TIME animals

This Dog Knows How to Do Summer

She decided to fill up her own kiddie pool

Most dogs know that a great way to cool off and relax in the summertime is to spend some time in an inflatable kiddie pool. That usually can’t happen for a pup unless there’s a human with opposable thumbs nearby to grab a hose and fill up the pool.

Six-month-old lab puppy Maddie, however, decided that she was a strong independent dog who did not need a human for anything. She grabbed her own hose and filled up her own pool. Or at least, she tried. As you’ll see in the clip above, she doesn’t have the easiest time with this task, but you can’t say she didn’t try.

Hopefully she can get some practice in over the winter, and be totally ready to operate a hose this time next year.

TIME animals

Giant Snails the Size of Tennis Shoes Are Waging Terror in Florida

The invasive snail was discovered in Miami in 2011

Giant African snails that can grow to the size of a tennis shoe are thriving in southern Florida, eating hundreds of plant species and even the stucco off houses more than four years after the state launched a $10 million program to eradicate them.

The snails were first discovered in Miami in September 2011, AFP reports, the first invasion since the 1960s. Since then the species has spread to new territory, including the southern suburbs of Miami and the neighboring Broward County.

“The fact is they’re a human and animal health threat and they’re a threat to Florida’s agriculture. We can’t let the population continue,” said Mark Fagan, a spokesman for the state agriculture department.

The giant African snails have continued to elude the state’s eradication efforts, which can prove fruitless when the gastropods climb trees to avoid chemicals on the ground, or hibernate below the soil for months at a time.

Still, over 158,000 giant African snails have been removed in the past four years, with the last sighting reported in April, officials said. Two years must pass since the last snail is found alive in the wild for the state to declare the species eradicated.

[AFP]

TIME animals

See Cecil the Lion and Other Animals Light Up the Empire State Building

Images of endangered animals were projected onto the New York City landmark

Images honoring Cecil the lion and other endangered species illuminated the south side of Empire State Building on Saturday evening, broadcasting the plight of mass extinction onto one of New York’s most iconic landmarks.

The one-day show, called Projecting Change, is part of a promotion for the upcoming documentary Racing Extinction, which is set to air on Discovery Channel in December, according to the film’s official Facebook page. Projections of birds, tigers and bears were featured on the building, in addition to images of Cecil the lion, whom authorities say was killed illegally by an American dentist on July 1.

endangered wolf on ESB. #racingextinction amazing movement #cecilthelion #empirestatebuilding

A photo posted by craig hatkoff (@chatkoff) on

TIME animals

Watch Adorable Baby Turtles Crawl to the Ocean

Nesting season is from May to October

Beach sand isn’t the easiest place to walk, especially if you’re a baby turtle.

In this video shot by Mike Ross of Naples, Fla., young turtles carefully crawl out of the sand at Barefoot Beach and make their way slowly into the waves of the ocean.

The nesting season for turtles is May through October, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Turtles make between 40,000 and 84,000 nests annually on the Florida coast. Each nest contains between 80 and 120 eggs.

TIME Crime

Cecil the Lion’s Killer Contacts Federal Authorities

The dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer, has not been charged with a crime

The American dentist who killed a lion that was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe has contacted U.S. federal wildlife authorities.

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement said they had been voluntarily contacted by a representative of the Minnesota dentist. Before he reached out to the service on Thursday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe urged him to contact authorities over Twitter.

Authorities in Zimbabwe are calling for the extradition of the dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer, who killed a lion named Cecil that was beloved in Zimbabwe on July 1. Palmer’s guides face fines and jail time. The penalty for poaching in Zimbabwe is a $20,000 fine and imprisonment for up to 10 years, according to NBC News. Palmer has not been charged with a crime.

On Friday, U.S. State Department officials told the Associated Press that, as far as the department knows, the U.S. has not extradited anyone to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe has not extradited anyone in the U.S. since the extradition treaty took effect in 2000.

Palmer has been the subject of public outcry over the past several days, as angry comments have flooded the Yelp page of his dental practice.

TIME animals

Hunter-Conservationist or… Jekyll and Hyde?

Bartle Bull is the author of Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure and The White Rhino Hotel, currently under contract for a television mini-series

No American president has killed, or saved, as many animals as Theodore Roosevelt

The murder of Cecil, the magnificent Zimbabwean lion, is a vivid but shabby illustration of the dilemma posed by the hunter-conservationist. President Theodore Roosevelt epitomized this dilemma. No other American President has ever been as close to nature, or loved it more. No other president has killed, or saved, as many animals.

By the age of eleven Teddy had penned essays on fireflies and ants. The “Roosevelt Natural History Museum” that he founded in his bedroom was crammed with over 1,000 specimens. But in 1885, at the age of 25, he set out on one of the last buffalo hunts in the Dakotas. A mediocre shot with poor eyesight, he hit a bison at 325 yards, and never found the wounded animal. Roosevelt continued this unsporting practice 26 years later in East Africa, after deciding that instead of running again for president he would go on safari in 1909.

Largely financed by Andrew Carnegie, the 12-month safari required 500 porters and sent 11,400 “specimens” back to the Smithsonian Institution. With his left eye blind from a boxing injury suffered in the White House, Teddy Roosevelt violated basic sporting conventions. Many of the 512 animals killed by his son Kermit and himself were shot repeatedly at excessive ranges. He lost wounded animals. Sometimes he let other shooters finish the job. Roosevelt’s Kenyan friend Lord Cranworth, whose firm outfitted the safari, deplored “the slaughter which [Roosevelt] and his party perpetrated,” asking, “Do these nine white rhino ever cause Roosevelt a pang of conscience or a sleepless night?” (Cranworth was my uncle’s father-in-law, and told me the details.)

But throughout his life, Teddy Roosevelt, like so many hunter-conservationists today on every continent, did the single most important thing to save wildlife: he fought to protect natural habitat. Before Roosevelt sailed to Kenya, he had quadrupled the acreage of the nation’s public forests. Fighting the timber barons, he built the Forest Service, which came to administer one twelfth of the land of the United States. He also created 55 wildlife refuges, expanded national parks, organized conservation conferences, and popularized a sensibility of respect for nature and preservation of the wilderness. With equal passion, he protected the Grand Canyon, wild flowers and grizzly bears.

The scrambling of the ethics of hunting and conservation, often by the same people, is still expressed today by many of our country’s millions of licensed hunters. The conflict seems to lie in the primitive evolution of man as a hunting creature, and in the intimacy with nature and the naturalist excitement that hunting revives in people today. Hunting was man’s first organized endeavor, his first craft, and the central subject of his earliest art. There is more to it than vanity and macho self-satisfaction and commerce, though there is often far too much of those. The deep relationship between hunting and human nature is inescapable. Hunting and fishing are the most intense form of integration, or re-integration, with nature. As the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset expresses it, “man is a fugitive from nature.” He can re-enter it by hunting. When one hunts (or stalks on foot without shooting, as I prefer), all one’s senses sharpen. You actually see, hear and smell better. But it is hard for non-shooters to believe that hunters love and protect the creatures they kill.

Properly controlled licensed hunting, especially in Africa, can and does preserve wildlife and habitat. In many countries, hunting and fishing licenses finance conservation. Due to poaching, population growth and habitat loss, the reduction in Kenya’s wildlife has taken place since the 1977 ban on hunting. Hunting safaris are the natural enemies of poachers. Good professional hunters turn poachers into game scouts. They generally require their clients to shoot old males that are no longer breeding. They destroy snares. Being armed, they scare off the poachers who poison water holes and machinegun the wildlife.

But government corruption and incompetence, as in Zimbabwe today, compromises the benefits of this system. Too often, as with Cecil, the finest animals attract the most depraved forms of hunting. A magnificent dark-maned male, who I believe I saw one evening in Hwange National Park last May, Cecil was baited to leave the safety of Hwange, with a carcass dragged behind a vehicle to leave a long trail of scent. Then he was wounded with a bow and arrow by a rich American dentist, perhaps firing from the safety of a vehicle. For 40 hours, Cecil fled his hunters, until finally they ran him down and killed him with a rifle. before beheading and skinning him. The reported cost to the dentist was $54,000. In Roosevelt’s day, a rhino license cost $15, an elephant $85. Lions and leopards, common and considered pests, required no license.

Bartle Bull is the author of Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure and The White Rhino Hotel, currently under contract for a television mini-series.

 

 

 

 

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME animals

Just a Friendly Reminder That Mark Zuckerberg Has the Best Dog Ever

He and wife Priscilla Chan may be having a baby, but we can't forget about Beast

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday (in a Facebook post, natch) that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are expecting a baby girl. The announcement included a photo of Zuck and a newly-pregnant Chan—but the true star of the photo was clearly their dog:

 

Yes, that ridiculous-looking beast is named Beast, and he’s not a mop. He is a dog. Zuckerberg announced the pregnancy—and also started an honest conversation about miscarriages—but lots of people couldn’t help but turn their attention to Beast:

Beast, who is a type of Hungarian sheepdog known as a Puli, has his own Facebook page, where he is listed as a public figure. He has a casual 2.1 million fans. Look at him:

 

LOOK AT HIM:

 

Mazel Tov to Beast, who we know will make an excellent big brother to Zuckerbaby.

TIME animals

This Dog Has the Weirdest Sneeze

Adorable, but weird

The latest in the long video history of adorable animal sneezes on the Internet is an 11-second clip of a Pomeranian dog named Roux that appears to sneeze in an unusual way. It kind of sounds like the noise that a car makes when the engine is sputtering or screeches to a halt.

Pomeranian sneezes are especially entertaining. Tommy the Pomeranian, Tumblr’s office dog, seemed to have been struck by the urge to tap dance during one attack.

But none of these animal sneezes will be as epic as the baby panda sneeze that scared its mama, which has been watched more than 218 million times.

TIME animals

This Baby Sloth Totally Thinks This Teddy Bear Is His Mother

The sloth's real mother, Marilyn, can't rear him

The London Zoo has released photos of its seven-week-old, two-toed baby sloth Edward hugging a stuffed animal.

The sloth is named after Johnny Depp’s role as Edward Scissorhands because of its four-inch-long claws.

It is being hand-reared by a zookeeper, Kelly-Anne Kelleher, after its mother, Marilyn, stopped producing milk. According to the zoo, “To help build up the muscles that Edward would normally use holding on to [mom], keeper Kelly-Anne customised his sloth-teddy with carabiners so that it can be hung from a branch, enabling the youngster to climb on and strengthen his little limbs.”

TIME animals

Animal Psychic Claims Cecil the Lion Has Shared a Very Profound Message

'Let not the actions of these few men defeat us or allow darkness to enter our hearts'

The Internet pretty much exploded over the news that American dentist Walter James Palmer had killed Zimbabwe’s beloved lion, Cecil. Some people responded by signing a petition to extradite Palmer. Others flooded his Yelp page with negative reviews. (PETA simply called for his death.)

But Karen Anderson, who calls herself an “animal communicator,” responded to all this by getting in touch with the departed lion himself. She said on Facebook that she was able to communicate with him and received a “profound message.” Here’s her post, complete with Cecil’s message:

So, according to Cecil, it is now time for us all to move on.

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