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World’s Smallest McDonald’s Restaurant Draws Attention to Important Issue

Kelly Taylor

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McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading fast food restaurant chains, with Statista noting that they had as many as 37,855 restaurants open across the globe as of the end of last year. Given the sheer number of McDonald’s restaurants currently operation, one would think that the opening of another one would barely register on an international level, but that was not the case.

That’s due in large part to this particular restaurant being dedicated to serving customers of a different species.

The Remarkable McHive

In partnership with the advertising agency NORD DDB, McDonald’s created a miniature replica of one of their restaurants. The small restaurant, known as the McHive, features many of the same elements that people will see if they visit one of the McDonald’s branches in their area.

There are drive-thru windows present on the McHive, large windows, and outdoor seating for guests who may prefer to dine in an open-air environment. One can even see some posters advertising the restaurant chain’s offerings plastered on the walls of the “World’s Smallest McDonald’s.”

Of course, it cannot be called a McDonald’s restaurant without those iconic golden arches serving as its crowning glory.

This restaurant isn’t designed for people to dine in though. Instead, the McHive, as its name already hints at, is meant to house bees.

The Meaning behind the McHive

The McHive is actually a nod to a movement initiated by branches of the fast food chain in Sweden. Some of the McDonald’s restaurants in the aforementioned country have started to house beehives on their rooftops.

Also of note, the McHive features beehives on top of its roof and inside of it as well.

Via AdWeek, McDonald’s Sweden marketing director Christoffer Rönnblad said that the restaurant chain is happy to spread the message of sustainability. McDonald’s has gotten behind the practice of hosting beehives on the rooftops of their restaurants.

Set designer Nicklas Nilsson was responsible for the creation of the McHive. Since the release of the video showing off the McHive, the gorgeous structure has been auctioned off and the proceeds from it have gone to Ronald McDonald House charities.

While McDonald’s efforts to promote sustainable and to help the bee population are laudable, they will need more help to succeed.

The Concerning Status of the Bee Population

According to a recent report from ABC News, the bee population is continuing to decrease at an alarming rate. Research notes that 37.7 percent of the managed bee population declined from Oct. 1, 2018 to April 1 of this year.

That’s a noticeable decline in the managed bee population and it represents the largest winter losses since surveys were first conducted back in 2006. Accounting for a larger of window of time that goes from April 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019, the reported losses in the managed bee population totaled 40.7 percent.

Scott McArt, the assistant professor of pollinator health at Cornell University, described the aforementioned losses in the managed bee population as “unsustainably high.” McArt also mentioned that the losses can be explained in part by the presence of the varroa mite parasite that has been known to carry and spread diseases inside beehives.

According to EarthDay.org, other factors contributing to the decline of the bee population include climate change, habitat fragmentation, and the use of certain pesticides.

The decline of the population is not something to be taken lightly. Bees play an important role in the world’s ecosystem as they are excellent pollinators. Plants pollinated by bees are said to make up 35 percent of the world’s food production.

Furthermore, the loss of bees could indirectly affect other animals that sustain themselves on the products that come about as a result of pollination.

Should the bee population continue to drop at an unsustainable rate, the effects on food production for all creatures that inhabit the Earth could be quite severe.

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2 Months Later, a Lost Chihuahua Finally Returns Home

Shannon Jackson

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Pets are not just animals who live with us. They are considered family members.

Many of us celebrate the birthdays of our pets, take them on vacations, and mourn their passing. They are not just the family pet. They are simply family.

For all those reasons, even just pondering the possibility of your beloved pet going missing must strike fear into the hearts of many families. Unfortunately, that was the reality that Debra Niska and her family had to live with not too long ago.

Pumpkin Goes Missing

Trouble started for Niska and her family when their pet Chihuahua named Pumpkin suddenly went missing. The exact explanation for how Pumpkin somehow escaped from went home and got so far away remains unclear, but Niska knew right away that they were going to have a tough time bringing their pet back.

Aside from the difficulty of trying to find a small dog in a big city, Pumpkin was also lacking a microchip. The lack of a microchip meant that even if someone did find Pumpkin, they would not be able to know right away where she lived and the identity of her owner.

The missing microchip was a huge obstacle to Niska and her family finding their pet, but they would not allow that to keep them from trying.

Bringing Pumpkin Home

Debra and her family knew that it would be incredibly difficult to somehow find and bring Pumpkin back home when there was no microchip for her potential rescuers to scan. Understanding that, Pumpkin’s family went all out in their efforts to bring their pet home so that they could overcome the challenge.

According to this article from Little Things, Niska and her family went about looking for Pumpkin by implementing a multi-pronged approach.

They searched for Pumpkin in their neighborhood, scouring all the possible places where she could have gone. They also made use of social media to inform their friends and other people in their neighborhood that their dog had gone missing.

Lastly, Niska and her family also took the time out to contact rescue organizations in the hopes that maybe one of them somehow found a wandering Pumpkin on the streets.

Days and weeks passed without them knowing exactly where Pumpkin had wandered off to. At long last though, their wishes were finally granted following a two-month wait.

Pumpkin Returns Home

As it turns out, Pumpkin didn’t just stray away from her California home and wander to a different city nearby. She was apparently quite the traveler.

Somehow, Pumpkin managed to go all the way to Phoenix, Arizona. It’s unclear exactly how the miniature dog got that far from home, but it turned out to be a stroke of luck that she ended up in Phoenix as that was where she was found by rescuers.

Not long after she was found by the rescue organization in Phoenix, Pumpkin was put on a plane so that she could travel back to Pasadena, California and be with the family that had been missing her badly for two long months.

The reunion between Pumpkin and her family proved to be a joyful one.

This video shared by Inside Edition shows just how happy Pumpkin and her family were upon seeing one another. Pumpkin simply could not contain her excitement as she ran over to her family and threw her little body at them, with her tail wagging wildly as it all happened. She was also met with smiles by a family that had clearly missed her company.

Few things are worse than not knowing what happened to your missing family member. Thankfully for the Niska family, their adorable little Pumpkin managed to make her way back home.

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Animal Services Director Finds Herself in the Worst-Case “Dog in a Hot Car” Scenario

Renee Yates

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As a New Jersey director of an animal services agency, Deborah Yankow can easily be described as a person far more sensitive than average to the conditions of animals, which is a good thing for 26 puppies one summer afternoon.

Deborah is quite used to emergency calls. As the Director of the Bergen County Animal Services agency she regularly fields calls with her staff from the local SPCA when animals are found in serious distress situations. However, one particular hot day reaching over 90 degrees, Deborah was not prepared for what she was going to face.

As it turned out, when she arrived at the scene, the situation involved a parked van vehicle in the middle of a Walmart asphalt parking lot and 26 puppies jammed into two crates inside the van. Now, as anyone knows, standing in the middle of a black top parking lot in the middle of summer heat is bad enough. The color black absorbs heat, which oftentimes makes the asphalt even hotter than surround areas under the same sun but with vegetation. Worse, locked up cars build up hotter air inside, easily reaching as much as 130 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit inside. The dynamic is driven by the car windows, which let heat in, but nothing is allowed to get out. A 90-degree day is bad enough, but 130 degrees is more than enough put grown adults in the hospital with dehydration and heat distress if left without water immediately available.

Dogs have it worse. They don’t sweat. Dogs release their heat through their hears and through panting and their tongues. This is why folks often see dog panting heavily on a hot day outside or flat as a pancake on tile flooring or wet grass during the summer.  Puppies jammed together in a crate were the worst-case scenario in a closed car. As the heat built up inside the car, the puppies were each giving off their own heat, creating a killing dynamic of fast dehydration.

Fortunately, someone was observant enough to see inside the van and realize the condition of the dogs. The van was forced open and the SPCA personnel were immediately called to save the dogs. Deborah and her staff worked feverishly to save the bulldog puppies who were only too happy to slurp up as much as water as they could get. All of the puppies were transferred to a shelter and examined by a vet to insure they weren’t likely to suffer delayed injuries common with heat exposure. All the dogs ultimately were saved and made ready to be placed in caring homes going forward. For Deborah it was these kinds of days that made her job so valuable in her mind and others.

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You Want a Capybara as a Pet? Isn’t it a Giant Rat?

Kevin Wells

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What in the world is a Capybara?

Take a small to medium size pig, turn it into a guinea pig with longer legs, give it clawed feet, and add in an absolutely loving attitude towards anything that pays it attention. Technically, the Capybara is a rodent, a very large rodent. These creatures can easily get up to 4 feet in length and up to two feet tall. They range in weight, with various specimens coming in anywhere from 70 lbs to as much as 150 lbs in size. Most folks first faced with one would likely back up from a Capybaras at first, but these creatures are absolutely affectionate regardless of what they are facing.

They Eat a Lot!

In terms of feed, the Capybara counts as an herbivore. It will easily consume up to eight pounds of food and they love to splash around in water, often leaving near creeks and rivers in the wild. And then they have this cuddling thing. They love to get up close with anything that pays them attention and doesn’t try to eat them. The Capybara will do fine with dogs, cats, cattle and they even be seen giving a monkey a ride around the yard. They have a reputation for being used as a couch by a lot of other animals ranging from birds to other rodents, even when walking around.

The Party Hugger

Tame Capybaras will make friends will all kinds of animals most folks would never assume could hang out with these creatures. Rabbits are often seen snoozing with them when saddled in the same pen, and if there’s a kiddie pool made available you can be these oversized rodents are going to play king of the mountain and park themselves right in the center of it. They not only have the ability to function as natural swimmers, a Capybara will frequently be found sleeping in water as well. It’s not uncommon to see one slip underwater asleep and come back up in a splutter. They also have the ability to dive and stay under water up to 5 minutes long, easily getting away from danger on land if needed.

Natural Capabilities

Interestingly, Capybaras are no slow or easy to catch. They can run as fast as 35 kilometers per hour, easily keeping up with a typical horse. They tend to live in herds ranging from 10 to 20 in the wild, and at one point there was a concern they were going to become rare. However, domestic farm-raising of Capybaras solved the problem, and now there are plenty of the rodents available again.

It’s not likely that a Capybara will be allowed as a pet in most jurisdictions in the U.S. Many states have laws barring the entry of non-native species to prevent them from causing environmental damage and wiping out a native species. However, if you ever get a chance, spend some time with these creatures in a tame setting. Their willingness to be friendly and inquisitive makes them absolutely interesting to watch, observe and interact with.

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How One Lost, Little Piglet Stole the Hearts of State Troopers in New Jersey

Kelly Taylor

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We’ve all heard that nursery rhyme about the little piggies and their different experiences, but they may have been missing a member. Not too long ago, one little piggy got loose in New Jersey and he had one heck of an adventure.

This all happened a while back in Commercial Township, New Jersey.

Some state troopers were just going about their day when they received what was quite the unusual call from one of the township’s residents. The caller reported that a small piglet was apparently on the loose.

Upon receiving the call that a little piglet was wandering around the town, the dedicated state troopers immediately sprang into action.

Tracking Down the Little Piglet

According to this report from FOX 29, Port Norris troopers Bryan Blair, Ray Coleman, and Julio Ferrer were the ones who responded to the call about the wandering piglet. One would be forgiven for thinking that wrangling a little piglet would be an easy job, but it’s apparently easier said than done.

A report from the Philly Voice revealed that the state troopers had a bit of trouble catching the piglet. He apparently led them on a bit of a chase around a couple of houses before finally being caught.

Commenting on the adorable yet unusual situation, the New Jersey State Police said that they did not include catching piglets in the training program for police officers. They did add that it might be “cooler” if they did introduce that program and jokingly said that they would consider the move.

The Piglet at the Police Station

So, what happened after the piglet was caught and the state trooper brought him back to the police station, you ask? Well, he and the police officers apparently had a bit of fun.

Soon after getting back to the station, the little piglet got more comfortable. He felt so at ease that he was even fine with taking part in an impromptu photo shoot.

The state troopers also took quite a shine to the piglet and they even gave him the nickname of Norris.

Comfortable as Norris might have been in the police station, that’s not exactly the most accommodating location for small farm animals. With an owner not emerging in the hours after Norris was caught, state trooper Coleman decided that he would step up to the plate and take the little guy home.

Officer Coleman had no problems volunteering to care for Norris because he already has previous experience caring for farm animals.

The Little Piglet Goes Home

Following a few nights at state trooper Coleman’s home, it was finally time for the little piglet that had stolen the hearts of the police officers to go back home.  A farmer nearby noticed that he was a piglet short and got in touch with the police department to see if they could help.

As it turns out, the missing piglet the farmer was looking for was indeed none other than Norris himself. Shortly after the farmer got in touch with the police department, Norris was able to go back home where he belonged.

Piglets can be fascinating creatures, especially if you take the time to observe how they interact with their littermates. According to Farm Health Online, piglets will quickly form relationships with their littermates. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that a social hierarchy among the piglets can be established right away.

Hopefully, little Norris manages to form great relationships with his brothers and sisters back at the farm. What we can say for sure is that the state troopers nearby will always be his friends.

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Are Dogs as Dumb as Cows or are Cows as Smart as Dogs?

Renee Yates

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Cows don’t typically get a lot of support for their intellectual capacities. In most descriptions and references, bovine cattle frequently tend to be referred to as fat, smelly, not much smarter than a rock, and no visible emotion whatsoever. In other words, just dumb cows. While cows do smell quite a bit (and most other animals would too if they had to stomp around and eat in the same pasture that they go to the bathroom in), those who know them have found cows able to express quite a portfolio of emotional reactions.

There’s Clear Evidence Something is Going On Mentally

First, if anyone takes the time to really observe bovine behavior, he or she is likely to start noticing that cows communicate quite a bit with each via contact. They clearly have and frequently practice the ability to share affection with each other, cozying up and wrapping their necks with each other for no other reason than to share comfort with the other.

Second, cows that are isolated generally tend to exhibit signs of extreme anxiety over time as well. And cows aren’t that dumb after all; they can solve simple puzzles once they are able to realize the connection between an action and the solution that interests them, such as getting to food.

More interestingly, however, cows get quite attached with their human owners, especially if they have been exposed and raised by that person from a young calf stage. In some cases, the calves will literally follow their owners inside homes if allowed and makes themselves at home, even parking on the family room couch if no one is looking just like a dog would.

Then There’s That Dog Behavior Some Cows Practice

No, it’s not likely that a cow will be beating a sheep dog anytime soon through an obstacle course or herding the rest of its fellow bovine creates in and out of the barn on command. However, cows definitely have no problem cozying up to a sleeping farmer and giving him a hug. They actually like having a belly rub (just watch out when they roll over), and they don’t have a problem with a dog well-known to the herd and as familiar as the farmer. They might even give the dog an occasional lick on the face when they think no one is looking!

They Could be Spies!

And with the range of behavior cows do show subtly, they probably end up watching humans quite a bit wondering why in the world the two-legs constantly engage in such silly behavior all day long instead just eating grass like any common-sense animal should. We just don’t “hear” the conversation when cows are talking loudly.

Yes, fundamentally, cows are raised for farm production and food. But once people really start taking notice about how these bovine creatures behave, the willingness to have a hamburger afterwards might trigger a bit of hesitation and a second thought in more than one person.

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