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Massive Humpback Whale Astonishes Kayakers Just Off Coast

whalethumbHey, a bunch of kayakers off the coast of Alaska just bumped into your mom!  Jokes. But honestly, look at this size of this humpback whale in all its mysterious glory. Here in the UK we seldom come across such large creatures (except at your mom’s house!) and therefore marvel at such footage. Taken near

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Massive Humpback Whale Astonishes Kayakers Just Off Coast whalethumbViralHog

Hey, a bunch of kayakers off the coast of Alaska just bumped into your mom! 

Jokes. But honestly, look at this size of this humpback whale in all its mysterious glory.

Here in the UK we seldom come across such large creatures (except at your mom’s house!) and therefore marvel at such footage.

Taken near Fox Island outside of Seward, Alaska, Cara Wallschlaeger and guide Andrew Smith were enjoying a simple kayak when they chanced upon the beast.

As they had the morning off, they decided to venture out to Rugged Island where orcas were known to knock about.

As they were paddling out, the pair saw a familiar humpback whale breaching many times far off in the distance. As they were in between Hive and Fox island, Cara and Andrew were able to get close to this whale a few times, doing a sounding dive within paddle reach of Andrew’s kayak.

Excited by how close they were getting, and also needing to head back for our afternoon trip, the two decided to turn back north. The whale came up next to them a few more times and continued to manoeuvre sideways and even underneath our kayaks.

Cara said:

Thankfully, I had my phone ready as can be seen in the video as he manoeuvred sideways through the water right in front of me in my kayak. My heart was definitely pounding!

Quite the week for humpback whales, huh? Not far from Alaska, in Canada, one of the plucky swimmers swam right up to some lodgers. That’s folk staying in a lodge not that bloke who sleeps in your spare room and always gives your mom a wink.

In an incredible and dramatic scene captured on camera, a collection of the marine mammals made an appearance just off the edge of the dock of a lodge in Canada, with a group of onlookers watched excitedly from the Great Bear Lodge in Port Hardy, British Columbia, as the whales splashed around in the water.

Presumably having spotted what was happening, the visitors at the lodge gathered on the dock and were near enough beside themselves as they realised that they were about to see humpback whales up close and personal.

Staring at a circle of bubbles in anticipation of all your moms, the onlookers remained silent, probably praying that the whales didn’t bugger off before they could take a pic for bragging rights on the ‘Gram.

One of the women pointed towards the water, and seconds later two humpbacks burst from the depths. Everyone was loving it.

Two of the women high-fived at their luck, and turned back to the water just in time to see the whales rise up one last time before dipping back into the sea.

The lodge’s Instagram page posted about the spectacular event.

The caption read:

What an amazing morning – humpbacks came for breakfast! We’ve never seen them this close to the lodge before, and so fantastic to see them bubble netting. Nearly as good as the whales was the reaction of our guide, @Marlosha, who was pretty excited! The guests didn’t mind being woken up for this.

Magical things aren’t they?

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Animals

Giraffes Were Just Added To List Of Animals Facing Extinction

giraffes1The number of giraffes in the world is sadly declining, and as a result two different species have been added to the ‘critically endangered’ list of animals. The Kordofan giraffe and the Nubian giraffe, which are found across East, Central and West Africa, are now classified as ‘critically endangered’, while the Reticulated giraffe, which is

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giraffesPixabay

The number of giraffes in the world is sadly declining, and as a result two different species have been added to the ‘critically endangered’ list of animals.

The Kordofan giraffe and the Nubian giraffe, which are found across East, Central and West Africa, are now classified as ‘critically endangered’, while the Reticulated giraffe, which is native to the Horn of Africa, is listed as ‘endangered’. Other species of giraffe have also been graded as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘near threatened’.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species has revealed that these giraffes are ‘in serious trouble’.

These species of giraffe were listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the Red List in 2016, but have now been ‘uplisted’ on the 2018 update.

There are currently nine subspecies of giraffe, seven of which have been assessed by the IUCN. Five of the subspecies were assessed for the first time ever, so it was a shock for researchers that three of them are now endangered.

The only species of giraffe to listed as ‘least concern’ is the Angolan giraffe, which is found mainly in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The South African giraffe also appears to be doing well, while the numbers of Masai giraffe have ‘plummeted’ and ‘will most likely be placed within one of the threatened categories of the IUCN Red List’ according to an IUCN report.

Dr Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN Special Survival Commission, and the Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group, and Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, said:

Whilst giraffe are commonly seen on safari, in the media, and in zoos, people – including conservationists – are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction.

While giraffe populations in southern Africa are doing just fine, the world’s tallest animal is under severe pressure in some of its core ranges across East, Central and West Africa.

It may come as a shock that three of the currently recognised nine subspecies are now considered ‘Critically Endangered’ or ‘Endangered’, but we have been sounding the alarm for a few years now.

Some species of giraffe, however, seem to be thriving, as the West African and Rothschild’s giraffe, which were previously considered ‘endangered’, have improved their conservation status. This is thanks to the African governments and conservation organisations working together, with guidance from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

Arthur Muneza, East-Africa Coordinator of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, said:

This is a conservation success story and highlights the value of making proactive giraffe conservation and management efforts in critical populations across the continent.

Working collaboratively with governments and other partners, we feel that our proactive measures are saving giraffe in some areas before it is too late.

It is now timely to increase our efforts, especially for those listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ and ‘Endangered’.

Giraffes are currently under threat from illegal hunting, as well as loss of habitat due to human activities like agriculture and mining.

The critically endangered Kordofan and Nubian giraffe are now considered some of the most threatened large mammals in the world.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via stories@unilad.co.uk

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Animals

Lil Bill Is ‘World’s Smallest Cow’ And Is Size Of Domestic Cat

lilbill4After the staggering expanse of some of the cows we’ve seen recently, people have been calling out across the world for more bovine content. Thankfully, the world listened, and here we have for you what is thought to be the world’s smallest cow. We’ve had Knickers and Dozer, and those guys were undeniably impressive in

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small cowMississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine/Facebook

After the staggering expanse of some of the cows we’ve seen recently, people have been calling out across the world for more bovine content.

Thankfully, the world listened, and here we have for you what is thought to be the world’s smallest cow.

We’ve had Knickers and Dozer, and those guys were undeniably impressive in their stature. But Lil’ Bill is going to be melting hearts everywhere thanks to his diminutive size.

The little fella weights just 4.5kg, which is about the same a domestic cat, but just a tenth of what other cows his age should weigh.

The calf was taken to the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine by his owners. But thankfully, Lil Bill’ has had the all clear from vets, he’s just a lot smaller than the other cows.

Posting on their Facebook page, the vets said:

Occasionally, we get a case that has us scratching our heads a bit. Lil’ Bill is one of those cases! He was born weighing a little over one-tenth of what newborn calves typically weigh. Stay tuned for more updates on Lil’ Bill!

small cow at vetsMississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine/Facebook

At the moment, however, the vets have not revealed the reasons why they think Lil Bill is so small, though they are working on a diagnosis.

They wrote:

Rest assured that Lil Bill is still receiving incredible care and lots of love! We are working on a story that will give you all an idea of why he’s so small, what we’re doing for him, and what his prognosis is, so keep your eyes peeled!

small cowMississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine/Facebook

The appearance of Lil Bill comes just days after the story of the barnyard behemoth that is Knickers went viral.

Knickers, who lives in Western Australia, stands at 6ft 4inches tall, and weighs in at a whopping 220st. Knickers is what’s known as a ‘coach’ or a ‘steer’ – a castrated male cow that leads other cattle in the herd.

Knickers’ owner, Geoff Pearson, tried to sell the cow at auction last month. However, meat processors at the auction said they couldn’t take him as he was simply too big.

Instead, Knickers will live out his days at Geoff’s farm on Lake Preston, Myalup – around 85 miles south of Perth.

knickers the massive cow7 News

Speaking about how Knickers got his name, Geoff said:

When he was young, when we first got him, we had a Brahman steer [a breed of cattle] which was a friend of his.

So his name was Bra… so we [had] Bra and Knickers. We never thought he would turn into a big knickers.

Massive Knickers, Geoff! However, news of Knickers caught wind, and another cow – called Dozer – challenged the Australian to the title.

Dozer, from Kismet Creek Farm in Manitoba, Canada, apparently stands at six feet five inches – pipping Knickers to the post by an inch.

One of the most frequent questions we keep getting is "Just how tall is Dozer, anyway?" The media started calling us and…

Posted by Kismet Creek Farm on Thursday, 29 November 2018

Dozer is described by his owners as ‘the friendliest animal’, and ended up on their farm/animal sanctuary after being saved from a beef farm by a vegan lady in Alberta.

Who’d have thought 2018’s biggest craze was cow sizes. Can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for us.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via stories@unilad.co.uk

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Animals

Lion Struggles To Fight Off 20 Hyenas Until His Bro Turns Up To Help Him

LionH_faceIncredible TV.

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Lion being attacked by hyenasBBC

A male lion was targeted by about 20 hyenas, and almost certainly would have lost if it wasn’t for his brother’s help.

David Attenborough delivered in an episode of Dynasties that saw the King of jungle nearly fall from his thrown as the pack of cackling hyena surrounded him.

Red, a male lion, stumbled into the pack of hyenas who ordinarily would have no chance against a lion, but because Red was so outnumbered, they took their chance and tried to attack him.

Here’s the full video:

It was a nail-biting scene and I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching The Lion King play out.

‘Surely Mufasa, I mean Red, has to win?’, I said to myself as the male lion got more and more tired.

It was a desperate battle. Red was trying to attack individual hyenas while the rest of the pack were biting him from behind.

Lion being attacked by hyenasBBC

The Hyena Project in Ngorongoro Crater writes:

Spotted hyenas and lions compete over prey almost every day, especially when they kill large prey.

Against common belief, lions steal more kills from hyenas than vice versa and hyenas hunt most of their food themselves.

A lion male is twice the size of a spotted hyena and three to four times as heavy, and one single paw stroke can kill an adult hyena. Hyenas therefore are careful during encounters with adult lions for good reason.

Lion being attacked by hyenasBBC

Just when it looked like there was no hope, another male lion from Red’s pride appeared in the distance.

That back-up was all he needed, and when the pack of hyenas spotted a second lion, they bolted.

Even with 20 of them, two male lions would be an audacious battle to enter into.

The video ends with the two lions playing and cuddling after Red’s close shave.

The video received nearly nine million views at the time of writing, so it could rival other Attenborough scenes like the iguana vs snakes.

What Dynasties is teaching me is the true brutal competition of mother nature.

When I found out the lion cubs that were born in a recent episode had died, I couldn’t take it.

The episode followed the Marsh Pride in Kenya’s Masai Mara, with strong, independent lioness Charm giving birth to two beautiful lion cubs; one male, one female.

Viewers were utterly besotted by the little cubs, who devoted mum Charm had defended so ferociously against buffalo. Everyone within the pride and at home had been rooting for the newborns to survive and thrive.

The two lion cubs had been born away from the rest of the pride and only met their fellow lions when they were six weeks old.

Sadly, when the crew headed back to Kenya after the documentary had wrapped they made a tragic discovery. The two young lions had passed away, and it is thought they could have been killed by predators or buffalo.

I guess that is the true circle of life.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via stories@unilad.co.uk.

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