TIME animals

Man Punches Bear in the Face to Protect His Chihuahua

"Boom, I hit him hard"

We normally like to think of our dogs protecting us, but in this case, a man went to extreme lengths to protect his canine companion: he punched a bear that was trying to eat his Chihuahua.

Carl Moore, 73, saw a black bear trying to crawl into his yard in Meadow Vista, Calif. and nab his little dog, the LA Times reports. Moore is a former boxer, and those fighting instincts kicked in. Moore punched the bear in the face and it ran away.

“The man or beast that I run from ain’t been born,” Moore said in the below interview with CBS Sacramento, “and its mama’s already dead.”

TIME climate change

Global Warming to Speed Up Extinction

American Pika, photo taken on Aug. 17, 2005, is in trouble because it has few places to escape the heat with climate change.
Shana S. Weber—AP American Pika, photo taken on Aug. 17, 2005, is in trouble because it has few places to escape the heat with climate change.

1 in 6 species could be gone or on the road to extinction by the end of the century

(WASHINGTON) — Global warming will eventually push 1 out of every 13 species on Earth into extinction, a new study projects.

It won’t quite be as bad in North America, where only 1 in 20 species will be killed off because of climate change or Europe where the extinction rate is nearly as small. But in South America, that forecasted heat-caused extinction rate soars to 23 percent, the worst for any continent, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science.

University of Connecticut ecologist Mark Urban compiled and analyzed 131 peer-reviewed studies on species that used various types of computer simulations and found a general average extinction rate for the globe: 7.9 percent. That’s an average for all species, all regions, taking into consideration various assumptions about future emission trends of man-made greenhouse gases. The extinction rate calculation doesn’t mean all of those species will be gone; some will just be on an irreversible decline, dwindling toward oblivion, he said.

“It’s a sobering result,” Urban said.

Urban’s figures are probably underestimating the real rate of species loss a little, said scientists not affiliated with the research. That’s because Urban only looks at temperature, not other factors like fire or interaction with other animals, and more studies have been done in North America and Europe, where rates are lower, said outside biologists Stuart Pimm of Duke University and Terry Root of Stanford University.

The projected extinction rate changes with time and how much warming there is from the burning of coal, oil and gas. At the moment, the extinction rate is relatively low, 2.8 percent, but it rises with more carbon dioxide pollution and warmer temperatures, Urban wrote.

By the end of the century, in a worst case scenario if world carbon emission trends continue to rise, 1 in 6 species will be gone or on the road to extinction, Urban said. That’s higher than the overall rate because that 7.9 percent rate takes into account some projections that the world will reduce or at least slow carbon dioxide emissions.

What happens is that species tend to move closer to the poles and up in elevation as it gets warmer, Urban said. But some species, especially those on mountains such as the American pika, run out of room to move and may die off because there’s no place to escape the heat, Urban said. It’s like being on an ever-shrinking island.

Still, Pimm and Urban said the extinction from warming climates is dwarfed by a much higher extinction rate also caused by man: Habitat loss. A large extinction is going on, and for every species disappearing for natural causes, 1,000 are vanishing because of unnatural man-made causes, Pimm said.

“I don’t know we’re at the point where we can call it a mass extinction event, but we’re certainly heading that way unless we change direction,” Urban said.

A separate study in the same journal looked at 23 million years of marine fossils to determine which water animals have the biggest extinction risk and where. Marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins and seals, have the highest risk. The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, western Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean between Australia and Japan are hotspots for potential extinction, especially those caused by human factors, the study said.

TIME animals

How Bats Could Influence the Future of Air Travel

Researchers are learning from the way bats fly

A new study reveals how bats are able to fly with such precision in the dark, a finding that could eventually lead to innovations in airplane technology, researchers said.

The study, which examined big brown bats in North America and was published April 30 in Cell Reports, demonstrates for the first time that bats fly using highly sensitive touch sensors on their wings that respond to changes in airflow. These receptors then send signals to neurons in the bats’ brains, allowing the animal to make quick adjustments in flight.

The researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the University of Maryland say their findings could help people design aircraft that can sense and adjust to air turbulence and better avoid obstacles.

“This kind of information could be very important in the design of aircraft, particularly aircraft that must maneuver through complex environments,” said Cynthia Moss, one of the senior authors of the study and a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins. “Biology has done an exquisite job creating these animals that can maneuver so agilely, and so we might be able to learn some basic principles from the bat that could be transferred into technology.”

TIME animals

Watch This Tiny Puppy Get Totally Freaked Out by His Own Hiccups

And then try to attack them

An important part of being a puppy, besides being adorable and ruining people’s shoes, is learning how things work. And in this video, we get to see a pup named Buck attempt to figure out what hiccups are.

He’s just so confused though. While sitting in the backseat of a car, the eight-week-old pups begins hiccuping for the first time in his life. He responds by growling and barking in what appears to be an attempt to scare the hiccups away.

Pretty sure there will never be anything cuter than this.

TIME animals

90-Year-Old Tortoise Gets Wheels After Losing Legs in Rat Attack

Her owner says Mrs. T is on a roll

A 90-year-old tortoise named Mrs. T now has a pair of wheels to get around after a rat gnawed off her front legs while she was hibernating in a garden shed earlier this month in Pembroke, West Wales, The Telegraph and BBC News report.

Owner Jude Ryder turned to son Dale Sinclair-Jones, an engineer, who glued an axis connecting wheels from a model aircraft onto her shell.

Now the pet reptile can reportedly move faster than ever, so hares everywhere better watch out.

TIME animals

Sprinkles the 33-Pound Cat Is Looking to Slim Down

Sprinkles the cat is pictured at The Crooked Tail in Sea Isle City, N.J. on April 23, 2015.
Michael Ein—AP Sprinkles the cat is pictured at The Crooked Tail in Sea Isle City, N.J. on April 23, 2015.

"Whatever position she's in, she's stuck. She can barely move"

Sprinkles may have had too many kitty cupcakes in her life.

The people taking care of this sweet 33-lb. cat aren’t sure how she got so big, but they are looking to help her slim down, according to PressofAtlanticCity.com.

Sprinkles was discovered in a foreclosed home with ear mites, a flea infestation and an infection. She is now under the loving care of S.O.S. Sea Isle City Cats in New Jersey and is feeling better, but she still has some hurdles to overcome.

“Whatever position she’s in, she’s stuck. She can barely move,” said Stacy Jones Olandt, a volunteer at S.O.S. Sea Isle City Cats.

“We’ve seen fat cats at 20 to 25 lbs., but this is just obscene. Cats, by and large, don’t overfeed themselves. This is similar to a 600- or 700-lb. human that should weigh 180 lbs.,” she continued.

The 4-year-old kitty has trouble rolling over and grooming due to her extra weight, but the staff at shelter hope to get Sprinkles moving again soon. For the next several months, the kitty will be put on a closely monitored diet so she can lose weight at a healthy rate.

While there is a lot of Sprinkles to love, she also has a lot of love to give.

“She’s sweet, sweet, sweet,” said Olandt.

The staff at the shelter hope the feline’s affectionate personality will land her a forever home with an owner who’s willing to help the cat continue to slim down. If you’re interested in becoming that person, contact S.O.S. Sea Isle City Cats.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME animals

Watching This Woman Meet Her New Puppy Will Definitely Make You Cry

Puppy love at first sight

A 30-second clip of a woman sitting on a mattress and playing with her new puppy has racked up more than a million views on YouTube since it was uploaded on April 25.

It is definitely not the most dramatic reaction to a new puppy out there on the web. For instance, just watch this little girl scream her head off when her mom buys her one or this grandmother cry with happiness over her new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

TIME animals

This Sneaky Turtle Just Photobombed a Group Picture in the Philippines

Is this the cutest photo-bomb of all time? Friendly sea turtle crashes group photo in the Philippines at just the right moment
Whitehotpix/ZUMAPRESS.com Friendly sea turtle crashes group photo in the Philippines at just the right moment.

Call it photo-shelled

A sea turtle managed to photobomb a group of swimmers in the Philippines earlier this month, launching itself squarely in the frame of a group shot.

“We were posing for a group photo at Apo Island when this sea turtle surfaced to breathe and photo-bombed!” Diovani de Jesus, who took the shot, explained on his blog. “This is a reminder that humans and creatures like this gentle [sea turtle] can co-exist,” he added, saying the shallow area”is a feeding ground for sea turtles.”

Many sea turtles are endangered, as they are often poached for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, and are also harmed by climate change and habitat destruction, the Huffington Post noted.

TIME animals

Miniature Dachshund Rescued After 2 Weeks Underground

Dachshund Rescued
Matt Riedl—AP Lucy, a 4-year-old miniature dachshund, at her Derby, Kans. home April 22, 2015.

The Kansas dog literally dug herself into a hole

Lucy is one lucky pooch.

The miniature dachshund has been rescued two weeks after accidentally digging herself underground in Derby, Kansas, and getting trapped underneath a concrete slab, the Wichita Eagle reports.

The dog, which was let out in the yard each day by owner Rebecca Felix and her husband, dug a hole in the ground and then turned and burrowed for 4 feet beneath a concrete slab supporting an air conditioning unit.

After two weeks of searching for the dog, the couple heard a quiet bark and called 911 to rescue her.

“It really is a miracle that God gave me back Lucy right before her birthday, and if she could talk, we’d be able to write a book about it,” Felix said of Lucy, who turned 4 years old hours after she was rescued.

[Wichita Eagle]

TIME animals

Buffalo Herd Gunned Down After Escaping From a Farm

A herd of buffalo cross a road in Bethlehem, N.Y., on Apr. 24, 2015,
Mike Groll—AP A herd of buffalo cross a road in Bethlehem, N.Y., on Apr. 24, 2015

The animals posed a threat to public safety, authorities said

A small herd of buffalo escaped from a farm in upstate New York on Thursday, roaming free across roads and through rivers until local authorities gave the signal to open fire.

The herd of 15 escaped buffalo reportedly forged the Hudson River and crossed a heavily trafficked interstate some 20 minutes out of Albany, Fox News reports. They were pursued by police, hunters and local experts, who agreed that there was no effective way of tranquilizing or containing the animals. Fearing the risk to public safety, authorities asked hunters to gun the herd down.

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