I'd seen this video before and loved it -- but the text description that this person, Paul Bronks, added to it gave it such a great perspective that I love it even more.
Apparently there's a real thing called Sea Otter Awareness Week. It should live forever, but no matter. Regardless of its existence, this from the Oregon Zoo was just added to my list of favorite tweets. I retweeted with a comment that I don't know who writes the Zoo's tweets, but the person should get a raise.
It's difficult to say something is officially one's favorite cat video, since with the Internet that might be an impossibility to define. But this is in that category.
It's on an endless-replay loop, but that's okay since you'll probably want to watch it over again, repeatedly...
I don't think this completely qualifies as an "adorable video," though the end may justify it, so we'll go with that.
A tour boat in British Columbia was doing some whale watching when they spotted a dozen orcas swimming around -- but then went into hunt mode. Soon after, a terrified but pretty smart baby seals leaped onto their boat to escape them.
However, feeling that it was safe, it jumped off back into the water. But quickly realizing its hasty mistake, it jumped back on, yet again, and snuggled to a safer spot. (The people posting the video suggest that the baby seal may have fallen off.)
A problem for those on the boat was that the baby seal was close to the motor, and so they didn't want to turn it on. There's a jump in the video, and it appears that the baby seal tried again to get back into the water (or fell off...), and again realized it was a mistake...but this time seems to be hiding underneath the motor. All the more problematic.
And then there's yet another jump in the video, but from the description of an article I read, what appears to have happened is that the baby seal got back on the boat, and was far enough away from the motor that the tour boat could start up again and get out of the area. And once safe, and as the people posting the video write, after the orcas gave up after 35-40 minutes, they released the baby seal back into the water.
Of course, there's no way of knowing the fate of the little fellow, but one can hope that such a determined and clever creature found his way back to his clan, or they to him. Or found a new one. Or just went off on an adventure. Or...
In Bexhill, England, a baby fox fell down a drain pipe. It was too far away to reach, so the rescue workers waited until it tried to find a way out itself and got close enough to grab.
All the while, the young fox's mother (sorry, "mum" this is England, after all) came by to watch surreptitiously, at a distance, keeping an eye on the proceedings.
When they were able to get the little fox out, it will so covered in muck that they decided to clean it first, before putting it an an open animal carrier. They then placed the carrier out in the open of the backyard, so that the mother could come by to help -- and as soon as she does, the baby fox realizes that all is well and...
Well, just take a look at it all --
This is a charming video that becomes even more touching, about a man and his daughter who go into the jungle to see if they can find a couple of gorillas who they raised in captivity but released to the wild many years earlier, when the girl was very young, wondering how the gorillas will be and wondering if they'll even remember the man, let alone the young girl.
My pal Mark Evanier is the Internet’s archivist of Baby Panda-iana. As one of the World Experts on All Things Baby Panda, his most trenchant quote is, "However cute you are -- you will never be as cute as a baby panda." So, I thought of that quote when I came across this...along with the additional footage that isn’t as well-known and makes it all much better..
Slight background. Bei Bei is a 5-month old baby panda at the Smithsonian National Zoo. He made his first public appearance only last month – and yesterday, he decided to try climbing his first tree. It only went partially-well. He figured out how to go up, but got a bit terrified with the whole “coming down” concept. So, his mother Mei Xiang came by to help.
The video of the mother helping has gotten more public attention, taken by a visitor. But it doesn’t have any perspective of what got us there, up the tree. (Actually, for as adorable as the baby panda is, it’s the mother that leaps out to me here, how almost human-like she is with her care for her baby.)
Ah, but that's only part of the story. This in-house official zoo footage (take from their 24-hour hidden camera) tells the whole tale FAR better.
The climb starts at the 3-minute mark and it then runs for five minutes, so you might want to just jump to that point. The camera is farther away in this version, and for most of the video the color is washed out. But it’s a hoot. You see the solitary, adventurous climb; the hesitation coming down; the mother coming over; checking things out, wondering "Should I let him figure his way out of this on his own?", and then realizing, "Oh, okay, mama is here." If you decide the check out the full video, the first three minutes before all that are even fun, as well, showing baby panda Bei Bei wandering around the area, trying a first, small climb and tumbling off.
Today is the Big Game, and by that I don't mean the Super Bowl, but Puppy Bowl XII. I stumbled across this the first year it aired, and for the past 84 years (in dog years) it has proved so popular that Animal Planet keeps bringing it back, running it throughout the day on Super Bowl Sunday, a sort of counter-programming to the Super Bowl -- though because it runs all day, it's just turned into a an event of its own. The Puppy Bowl begins at 3 PM (Los Angles time, 6 PM in the East) and lasts for two hours, and then repeats almost endlessly for the next 8-10 hours. They record it ahead of time, and then edit it down for the Sunday broadcast.
In it's simplest terms, the Puppy Bowl is basically a small "football stadium" into which they bring several dozen puppies, rotating them throughout the event, drop in a bump of chew toys and lets the puppies do what a gaggle of puppies do. There is a Water Bowl Cam (underneath the bowl to show the dogs slurping), a referee -- sorry, "rufferee", cheerleaders (last year it was goats, this year they're bringing in "fluffy chickens" which comes from Brazil, I believe, and have feathers that look like fur), a Kitty Half-time Show (you can figure that one out), and and Eye-in-the-Sky "blimp" manned usually by hamsters.
But really, it's just a mess of adorable puppies running around, jumping on one another and playing win close quarters for two hours. And then repeated and repeated and repeated....
All the puppies on the Puppy Bow are available for adoption, though some have already been adopted by game time. Animal Planet provides details on their website for those interested in adopting.
Here's a recap of last year's fourth quarter --
And for those who want to get a heads-up on this year's Big Game, here is Animal Planet's brief Sneak Peek. If you want to see the full, incredibly-detailed version, however, just check it out the "Puppy Bowl XII Pregame Show" here that runs about 20 minutes.
There are a series of photos which are making the rounds of the Internet these days, and they are just too freaking adorable and wonderful not to bring to your attention.
Allan Dixon is an adventurer based in Australia who travels the world and, among other things takes photos of animals. No big deal, I know, but so many of these photos are selfies with the animals, and they're just...well, otherworldly. Here's just one example --
And most of the rest are almost just as wonderful. Really. I'm not exaggerating.
Like this one, for example.
Don't worry. I didn't give away "all the best" of them. In fact, I had a difficult time trying to figure out which ones to use.
There's an important component to all of this. As an article here on the Huffington Post notes --
"As an adventurer, Dixon is cautious: He sometimes spends hours hanging out with an animal and gaining its trust before snapping photos. Travelers 'should be very careful as to not upset or provoke the animal when they’re trying to take the photo,' Dixon told Bored Panda. 'Gain the animal’s trust in a calm relaxed manner, and the results will be golden.'
"Of course you should avoid approaching an animal you don't know to be friendly and keep your distance behind gates or other barriers when they're set up, National Geographic points out. Practice respect, though, and nature will show you its good side, as Dixon can certainly attest."
The article linked above show many of the best photos. But if you want to see a far-wider collection of Allan Dixon's photos, check out his own terrific gallery here on Instagram.
A few years ago, in order to "compete" with the recording of the Singing Dogs barking "Jingle Bells," someone put out a piece with singing cats.
Sorry, that doesn't cut it. Talk about "copy cats." The Singing Dogs were not only the original, but the record was made over half a century ago, in 1955. It was done by a fellow named Don Charles, who had an act with his pooches.
I first heard this many decades ago on the Midnight Special radio program on an otherwise classical music station, WFMT, in Chicago. Then, after a long time passed, Dr. Demento in Los Angeles popularlized it with his nationally syndicated show.
This is the original.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, and is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and the Writers Guild of America. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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