have recognized that the high-rise zoo breaches guidelines, as well as common sense, about how gorillas and other large animals should live, and Bua Noi has been ordered to be removed by July. It will be a hard ruling to enforce.

On the same floor as the gorilla are hundreds of other animals, including orangutans, a cheeta, bears, and a baboon. Mr. Sermsirimongkol asserts that the animals were all well cared for.

Bua Noi’s mate, a silverback male, died 10 years ago, leaving Bua Noi, a member of a species just as social as we are, locked in a type of solitary confinement.  Sinjira Apaithan has led the campaign to have the animal moved.

“I just felt so absolutely saddened by what I saw. We should have stopped this issue ages ago,” he said.

“It’s not the place for animals. So the main thing is education for Thai people, for Thai society, for a new generation to learn.” he added. “This is a lesson that we have to learn.”

Moving the gorilla comes with its own set of challenges. It’s possible for her to get an infection that her body isn’t used to if she’s moved to an enclosure with natural soil. It’s possible that the move would simply kill her. But her veterinarian hopes that she will someday be acclimated back into a group of gorillas so she doesn’t have to live on her own anymore.

 

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Typically when I hear people appeal to me the bird-destroying qualities of wind turbines, my bullshit detector goes off. Not because I don’t believe the claim, but because it’s used as a reason to not pursue the technology. The call to end wind turbine use makes about as much sense as the call to end cats. My approach is to identify a problem and fix it. And that’s exactly what researchers are doing! Today’s wind turbines kill far fewer birds than yesteryear’s. Which is good news for our winged, feathery friends. Still, we can always do better.

Special thanks to the Smithsonian for putting together this informative infographic on bird mortality. Featured image credit: David Clarke, Flickr

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Two previously undiscovered species of peacock spiders have been discovered in southeast Australia in the Queensland province. One of the spiders has vivid red and blue stripes, while the other is black and white. Peacock spiders get their name from the bright patterns and their courtship which looks like an intricate dance. The peacock spider is small, measuring in at less than a half an inch.

A UC Berkeley graduate student named Madeline Girard discovered the two species in the field, nicknaming the red and blue species “Sparklemuffin” and the other “Skeletorus” after its boney appearance.

Jürgen Otto brings us these awesome photos of the new spider species. Otto is an entomologist who specializes in photographing arachnids specifically. “Despite the large number of species we have discovered just in the last few years, I can’t help feeling that we may have just scratched the surface of this most exciting group of spiders, and that nature has quite a few more surprises in store,” Otto told Live Science. You can read more about these beautiful arachnids in Live Science’s article here.

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In 2005, Chris Barns set up a sanctuary specifically for baby kangaroos, otherwise known as joeys, in Alice Springs, Australia. But how is that there are enough orphaned joeys to require a whole sanctuary?

As it turns out, kangaroos being struck and killed by cars in the Australian outback is not uncommon. Chris was finding the orphans on the side of the road still in their mothers’ pouches, miraculously protected from the blunt force of the automobiles.

Barns received generous donations from all around the world to build his wildlife sanctuary in 2009, and by 2011, it was up and running. The sanctuary houses 28 kangaroos and one camel friend.

Barns was originally a bird keeper at the Pearl Coast Zoo in Broome, Western Australia. He had his first encounter with an orphaned baby kangaroo while at the Pearl Coast Zoo.

“My first experience with an orphan kangaroo joey was in 1989 when I was a 17 yr old Zookeeper at Pearl Coast Zoo in Western Australia. Her name was Josie Jo – a beautiful Western Grey joey being raised at the zoo staff quarters where I lived. The adventure of having a joey in the house and helping raise her made me realise that all I wanted to do in life was be the best ‘kangaroo mum’.”

These poor joeys were dealt a terrible hand in life with the loss of their mothers, but fortunately, Chris is here to save the day. Special thanks to them for providing us with these amazing photos. Feel free to visit their website, like them on Facebook, and Donate.

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The Kakapo is one of my all time favorite animals. It’s a beautiful, quirky parrot that lives in New Zealand. They’re the largest species of parrot in the world too. Sadly, their numbers have rapidly dwindled and are listed as “critically endangered” by the IUCN. There are so few that researches have given a name to each living bird. Now that’s some high class treatment for a ground-dwelling parrot!

When the life of one chick was in danger, the team over at Kakapo Recovery leaped into action to save it. Its shell had become accidentally crushed, and it was their responsibility to bandage it up. Just in time too! The chick was able to successfully hatch, along with 23 other chicks that year.

If you’d like to help the this incredible bird survive, visit Kapapo Recovery’s website and donate to their cause.

Lisa, the mother, accidentally crushed her egg. Uh oh! Fortunately, the keepers were able to bandage up the egg. They hoped that the chick inside wasn’t hurt! All that they could do was wait and hope. Source: Kakapo Recovery Facebook

Welcome to the world, little Kakapo.

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We all know how important it is to recycle, and there are few reasons not to. The biggest impediment is lack of access to recycling, but we’re getting better at that.  One area we are woefully insufficient is recycling our electronics. Columbite-tantalite, or Coltan, is used to make capacitors, and those capacitors are mined out of Lowland Gorilla territory, which has been a major contributor to their decline.

Of course, the best thing we can do is use our electronics until they no longer work and purchase used electronics whenever possible. But if your electronics are dead, do the right thing and find a way to recycle them. It might be out of your way, but it’s worth it in the end.

Special thanks to Compare My Mobile for this informative infographic.

Featured image credit: Safari Partners, Flickr

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As time goes by, more and more people are becoming aware that the way we raise food in this country is horrible. Chickens are one of the easiest animals to raise correctly, but sadly, they aren’t exempt from the horrors that livestock face in the US. Many times, chickens are debeaked so they can’t peck one another when confined to a cage. How terrible is that?

Sometimes they’re genetically modified to produce lots of meat, which restricts their ability to move around and live normal lives. The saddest thing about caged chickens is that, when rescued, they didn’t know to scratch the ground in search of food; a learned trait that most chickens possess. So what do all these labels mean? What is cage free? Free range?

The best thing that we can do for chickens is know where our eggs are coming from. I personally have been fortunate enough to locate a neighbor who has a few chickens and typically a weekly surplus of eggs I can purchase. I can say for sure that his birds are fed and treated well.

Special thanks to TakePart for this amazing infographic! Click to enlarge!! Follow TakePart on Facebook, Twitter.

Featured image credit: Matt Beckwith, Flickr

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It’s easy to forget what is hiding beneath when we’re always staring at the surface. You never know what is waiting to be discovered just out of view.

1. Danko Island, Antarctica

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2. Mediterranean Sea, France

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3. Laguna de los Burros, Mexico

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4. Switzerland

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5. Argentina

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6. Crystal River, Florida

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7. Sipadan Island, Malaysia

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8. Green Lake, Austria

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9. Iceland

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10. Eilat, Israel

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11. France

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12. Spain

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13. Magdalen Islands, Canada

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14. The Everglades, Florida

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15. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

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16. Fiji

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17. Zanzibar, Tanzania

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18. Jellyfish Lake, Palau

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19. Andaman Islands, India

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20. Papua New Guinea

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[h/t Distractify]