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animal

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Marine mammals that inspired ancient mermaid tales are now ‘functionally extinct’ in China

  • The dugong — a marine mammal that purportedly inspired ancient mermaid tales — has been declared “functionally extinct” in China due to the degradation of its habitat caused by humans.
  • On Wednesday, a group of researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences published their findings in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Royal Society Open Science.
  • They discovered that only 5% of 788 respondents reported previous dugong sightings, with the "mean last-sighting date" dating back 23 years. Three respondents claimed to have seen the marine mammal in the last five years.
  • “We are forced to conclude that dugongs have experienced rapid population collapse during recent decades and are now functionally extinct in China,” the authors of the study noted.
  • They believe that hunting combined with “the degradation of seagrass beds and accidental entanglement” have played a part in the decline of the dugong population in China’s waters.

The dugong — a marine mammal that purportedly inspired ancient mermaid tales — has been declared “functionally extinct” in China due to the degradation of its habitat caused by humans.

On Wednesday, a group of researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences published their findings in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Royal Society Open Science.

Dogs shed tears of joy when reunited with their owners, study suggests

  • Dogs shed tears of joy when reunited with their owners after being separated for a long time, a study published on Monday in peer-reviewed scientific journal Current Biology has found. 
  • Takefumi Kikusui, the study's lead author, said in a statement that dogs “shed tears associated with positive emotions." 
  • After seeing his poodle shed tears while nursing her puppies, he went on to conduct a study on how oxytocin plays a role in such a reaction. 
  • Oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone,” has previously been found in both dogs and their human owners during their interactions.
  • The recent study’s findings suggest that the release of oxytocin strengthens the bond between dogs and their human owners. They also suggest that there is a link between tear production and emotion in animals besides humans.
  • While earlier studies have shown that dogs release oxytocin naturally in the presence of their owners, this is reportedly the first time tear volumes and oxytocin have been studied in relation to owner-dog reunions.

Dogs tear up when reunited with their owners after being separated for a long time, a new study from Japan has found.

The study was published on Monday in peer-reviewed scientific journal Current Biology.

Dog dies after 2-day hunger strike following owner’s death

  • A village dog in China died two days after going on a hunger strike following its owner’s death.
  • The dog, who reportedly accompanied its owner for more than 10 years, spent two days refusing to eat, drink and move following the man’s death.
  • “The dog then went to my family’s old house and died there, which was also my grandfather’s unfulfilled wish,” the man’s granddaughter, surnamed Sun, told Chinese media.
  • Coincidentally, the dog died on its owner's birthday.

A dog in China tugged at the heartstrings of several Chinese social media users after it died while on a hunger strike following the death of its owner.

The man’s granddaughter, surnamed Sun, told Chinese media that the village dog accompanied her grandfather for more than 10 years since it was a puppy.

Overworked elephant rips Thai owner in half

  • A 20-year-old male elephant named Pom Pam reportedly ripped his owner, Supachai Wongfaed, in half using his tusks in the Thai province of Phang Nga on Wednesday.
  • Supachai’s remains were recovered after authorities called Phang Nga Provincial Livestock officers to help them sedate the towering animal.
  • During their preliminary investigation, Takua Thung Police Station officers suggested that the hot weather on Wednesday drove the elephant to “go crazy” while it was forced to carry wood.
  • Rescuers reportedly used a dart gun to tranquilize Pom Pam and retrieve Wongfaed's body, which was later handed to his relatives for his funeral.

An annoyed elephant has reportedly ripped his owner in half using his tusks in the Thai province of Phang Nga after being forced to work under hot weather.

Officers from Takua Thung Police Station responded to a call about the elephant owner’s death at around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the Tha Yu subdistrict.

Viral video captures elephants springing to action to save calf drowning in pool

Elephant drowning
  • In a video posted to Twitter on Saturday, two elephants can be seen rushing to save a drowning baby elephant.
  • In what appears to be footage from Seoul Grand Park Zoo in South Korea’s capital, a calf can be seen falling into a large pool of water.
  • An adult elephant who is thought to be the baby elephant’s mother begins to panic, and another adult elephant rushes over.
  • The two adults enter the pool from the shallow end while the calf struggles to keep its trunk above water.
  • Keeping the little elephant between them, the adults lead it safely out of the water.
  • The clip has gone viral since it was uploaded, already garnering more than 2.3 million views.

In a video posted to Twitter on Saturday, two elephants can be seen rushing to save a drowning baby elephant.

In what appears to be footage from Seoul Grand Park Zoo in South Korea’s capital, the calf can be seen falling into a large pool of water. 

Adorable Husky Guard Dog Sleeps Through Staged Armed Robbery in a Jewelry Store in Thailand

husky

An adorable female husky has gone viral on Thai social media after his owner posted CCTV footage of the dog sleeping as the local police department conducted an “armed robbery” training exercise in his jewelry store last week.

Worawut Lomwanawong told Bored Panda his city’s police department picked his store as a case study for a security test on how to react to an armed robber entering his store to steal his jewelry. The robber for this exercise was a police officer dressed in plainclothes.

Instagram Influencer Sparks Outrage After Posing Naked on Top of Endangered Elephant in Bali

Alesya Kafelnikova

A 22-year-old Russian social media influencer is facing heavy criticism online for posing naked on top of an endangered elephant in Bali, Indonesia for her 553,000 Instagram followers.

Alesya Kafelnikova received backlash for the short video she posted on Feb. 13, where she was filmed lying naked on top of a “critically endangered” Sumatran elephant, according to The Sun.

There Are Now 2 Species of Red Panda, Study Finds

chinese red panda

A comprehensive genetic study on red pandas has revealed that the endangered mammals from Asia’s high forests belong to two distinct species and not just a single one as previously believed. 

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Kunming based their findings on an analysis of DNA from 65 red pandas. They found significant differences between the two species through three genetic markers. 

‘Mouse-Deer’ Thought to Be Extinct Found in Vietnamese Forest 30 Years Later

mouse deer

The silver-backed chevrotain is a rare species of the mouse-deer which was thought by many in the science community to have been extinct.

After three decades since its last confirmed sightings, the mouse deer, with its distinct two-tone color, was recently captured on film in a Vietnamese forest. Images of the rabbit-sized animal were captured by camera traps set up by scientists as it was apparently looking for something to eat, reports the Guardian.