Saturday

Tiny cameras attached to wild New Caledonian crows capture, for the first time, video footage of these elusive birds fashioning hooked stick tools, according to researchers.

 These South Pacific birds build tools out of twigs and leaves that they use to root out food, and they're the only non-humans that make hooked tools in the wild, write the authors of a study published Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters.

Humans have previously seen the crows making the tools in artificial situations, in which scientists baited feeding sites and provided the raw tools; but researchers say the New Caledonian crows have never been filmed doing this in a completely natural setting.

"New Caledonian crows are renowned for their unusually sophisticated tool behavior," the study authors write. "Despite decades of fieldwork, however, very little is known about how they make and use their foraging tools in the wild, which is largely owing to the difficulties in observing these shy forest birds."Study author Jolyon Troscianko of the University of Exeter in England described the tropical birds as "notoriously difficult to observe" because of the terrain of their habitat and their sensitivity to disturbance, he said in a press release.


"By documenting their fascinating behavior with this new camera technology, we obtained valuable insights into the importance of tools in their daily search for food," he added.For this study, the researchers attached small cameras to the tail feathers of 19 wild crows. Just four of the crows used tools on camera, but "they did so extensively" for foraging, including on the forest floor, the authors write.

The cameras also captured two instances of birds fashioning "one of their most complex" tools, the hooked stick tools, the authors write.


"In one scene, a crow drops its tool, and then recovers it from the ground shortly afterward, suggesting they value their tools and don't simply discard them after a single use," Troscianko said.Study co-author Christian Rutz of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland said the team also saw the birds stashing their beloved tools.


"Crows really hate losing their tools, and will use all sorts of tricks to keep them safe," Rutz said in a statement. "We even observed them storing tools temporarily in tree holes, the same way a human would put a treasured pen into a pen holder."
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An incredible 'tail' of love over adversity: Orphaned children of Bangladesh form families with stray dogs and feed them with what little they have in return for warmth, protection and friendship

But when photographer and animal rights activist Sam Edmonds visited the area in Bangladesh he found something remarkable.

A makeshift family had been formed between the youngsters and dogs who had drifted into the Robindra Shorbod park in Dhaka.

With whatever small change they earned - sometimes from scavenging for plastics to trade for small coins - the boys and girls fed their dogs and those who did not return to their tin shacks, stayed with the animals overnight, keeping warm.


This unconventional relationship has been made possible since the country's former practice of dog culling - where stray animals are inhumanely killed for fear of spreading rabies - has been made illegal as of November last year.
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Animal welfare group Obhoyaronno controls the stray dog population through a Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release program, says Bark Post. Life for stray dogs in Dhaka is difficult and, used to neglect and abuse, they grow timid and frightened.








Family and friends of Taos Pueblo elder Tony Reyna gave a birthday breakfast for their beloved patriarch earlier this week at his home and shop on Veteran’s Highway at Taos Pueblo.

 On Reyna’s 100th birthday on Feb. 1, the New Mexico Legislature honored him with a memorial declaring Tony Reyna Day. The proclamation was authored by state Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa.

Reyna was also honored during 2015 Veterans Day ceremonies at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. “I served my country,” Reyna said. “I served my people. I’m still serving. I’m available anytime they ask me!”

Reyna is a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, after which he endured three and one-half years of brutal captivity during World War II. His captivity ended in 1945 when he and other prisoners of war were liberated by Allied forces. He is the last of 11 men from Taos Pueblo who were captured at Bataan.


After his return to Taos, he established Tony Reyna’s Indian Shop in 1950, which has remained open continuously.

Reyna was a respected community leader even before he served two terms as his tribe’s governor, as well as in various other offices in tribal government. He remains a lifetime member of the Taos Pueblo tribal council.


For the town of Taos, he served as a police commissioner and as a museum board member.


During his birthday breakfast, Reyna presided over a table filled with food, cards and birthday decorations. After “Happy Birthday” was sung, two little boys helped him blow out the candles on a cake specially decorated with a photograph of Reyna wearing a favorite Pendleton blanket. Then, he and newly named Taos Pueblo War Chief Richard Archuleta sang several round dance songs, which Archuleta said he has helped preserve from days past.
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VIDEO

Officer Marcus Montgomery was on a call at the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society shelter in Florida and finishing up when one of the supervisors walked in to tell him about a new arrival.

 “You know Vader needs a baby brother,” she told him. Vader, being Officer Montgomery’s 4-year-old Pit Bull Terrier, who he adopted from the very same shelter.

“She brings me this ‘lil guy, chill, no whining, no barking, just chill,” wrote Officer Montgomery on Imgur. “She explains to me that he and 9 other puppies were dropped off in a box and set on the shelters back door step over night (it was 37 degrees the night before, mind you) and when they came in, that’s where they found the litter.”


The bond between the two was instantaneous. “So I get to hold him and he immediately curls up in my arms,” said Montgomery. “Needless to say, ‘Kylo’ will be coming home tomorrow as a birthday gift to my girlfriend. Tl;dr: humans suck. Leave pups on back porch in cold. He’s MINE.”


The humans that abandoned Kylo and his littermates out in the freezing cold suck, but Officer Montgomery and his girlfriend certainly do not!

Vader will soon have new baby brother to love and look after. He’s smiling already!
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Friday

Two puppies found themselves trapped in a drainpipe, and their mom could do nothing to save them. So she sat and cried for someone to help.

 Luckily, a local woman spotted the mother dog. When she walked up closer, she heard the puppies' whimpers.

With an oncoming rainstorm threatening to wash the puppies through the tunnel and into the river, the folks at the San Francisco de Asis Mercedes shelter in Uruguay knew they needed to take drastic measures.

A video captured the final moments of what ended up being a two-hour rescue mission. It appears to show two people pulling a rope, presumably with the dogs on the other end. The video reveals the extreme lengths one woman went through in order to save those pups. Upon exiting the tunnel, she stands up with a wide smile on her face, holding a blue bag.


Sometimes animals can't do it all on their own. That's why people like the team at San Francisco de Asis Mercedes are so important.
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