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Animals & Wildlife

Science

A wild goose was taken to an animal hospital. His mate knocked on the door to find him.

"We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door."

As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


"We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!" they wrote. "For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!"

Arnold is a Canada goose that lives on a pond near the facility and is part of a mated pair of wild geese that have been together for several years. The center said the geese usually keep to themselves, but one of their staff noticed that Arnold was walking with a "significant limp" and kept falling over. They were able to capture him and bring him into the hospital for examination.

wild goose

A goose visits its mate at the Cape Wildlife Center

Image Via Cape Wildlife Center/Facebook

"Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot," they wrote. "This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming."

To save his foot and help him survive, the staff knew they had to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed. They gave him antibiotics and pain meds and prepped him for surgery the following morning.

Then his mate came knocking.

"Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door," the center wrote. "We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway."

Aww.

Surgery went well, and once Arnold woke up the staff decided to let him recover by the doorway so he and his mate could see each other.

"We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door. They both seemed much more at ease in each other's presence."

AWWWW.

"Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment in our hospital before he is ready to rejoin his mate in the wild," they added. "He will need to be kept inside for the majority of this time in order to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him. ❤️"

While attempting not to anthropomorphize too much, it's so sweet to see animal partners show such genuine care for one another. Canada geese mate for life, and they are known to mourn in seclusion when they lose a mate. Seeing Arnold's mate coming to find him and comfort him during his treatment is just too lovely.

Feel good story of the day, indeed. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Arnold!


This article originally appeared on 07.22.21

Science

When these drones zoom in over elephants and rhinos, they stop horrible things from happening

A shepherd watches over sheep. Watching over elephants and rhinos? Not so easy.

via The Lindbergh Foundation

Drone footage from the Aerial Shepherd.


This is a story about something really exciting.

Before I get into it, let me set the stage by explaining the terrible problem it's solving.

10 years.

That's how long it'll be until the last wild elephants and rhinoceroses are gone.

100 of them are killed every day by poachers.

Even though elephants and rhinos are legally protected, the amount of money that can be made from the ivory in their tusks is just too much for some people to resist.


So poachers go after elephants and rhinos in secret. They kill them in out-of-the-way places that are hard to patrol, and they do it at night under the cover of darkness.

Every hour, another elephant or rhino family is broken forever.

Now the Lindbergh Foundation has come up with an idea about how to stop poachers.

They've been testing their idea for two years now, and it really works.

Air Shepherd uses drones and computers to watch over elephants and rhinos the same way a shepherd protects his sheep.


It's an amazing international, hi-tech system.

The drones in Africa are decked out with normal and infrared cameras that see where the animals — and the poachers — are. Even in the dark of night.

That imagery is sent to computers in the U.S. Using special software, they send back flight plans to the drones that predict where the animals are headed, which keeps the drones on top of the poachers.

Local rangers are notified, and they sweep in on the poachers.

During the 600 tests they've run so far, precisely zero poaching has occurred.

It's a fantastic system.

Seven African countries have already requested help.

The Foundation has provided the seed money. They need contributions, though, so head over to the Air Shepherd site to see how you can get involved in this amazing project.

Please let your animal-loving friends know about this breakthrough program that could keep elephants and rhinos from going extinct. It's so exciting.

(Unfortunately, the Lindbergh Foundation's video has been removed from YouTube. But here's an NBC News report about the project.)


This article originally appeared on 03.12.15

Science

Watch a rescued beaver meticulously build an indoor 'dam' out of random household items

Sawyer's ongoing struggle with SpongeBob SquarePants' legs is a must-see.

Sawyer checks her work once in a while as she builds her hallway dam.

The fact that beavers build dams is one of nature's coolest features. Gathering and stacking tree branches, rocks, grass and mud across a river so they can build their homes underwater is a unique instinct among the animals—and a strong one.

Apparently, it's so strong that beavers will build dams anywhere, including inside a human's house using whatever items they can find.

A video shared by Dr. Holley Muraco, director of research at the Mississippi Aquarium, shows a female beaver named Sawyer busily gathering stuffed animals, blankets, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and more to build a dam in a hallway, and it's seriously the most delightful thing ever.



Sawyer pauses once in a while to assess her work, which is adorable. And her ongoing struggle with SpongeBob SquarePants' legs is a must-see.


If you're concerned about seeing natural animal behavior like this in an unnatural habitat, don't worry. Muraco explains that Sawyer spends most of her time outdoors with other beavers, but also likes to come in the house occasionally. More on Sawyer's life story below, but first, behold her adorableness at work:

Sawyer is one of three orphaned beavers Muraco is rehabbing at her home with the help of Woodside Wildlife Rescue.

"Sawyer is one of a kind," Muraco tells Upworthy. "Very opinionated and, as crazy as it sounds, intelligent. I raised Sawyer on a bottle in our home and then introduced her to Huck and Finn who are a bit older. All three were orphaned separately when their parents were killed. The three were sent to Woodside Wildlife to be raised as siblings."

Sawyer, Huck and Finn. Perfection.

Muraco says Sawyer started building dams in her kennel as a tiny baby and then moved on to building bigger dams in the hallway. She lives outside with Huck and Finn, but she walks to Muraco's back door when she wants to go inside to check on things and build a new dam.

Muraco says beavers are very social creatures and do better living in a group, but are also one of the most difficult animals to rehab. They have to spend up to two years with rehabbers, which is how long they would spend with their parents in the wild, and caring for them is challenging due to their complex and sensitive digestive needs. They are also prone to illness and there's a lot that's still unknown about vet care for them. Muraco says beavers are also considered a nuisance animal, especially in Mississippi, so it can be hard to find a safe place to release them.

In Muraco's care, Sawyer, Huck and Finn get ample opportunities to practice instinctive behaviors, which is a vital element of rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is for them to return to the wild once they meet key milestones.

Raising beavers is a lot of work, but Muraco is dedicated to preparing these young 'uns for life after rehab, both for their own good and for the environment. "Beavers are a keystone species and are often critical for healthy wetlands," she explains. They are misunderstood creatures and are sometimes killed by people who simply see them as pests, which is one reason Muraco publicly shares her adventures with Sawyer, Huck and Finn.

"We are so excited that people are enjoying watching the beavers and falling in love with this unusual, quirky rodent," she says.

If anyone wants to support these beaver rescue efforts, Muraco invites people to donate to Woodside Wildlife Rescue.


This article originally appeared on 01.13.23

© Jason Moore/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023 and © Tzahi Finkelstein /Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, known for being one of the most entertaining photography contests, has just wrapped up, and this year’s top prize goes to Jason Moore for his hilarious and brilliantly captured photo of a kangaroo, cheekily named “Air Guitar Roo.” Not only did this fantastic shot win the overall competition, but it also rocked the Creatures of the Land category, too.

Jason's photo stood out among a whopping 5,300 entries submitted by 1,842 photographers from 85 countries. Moore’s photo of the female western grey kangaroo was taken in the outer suburbs of Perth, Australia when Jason visited a field of wildflowers to snap some pics of the many adult kangaroos and joeys playing there.

“The shoot turned out to be a great session, and I am quite fond of several images that I captured,” Moore said in a statement. “Not many people know that kangaroos are normally fairly docile and even a bit boring most of the time if I’m honest. However, when I saw this roo striking the air guitar pose, it immediately brought a smile to my face, and I knew that I had captured something really special."



The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards was started in 2015 by Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam to create a competition focused on the lighter, humorous side of wildlife photography while assuming an essential role in promoting wildlife conservation.

Here are 14 of the big winners.

1. Overall Winner: "Air-Guitar Roo" (grey kangaroo) by Jason Moore, Australia

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A kangaroo rocking out.

© Jason Moore/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"On this day, I had been out with my camera photographing some waterfowl at a nearby lake. I had been up at sunrise to take advantage of the 'golden hour' light, but it turned out to be a disappointing morning on the water. After leaving the lake, somewhat dejected, I decided to swing past an area of open bushland, because there are often a 'mob' of Kangaroos feeding and sunning themselves in a field close to the road. ... The morning light was still favorable so I grabbed my camera and headed off to a spot where I could get down to eye level with my subjects. I ended up shooting about 40 or 50 frames of the kangaroos with various content including mum’s, joeys and also some action shots of them bouncing along through the yellow field. The shoot turned out to be a great session, and I am quite fond of several images that I captured. However, when I saw this animal strike this pose it immediately brought a smile to my face and I knew that I had captured something special." — Jason Moore

2. Creatures of the Air Award: "Unexpected Plunge" (heron) Vittorio Ricci, South Africa

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A heron takes a dive.

© Vittorio Ricci/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"An unusual end of a perfect moment." — Vittorio Ricci

3. Creatures Under the Water Award: "Otter Ballerina" (smooth-coated otter), Otter Kwek, Singapore

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

An otter with perfect form.

© Otter Kwek/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"The otter was leaping while attempting to grasp the overhanging leaves, and during an unusual landing, it ended up in the Arabesque pose. I showed this photo to a ballet teacher, and she commented that the otter is a natural but just needs to tuck in its tummy a bit — precisely what a ballet teacher would advise." — Otter Kwek

4. People's Choice Award: "Dispute" (greenfinch), Jacek Stankiewicz, Poland

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

This greenfinch is very adamant about something.

© Jacek Stankiewicz/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"I caught this scene while watching birds in the Bialowieza Forest. My friends interpret this scene in two ways. One, a young naughty kid is arguing with a parent. Two, a kid is reporting to the parent that their brother did something wrong: 'Look he broke a window!'" — Jacek Stankiewicz

Highly Commended Winners

5. "The Happy Turtle" (swamp turtle), Tzahi Finkelstein, Antarctica

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A turtle is about to have a meal.

© Tzahi Finkelstein /Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"The swamp turtle is surprised and smiles at the dragonfly resting on its nose." — Tzahi Finkelstein

6. "The Monday Blahs" (great grey owl) John Blumenkamp, USA

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

This owl is so over it.

© John Blumenkamp /Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"While photographing the great gray owl shown in my image, I had been busy working to capture that majestic-looking pose. As the owl preened and then sat still for a short while, it stretched once more and for a quick moment gave the pose shown. As it did, I grinned and thought… now that’s funny!" — John Blumenkamp

7. "One for the Family Album" (gannets) Zoe Ashdown, UK

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A proud family of gannets.

© Zoe Ashdown /Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"At RSPB Bempton Cliffs, each year between March and October, around half a million seabirds use the chalk cliffs towering above the North Sea to nest and raise a family. Gannets mate for life and they return to the same nest year after year to raise their young. Lying safely at the top of the cliff face, I was able to observe the affection shown between the gannets each time one returned to the nest. They have a greeting ritual, they rub beaks and entwine their necks; it’s how they strengthen their bond. But it’s also a brilliant opportunity to catch them in various poses. I didn’t realize I’d taken this image until I got home, but as soon as I saw it I laughed out loud! They look like proud parents, posing with their baby." — Zoe Ashdown

8. "Don't Look Down" (Atlantic puffin), Brian Matthews, UK

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A puffin doing the upside-down Snoopy routine.

© Brain Mattews /Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"A puffin does an inverted snoopy impression while watching jelly fish." — Brian Matthews.

9. "Boing" (grey kangaroo) Lara Mathews, Australia

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

Silly little joey!

© Lara Matews/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"Taken at Westerfolds Park, a beautiful and surprisingly wild pocket of land in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, famous for its kangaroo population. The mob was enjoying some morning sunshine when this joey decided to get silly and try his hand at boxing." — Lara Mathews

10. "The Rainforest Dandy" (monkey) Delphine Casimir, Bali

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A sophisticated monkey.

© Delphine Casimir/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"This picture was taken in the monkey forest in Ubud, Bali, a crazy place where monkeys are king! This forest is special even magical and sacred to the Balinese people. Maybe our dandy is the reincarnation of a divinity?" — Delphine Casimir

11. "Look Right, Bro" (macaque, deer) Pratick Mondal, India

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

"And on my right, is a deer."

© Pratik Mondal/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

12. "That Wasn't Here Yesterday" (white-winged dove) Wendy Kaveney, USA

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A white-winged dove disrupted mid-flight.

© Wendy Kaveney/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"A white-winged dove appearing to fly head-on into a cholla cactus skeleton." — Whitney Kaveney

13. "Snowball" (white grouse) Jaques Poulard, Norway

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

Why is that snowball alive?

© Jaques Poulard/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"The white grouse is coming towards me and looks like a snowball with eyes." — Jaques Poulard

14. "Excuse Me Sir But I Think You're a Bit Too Young to Be Smoking" (grey fox) Dakota Vaccaro, USA

comedy wildlife photography awards, funny pet photos, nature photography

A grey fox that looks like it's enjoying a fine cigar.

© Dakota Vaccaro/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

"While I was working deep in the Virginian woods, a family of grey foxes took up residence under the deck of the abandoned cottage next to my work housing. One day, while practicing their hunting skills on bits of moss and branches, one of the kits lunged at a small chunk of wood and started rolling around with his prize. Tired after his hunt, the kit lounged on his belly still holding the wood in his mouth which gave the strong resemblance of a cigar." — Dakota Vaccaro


This article originally appeared on 11.27.23