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The kea is the only alpine parrot on the planet, and is one of ten parrot species endemic to New Zealand.  It belongs to the same family as the precious moss potato, the kakapo, and the colourful kaka.  Its clownish nature is so well-known that a group of kea is called a circus!

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Pangolin going after insects on a tree

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The moment a pregnant tiger’s hormones took over and allowed a tiny fawn to live!

  • The tiger and fawn played together for around half an hour before the carnivore let the baby deer go
  • Tiger had no interest in eating what would normally be its prey, and only wanted to play
  • Photos captured by amateur photographer Pawan Menon while on safari in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, central India

The baby deer might have been saved by maternal instinct - as the tiger was pregnant, and showed absolutely no interest in turning it into a meal.

The photos show the two unlikely friends running together for around half an hour through the trees and long grass in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, central India.

They were taken by amateur photographer Pawan Menon, 46, from Kerala, who is a call centre worker by trade, but was lucky enough to stumble across this rare event while on safari. 

‘It was early morning when I was roaming with a friend in the jungle scouting for tigers. Suddenly I noticed one. At first, I thought she was playing alone but then I spotted the tiny fawn by her side,’ he said.

'It was the most astonishing thing to see. I felt my heart beating fast as I was certain it was the end for the fawn. But the tiger sat calmly and played with the baby.’

Even though the tiger was in no mood to eat, the fawn was still visibly frightened. Mr Menon said it even made an attempt to run but the tiger caught it, carried it gently in its mouth and took it back to the spot they were sitting.

'The two were together for half an hour playing, running and jumping. Then the tiger gently carried the fawn by its neck - as it would carry its own cub - and eventually started nudging it to run away,’ he added.

'It was unbelievable. I’m sure the fawn couldn’t believe he was still alive as he ran off! But the fascinating episode restored my belief - wild animals only kill when they’re hungry.’

adoptpets: What a wonderful story. Cats are wonderful mothers. It kind of reminds me of the lioness who adopted the baby oryx in Kenya. Heart of a Lioness is such a wonderful documentary and you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLo9-PEtM8Q

This is Una. She is currently staying at SeaWorld Orlando’s manatee rehabilitation center in one of our critical care pools. The white slatted floor is a hydraulic false bottom which can be raised in order to bring the animals up out of the water for medical treatment with minimal stress. Thanks to the tracking and observation efforts of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership, we know quite a few details about her life. 

This isn’t her first time at SeaWorld. She was rescued as an orphaned calf in 2003, weighing in at 170lbs. At a weight of 980lbs, she was released at Blue Springs State Park with a few other manatees in 2006. She has been seen with a calf of her own, which is very exciting. However, she also suffered from at least one boat strike. She recovered and was left with five propeller scars on her back. Around 90% of manatees have wounds from boat strikes. The scars are used by scientists to identify individuals. Eventually, Una shed her tracking device but was still spotted regularly and easily recognized by the “A5” ID marking on her tail. In late November of 2016, she was discovered to be severely entangled. Both of her pectoral flippers were tightly wrapped in monofilament fishing line which had cut deeply into the tissue almost to the bone. This is what happens when people toss tangled up fishing line overboard or just let wads of it blow away. Please recycle monofilament fishing line properly.

 If you’d like to visit Una during her recovery, come see the Manatee Rehabilitation Area inside SeaWorld Orlando adjacent to the sea turtle habitat. The park is currently caring for 18 manatees. An adult manatee can eat around 200lbs of wet vegetation per day, and the little orphans are bottle fed specialized formula every two hours around the clock. Rescued patients need radiographs, ultrasounds, endoscopies, daily medications, tube feedings, wound care, and complicated surgical prodecures. SeaWorld of Orlando, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Miami Seaquarium, and the Jacksonville Zoo are the only facilites permited by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as designated manatee hospitals. Your visit funds the care of these sick and injured manatees and other rescued wildlife.

The Florida manatee was recently reclassified as “Threatened” (Previously “Endangered”), but the species is far from recovered. They still need all of the protection and support we can provide. “Not endangered” does not mean “not in danger”. If you are a Florida resident, please always vote for legislation that protects and benefits manatees. You can learn more about the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership here: public.wildtracks.org

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Kea look somewhat unimpressive on the ground, with their backs and breasts a dull, olive grey in colour.  When they are in flight, however, it’s a whole different story.  The kea’s underwings are a vivid orange-red, its flight feathers are a rich blue-green, and its rump is crimson.  These feathers aren’t just beautiful, they may have a vital function in communication; the red-orange that paints the undersides of the bird’s wings is visible in the UV spectrum, invisible to humans, but brilliant to birds!

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Baby leatherback turtle crawling across the beach in Florida, heading for the ocean 

Part of the most remote island archipelago on Earth, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument supports a reef ecosystem with more than 7,000 marine species and is home to many species of coral, fish, birds and marine mammals. This includes the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the endangered leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles. A Hawaiian monk seal naps on the beach with a rainbow on the horizon. Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA/HMSRP, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

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Most frogs are extremely vocal during the mating season, but the goliath frog is not.  In fact, it has no vocal cords, despite having excellent hearing!  During the breeding season, males will push rocks together into semi-circular nests where they will battle with other males to attract females.  The females will lay strings of several hundred eggs attached to masses of a single aquatic plant on the river bed.  Her tadpoles will feed only on this species of plant for the first three months of their lives before they metamorphose.  

Oddly, considering the adult frog’s giant size, the eggs and tadpoles are no larger than those of other frogs when they are young, though they grow to be quite large as they approach metamorphosis!

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Red pandas (Firefoxes) at the Kobe Animal Kingdom, Japan

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  • world_wildlifeMan-made snowbanks give Saimaa ringed seals, like this pup, a lifeline.
    With an estimated 360 individuals left in the wild, the Saimaa ringed seal is one of the rarest seals in the world. Found only in the Saimaa water system in Finland, the seals face increasingly low-snow winters due to climate change and this makes nesting more difficult. This year, the seals were struggling to find nests to give birth, so a group of volunteers, including WWF, went to work to create snow banks for them. Out of the 81 pups born months later, 90% were born in these man-made snowbanks.
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Aside from being accomplished architects and artists, many bowerbirds are also skilled mimics.  Male satin bowerbirds will imitate the calls of other local birds during their courtship displays.  Even more startling, MacGregror’s bowerbirds have been heard imitating human speech, pigs grunting, and even the sound of nearby waterfalls.

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The only way anyone will win this staring contest is with the cheat at the end.

A male Asian narrow-headed softshell turtle at the @stlzoo. This species can be found in large, clear rivers with sandy bottoms in Thailand. Their numbers throughout southeast Asia have dropped terribly because these turtles are so big and meaty, people hunt and eat them. This species is now listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list.

anonymous asked:

Could you provide some posts explaining why cats are dangerous to reptiles, re: bacteria? I've looked online but couldn't find anything. Trying to stop my cousin from taking more "cute" photos of her cat and snake together 😑

I think this post by @kaijutegu has a lot of the scientific reasoning covered.

Here’s a post that turns my stomach, so maybe it will make your cousin stop abusing her snake.

Here’s one more that talks about how putting predator and prey together for a “cute” picture is a bad thing to do.

And here’s another post, by @reptiliaherps et al. covering the same issue.

To sum it up:

  1. Cats and dogs can easily harm the reptile, even if they mean no harm (by playfully batting with paw or biting lightly) – bacteria or no, but bacteria they carry do make it worse;
  2. Reptiles aren’t mammals and will be stressed when exposed to an animal larger than they are, which is their predator in the wild.