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.

TIME animals

Baby Giraffe Born at Dallas Zoo Now Has a Name

Animal Planet—Dallas Zoo Katie and Kipenzi

More than 50,000 votes were cast to name the youngster

As the royal baby name game continues to leave us guessing, we can all sleep a little more soundly knowing at least one adorable newborn finally has her moniker.

And the Dallas Zoo’s newest giraffe addition’s name is … Kipenzi, which is Swahili for loved one.

More than 50,000 fans around the world voted to pick the name of the calf, whom Katie the reticulated giraffe welcomed April 10.

We’ve been keeping tabs on Kipenzi via Animal Planet’s live-cam, which began rolling before Katie even gave birth.

As for Kipenzi, the calf has gained more than 30 lbs. since birth and stands over 6-ft. tall. Dallas Zoo visitors, get excited: The giraffe baby is preparing to make her public debut in the habitat for her first full day as soon as the rainy weather clears up, which will likely be early next week.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Science

What Happened to the First Cloned Puppy

Scientists Announce World's First Cloned Dog
Getty Images Snuppy, (R) the first successfully cloned Afghan hound, sits with his genetic father at the Seoul National University on Aug. 3, 2005 in Seoul

April 24, 2005: The world’s first cloned dog, Snuppy, is born in South Korea

It’s fair to say that Snuppy the dog received more praise in his first year than most dogs do in a lifetime. No other pup, after all, has ever been named TIME’s “Invention of the Year.”

Snuppy wasn’t any better behaved than the average puppy, by TIME’s account, which noted that the sight of lamb-flavored treats or a visitor’s arrival sent him “into a frenzy of excited jumping.” But his birth — on this day, April 24, a decade ago — was a miracle of science in itself.

Snuppy was a clone, the first successful one of his species, produced by a team of South Korean researchers from a single cell culled from an Afghan hound’s ear. (His name was an amalgam of S.N.U. — Seoul National University, where the research team was based — and “puppy.”)

Other mammals had already been successfully cloned, from Dolly the sheep in 1996 to CC the cat (short for Copy Cat) in 2001, along with mice, rabbits, pigs, cows and horses. But dogs turned out to be exasperatingly difficult to duplicate, partly because their breeding period was more limited than other species’, and partly because their eggs were not as easy to extract as eggs were from other animals like cows or pigs.

It was thanks to dogged persistence that the Korean team, led by the scientist Woo Suk Hwang, succeeded where others had failed — including an American company that had hoped to win the cloned-dog race. Of 1,095 extracted eggs that Hwang’s team implanted in 123 surrogates, two made it to term and one died a few weeks after birth. Snuppy was the lone cloned survivor.

Hwang, meanwhile, had already made a name for himself as one of the world’s greatest innovators; he’d been listed among TIME’s most influential people the year before Snuppy’s debut. But his reputation began to unravel when he was accused of ethics violations related to his earlier work with a different species: humans.

In 2004, he’d appeared to produce viable stem cell lines from a cloned human embryo, but other scientists questioned his data, and an S.N.U. committee ultimately determined that it had been fabricated. That deception, coupled with the revelation that some of the women who had donated eggs for stem-cell research were Hwang’s own graduate students — an egregious ethical breach — led to his dismissal from the university. Snuppy stayed, however, and remained a beloved campus mascot. In 2008, he fathered puppies of his own, no cloning required.

And while a cloud of suspicion descended over everything Hwang had done, another investigation upheld his canine cloning claim, concluding that Snuppy was, in fact, the real deal — a genuine copy.

Read more about how Snuppy was created, here in the TIME archives: Dogged Pursuit

TIME animals

Watch This Girl Totally Freak Out When Her Mom Surprises Her With a Puppy

"Oh my God! You're SO CUTE!"

There’s something so sweet about watching young kids just completely lose it when their parents surprise them with a puppy.

In the above clip, a young girl comes home from school, thinking it’s just another normal afternoon. When she opens the door and notices someone filming, she clearly realizes something is going on — and when she realizes that that something is a new puppy in the next room, she freaks out. She screams and sprints toward the puppy, shouting at him, “YOU’RE SO CUTE.”

He really is so cute, and we totally understand why she freaks out. She cries because she’s just so overjoyed to have a puppy, who, in the meantime, is just happily waggin’ his tail.

Read next: Watch a Little Girl Pay Michelle Obama a Sweet Compliment

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME animals

Popular Pesticide Hurts Wild Bees, Study Finds

European honeybee
Marijan Murat—picture-alliance/dpa/AP European honeybees are busy at work on a honeycomb in their behive on the rooftop of the town hall in Stuttgart, Germany, 13 April 2015.

New research could lead to pesticide bans in the U.S. and Europe

A common pesticide is hurting wild bees, while sparing their honeybee cousins, a new study found.

The data, published in Nature on Wednesday, could have an effect on whether regulators in the U.S. and Europe will continue to allow the use of the pesticides.

The study showed that neonicotinoids, a commonly used class of insecticides, “reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction,” indicating that the insecticides could be contributing to the decline in wild bee populations globally, a key issue in food security. The study found that the insecticide was not as harmful for human-raised honeybees, suggesting that scientists cannot extrapolate a chemical’s effects on honeybees to their wild cousins.

Read More: A World Without Bees

Adding to the concern, a second study published in Nature showed that two different kinds of bees seem to prefer crops coated in the pesticides, undermining the claim from pesticide defenders that bees can choose pesticide-free crops.

The European Union has instituted a temporary ban of the pesticides that is up for review in December. The U.S. does not have a ban, but the Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier in April that it was unlikely to approve new outdoor use of neonicotinoid pesticides, pending new data. These new studies may have an effect on that decision.


TIME animals

Confined Chimps Will Get Their Day in Court, Judge Rules

Getty Images

The chimps will face another hearing on May 6

A New York judge ruled this week to grant lawyers representing two chimpanzees a hearing to challenge the animals’ confinement.

The judge’s ruling comes in response to a complaint filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of two chimpanzees held at Stony Brook University. In response to the ruling, the university will be required to demonstrate to a court that it has reason to detain the chimpanzees.

The decision does not guarantee that the chimpanzees will be released and instead only sets up another hearing, scheduled for May 6, to determine whether Stony Brook has a reason to detain them. New York courts have previously upheld the right to detain chimpanzees.

The judge, Barbara Jaffe of the New York County Supreme Court, originally had invoked habeas corpus, to order the hearing, but amended her order the day following her initial decision. Habeas corpus, a doctrine used to protect against unlawful imprisonment, had never been used to protect non-human animals. The Nonhuman Rights Project argued that by granting the chimpanzees habeas corpus, Jaffe had “implicitly determined” that chimps are “persons.”

Stony Brook declined to comment on pending litigation.

TIME animals

Humpback Whales May No Longer Be Endangered

Whale Breaching
Michael Penn—AP In this July 9, 2014 photo, an adult humpback whale breaches in Lynn Canal near Juneau, Alaska.

Two populations of the whales would still be considered endangered

Most humpback whales may no longer be endangered.

On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed removing more than two-thirds of the world’s humpback whale population from the endangered species list.

Humpback whales were first classified as in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1970. The NOAA’s proposal would remove 10 of the 14 recognized whale populations from the endangered species list, while two would be listed as endangered and the remaining two would be classified as threatened.

“The return of the iconic humpback whale is an ESA success story,” Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries, said in the NOAA release. “As we learn more about the species—and realize the populations are largely independent of each other—managing them separately allows us to focus protection on the animals that need it the most.”

The last time NOAA removed a species from the endangered list due its recovery was in 1994, when it took off a population of gray whales, the Associated Press reports. Once removed from the list, all the humpback whales would still be protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

TIME animals

26 of LIFE’s Best Animal Covers

From LBJ's beagles to Ham the Astrochimp

As magazine titles go, LIFE is perhaps the most all-encompassing in the history of periodicals. Though the magazine specialized in facets of human life—from war to fashion and culture to politics—the editors more than dabbled in the lives of our four-legged (and slithering and winged) friends. Someone in the art department clearly had a soft spot for dogs, but mice, lorises, triggerfish and walruses all had their turns on the cover, as well. For their contributions to science and cinema, agriculture and plain old human companionship, animals more than earned their ample coverage in LIFE—though they probably couldn’t have cared less.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

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