6-Year-Old Donates Savings to Help Sea Turtles

Six year old Daniel Atkinson loves marine mammals and wants to help them.  When he looked at the Florida Aquarium website when planning a trip with his mother, Daniel read about the emergency rescue of cold-stunned turtles.  Daniel decided that he needed to help, so he emptied his piggy bank and told his mom to send it to the aquarium.

Daniel’s donation of $53.50 was accompanied by a note urging the aquarium to use the money to buy antibiotics and fluids for the turtles.

When Daniel finally got to visit the aquarium on Friday he got a behind the scenes tour. Daniel was allowed to get up close and personal with some of the rescued turtles.

Read the whole story CFNews13.com.

Fascinating Creatures Found off Greenland

This frightening creature looks like a monster that would haunt bad dreams, but in reality this fish is less than 7 inches long. The fish is called a “longhead dreamer” anglerfish. Anglerfish are known for for their unique way of attracting prey. The have a growth that hangs in front of their heads which is used to trick smaller fish into coming close enough to eat.

The “longhead dreamer” anglerfish is one of 38 fish species found around Greenland for the first time. It is thought that rising water temperatures and increased deep-sea fishing has brought more new species into the area.

To see many of the new creatures visit National Geographic.

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, a day to recognize the importance of our environment and help preserve it.  It may seem like a big task to help save the Earth, but there are many things you can do.

-You can grow plants that are native to your area to help protect local species.

Plant-You can pick up trash in your area.

-You can write to your congressperson to ask for stricter environmental controls.

-You can walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation instead of driving.

-You can help raise awareness of the need to recycle .

-You can conserve energy by switching to efficient light bulbs and turning off lights when you are not in the room.

-You can conserve water by taking showers instead of baths.

-You can switch to reusable water bottles.

Large numbers of people making small changes can have a big impact on the Earth.

Nevada Zoo Welcomes Ring-tailed Lemur Baby

The Roos-N-More Zoo in Nevada has been surprised by the birth of a ring-tailed lemur baby. The zoo staff was not aware the mother, named Morocco, was pregnant. The baby has been named Marques and it’s gender is not known yet. The staff believes Marques is a girl, but they cannot confirm that yet. For now Marques is clinging to her mother’s chest, allowing a few glimpses of her tiny black and white ringed tail.

All species of lemur are endangered, so this birth will help maintain the current population.

Read more about Marques at RGJ.com.

Read more about the ring-tailed lemur at Animal Fact Guide.

Rare Atlas Lion Born

A new lion cub is born at Space Farms Zoo in Sussex

Space Farms Zoo and Museum in Sussex, New Jersey is the home of the newest member of a rare species of lion. The cub, Siren, was born 10 weeks ago. He is the fifth generation of Atlas lion to live at the zoo.

Atlas lions, known for the black manes on the males, are extinct in the wild. There are fewer than 100 in zoos worldwide.

To read more about Siren visit NJ.com.

Visit the Space Farms Zoo.

Meerkat Looks for Love Online

If online dating works for humans, why not for meerkats? That’s the plan for the owners of the Twinlakes Family Theme Park in Leicestershire, England. They wanted a companion for their female meerkat Lilly, whose prospects for a male companion fell through shortly after her arrival at the park.

The owners worried that Lilly would become lonely because meerkats are social animals. So, the set up a website called Meerkat Match in hopes of finding a suitable mate for her.

The site allows meerkat owners to create a profile and upload photos of their meerkat. The park owners hope that someone who purchased a meerkat as a pet will decide its best to turn him over to the park.

Read more about this story at UPI.com.

Read more about meerkats at Animal Fact Guide.

Fossa Comes to Denver Zoo

Madagascar is known for its unique animals, one of which is the carnivorous fossa. The fossa is related to the mongoose and weighs about 20 lbs. Fossas have tails just as long as their bodies, about 2 and a half feet, which help them balance while climbing trees. Despite this relatively small size, the fossa is the largest mammalian carnivore on the island.

The fossa that has recently joined the Denver Zoo comes from the San Diego Zoo. He is four years old and named Dorian.

Read more about Dorian and see additional photos at KDVR.com.

Visit the Denver Zoo’s website for more information: www.denverzoo.com.

Wildlife Photographer Presents “Polar Obsession”

Polar Obsession by Paul NicklenNational Geographic wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen came to the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT on April 16th to talk about his experiences capturing images on the polar caps.  Animal Fact Guide editors P.A. Smith and Abi Cushman had the pleasure of attending.

Often Nicklen was exposed to harsh conditions while on expeditions, many times risking his life to attain his captivating images.  Yet Nicklen relayed these powerful stories while interjecting humorous remarks.  His anecdotes were hugely entertaining and inspiring.  He spoke of his up close encounter with an enormous female leopard seal who tried to feed him penguins.  At one point, the seal had placed a dead penguin on his head waiting for him to eat it, and he’d continued to take photos of her with the lifeless bird resting there, all the while tearing up with laughter. In the photo, you can see the penguin’s feet at the top of the frame.

Throughout his talk, Nicklen stressed the simple truth that man-made climate change is negatively affecting both polar regions.  The dramatic loss of the polar ice has an enormous impact on entire ecosystems.  It starts with the microorganisms that inhabit the multiyear ice (ice that builds up over several years).  These phytoplankton are eaten by zooplankton, and in turn they are consumed by fish. Next in the chain are larger animals such as whales and seals.  Without the ice, the phytoplankton cannot thrive, and the ripple continues throughout the chain.  Many of the animals towards the top of the chain, such as polar bears, also rely on ice for breeding and hunting.

In light of this sad situation, Nicklen urged the audience to get involved in conservation, to start a revolution and save these ecosystems.

To learn more about Nicklen’s work and view his amazing photographs, purchase his book Polar Obsession. It contains many of the stories behind his photos.

Garde Arts Center, New London, CT

Editor P.A. Smith in front of the Garde Arts Center in New London, where wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen spoke.

Tampa Welcomes Baby Giraffe

Baby giraffe at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has welcomed a new giraffe to their zoo family, raising the total number to 15. The calf weighed 147 lbs when born a few days ago.

Guests to the zoo will not yet be able to see the new baby as it is being cared for by its mother in a private section of the zoo. Once zoo staff determines that the baby is growing properly, both baby and mother will join the other giraffes in the Serengeti Plains exhibit where visitors can view the giraffes via safari-style tour or the Skyride.

The zoo is expecting another baby giraffe before summer.

Read more about giraffes at Animal Fact Guide.

Learn more about Busch Gardens Tampa Bay by visiting their website.

Life-size LEGO Animals

The Philadelphia Zoo is hosting a unique exhibit – LEGO animals. Sean Kenney, a LEGO certified professional, created 10 exhibits showcasing endangered species made entirely out of the popular bricks.  Each of the exhibits offers a glimpse into the habit of endangered animals. Overall, thirty sculptures have been made, including a polar bear and a Humboldt penguin.

The exhibit, called Creatures of Habit: A Gazillion Piece Animal Adventure,  runs through October 31st.

Visit their website: www.philadelphiazoo.org/creatures