The Art Of The Canine Selfie

Selfie and hashtag have both been added to the Oxford Dictionary, so it’s about time man’s best friend gets in on the action.

Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Nicole Begley is a professional pet photographer who has been helping dogs around the world create the perfect selfie for their Instagram feed. After all, our dogs are people too. Enjoy!

For more great selfies, go to www.nicolebegleyphotography.com/

Cat Lovers: Check THIS Out

Dogs are celebrated in many, many cultures, but cats have lost some of their acclaim since the Ancient Egyptians stopped building gold monuments to them. However, if you’ve ever visited Hawaii’s Lanai Cat Sanctuary, you just might think that cats are making a comeback to their former glory.

In 2004, Lanai didn’t have a shelter or a vet, and the residents were concerned about the stray cats around the island. They started a program to gather and fix them, and as they gathered them, the idea of a permanent home for all the cats took hold. Fast-forward almost 14 years and the Sanctuary houses over 500 cats!

What’s good for the cats is good for the environment of Hawaii, too. Cats are an introduced species that hunt native birds to the point of extinction, so giving them a home with plenty of easy food helps protect the colorful array of Hawaiian birds on the island as well.

However, we don’t think this is why thousands of tourists flock to the sanctuary every year. The cats are everywhere, drinking out of faucets and chasing each other, lazing about in trees and juts begging to be pet! It’s a must-visit for cat lovers worldwide, and who knows? Maybe they’ll add a gold cat monument soon?

Mystery Zoo Baby Stumps Internet

Humans are genetically predispositioned to think that babies are cute. It helps us bond with our own offspring and want to take care of other human babies we might find. However, this also seems to extend to baby animals, and sometimes we just can’t help fall in love with a baby creature – even if we don’t know what it is!

The Taronga Zoo in Australia played into this recently by releasing the following video of an adorable creature and asked it’s followers if they could identify the species! While most people found the wiggly greyish infant impossibly cute, few were able to correctly guess what kind of animal it was. Can you figure it out from the photo? Spoilers below!

Guesses ranged from rat to anteater to platypus, but all of those were incorrect! If you knew this was a baby echidna, congratulations! The last two guesses weren’t far off; echidnas are colloquially known as spiny anteaters, and are only one of two members of a branch of the mammal family that still lays eggs (the other is the platypus)

Echidnas are endangered, mostly because they are eaten in their native Papua New Guinea. They’re very shy animals who use those spikes as defense from predators by curling up into a tight ball. They actually don’t have any teeth, but instead have a very long and sticky tongue for eating insects! And (we don’t need to tell you this) they’re darned cute!

More about this particular echidna:

Idiot Tourist Picks Up Shark

There have been numerous cases of tourists molesting or interacting harmfully with nature while in pursuit of a good photo. The quest for the perfect selfie has been, at least for the environment, incredibly damaging. However, sometimes nature fights back, in a wonderful combination of ignorance and karma.

One such instance was the couple in this video in Brazil, who spotted a baby shark in the shallows of the Marinho National Marine Park in Baia do Sueste in Fernando de Noronha. They took the shark’s size for granted and decided it would be the perfect prop for a photo. The wife lifted the creature out of the water while her husband filmed, only to find that sharks are aggressive when it latched onto her finger and did four stitches worth of damage!

Nature wasn’t the only element fighting back against this couple’s oblivious interaction with wildlife on the beach. When the park’s authorities got wind of the video, they charged both the husband and the wife with environmental crimes and fined them $3,200 each! It’s not like the couple wasn’t warned, either; in the background of the video, another Brazilian woman can be heard yelling at them to put the shark down.

It’s unclear whether social media is to blame for the levels of entitlement that such people feel when it comes to interacting with nature in such a disrespectful and harmful manner. What IS clear, however, is that both

Heroes Help Beached Dolphin

When animals need rescuing, it normally takes professionals. Many people are unfamiliar with the proper way to handle wild animals, and professionals have the knowledge and tools that, basically, make them the ones to call. Sadly, animals can be even more injured by those trying to lend a hand who just want to help, but simply don’t know how.

For the safety of the animals and people involved, wait for those with the proper knowledge UNLESS it is a life or death situation!

When a rescue can’t wait for the professional rescue crews, that is when heroes have to step in. It may be minutes or seconds before an animal will lose its life if help is not received.

This is what happened in a video surfacing from Dorset in the UK. A few brave bystanders came to the rescue of a dolphin who had beached himself in the shallow waters. The dolphin had become disoriented and was swimming toward the beach when the individuals caught sight of his fin and decided they had to help.

So, they all entered the water and, working together, sent him back the right direction towards home.

In the following clip, you can see their difficult job and overwhelming success.

As a side note, it is important to remember that many times, when dolphins attempt to beach themselves, it is a sign of illness and is better to keep the animal in the water and upright until officials can arrive. Rerouting him back into the water can be detrimental. In the case of this dolphin, we are glad that all worked out well!