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There were too many deer in the forest. So they unleashed the wolves without any idea what would happen.

When the deer killed off the forest, they decided to let the wolves loose to fix it. We had no idea what exactly we had done.

There were too many deer in the forest. So they unleashed the wolves without any idea what would happen.

One of the most exciting scientific findings of the last 50 years is called a trophic cascade.

A trophic cascade starts at the top of the food chain and tumbles to the bottom. One of the best examples of this happened in Yellowstone National Park in 1995 when wolves were reintroduced.


Wolves are really good at eating deer. But as it turns out, because of their deer diet, they also help lots of other animals survive.

Basically, wolves see deer/elk like this:

Humans killed all the wolves in Yellowstone National Park 70 years ago. And the deer population exploded.

Humans, being the controlling type in our relationship with Earth, tried to control the deer population. But deer are super-good at showing each other lots of love ... so the population grew and grew. In 1995, we reintroduced wolves to the park, and they immediately started killing the deer. But that's the least remarkable part. The wolves actually started changing the behavior of the deer.

Deer started avoiding certain parts of the park — mostly the places where they could easily be trapped.

And those areas started to regenerate! The trees grew five times the height they had been!

Barren parts of the land became lush forest filled with new animals. Songbirds moved back in because of all the new trees!

Beavers loved the new trees, so they started moving in too! They built some dams, and that created ponds in the rivers. Ducks, muskrats, otters, and fish moved in.

The wolves started killing coyotes, and that allowed for mice and rabbits. Which brought foxes, weasels, and owls back to the park.

Bald eagles and hawks decided they wanted in on the action too.

Then grizzly bears moved back as well!

You see, the new trees were suddenly growing berries they could eat and thrive on.

The wolves even changed the behavior of the rivers. With less erosion, more pools formed, and the rivers stopped meandering. They became more fixed in their course.

Wolves changed not just the ecosystem, but its actual topography.

We are all connected. And what we do to other species affects you and me.

Now, go hug a tree and thank a wolf today.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.