Sunday

If recent times have felt a little rough, remember you’re not alone. Also, remember there’s a video of a baby duck falling asleep after someone puts a flower on its head—that’s important too.

During the challenging moments of life, luckily, there’s the internet, which is full of cats, dogs, and ducklings. Of course, if you don’t spend 24/7 surfing the web, such videos might get overlooked, but that’s what we’re here for!

Recently, one such cuteness overload went viral on Twitter, and it sure put a smile on many people’s faces. Originally shared by the Instagram account for Mother The Mountain Farm, the footage made rounds on social media.

The adorable video of a duckling falling asleep gathered over 800k likes in almost no time on Twitter, and over 45k views on Instagram. This just proves just how much we need more content like this.

Originally, the footage was shared on Instagram, on Mother The Mountain Farm’s account. Its caption read: “A sleepy ducky under a nasturtium flower sun hat, having a nap in the middle of the mint garden.

This little one is from our latest batch of Call ducks that hatched two days ago! She came out of her egg backwards and we don’t have a name for her yet — should we call her Nasturtium?”


One Twitter user under the username @wamlart shared the video on Sunday and wrote, “if you are feeling sad please look at this cute duck.” And people did look at this cute duck. And many have fallen in love. “This is now officially the cutest video I have ever seen,” someone said, and it’s hard to disagree.


“This is literally the cutest [thing] I’ve ever seen,” Twitter user @TurnTheBeatUp commented. “I was already gushing but when the baby fell asleep and the flower hat fell off…”
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Tuesday

After a long wait and a fierce but friendly competition, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have announced their finalists.

And the photos are so good, they’re bound to make your day brighter.

One of the founders of the Awards, Tom Sullam, told Bored Panda that the competition exists to recognize great photography and pictures of wild animals that make us snort into our cups of tea. The competition also aims to raise awareness about conservation through a humorous, upbeat, and positive association with these animals.

“We strongly believe humor and positivity have a major role to play in building awareness, interest, and eventually action towards protecting the animals that live on this planet,” Tom said. “Over the years, the competition has focused more and more on the conservation, working with the Born Free Foundation and promoting conservation efforts around the world.”

He continued: “We, without being too preachy, want to get you all, and ourselves, to behave a tiny bit differently towards the world we live in. The smallest effort achieved towards conservation is better than the biggest effort never started!”

Tom was ecstatic about how well this year's competition was turning out. “We expected this year to be a little bit tricky as a result of COVID restrictions. But quite sensationally and against all better judgment, we received the highest number of entries ever, over 7,000—and the standard across the board has gone up incredibly,” Tom shared.

“We all have that friend” ©️ Yarin Klein / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Animal: Brown Bears, Location: Kuril Lake, Kamchatka

“It has been such a positive response and such an upbeat process to be part of when so many things in 2020 have been so miserable/depressing/disappointing!”

Tom said that the images coming in at such a high volume have kept his and his team’s spirits up and he hopes they’ll do the same for all of us.

“Tough negotiations” ©️ Ayala Fishaimer / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Animal: Fox, Location: Israel














Surprise Smiles” ©️ Asaf Sereth / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Animal: Dwarf Mongoose, Location: Lake Bogoria, Kenya




Bernhard Esterer / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Animal: Lions
 







“Having a Laugh” ©️ Ken Crossan / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Animal: Common Seal, Location: Caithness, Scotland








“Just Chillin'” ©️ Jill Neff / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020.

“I think this tire's gonna be flat” ©️ Kay Kotzian / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2020. Animal: Grizzly Bears, Location: Grand Teton National Park

Saturday

Washington has just outlawed wildlife killing contests—the seventh state to do so in the past six years. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 7-2 this morning to pass a rule ending these gruesome spectacles where participants kill large numbers of wild animals simply for the thrill and for cash and prizes.

The new rule prohibits contests for animals like coyotes, bobcats, crows, foxes and raccoons. That is significant as these animals typically have few protections under state laws and are the most common victims at such contests, where winners are decided based on who kills the most, or the heaviest, or even the smallest animals. In Washington, for instance, contestants killed at least 1,427 coyotes between 2013 and 2018 during events that offered prizes for killing the “smallest dog,” and awards for participants who “Can’t Shoot ‘Fer S**t.”

The ban in Washington is the latest in a string of victories against wildlife contests nationwide in recent years and it shows that both concerned citizens and wildlife management officials no longer have the stomach for these vile events. The Humane Society of the United States has been on the frontlines of this fight, turning a red-hot spotlight on the problem with undercover investigations of wildlife contests in the states of Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Working with other organizations, wildlife advocates and our dedicated volunteers, we have helped ban such contests in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Vermont.

Supporters try to rationalize the blood sport by claiming that by randomly killing coyotes they are protecting livestock or saving deer for hunters. But that argument is based on falsehoods. Far more cattle and sheep deaths are caused by weather, birthing problems and disease, and deer abundance is determined by the availability of good habitat.

Scientists and state wildlife agencies have also stated time and again that wildlife killing contests provide no credible wildlife management service and can make problems worse by disrupting stable breeding structures, increasing conflicts and leading to an increase in the numbers of the animals who are targeted at the events.

What these contests do, however, is promote the sadistic notion that it’s fun to kill animals for a chance at prizes like cash, a champion belt buckle or an AR-15 gun. During one of our investigations in New York State earlier this year, a contestant bragged to our investigators about killing and cutting open a pregnant coyote. At a Maryland contest, also this year, children seemingly inured to the violence played among piles of dead foxes and even helped drag them to the judging area. Organizers have at times encouraged children as young as five years old to participate in the killing.


While thousands of such contests are still held around the United States, we now see a clear and positive trend among states to end them. Kudos to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for proposing the rule that passed today, and Commissioner Barbara Baker for supporting it and seeing it through to victory.

The HSUS backed the rule all the way along with our allies, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, Project Coyote and Wolf Haven International. Our focus will next move to other states that are considering similar measures, including New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland and Oregon. Rest assured we will be on the job until these gruesome wildlife killing contests are a thing of the past.
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Wednesday

A video of two rescued foxes giggling and laughing when getting belly rubs is spreading happiness to millions of viewers. The foxes, Finnegan and Dixiedo, were rescued from fur farms as are all the foxes at the Save A Fox Rescue sanctuary.

As their rescuer comes to visit with them, Finnegan and Dixiedo get excited and roll onto their bellies to get petted. Finnegan lets out a “ha-ha-ha-ha,” which is how foxes communicate happiness and greetings.

Save A Fox is the largest fox rescue in the USA. “We are a domestic fox rescue. What does this mean? We rescue foxes from fur farms and take in pet surrenders. All these foxes were born in captivity and could never be released so it is our job to give them a happy life,” Save A Fox explains on YouTube.

They do adopt their foxes, but have conditions to ensure the foxes are well looked after and that their new guardians are legally allowed to own them. It’s important to know what to expect in caring for a fox as they are a lot of work.

Juniper the fox became an Internet sensation after appearing on social media; but her mom cautions that foxes are not all cute and cuddly. They smell, are stubborn, and require a lot of special care to keep them healthy and happy.

Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), the most common foxes throughout the world, have a wide variety of vocalizations, with as many as 20 different calls depending on how one defines them, said Stephen Harris, a biologist at the University of Bristol, England, who has studied their vocalizations. They use these calls to find mates, interact with rivals and communicate within their family groups. This variety befits their role as highly social mammals, Harris told LiveScience.


Foxes communicate with each other in a variety of ways. As in the domestic dog and many other carnivores, many different facial expressions and body postures are used. Friendly greetings such as tail wagging are used when meeting family members
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Tuesday

A wildlife officer took aim with his shotgun, let out a round and saved two deer in the process. It’s not what you typically expect to happen when shoots at a deer. But in this case, Fish and Wildlife Officer Scott Kallweit was trying to separate two deer with entwined antlers.

It all began when Russ Wright was driving home in Calgary, Alberta. He spotted two deer in a field but noticed there was something odd happening.

“I stopped and realized these deer had locked antlers,” Wright told Global News. “That’s crazy because you just don’t see that. They were locked tight.”

He called Fish and Wildlife to report the distressed deer and Kallweit came out to the scene. He could tell the two were locked in a life or death struggle.

“It was pretty dynamic in terms of them moving around and bouncing around,” Kallweit said. “I knew they had a lot of energy. It was a good possibility that they were probably not going to get separated by themselves.”

Assessing the situation, Kallweit weighed the best options for separating the two animals. Tranquilizing them was not a good option, so Kallweit opted to use his 12 gauge shotgun instead. He patiently waited for the deer to become still so he could make the necessary shot.


And with one round, he hit the antlers and freed the deer. Wright, who was on hand to witness it and film it said it was the most unbelievable thing he’d seen. “Scott was terrific and very professional. [He] made a beautiful shot, freed the deer and they live to see another day.”


Kallweit explained that the shot-off antlers will not have any lasting effect on the deer who lost them. For one thing, the deer were close to shedding their antlers. For another, “[Deer] naturally regrow these antlers starting again in the spring anyway so it’s something they go through every year,” Kallweit said. He kept a piece of the antlers as a memento of the life he saved.
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Quick-thinking wildlife officer uses shotgun to free deer who locked antlers from r/nextfuckinglevel

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