Bindi Irwin Wrote a Book Honoring Her Family’s Conservation History and Legacy

Bindi Irwin wrote a book about her family's conservation history
(Instagram/bindisueirwin)

As if Bindi Irwin wasn’t busy enough with her recent wedding, her own conservation work, and preparing to become a first-time mom, she’s taken on another important task. Over the past 5 years, Bindi has been compiling her dad’s old photos, journal entries, and archives to document the history of the Australia Zoo, the Crocodile Hunter’s legacy. It’s been a priority for the Irwin family to keep Steve Irwin‘s memory alive over the 14 years since he passed away, and this touching book is the family’s most recent tribute.

The announcement was made on November 15, which coincides with Steve Irwin Day. Steve Irwin Day is a day dedicated to honoring Steve Irwin’s memory, along with everything he accomplished in the world of conservation. Though Irwin left this world far too young, his family has made it clear that they will proudly continue where he left off.

 

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Bindi’s Book, titled Creating a Conservation Legacy, takes readers through a remarkable 50 years of history. The Australia Zoo’s website explains, “Join Bindi Irwin as she takes you on the amazing journey from humble beginnings through to where we are today – effecting change in our own backyard and around the globe. It’s a substantial story that includes hundreds of photos from the Irwin family archives – many that have never been seen before.”

Bindi shared the exciting news on Instagram, posting a picture of herself alongside her brother, mom, and husband – each holding a copy of Bindi’s touching book. The book’s cover contains a classic Irwin family photo, with Terri and Steve each holding one of their adorable kids when they were younger.

 

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A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)

The Instagram caption reads, “Almost 5 years in the making. Looking through countless archives, Dad’s old journals, Australia Zoo booklets and photographs tucked away in office corners. It’s finally here. I wrote this book to capture the very essence of our extraordinary 50 year history. Now, I’m sharing this journey with you.”

Bindi’s husband Chandler was quick to show support to his wife, thrilled to see the culmination of years of effort. “Your hard work and dedication to writing this book was amazing,” he commented. “Congratulations sweetheart.”

Giant Gator Takes Stroll Through Florida Golf Course During Tropical Storm

Giant Gator Takes a Stroll
(Twitter/NickiPerdomo)

Thank god the Masters isn’t held in Florida, or the participants might have had a lot more than a pesky water hazard to contend with.

I am referring to the Hulked-out alligator that was seen gallivanting around a Florida golf course last week, during tropical storm Eta. Footage of the alligator wandering the Valencia Golf & Country Club in Naples, Florida surfaced on social media, and if you’re anything like me, when you first saw the thing, you assumed it was faked. PhotoShopped or CGI’d or somehow enlarged because if that thing really existed in real life, no one would ever live in Florida.

Alas, the images were not doctored, and that behemoth does exist. And it haunts my dreams. Just look at this thing, it’s like something out of a Godzilla movie!

Of course, to people in the know, there was nothing extra special about that terrifyingly large gator.

David Steen, the reptile and amphibian research leader of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told Twitter that that absolute unit was “nothing unusual.”

“It’s an iconic species and conservation success story. But in short, there’s nothing unusual about this alligator or the video,” he said.

Maybe for Floridians! For everyone else, it seemed like they were filming a sequel to Rampage, the Rock’s giant-animal movie that was based on a video game.

Thankfully, no one tried to get tough with this gator, and it eventually wandered away. Presumably to shrink back down into a normal-sized gator until someone made the mistake of making it angry again.

Study Finds Kids Ask for Pets 1,584 Times Before Turning 18

Joel Dog
(Joel Willis)

As the holidays near, there’s one question every parent must be emotionally and spiritually prepared to answer: “Can we get a pet?” It’s the question kids ask relentlessly, usually with their cutest smile and most innocent eyes. They will fill you with vague promises to “do all the work” (spoiler alert: they will not) and “take care of it.” If your kids are too young to ask this, you’re not off the hook, because it’s coming. According to a new study, the average kid will beg their parents for a pet nearly 1,600 times before the age of 18.

Pets are the wildcard for a family. We love pets so much, we have an entire Facebook group just to share stories and cute pics of all of our (your) furry friends. And let’s be honest, the pets aren’t just for the kids either. But before that pet enters your family, you’re going to have to rebuff hundreds and hundreds of requests for it.

The research was based on a survey of 2,000 parents of school-age children and found almost three-quarters of them asked for a pet. They found kids start asking for pets around age 6 and once it starts, it DOES. NOT. STOP. On average, kids keep asking around 11 times per month. The survey was conducted by OnePoll and found most kids want a dog (nearly 80 percent).

This isn’t too surprising, as I think I’ve heard requests for a puppy 1,600 times since Tuesday alone. The parents said the requests come pouring in even more during the holiday season (that’s now!). But, parents also said they’ll remember getting a pet fondly, with nearly 90 percent saying it was one of the best gifts they ever received.

Getting a pet is a major decision, as it will inevitably cost more than you thought. At the same time, it will bring your family immense joy (before terrible sadness, someday, I mean it kinda goes together). So while you prepare to make that leap, in the meantime, make sure you have a way to deflect the same question asked hundreds of times over.

The Election Results Are in, Kentucky Town Votes French Bulldog as Mayor

Dog Mayor
(Facebook/Mayor-Wilbur-of-Rabbit-Hash-KY)

Election season can be contentious, especially when you are extremely dedicated to seeing your candidate on top. But, once the dust settles, we must unite behind the winner. The election results are in for one small Kentucky town; they have a new ‘mayor’, and it’s a French Bulldog.

The ‘votes’ were cast in an annual tradition for the town of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky (a town of less than 500). We have seen the power of voting, and the importance of voting. French Bulldog Wilbur ended up as the biggest winner in Rabbit Hash, becoming the fifth dog mayor in the town’s 200 years.

The contest is a fundraiser for the Rabbit Hash Historical Society and it raised nearly $15,000. Wilbur was leading the pack, having brought home $6,170 of those funds. Yep, this is one election decided by dollars, and Wilbur edged out a competitive field, including the town’s incumbent mayor, a rescue pitbull named Brynneth Pawltro. Wilbur also defeated a fat cat, a rooster, and a donkey.

It was an incredibly diverse field. In fact, it was the most diverse field of the entire electoral season, as it’s the only race that featured candidates from multiple species. Wilbur ran on a campaign platform of being an adorable puppy and a slogan of “Give me liberty or give me milkbones.”

On his Facebook page, Wilbur said he was honored and humbled by his victory. Already talking like a politician. Even other politicians praised Wilbur, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

No matter who you wanted to win, it is time for us to unite behind Wilbur and chart a path forward. We would like to start by inviting all pet owners and animal lovers to join our new Facebook group, so we can enjoy our furry friends together.

5-Yr-Old Raised Over $900 For The Humane Society by Selling Her Paintings

5-Year-old sells art to raise money for humane society
(YouTube/KTVB)

There’s a pivotal moment where kids realize that they aren’t just along for the ride in life. At a certain point, they begin to notice that the choices they make impact not only them but others as well. Even more amazing, kids may begin using their newfound empowerment to make the world a better place. Rather than simply accepting life’s challenges, watching others struggle becomes an opportunity to help.

Like many kids, 5-year-old Elliot Phillips-Hallock loves animals. When she learned that her beloved fuzzy friends at the Idaho Humane society needed dog and cat food, she knew she had to help. Being a 5-year-old, Elliot didn’t have much in terms of extra cash. She couldn’t exactly donate a percentage of her paycheck to cover some much-needed meals for the animals, but Elliot had something even better than cash – the 5-year-old had an idea.

It doesn’t take much to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of a little kid. In order to buy my first gaming system, I held weekly garage sales filled with things I found around the house, none of which actually belonged to me. But Elliot had a more admirable goal and a far better method.

Since she loved to paint anyway, the determined 5-year-old decided to sell her art to raise money for the animal shelter. Once the decision was made, Elliot wasted no time at all. She slaved away over her printer paper and non-toxic paint and created over 50 masterpieces over the course of just a few days.

“Flowers, animals, from flamingos to outer space, she did it all,” Elliot’s mom told KTVB. “I posted them to my personal Facebook page and friends and family really supported her.”

Elliot’s art sold out, and the tiny philanthropist was thrilled. She raised over $900, all of which she spent on food for the Humane Society. A store called Zamzows even donated $100 to the cause, making this a shopping spree to end all shopping sprees. The best part? Dropping off the food, of course! Seeing the very animals she was helping solidified what an incredible difference she’d made.

“They gave us a tour and we all got to see all of the animals,” Elliot said. “A lot of people there were very, very happy.”

12-Yr-Old Hiking With Dad Finds 69 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossil

dad and son find fossil
(Facebook/Natureconservancy.ca)

Encouraging your kid’s hobbies is one of the best things you can do as a dad. It creates a chance for you to bond, it encourages their interests, and sometimes you find a 69 million-year-old dinosaur fossil. You know, just your average father-son bonding activity.

12-year-old Nathan Hrushkin is an aspiring paleontologist, and his dad took him hiking in a conservation area in Alberta. It was there young Nathan discovered partially exposed bones, which his amateur paleontology skills told him were important. And it turns out they were right because once experts examined the photographs and went to the site, they found a whole lot more ancient dinosaur bones. Eventually enough to determine they were from a hadrosaur from 69 million years ago. That’s even cooler than finding a 3 million-year-old shark tooth.

The discovery was classified as a significant one, which is quite the feather in the cap of an amateur paleontologist. Nathan told the Nature Conservancy of Canada that he’s wanted to be a paleontologist for years.

“I am fascinated about how bones from creatures that lived tens of millions of years ago become these fossil rocks, which are just sitting on the ground waiting to be found,” he said. “My dad and I have been visiting this property for a couple years, hoping to find a dinosaur fossil….we knew we’d found something this time.”

The curator of Dinosaur Paleoecology at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, who worked the dig site, said the hadrosaur was only three or four years old and that it will help them learn a lot about the dino.

“It’s a very important discovery because it comes from a time interval for which we know very little about what kind of dinosaurs or animals lived in Alberta,” he said.

I have a feeling Nathan and his dad are going to be on a lot more hikes after that historic find.

Farm Help Kids With Disabilities Connect With Abandoned Animals

Rescue in Austin Texas
(Instagram/safeinaustinrescue)

During life’s highs and lows, animals are a constant source of unconditional love. They don’t care who you are, what you look like, or whether or not you got that promotion – as long as you feed them and give them some daily ear scritches, you’re loved for life. The Safe in Austin Animal Rescue is taking advantage of the healing power of animals, creating a space where both their furry rescues and kids with their own struggles can learn and grow.

Most of the animals at the Texas rescue have experienced some degree of abuse or neglect, and as a result, need to re-learn to trust people. Once the rescued animals are healthy and deemed safe enough to be around kids, they take on an extremely special role within the rescue.

The rescue’s website explains, “we introduce our rescues to children that come from similar backgrounds of abuse, neglect, and/or special needs. Our animals provide healing to trauma, at-risk, and/or special needs children by way of unconditional friendship and a clear, loving, example of what they are looking for most… hope.”

Though this life-changing rescue now helps countless children bond with animals, it all started with one. His name was Angel, and he was an Autism Service Dog. One of the farm’s owners, Jamie Wallace-Griner, was in awe of just how much Angel helped her son overcome fear and anxiety simply by providing a constant source of love and support. Now, the farm has helped many other kids cope with whatever it is they’re working to overcome – and the animals couldn’t be happier to be part of the process.

The rescue aims to reduce barriers to entry for kids would greatly benefit from this unique therapeutic environment. “Healing can be hard and scary, but animals can show us the way! We know that not everyone can afford expensive therapy sessions and high priced programs. Our goal is to offer a place of healing and happiness that is available to everyone.”

 

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We are three years old, guys! 🎉🎈🎊🎈🍾 Well, three years ago today I posted this video in reaction to getting our official 501c3 nonprofit status in the mail! Those were the “Hurricane Harvey” puppies we took in! And look at the property!! 👀😱👀 No pastures at at. No fencing. No pond. No buildings. No garden. No horses. We have come such a long way in just three years! We have saved so many lives and most importantly been a part of healing So Many hearts! All because of that precious white dog bringing up the rear! That’s not Gabe, that’s Angel! And oh my goodness she must be so proud looking down from heaven at her legacy! ❤️ Congratulations rescue family! We did it together….. and we are not stopping now! 🥰 Saving lives and healing hearts, Rescue animals rescuing children! All because of a boy….and his Angel! ❤️🐾 Read our story- www.safeinaustin.org

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The farm used to be funded entirely by the owners, but Safe in Austin is now a registered nonprofit. There’s a $25 contribution that families can make when they visit, but nobody is turned away from this unique farm simply because they can’t pay.

The farm has had such an enormous impact on the lives of struggling kids that many have even returned as volunteers. The incredible rescue reminds both animals and humans how good it is to feel accepted and loved. There’s no judgment, no stigma, nobody trying to write your story – Safe in Austin truly lives up to its name.

Man Opens His Home to 300 Rescue Dogs to Keep Them Safe During Hurricane

Hurricane Dogs in Home
(Facebook/ricardopimentelcordero)

When you’re in the direct path of a devastating hurricane, there’s not much time to take precautions. If you’re able to evacuate, that can be the safest route. But sometimes you can’t, especially if there are other people who would be difficult to move, like those with mobility issues. Or, in this case, animals. Hundreds of them. And when the hurricane was coming right for one man’s rescue animal sanctuary, he did the only thing he could think of: he moved 300 rescue dogs and farm animals into his house.

When natural disasters hit, it’s easy to forget about animals, which is why those that remember often go to extraordinary lengths to help our four-legged friends. Nobody loves pets more than us (which is why we started a new Facebook group about pets). And when it comes to stray animals and those in need of a home, even fewer are looking out for them during times of crisis.

Which is to say, we need more Ricardo Pimentels in the world. With Hurricane Delta heading straight for his home in Mexico, Pimentel decided he had to do something to help keep the hundreds of rescue animals at his animal sanctuary safe. In this case, it meant stocking up on supplies and getting them indoors. All of them. In his doors. The man opened up his home to hundreds of animals to keep them safe and it looks like something out of a Disney movie.

Pimentel was able to ride out the storm with his animal army and keep all of them safe, and somehow, himself sane. When the storm moved out, the time for clean up began.

The pictures of his house overtaken by small animals quickly went viral, with many lavishing praise on his efforts. The animal lover, though, kept his focus on repairing damage to the sanctuary and raising awareness about animals everywhere that need someone to look out for them, especially in their moment of greatest need.

Ricardo, we salute you.

Adoptable Animals Have a Ball (Virtually) Sitting Courtside at NBA Playoff Game

Adoptable animals courtside NBA
(Instagram/NBA)

With COVID disrupting sports as we know it, teams have gotten creative when it comes to making their stadiums look less empty. Some stadiums have gone to town with their creativity, turning their stadiums into canvases for whatever absurdity they could dream up. Others filled their stadiums with touching tributes, using their abundance of space for a good cause. When the Los Angeles Lakers played the Denver Nuggets in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, the NBA decided to tell a tail of their own.

During the broadcast, 28 “100% adoptable and 100% adorable” dogs and two kittens along with their foster families (virtually) sat courtside, watching the game and doing some shameless self-purrmotion. To make this furry magic happen, Best Friends Animal Society teamed up with Michelob ULTRA to highlight some of their top dogs (and cats).

 

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The Best Friends Animal Society website explains, “Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from an estimated 17 million per year to around 625,000. That means there are still more than 1,700 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. We are determined to bring the country to no-kill by the year 2025.”

To give some of their adoptable animals a running start in the race to find their forever homes, the broadcast also included a link where interested viewers could learn more about adopting the courtside critters. So far, the Lexington Humane Society adopted a Chihuahua named Jolene after a family spotted the 4-pound wonder in the stands. According to the Best Friends website, seven other pawsome pups have been adopted as well thanks to their baller friends.

Adopting and fostering is more important than ever, since many shelters across the country were forced to close to the public after the COVID pandemic began.

Valerie Dorian, chief development officer for Best Friends told Today, “We are concerned and we want to make sure that people are thinking about the animals and how they can help.” She continued, “Now is a great time to have a pet in your home as people are working at home, to have a buddy to watch an NBA game with, or just to be your companion in life and everything that you do.”

Best Friends hoped to both promote the adoption of shelter animals around the country, and to encourage others to foster animals in need. Opening your home to an animal who has been given a second chance at life is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Watching them grow and become bolder as they learn that with you, the world isn’t such a scary place. And even better, you’ll never watch a game alone again.

If you’re interested in adopting, check out the Best Friends website, or find a shelter near you.

Who Has “Loch Ness Monster Cameo” on Their 2020 Bingo Card?

Loch Ness Monster Sonar
(Getty/Keystone/Stringer)

2020 has been a crazy year, that just sort of keeps snowballing. At this point, is there anything that can surprise you? OK, well how about the LOCH NESS MONSTER! Chatter about the fabled monster has ratcheted up in recent days after a sailor detected a 30-ft long…something hundreds of feet below the surface of the loch. Did the boat’s sonar detect Nessie? I mean, is it really that crazy for this year?

It’s a bonkers year for the obvious reasons, like that global pandemic thingy you may or may not have heard of (corona-something). But also for the way less obvious reasons, like scientists admitting the Pentagon had recovered OFF-WORLD VEHICLES. Hey, it’s 2020, anything is possible.

Ronald Mackenzie detected the creature late last month and the dad of three told The Sun there is definitely something down there.

“I believe there is something big living deep down in the Loch,” he said. “Who knows what it can be, but I would love to think it’s Nessie…it is something which is feeding on eels or trout. It is quite unusual.”

Sonar experts have confirmed the image, stating that it does prove “something” is down there. Now, is it a giant leap to assume “something” is the Loch Ness monster? I mean, probably, yeah. But is it possible? That is also a yes, and in 2020, that is just enough of an opening for something bizarre to finally come out.

“I’ve been on the loch since I was 16 years old and I have never seen anything like it,” Mackenzie said.

Zoo Puts 5 Parrots in Time-Out Because They Won’t Stop Swearing

Swearing Parrots
(Facebook/Lincolnshire Wildlife Park)

The zoo is full of awesome animals. Parrots probably aren’t making the top 10 for most people. But that’s just because they haven’t been to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Britain, home to the coolest parrots on the planet. And if you haven’t seen them, you will never get the chance, because the zoo removed them because they COULDN’T STOP SWEARING.

Zoos are awesome. So are the people who work at them, as some even chose to quarantine inside the zoo just so the animals would be well-cared for. People love zoos so much that when minor league baseball canceled its season, some stadiums turned into drive-thru zoos.

So it’s baffling when a zoo would go out of its way to be less cool like Lincolnshire did for the cussing parrots. Apparently, the five offending parrots came from different owners but were quarantined together in the zoo, and came out cursing like sailors. Zoo attendees were even swearing right back at them, which just escalated the situation. But that’s what parrots do, and it’s probably why pirates loved them so much.

The “f word” was the most common for the famous five, as that’s the gateway word to really ramping up your swearing. The park CEO told the BBC that “some visitors found it funny, but with kids visiting on weekends we decided to move them.”

The five were removed from public view, and the park’s CEO is hoping they learn different words from the other birds. Of course, he acknowledged the possibility that these badass birds could be leading the charge and getting the others to follow their ways during this time out.

“If they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don’t know what we’ll do,” the CEO said.

If that happens, you just gotta embrace it and become the cussing parrot zoo forever. Turn the parrot exhibit into a constant roast battle, and bar the weak from entry.

Missing Toddler Found Safe With Stray Dog Who Didn’t Leave His Side

Stray Dog Protects Wandering Toddler
(YouTube/FOX 2 St. Louis)

Seemingly overnight, kids go from babies who can barely hold their own heads up to toddlers with escape artist capabilities that rival Houdini. It doesn’t exactly help that toddlers become crafty right around the time they become extremely curious about the world around them, a combination that means parents are perpetually on their toes.

Early Thursday morning, a tiny Houdini named Kh’amorion Taylor decided to let himself out of his dad’s house and go for a walk. The world can be a scary place, even for adults. But when you’re a toddler who probably isn’t well-versed in traffic laws, it’s downright dangerous. Fortunately for the tricky toddler, he wasn’t completely alone.

Though the St. Louis tot left his house by himself wearing only his pajamas and no shoes, he returned with a fellow wanderer. When a neighbor was walking her dog at 8 am, she spotted the toddler walking with a dog of his own. The dog that stuck by Taylor’s side was a stray pit bull, who evidently followed the small boy as he roamed around his neighborhood.

“He looked well taken care of, he was very neat, very clean; he just didn’t have the shoes on,” the neighbor told Fox 2 of Taylor.

Realizing Taylor had no adults with him, the neighbor began knocking on doors trying to find his parents. Amazingly, the sweet stray didn’t want to leave the boy’s side. Much like the neighbor who spent her morning trying to help the young boy, Taylor’s new furry friend seemingly wanted to protect him until he was undoubtedly safe.

Finally, Taylor’s dad recognized his son on a social media post and jumped into action. Thanks to the neighbor and self-proclaimed watchdog, Taylor and his dad were reunited.

“It is important that we stick together, that we help each other, that we go back to the things that our grandparents and their community used to do,” said Taylor’s neighbor. “That we build a sense of unity.”

Though happy to be back with his dad, Taylor didn’t want to leave his new friend.

“Puppy!” The boy repeated, thanking the dog with whatever vocabulary he had available.

This may be a happy ending for more than just Taylor – according to the St. Louis Police, the force is considering adopting the heroic pup.

Experts Alarmed by Feral ‘Super-Pigs’ Because 2020 Is a Dirty Swine

Super-Pig Population
(YouTube/Noble Research Institute)

They say pigs get a bad rap.

They say they’re smart, they say they’re not as filthy as stereotypes suggest, they say they make good pets. Most of us probably haven’t had all that much opportunity to find out, aside from watching Peppa Pig.

But that may be about to change.

Scientists are warning that America’s “wild pig” population is booming and it’s becoming a problem. These pigs, of which there are approximately 9 million, used to be contained to around 17 states, but have now spread to 39 states over the past three decades. And they aren’t showing signs of stopping.

The Atlantic recently reported on the wild pig problem and the article is not for the faint of heart. Especially if you live in Texas, where there are some 1.5 million feral pigs.

Scientists are referring to the proliferation of wild pigs as a “feral swine bomb” which is not a phrase I ever anticipated hearing. Nor is “super-pig,” which is what Ryan Brook, a University of Saskatchewan biologist called some of them that have sprung up with some of the attributes of boars, including intelligence, excellent sense of smell, and heavy fur that helps them survive in the wild.

“The problem with the hybrids is you get all of the massive benefits of all of that genetics,” Brook told The Atlantic. “It creates what we’d call super-pigs.”

“I’ve heard it referred to as a feral swine bomb,” says Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the USDA. “They multiply so rapidly. To go from a thousand to two thousand, it’s not a big deal. But if you’ve got a million, it doesn’t take long to get to 4 [million], then 8 million.”

To make matters worse, these pigs are invasive and destructive, causing damage to livestock, property, pets, even ecosystems, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.S Department of Agriculture.

None of this sounds like a lot of fun, but it does make the potential for Spider-Ham to emerge from the pack, should one of these super-pigs get bit.

Obviously, that’s a ridiculous thought but I’m sorry, I have a hard time believing most of the stuff going down lately is real life. The chances that we are living inside of Spider-man’s multiverse don’t seem all that far-fetched anymore.