Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Estakio Beltran Ad

Democrat congressional hopeful Estakio Beltran published a rather unique campaign ad on YouTube. In the video he declares: “They call me a long shot. They say I can’t win in this district. But what happens to an elephant when it stands around, doing nothing, for too long?”

The camera panned to an elephant piñata, and then back to Estakio, who blasted it the face with a pump-action shotgun.

“My name is Estakio Beltran,” he said. “And I approved this message.”

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220px-ArachnophobiaArachnophobia can come at a cost but rarely do those costs include criminal charges and a torched home. Ginny M. Griffith, 34, of Hutchinson, Kansas is accused of burning her home in an effort to kill a spider. She allegedly used a cigarette lighter to set some towels on fire and destroyed not just her home but half of a duplex.

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220px-Dog-biscuitI remember some bad school lunches but this is ridiculous. Parents in New Hanover, Pa., are outraged over the news that a recess aide at New Hanover Upper Frederick Elementary School served dog treats to the grade school students. The aide actually joked with the kids that the snacks were in fact dog treats and then told them he or she was kidding and that they were really snacks. The school says that the kids will be just fine since the treats would only harm those with allegories, though we have been reading how Chinese-made treats are being avoided by pet owners due to illnesses around the country being reported by pet owners. Some 75 fourth grade students received the dog treats. Some ate three or more of the “cookies” though it is not clear were told not to beg and to yield to commands.

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Aidan’s Aviary

photoMy son Aidan found this nest outside our front door a week ago as sure proof that Spring will soon turn to summer. He took this picture before returning the nest.

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Canine Happy Hour

EVKIQkSThe problem with canine happy hour is finding a space at the bar.

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K96ZicoThe poster on Reddit said that her dog does this every time she goes to take a bath and then pretends to ignore her.

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hW5GtucPerfect symbiosis and balance found in nature.

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BLT: The Loving Trio

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

2D274905923598-today-BLT-140523-01a.blocks_desktop_mediumTake the largest, most aggressive predators from three different continents and throw them together in a cramped Atlanta apartment and what do you get? Mayhem? Well, not exactly. What you get exactly is a love story and a lesson in tolerance, perseverance and making life work.  Thirteen years ago, Atlanta police burst into a drug dealer’s apartment and found, Baloo, a North American brown bear, Leo, an African lion, and Shere Khan, an Asian tiger. A status symbol in the drug culture, the then-cubs were sharing a miserable life of neglect and starvation. Freed from their captor, the trio were dispatched by authorities to the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia for R & R. But then something wonderful and telling happened. The group, who had struggled together, began to thrive together.

“They actually seek out each others affections,” animal husbandry manager Allison Hedgecoth said. “They nuzzle each other. They play together.” A bond formed by duress and cooperation to survive was stronger than any sense of  species identity. While the animals interact with the other residents of the preserve, their genuine affection for each other is out for all to see. It’s a brotherhood as real as any human institution.

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blind_dogChina's flagWe have had a steady stream of tainted food and defective products from China, which is notorious for its lack of environmental and product safety enforcement. Now, more than dog deaths are believed to be linked to “toxic treats” from China and, given the under-reporting of such deaths, the number could be far higher. There have been roughly 5000 complaints since 2007 about jerky treats and pet deaths or illnesses.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

capuchin-monkey-in-leavesA vital question of social equality was tested recently before the scientific community. Do monkeys accept the social justice issue of equal pay?

We have uncovered an experiment that shows quite conclusively the answer to this question.

Video below the fold…

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IMG_0587Yesterday, my son Jack and I finally made it to Zion National Park, a hiking dream of mine for many years. I have the honor of being the keynote speaker for the Annual Southern Utah Federal Law Symposium being held in St. George, Utah. It was a wonderful opportunity to hike the Zion, though today proved a bit more exciting than expected. (There are a few iPhone pictures from yesterday)

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Puppy Vortex

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

These Scottish Terrier puppies bring up a timeless scientific question . . .

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4XtPJd4It is either take him out for a drag or let him get back to watching the cat.

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cat6n-4-webcat6n-3-webPolice have arrested Andre Robinson, 21, who appears on a deeply disturbing YouTube video where he lured a street cat to approach him by pretending to feed him and then kicks him into the air. What is equally disturbing is the cries of joy and laughter from his friends.

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800px-Bobbie_2010_2220px-Mountain_lionYesterday was my birthday and I took my traditional long hike. I love hiking and Virginia is one of the greatest locations for hikes in the United States. I decided to re-hike the Little Devil’s stairs, a demanding hike in the Shenandoah that starts with two miles of climbing up the side of beautiful waterfalls. The end of the hike however proved to be one of the more memorable conclusions to a hike in over 30 years of hiking. These are some of the pictures that I took, but it does not include the one picture that would have settled a debate over the long rumored mountain lion in the Shenandoah.

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