A news site about animals

Rehabilitating Scottish Otter Cubs

Due to record-breaking rainfall and flooding in Scotland this Winter, 21 otter cubs are being cared for by a dedicated team at the Scottish National Wildlife Rescue Center.


It may be surprising that an otter could be badly affected by rain and flooding, but the young aren’t very agile, and can get washed away from their family dens during floods.


The Scottish National Wildlife Rescue Center will care for them until they can be released back into the wild when the floods have subsided.

Thank-you for all your hard work and dedication!


Here’a an adorable clip of the BBC video on these orphaned otters (thanks to Youtube user Kyle P.)



To watch the entire 4 minute BBC video, click here.


Happy Ottersday :#)


Groundhog Predicts Early Spring

Happy Groundhog Day!

Punxsutawney Phil emerged this morning from his tree trunk home at Gobbler’s Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and did not see his shadow, predicting an early Spring. Yay! I hope Phil’s prognostication comes true this year.

Today is the 130th Groundhog Day, celebrated annually on February 2nd. The event typically brings out 30,000 revelers to the small, west-central Pennsylvania town. It has become a television staple at the beginning of one of the coldest months of the year. In addition to the celebrated rodent, the pageant features an entourage of city elders in old-fashioned dress and top hats, presiding over the festivities.

Why groundhogs? Because they hibernate.

“February 2nd is historically touted to be the day that the groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow. If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.” -Adapted from “Groundhog Day: 1886 to 1992″ by Bill Anderson


Kitty Vending Machine

Imagine you’re walking by one of those claw vending toy machines and you see this:

First Response? Best. Toy. Ever.

That’s exactly what happened in the well-known spa town of Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia. With snow and temperatures plunging to -2 degrees, the cat apparently had been looking for a way to get out of the cold when it spotted the vending machine outside a local cinema, so it snuck in and cozied up to the stuffed toys in the glass box.

Luckily, the cat was freed after movie-goers alerted police, who contacted the machine’s operator, who unlocked it and rescued the cat.

Happy Caturday =^_^=


Meet ZooBacca the Baby Camel

The Idaho Falls Zoo had a surprise birth over the holidays: an adorable female Bactrian camel, born on Nov. 16. She’s now about two-and-a-half months old, and is growing splendidly well. In honor of Star Wars, the zoo staff have named her ZooBacca. Adorbs, love it.

The zoo staff were unaware their camel was even pregnant when the baby suddenly started to come. On the day of her birth, a zookeeper noticed the adult female behaving a bit differently.

“I told the keeper that she was displaying calving behavior, but since she and the bull were so young that seemed unlikely. Needless to say, we were all pleasantly surprised a short time later,” interim Zoo Superintendent Linda Beard said.

A veterinarian was notified that same day, and a short while later Beard along with the animal doctor delivered the baby camel.


In the wild, camels are able to reproduce by the age of five, and a Bactrian camel is pregnant for 13 months. Mom, who is named Zazu, came to the Idaho Falls Zoo as a bottle-raised newborn in 2011 and was just 4 ½ at the time of the birth of the calf. Dad, who is called Gobi, is not quite 4 years old right now and came to the zoo at 2 ½ years of age, almost exactly 13 months prior to the birth of the new calf.

“Some may ask how that is possible at such an early age. In captivity, camels can reach sexual maturity earlier as they have access to a plentiful food supply and receive excellent animal care,” explains Beard.


The exhibit will officially open April 9., and zoo staff is also planning to do something for baby ZooBacca on May 4., Star Wars day.


Happy Humpday (^_^)

Cutest Sloth Ever Rescued in Ecuador, Now in Happy Habitat

The cutest sloth I’ve ever seen was rescued from the side of the road in Quevedo, Ecuador. Thank -you Transit Commission of Ecuador for saving this little guy! He is now living in a habitat in Ecuador where we is well-cared for.


Seriously, have you ever seen a sloth this adorable?!

How the sloth was found originally, looking cute as ever.

The Transit Commission of Ecuador wrote the following on their Facebook Page: “Thank you all for your concern. We inform you that the sloth rescued by our soldiers was checked by a vet, who determined that it was in optimal conditions for return to their habitat. Thanke we have all these people who were interested in the health of the animal. We continue to support this type of case with the cooperation of the citizens. Greetings to all.”

I believe this is the Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, based on pictures I’ve found online, and the wikipedia, but I don’t know for sure.

Asthmatic Otter Gets Inhaler

A good friend shared this with me today, and I was so touched by the article, I wanted to share it with all the otter fans. :-)

The Seattle Aquarium believes it has diagnosed the first case of sea otter asthma.

“Mishka” knows nothing about wildfires, but the 1-year-old did learn what it’s like to have trouble breathing when smoke got thick and hovered over Seattle skies.

“These lungs here, you can see, have more white in them. In a normal radiograph of a sea otter, you wouldn’t be able to see those things,” explained Dr. Lesanna Lahner.

Dr. Lahner diagnosed Mishka with asthma. Now, Mishka needs to learn how to use an inhaler — just like humans.

“We want to make this as fun as possible. Any kind of medical behavior you’re training, you want to make sure it’s nice and positive,” said Lahner.

Her trainer, Sara Perry, uses food to teach Mishka to push her nose on the inhaler and take a deep breath. Mishka’s medicine is exactly the same as what’s in a human inhaler.

But she may have something else in common with humans.

“More and more there starts to be this concept of what we’re calling “One Health,” which really is that there’s a connection between health of people and the health other species,” said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz. “Sometimes those species can tell us there is a problem in the environment that could be important for human health as well.”

Dr. Rabinowitz is a professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, as well as the Department of Global Health.

Human cases of asthma are up by about 25% over the last decade. Researchers believe air quality is at least partially to blame.

The health of sea otters dates back to their extinction in Washington. Forty years ago, Alaskan sea otters were brought south and reintroduced on the coast.

“Any time that happens and reduces the genetic diversity of a species that can affect their immune system, ability to fight off diseases or deal with environmental contaminants,” Lahner said.

It means animals like Mishka can have heightened sensitivities that alert us to environmental changes. Though only about a year old, she’ll likely need the inhaler for the rest of her life.


Happy Ottersday :#)