TIME animals

Nothing Will Stand in the Way of These Raccoons and Their Meal

No sense of decorum at all

Joel Rosenthal of Hillsboro, West Virginia, posted a video of three ravenous raccoons during “meal time” at his house. Two of them stick their faces — and basically half their bodies — into the bowl. Of course, no one would dare correct them and point out their bad manners – they could have rabies, right?

The video has been shared more than 1,400 times since it was uploaded to Facebook on July 21.

Someone should at least hand them some bubble wrap so they can clean themselves up.





TIME animals

Skinny the 41-Pound Cat Successfully Slims Down to 19 Pounds

Dr. Brittney Barton holds Skinny, who when found wandering near Dallas in 2012 weighed in at 41 pounds.
Jana Hipp—HEAL Veterinary Hospital & Pet Rehabilitation via AP Dr. Brittney Barton holds Skinny, who when found wandering near Dallas in 2012 weighed in at 41 pounds.

The cat is living up to his name

(DALLAS) — A former 41-pound cat dubbed Skinny has lost more than half of his weight to become the darling of a Dallas veterinary clinic.

Dr. Brittney Barton says the orange tabby she adopted in 2013 has slimmed to 19 pounds with exercise and a special diet. Barton calls Skinny the “resident cat” at her practice, HEAL Veterinary Hospital.

Barton said Friday that Skinny spends weekdays roaming the clinic. The ex-fat cat’s weekends are spent at home with Barton and her family.

The vet says Skinny, who was found abandoned near Dallas in 2012 and ended up at a shelter, just had his annual checkup and he’s healthy.

Barton says Skinny is living proof that while he’s supposed to be a large cat, “he’s not supposed to be an obese cat.”

TIME animals

See an Orangutan ‘Kiss’ a Pregnant Woman’s Belly at the Zoo

The zoo animal was especially fascinated by this woman

An orangutan at the Colchester Zoo surprised a couple from Essex when it kissed a pregnant woman’s belly through the glass window.

Maisie Knight, who has been pregnant for 37 weeks, got two kisses, and her partner Jamie Clarke had the camera rolling the whole time. Clarke claimed on YouTube that the animal had a special fascination with Knight because when he pressed his own stomach up to the glass, he “got a dirty look.”

In a Facebook post, the zoo confirmed that the great ape, named Rajang, is “particularly” fascinated by baby bumps: “He loves belly buttons, scars and of course baby bumps! His inquisitive way means he loves to interact with visitors particularly those who might be expecting!”



TIME Crime

Landscaper Sent to Jail for Killing Ducks With a Lawnmower

Jason Scott Falbo II pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty charges

(WELLINGTON, Fla.) — A Florida landscaper who ran over a family of ducks with his riding lawnmower has been sentenced to a year in jail.

A Palm Beach County judge sentenced 24-year-old Jason Scott Falbo II last week after he pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty charges.

Authorities say Falbo mowed down the ducks May 2 at the home of a family caring for them in Wellington. Police say nine ducklings died, while their mother and two ducklings survived.

The family says the ducklings were just a few days old. Boyd Jentzsch told police his family, including his 7-year-old son, watched from inside their home, screaming as the ducks were run over.

Also last week, Falbo pleaded guilty to domestic battery in an unrelated incident about a month before the duckling deaths.

TIME viral

This Compilation Of Babies and Dogs Playing Tug of War Will Totally Melt Your Heart

Puppies and babies play hard

There are many instances of dogs and babies helping each other out whether it’s a pup alerting a family to an abusive babysitter, a dog teaching a baby how to crawl or even helping change a baby’s diaper.

But for every instance of cooperation there’s another of inter-species competition. This adorable compilation, put together by YouTube channel CrazyFunStuffCFS, shows that even when babies and dogs go head to head battling for a toy, they can still melt your heart. Get ready to be delighted.

TIME animals

Watch This Enormous Pit Bull Play With His Newborn Puppies

Hulk the dog weighs 175 pounds

Hulk, whose owner calls him the world’s largest pit bull, is now a father of eight pit bull puppies.

The 175-lb. papa pup lives in New Hampshire with owners Marlon and Lisa Grannan and their young son Jordan. The Grannans breed and train protection dogs like Hulk, and they believe his pups could be worth a lot of money if they take after their dad. “If the litter were all trained as protection dogs,” Marlon said, “they could be worth in excess of half-a-million dollars, absolutely.”

His owners say Hulk is being a good father to the young ones, licking and playing with them.

TIME animals

This Dog Found a Clever Way to Retrieve Her Ball From a Pool Without Getting Wet

Where there's a will there's a way

This dog apparently doesn’t like to swim very much, but that didn’t stop her from retrieving a tennis ball from the middle of a pool. YouTube user Esther Cushway posted a video of “Rosie” fetching the ball from the water by brilliantly using a nearby kiddie pool as a makeshift raft to reach the middle of the pool, then return to safety. Watch as this master of modern physics avoids getting wet as much as possible.

TIME animals

Obama Announces Major Restrictions on Ivory Trade

When implemented, the proposed rule will result in a near total ban on the ivory trade in the U.S.

President Obama announced sweeping new measures to stem the ivory trade on Saturday, including a ban on the interstate sale of most ivory in the U.S. and new restrictions on when the material can be exported. When implemented, the rule would result in a near total ban on the ivory trade in the U.S.

“We’re proposing a new rule that bans the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines,” Obama said at a press conference in Kenya.

Existing U.S. ivory regulations mostly concern the import and export of the material from the country, while allowing some legal trade of the material between states. The new regulation, which will be finalized later this year, would restrict interstate trade to antique items that are over 100 years old or contain a minimal amount of ivory. The proposed rule also contains new restrictions on the international trade.

Prior to the Saturday’s announcement, many animal conservationists had argued that allowing some legal ivory trade provided a cover for criminals who were actually selling illegal ivory. In a 2009 investigation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials seized more than a ton of ivory from a Philadelphia art store that had been manipulated to appear old enough to meet federal standards. Ivory from that seizure was destroyed at a “ivory crush” event in Times Square last month.

“By tightening domestic controls on trade in elephant ivory and allowing only very narrow exceptions, we will close existing avenues that are exploited by traffickers and address ivory trade that poses a threat to elephants in the wild,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe in a press release. “Federal law enforcement agents will have clearer lines by which to demarcate legal from illegal trade.”

Read More: Why Elephant Advocates Crushed a Ton of Ivory in Times Square

The announcement comes as conservation groups have warned about an increase in the prevalence of elephant poaching and a subsequent decline in the number of African elephants. Fewer than 500,000 elephants roam the continent today, and more than 50,000 are killed each year. After China, the U.S. is the world’s second largest market for ivory product sales, according to some estimates.

In addition to protecting elephants, the regulations will promote economic growth in Africa in the many countries rely on wildlife-based tourism, officials said. It will also aid the fight against terrorist groups that fund their efforts with money from the ivory trade.

“This is an issue not just about protecting elephants, but alleviating poverty, spurring economic growth, and fighting off people intent on destroying governments and terrorizing communities,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society, in an emailed statement. “Here’s a case where protecting wildlife is bound inextricably with core concerns about economic and national security.”

TIME animals

Meet an Adorable Baby Giraffe That Was Just Born at the Virginia Zoo

just born giraffe
Virginia Zoo

The newborn weighed in at 152 pounds

The Virginia Zoo welcomed a new baby giraffe on Thursday when a male calf was born to mother Imara and father Billy.

The baby giraffe, as yet unnamed, weighed 152 lbs. and measured 75 in. tall at birth. Since giraffes give birth standing up, their newborns can drop up to 6 ft. during the birthing process—but within a few hours, the calf was on his feet and walking around. So far, mother and son both seem to be healthy.

The zoo says Billy is a “genetically important” father for the Masai giraffe species, and the birth is significant for the giraffe population in North America, which is just over 100. The Masai is the tallest mammal species on Earth, and as a male, this newborn can expect to grow 18 ft. tall.

TIME animals

This Little Owl Faced Off With a Sheriff’s Deputy and Totally Won

Wide eyed Owl
Dan Walter—AP In this July 21, 2015 photo, provided by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sophie Berman crouches over a small owl, making a brief video before the bird flew away, near Rainbow Lakes, outside Nederland, Colo.

The tiny bird decided it was above the game

This tiny owl may be cute, but don’t let it fool you: it has more sass in its little talon than a Colorado sheriff’s deputy.

Boulder County Sheriff’’s Deputy Sophie Berman came across a wee owl in her patrols on Tuesday and got into a staring contest with the bird while filming it, the Associated Press reports. Her feathered foe stood unwavering for several minutes, making clicking sounds in response to Berman’s words. Finally, the owl decided it was above the game and turned its back on Berman and flew away.


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