TIME animals

This Video Shows What It’s Like to Come Face-to-Face With a Great White Shark

Yup, it's pretty scary

Ever wonder what it would feel like to encounter a shark head-on in open waters? This video, shot with a GoPro camera in Sydney Harbour, Australia, claims to capture that experience. The man wearing the camera jumps off a cliff into the water and within moments, his friend above warns him of a shark lurking nearby. We can only imagine that this began to play in his heart:


TIME animals

This Cheetah and Puppy Are Best Friends

Unlikely animal friendship of the week

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a six-week-old cheetah named Ruuxa and a seven-week-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy named Raina have been bonding since the cub’s mother abandoned it after birth.

“Because the cheetah was by himself and did not have any siblings we wanted him to have a companion immediately,” animal training manager Susie Ekard said in a statement. “They definitely like to play, and when they take naps together, they often will snuggle up together for that warmth and closeness.”

(h/t The Week‘s Speed Reads)

TIME animals

Service Dog Gets His Own Photo in the Middle School Yearbook

Right next to the girl he takes care of, who suffers from epileptic seizures

Pictured among the rows of uncomfortable smiles and gelled hairstyles in the Hector Garcia Middle School yearbook is one face that’s pretty surprising, because it belongs to a dog.

The pooch’s name is Taxi and for the past four years he’s been assisting 14-year-old Rachel Benke, who suffers from epileptic seizures, TODAY reports. She’s experienced them her whole life, and though corrective brain surgery at age six drastically reduced the frequency, she still experiences them once in a while.

Enter Taxi. He can predict when a seizure is coming — up to an hour and a half before it occurs — and then alert Benke’s family and teachers. He attends her San Antonio school with her every day, which is why Benke’s mom began to joke last year that he should get a spot in the yearbook.

Not only does Taxi dutifully attend school with Benke each day, though — he’s already saved her life twice by alerting her family members that Benke was on the brink of a seizure once in a pool and another time on a trampoline.

Still, the Benkes were surprised that Taxi’s yearbook debut got so much attention around the Internet.

“When I posted that picture, never in a million years would I have imagined that it would rise to this magnitude,” Benke’s mom, Teresa, told TODAY. “It’s been fun, and it’s been even more fun watching [Rachel] get excited about it. Three years ago this wouldn’t have even registered for her.”

TIME animals

Watch a Bee Heroically Save His Friend From an Attacking Spider

True heroism

It looked like the end for our good friend the bumble bee. He was trapped in a web, fighting for his life, and a huge spider was going in for the kill. Then, out of nowhere, his bumble bee brethren swooped in to attack the spider and save his friend.

The video was posted on YouTube by a British dad who says he was recording the event “to show my son who was asleep at the time sort of a brutal life lesson.”

(h/t: Daily of the Day)

TIME animals

This Rescued Bear Cub Is a Tiny Bundle of Pure Cuteness

Her name is Smudge, making her even cuter

It probably isn’t healthy for us to be so thoroughly obsessed with a bear cub, but here we are. This is Smudge, a four-month-old moon bear who was rescued from a bile farm in Nanning, China. Watch here as she does unfathomably adorable things like roll an apple around with her head and wiggle in delight while receiving a belly rub.

TIME animals

Researchers Search for ‘Mystery Sea Monster’ That Devoured Great White Shark

Scientists are baffled by what exactly it was that consumed a 9-foot great white

Shark attacks suddenly seem less scary.

When a 9 ft. long great white shark’s tracker washed up on a beach, scientists found that the data indicated that the shark underwent a 30-degree spike and a rapid 1,900 ft. dive. The temperature increase and underwater descent indicate that the shark had entered a larger animal’s digestive tract.

“When I was first told about the data that came back from the tag that was on the shark, I was absolutely blown away,” said filmmaker David Riggs in the Smithsonian’s Hunt for the Super Predator, which documents Australia’s first large scale great white tagging project. “What could kill a 3 m. great white?”

The documentary, which airs in the U.S. on June 25, chronicles the researchers’ attempt to understand what exactly happened to Alpha, the unlucky shark who had “a real swagger,” Riggs recalled.

TIME animals

Off to the Big Kitty Castle in the Sky: World’s Oldest Cat Dies at Age 24

Rest in peace, Poppy

A feline named Poppy has died at the respectable age of 24 — just a few weeks after clinching the title of world’s oldest cat.

Poppy, who was born in February 1990, died Friday following a complication from a water infection.

“We knew she was old but it’s still very upsetting,” the cat’s owner, Jacqui West, told the Daily Mail. “She had a bad week last week. She was on antibiotics on the Wednesday because of a water infection and her back legs just seemed to let her down. She wasn’t herself at all.”

Poppy leaves behind four humans, four cats, two rabbits and a hamster.


Hero Pig Saves Family From Fire

That'll do, pig. That'll do

Quick: go adopt a pet pig. It just might save your life.

A heroic pig named Lucky is credited with saving the life of Ina Farler and her two grandchildren after a fire broke out in their mobile home early Sunday morning, NBC affiliate WFIE-TV reports. While Lucky normally woke the family in the morning, Farler knew something was wrong when the pig started squealing around 4:40 a.m.

“He started screaming,” Farler said. “He would jump down, run to the door and then jump back up on the bed and hit me really hard. I sat up to see what was wrong with him, because he usually doesn’t do that through the night. When I sat up, I realized the room was really smoky.”

Thanks to the swift action of their pet and a helpful neighbor, Farler was able to get out of the trailer with her two grandchildren. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames. While the home and everything inside is gone, Farler and her family and their beloved pig are safe.

[Via WFIE]

MORE: Heroic Corgi Defends Grass Against Menacing Goats

MORE: WATCH: Hero Pig Saves Baby Goat From Drowning

TIME animals

1,600 Papier-mache Pandas Storm Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong Pandas Tour Hong Kong Airport
1,600 paper mache pandas, designed by Paulo Grangeon, are installed in the Hong Kong airport to promote awareness about the endangered species. Vincent Yu—Associated Press

The sculptural installation promotes awareness about the endangered bear

Add 1,600 papier-mache pandas to the over 50 million passengers Hong Kong International Airport handles each year.

Designed by French sculptor Paulo Grangeon, the 1,600 pandas—some sitting, some standing, each the size of a human baby—represent the number of living pandas remaining in the wild, according to a press release from PMQ, a non-profit charity in Hong Kong that promotes creativity, arts and education. The exhibition, conceived in 2008 by the World Wildlife Fund, is intended to spread awareness about the endangered bear and stimulate dialogue around sustainable development. The pandas will tour various locations in Hong Kong until June 25.

Hong Kong is only the latest stop on the black-and-white bears’ world tour—they’ve already visited France, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Expect to see them on your next flight.

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