+

Animals & Wildlife

Science

Ecologist 'burst into tears' seeing endangered gliders using boxes designed to save them

A third of the greater gliders' remaining habitat was destroyed in the Australian wildfires, and researchers didn't know if their high-tech box idea would work.

Greater gliders are endangered in Australia and rely on old-growth tree hollows to make their nests.

When a team of Australian researchers started checking the high-tech boxes they'd installed to help save endangered greater gliders, they weren't sure what they were going to find. The hope was that the tree-dwelling marsupials would use them for nesting—a replacement for the tree hollows they normally nest in—but no one knew whether or not the creatures would take to them.

So when Dr. Kita Ashman, Threatened Species and Climate Adaptation Ecologist at WWF-Australia, found a glider in the second box she checked, she was thrilled.

"I just burst into tears, I was so surprised and so happy," she told ABC News Australia.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Connecticut family gets a furry surprise when they find a hibernating bear under their deck

When Vincent Dashukewich took a peek under the deck, a sleepy black bear was staring back at him.

Photo by Chris Tellez on Unsplash

Family finds hibernating bear under their deck.

Bears are cute, even the giant grizzly bears that would probably eat you if given the chance. There's something about them being chubby and fluffy that makes you want to snuggle them. But most people, wisely, wouldn't dare to get close to one because humans have pretty keen survival skills that override the cuteness factor.

But as humans continue to encroach on natural animal habitats, there are more and more reports of interactions with bears. Mostly bears getting into trash cans or opening car doors while everyone is tucked in their beds, sound asleep. Recently, a Connecticut family found themselves unexpectedly face to face with a hibernating bear.

When Vincent Dashukewich took his dog out, she started acting strangely and growling at something under the pool deck. Surprisingly, when Dashukewich took a peek under the deck, a sleepy black bear was staring back at him. That's certainly a sight that will get your heart pumping.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Whale watchers got to see a baby whale being born off the coast of Dana Point, California.

Seeing a whale in the wild can be a moving experience for many people. That's why thousands of people pay money to go on whale-watching excursions, hoping to catch a glimpse of the gentle, majestic, intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

Lucky whale watchers get to catch much more than a glimpse, and some even see a whale breach up close. But very, very few ever get to see anything close to what a recent group of tourists on a whale-watching cruise off Dana Point, California, got to witness.

Boats are required by law to stay at least 100 yards away from whales, but if a whale approaches a boat when it's stopped, there's not a whole lot a captain can do. Starting up the engine would just disturb it, so the best thing to do is just enjoy the encounter.

In this case, when a gray whale swam near a Capt. Dave's Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari tour boat, passengers and crew thought they might be witnessing something tragic. The whale was splashing about and was soon surrounded by blood in the water. Some speculated that maybe a shark or other predatory animal had attacked the whale.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

British town canceled its New Year's Eve fireworks to let Thor the walrus sleep

Scarborough residents rallied to protect their unexpected visitor.

A walrus decided to park it for a while in the town of Scarborough.

There are plenty of predictable reasons a New Year's Eve fireworks show might get canceled, but "let's let the walrus sleep" isn't one of them.

That's exactly what happened in the U.K. town of Scarborough, however, as residents rang in 2023.

According to British Divers Marine Life Rescue, a walrus was sighted on a boat ramp in Scarborough around 11:30 p.m. on December 30. The wildlife rescuers had hoped that the male walrus—nicknamed Thor—would rest for a bit and then slip back into the harbor by the time the public woke up the next morning. Instead, he got comfy and decided to park it for a while.

Authorities cordoned off the area to prevent anyone from messing with Thor, and as news spread of the walrus's presence, thousands of people came to see him. It's not every day that an Arctic walrus shows up in the middle of a British town.

Keep ReadingShow less