Saturday

Americans might be known for their love of the bald eagle. But the official bird and symbol of the United States also likes to call Canada home.

Emmett Blois was out river rafting when he and his friends spotted a bald eagle in trouble. They were on the Shubenacadie River in Nova Scotia when they noticed a group of bald eagles flying away because of a tidal bore but one didn’t. Instead, she got hit by a wave and couldn’t get out of the sand belt or water.

The bird was flapping and trying to get to safety when they pulled up alongside of her. They pulled her out of the water and they noticed her leg was injured so they opted to take her to Hope For Wildlife Rescue. Emmett said that as he held the eagle her heart was pounding hard but after around 15 minutes of holding her, her heart rate settled and she became surprisingly calm.

During the hour long trip back to shore, Emmett noted that the eagle’s eyes were the most beautiful he’d ever seen.

Once the eagle was in the care of Hope for Wildlife Rescue, they discovered that her leg had ligament damage. But once she was healed, Emmett was able to come and re-release her into the wild.

“It was huge,” said Blois. “It’s a wild animal. He’s got huge talons. I didn’t feel comfortable anyone else getting him beside myself just in case someone got hurt — I’d rather it would have been me. He bite me once but it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t bad. Just more of a shock. I wasn’t really afraid of him.”

Once Blois got the bird into the boat and wrapped it up in a sweater, they still had an hour to get back to the company’s lodge, where the folks from Hope For Wildlife were waiting to help.

“I kind of had my hand on his chest, and his heart was just pounding and then towards the end of trip, his heart slowed down,” said Blois.

Blois still doesn’t know if the animal is a male or female – although Blois suspects female from its size (females are typically larger than males) – and they’re waiting the outcome of x-rays to determine the extent of the injuries.

“His foot and leg was really, really swollen,” he said.

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Homeless dogs in Brazil regularly attend church services to meet their new owners. If you think that abandoned dogs magically turn to God for help, unfortunately, it’s not exactly the case, but this extraordinary scenario can still be encountered every Sunday at Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá.

Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes who is the head of the parish of Santana in the city of Gravatá in Brazil does the kindest and most inspiring thing for stray dogs around his church. He invites homeless animals from the streets to become a part of his service to help them find loving homes. The doors of his church, as well as his big heart, will always be open for dogs. And who wouldn’t attend Mass if some adorable dogs were involved?

Dogs provide us with unconditional love, laughter, and precious memories and it’s nothing less than fair to pay them back. Whether you are a faithful believer in God or not, as long as you believe in kindness and compassion, we can slowly make the world a better place.

Father João Paulo is housing abandoned animals in his rectory away from the dangers of the streets. However, he brings his furry friends to the church service in hopes that they will be noticed. This is why every Sunday, the priest makes sure the dogs are in the center of attention, an honorable spot where everyone can see them. As loyal and as important they might look in front of the altar, dogs will be dogs and they are always in for some petting. Being excited and adorable as they are, pups often join the priest at the altar for some attention and belly rubs, and Father João never disappoints!

“They will always be able to enter, sleep, eat, drink their water and find shelter and protection, for this house is of God and they are of God,” Father João Paulo wrote on Facebook. He engages the large church’s community in his dog rescue mission by encouraging them to invite people who are interested in bringing home a new family member. His compassionate actions raise awareness and help to make a change, starting from Gravatá.

Many rescued dogs are neglected, affected by cruel street life and in desperate need of urgent help and attention. The compassionate Father has not only given a temporary home and affection to these poor creatures, but he also takes good care of them, feeds them and provides all the necessary medical treatment. Their spectacular recoveries warm our hearts and show what love and care can do. A small act of kindness that makes an extreme difference for the forgotten dogs of Gravatá.

Thanks to the priest’s actions, the number of abandoned dogs on the streets of Gravatá, which has 228,000 inhabitants, has reduced substantially. Dozens of stray dogs have already found loving homes. In fact, after meeting so many faithful animals in person, the kind-hearted priest couldn’t help but adopt some himself.

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Friday

Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were kayaking in California’s San Luis Obispo Bay when the unthinkable happened. Suddenly, the two were engulfed by a giant humpback whale and spent a moment in its mouth.

The entire thing was caught on video by people nearby, and it happened so fast that the two women didn’t even realize they were in the whale’s mouth until they saw footage after the fact.

The incident occurred in fall 2020 when humpback whales had been active in the bay near Avila Beach. Kayakers and paddlers came to the area to watch them feed—McSorley being one of them. So when Cottriel came for a visit, McSorley convinced her friend they should go again, despite her pal's apprehension.

“Her reaction was, ‘No, I don't like the ocean. I'm scared of sharks. I'm scared of anything I can't see in the water.' And I so ignorantly told her, ‘Oh, they're never going to dump you over. The kayaks are very stable. I've never had an issue,'” McSorley recalled.

Things were tame for the first hour in the water. The two women, in kayaks and wearing life vests, would watch for swarms of fish—aka “bait balls”—and wait for the whales to feed, then move to that place a few minutes later. McSorley and Cottriel were waiting and watching for the next bait ball when they saw that little fish were all around them.

“So I knew it was going to be very close, but again, I'd seen whales breach right next kayaks before. So my mind was like, this is going to be, you know, super cool,” McSorley shared. “And then all of a sudden the boat lifted up and we were dumped in the water very, very quickly.”

Cottriel said that she could see the whale’s mouth as it closed in on them and was sure that she was a goner. “Next thing I know, I'm under water.” Luckily, the women return unscathed, now with an amazing story to tell. Source

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The Galápagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis niger) is an incredible species. The massive reptiles can live well over a century and are native to the unique environment of the Galápagos Islands.

These living relics can weigh over 500 pounds and are difficult to breed. Optimistic estimates put their numbers at 10,000 to 15,000 tortoises alive today in the wild. While these creatures are already rare, a tiny baby tortoise has been born at a Swiss Zoo with albinism, making it an even greater rarity.

The Tropiquarium, a zoo in Servion, Switzerland, is to be congratulated for the arrival of the new addition. Eggs were laid by a 220-pound female on February 11, and then the two babies hatched on May 1 and May 5, respectively. Both weighed 1.8 ounces at birth. They were whisked away to be warmed in an incubator for a month. They have just now made their debut. Only one of the two has albinism, a genetic condition which prevents the production of melanin. The itty bitty reptile has a white shell, white skin, and red eyes (due to visible blood vessels).

“We were surprised to discover an albino baby,” zoo staff said in a statement. “This is the first time in the world that an albino Galápagos tortoise has been born and kept in captivity.” None have been recorded in the wild either. Zookeepers suspect albinism may appear in 1 in 100,000 tortoises, although this is speculative. The gene is recessive, so tortoises may carry it without anyone knowing. Two recessive genes must combine to appear visually.

The babies are a brilliant addition to the zoo, but they are remarkable for many reasons. The Galápagos giant tortoise is an aggressive mate, with much biting involved. When babies are born in the wild, the males and females are initially indistinguishable. However, warmer conditions during incubation produce females, while cooler temperatures produce males. These young creatures also mysteriously vanish for the first five years of their life. It is surmised they shelter under debris on their island home, hiding from predators. Around five years old, they suddenly emerge, too big for hawks to carry away.

It is unsure exactly how long the new baby tortoise might survive, as albinism can inhibit the survival mechanisms of an animal by making them more vulnerable to predators and sunlight. However, the unique creature and its sibling are part of an important mission to save a species under extreme pressure. It is unclear how global warming may affect the gender ratio among the tortoises, but it is certain that global warming will pose challenges for the species. The birth of the baby turtles is, therefore, to be celebrated.

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Wednesday

Dramatic video captured the moment a horse ran back into a raging wildfire to save other horses, including a small foal. It had been brought to the relative safety of a road, but charged back towards danger to make sure its stablemates were okay.

The Easy Fire is burning in Simi Valley, California, where it devastated 1,000 acres of land in just three hours. Footage of the horses emerged yesterday showing ranchers trying to get the animals to safety on the Tierra Rejada Road.

The incredible footage shows the black horse break away and circle back, then return again as soon as it reaches its family.

According to CBS, all the horses on the ranch were moved safely excepted one called Mayer, 28, which had to be put down because she broke her two front legs while running.

The so-called Easy fire, which forced 26,000 people to flee, broke out just before dawn off a road named Easy Street, sending a wall of flames racing across scrub-covered slopes.

It started around 30 miles from a separate conflagration burning in hills near the Getty Center museum that has displaced thousands of residents from some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods.

The Getty museum houses a collection that includes paintings by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Manet, ancient Greek statues and an array of manuscripts.

The Reagan Library, Getty Center and Getty Villa in Malibu were all forced to close due to the flames and thick clouds of smoke, although all three facilities were said to be out of imminent danger by evening.

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