Visit This Elephant Nursery!

In Nairobi National Park, there is a sanctuary where you can watch baby elephants frolic in the mud. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a bittersweet place; right now, you can see thirteen young African elephants play and drink milk, take mud baths and explore their world. However, each and every one of these elephants was born in the wild, and was orphaned in some way by their interactions with human beings.

In 1979, there were an estimated 1.3 million wild African elephants on the continent. Only about half a million remain today. Shrinking habitats, hunting for meat or ivory, or confrontations with people have driven the elephant population down severely, and that often means orphaned babies with nowhere to go. Thats where the Trust comes in. It began in 1977 as a was for Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick to honor her late husband, and has become world famous for it’s advances in raising elephants in captivity. The first breakthrough came when Sheldrick was the first to find a formula that elephants could subsist on, which was a delicate combo of human baby formula and coconut. This is essential to healthy elephant rearing, as these gentle giants nurse for up to four years.

The center also needed to meet the emotional needs of their young charges. Elephants are highly intelligent, social, and emotional creatures, and babies need to be interacted with almost constantly. Their caregivers at the center go everywhere with them, and even sometimes sleep in their stalls. It’s tough for them to say goodbye to each other when the elephants are fully weaned and make the transition Tsavo National Park, where they learn to be social with wild elephants. They are then released into the wild, where their success rate has been very encouraging. People cause the harm these elephants experience early in life, but we’re also their only salvation, and it’s time we do right by them.

Pup Left Outside of Mall

Going to jail can be one of the scariest things imaginable, because you have concern about what’s going to happen for you, but also for those for whom you’re responsible. When Bianca Cushman saw a scared dog tied to a tree next to a mall by a dumpster, she didn’t immediately think he was abandoned. The more she looked at him, though, the more she worried, and then she saw a note. It read, “Free pup. Name is Scooter. Owner went to jail today.” Bianca, being the good person she is, immediately scooped up the terrier mix and took him home, but unfortunately she couldn’t keep him indefinitely.

She posted photos of Scooter to social media and pleaded with someone to help her, and luckily Paula Langford saw them. Paula is the founder of South Eastern Homeless Animals and knew exactly what to do.“I just reached out to them and said, ‘I’ll take the dog,” Langford said. “‘I have a microchip scanner, I’ll get him scanned and validate the story first. And then we’ll get him wherever it is that he belongs.” With a little sleuthing, she was able to find the officer who arrested Scooter’s owner and confirm the story in the note. Unfortunately, the truth was even sadder.

It seems that Scooter’s owner had been arrested unexpectedly, and that she gave Scooter, who was in her possession at the time, to friends who promised he would go to a good home. Tying him up to a tree, apparently, was their solution to finding him one. Langford was able to then contact his owner’s mother, who lived 2,700 miles away in Nebraska but agreed to take him – if Langford could deliver him. She did, and now Scooter is pleased as punch to be back with people he knows. He owes his life to Bianca and Paula, however, who went the extra mile to keep him safe!

Hero Llama Escapes Again!

When you have friends in need, sometimes you have to break the rules to help them. That’s certainly what Noir the llama thinks, anyways. He lives on a farm in Jackson, New Hampshire, where he’s friends with all the other farm animals. However, he’s developed a special bond with a flock of ducks who frequent his home, and it’s so strong that the ducks come and visit him in his pen almost everyday!

However, police didn’t know about this bond when they received a call about an escaped farm animal loose on a local Jackson golf course. They showed up on the scene to find Noir, a large, fluffy black llama, pacing back and forth around the ducks. It turns out that a bear was in the area, and that Noir had gotten wind of it and had broken out of his enclosure to personally make sure that his duck friends’ eggs were safe from the giant scavenger. Noir’s owner wasn’t surprised; it seems the llama had broken out before and actually chased a bear away from the ducks!

Police eventually were able to get Noir on a rope and bring him back to his home on the farm, but no one could be mad at this lovable llama who just wanted to protect his friends! He did an excellent job as well – all of the eggs were safe and the bear moved on to a different area! No one is sure how Noir is able to get out of his pen, so it’s possible a third daring escape and adventure is in the future for the plucky llama and his quacky friends!

Photos of Kids’ Best Friends

Childhood memories revolve around families, holidays, and- for many- beloved family pets. Pets can be a child’s first friend, most trustworthy confidant, faithful companion, and eventually our first brush with grief. Pets love unconditionally, as do children, which makes their bond immeasurable. Animals have a sixth sense, knowing our moods and seem to always be there to lean on when we need a friend. If you are a parent, or soon to be, you may be contemplating a pet for your child. If you are sitting the fence, here are some touching photos that will help to convince you that every child needs a pet.

10 Freaky Animals That Shouldn’t Exist

The Angora Rabbit

Like sheep, this guy is bred for its fur- which is sheared several times a year for those must-have angora sweaters that are all the rage.

The Ankole-Watusi

Hailing from Africa and known for their giant antlers these animals are a staple in African villages.

The Glaucus Atlanticus

This sea slug uses its special camouflage as it floats on the water’s surface.

The Golden Tortoise Beetle

A menace to garden plants, this bug changes colors between gold and red depending on if it is mating or feeling threatened.

The Longnose Batfish

The longnose batfish is has a flat triangular-shaped body and bright orange-red lips.

The Pangolin

This scaly anteater is covered with an armored shell, and can roll in a ball for protection.

The Leptocephalus

The larval eel appears transparent due to their lack of organs and jelly-like substances in their bodies.

The Japanese Spider Crab

The largest among all living arthropod species with its leg span exceeding 15 feet.

The Sea Lamprey

A vampire fish with a cylindrical body and toothy sucker mouth that can reach up to 47 inches in length weighing 5.1 lbs.

The Ocean Sunfish

The ocean sunfish (or Mola mola)  is at least 11 ft in length can weigh up to 2,205 lbs.

The Umbonia Spinosa

Carrying a massive horn on its back that can be expanded, he is a master of camouflage

The Saki Monkey

This small monkey has a black body, with a thickly covered face of pale fur.