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Zoos Use Fecal Samples to Find Out if Polar Bear is Pregnant

Shannon Jackson

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The topic of this article might be a very strange thing to grasp for most people. However, many scientists find it to be crucial in order to find out important biological factors for polar bears.

The polar bear is one of the most majestic creatures that we could ever observe in the wild. They can be found in arctic environments and have safely been integrated into zoos and other animal sanctuaries. Though we have studied these creatures for dozens of years, there is still something about them that we have a hard time grasping.

Polar bear pregnancies are nigh-impossible to predict. Oftentimes, a polar bear will simply give birth unexpectedly without any prenatal signs that most animals and humans showcase. Some of these prenatal signs include a distended belly, increased weight, change in behavior, etc. 

However, scientists are now working on a system that will be able to detect whether or not polar bears are pregnant or not. This system will help zookeepers make accommodations for new polar bears that are born and won’t be caught off guard whenever they find a new cub in one of their attractions. Unfortunately, the method itself can cause quite a stink!

The method in question requires a “poop bank” in order to perform. Cardboard boxes have been placed inside of the polar bear exhibit in the Cincinnati Zoo. Polar bear feces has to be checked in order to find out if there are additional protein levels being excreted. This is one of the telltale signs that a female polar bear is in fact pregnant. 

A foolproof method to find out whether or not a female polar bear is pregnant has been searched for dozens of times over the years. We are now one step closer to finally coming up with a way that will help us understand polar bear biology by shoveling a ridiculous amount of poop to determine protein levels inside of it. 

As mentioned before, zookeepers can oftentimes get caught off guard whenever they suddenly have a new polar bear cub to take care of. This can put a strain on the zoo as they scramble to make accommodations for this new cub to ensure that it has all of the resources that it needs. Polar bears have given surprise births for years. Sometimes they have even given a surprise birth during exhibits themselves! These definitely create a spectacle for your average passerby.

One of the most important takeaways here is that the scientific community is coming together to create better systems in which we can care for the polar bear. The polar bear is an endangered animal and it needs all the help it can get if it wishes to exist in and outside of the wild. This scientific research is the step in the right direction to increase the polar bear population and potentially saving the species as a whole. 

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Cute

The Eurasian Bullfinch

Renee Yates

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The color peach is most associated with the fruit of the same name. Apart from the fruit and a few flowers, the color peach is not commonly found in nature. There are certainly very few animals that have any shades of peach. However, there is one breed in birds that do display the color peach on its chest. The Eurasian Bullfinch is a small-size but bulky looking bird that is native to Europe and certain regions of Asia. Their range of travel is estimated to be around ten million square kilometers. Their preferred habitat parks, gardens, hedges, trees, and agricultural areas. They get their name from the bull-shaped head. Parts of the upper body are colored grey while the feathers are a mixture of black and white. The legs and feet are pinkish-brown in color. Juvenile bullfinch birds have the same shape as adult birds but they don’t have the same colors. The young ones are mostly grey and brown.

For breeding purposes, the Eurasian Bullfinch nests in tall bushes. They lay about 4-7 eggs. The chest is often mistakenly described as red, but it is as peach as it gets.  The males have brighter colors, while the females have a slightly beige color on their chest. Their unique color makes them easily recognizable from other birds with similar size and shape. Although the bird has a bulky shape, it is considered a small to medium-sized bird.

They are social creatures and are often found in pairs or groups. They are mostly found busy looking for seeds. Only 10% of BTO Garden BirdWatch gardens have the Bullfinch. Their shy and reclusive personality makes them a rare bird to fine. Although they mostly eat seeds, for their young ones do they occasionally feed on insects. Initially, they were mostly found in woodlands but have now slowly moved to gardens too. Although they migrate during winter months, mostly they stay in the same spot throughout their lives. If you are looking to spot one, try to look for them in a suburban garden with scrubs or thick hedgerows. They prefer to find a thick cover for the nests. As food supply has become more scattered, it has forced the bullfinch to travel more often.

There are reclusive in personality and shy away from human contact. During colder months, they migrate to southern regions of Europe and Asia. Their diet mostly consists of seeds from plants such as ash, elm, and nettle. Their liking for flower buds made them be considered as a pest of fruit trees. Although they are not considered to be an endangered species, their population has seen a decline due to the loss of arable weeds and new agricultural practices.

One of the unique features of the Eurasian Bullfinch is its ability to store seeds in a small sac at the bottom of their mouths. This feature is useful when they have to bring back seeds from long distances for their young ones. Amongst the finch species of bird, the Bullfinch is the only bird that has evolved into adapting this remarkable sac in the mouth.

Another stunning feature of the Eurasian Bullfinch is their singing ability. They have a beautiful soft and subtle call. When the male seeks to attract the females, it uses a soft tone mostly audible to other bullfinch birds only. The call from the male is a polite descending set of notes, repeated at specific intervals. The bullfinch is also skillful in mimicry and is popular birds to keep as pets. They are even able to follow tunes played to them.

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Culture

The Remarkable Story Of Felix The Black Lab

Kevin Wells

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This is the remarkable story of Felix the Black Lab. Felix has had to overcome a lot of obstacles throughout his life. Felix was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Cleft lip and cleft palate are openings in the upper lip and the roof of the mouth. These openings can develop during infancy when the facial structures don’t completely develop. While cleft lip and cleft palate are often seen as birth defects, they can be inherited through genetics. Felix’s owner believes that the dog developed the defects due to his mother having a poor diet or possibly inhaling chemicals.

In addition to being born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, Felix has also struggled with other health problems throughout his life. However, despite all of his struggles, Felix continues to have a great personality: always laughing and smiling.

Felix was adopted when he was just a few days old. The owner said that Felix was close to dying because his cleft lip and cleft palate left him unable to receive nutrients from his mother. Felix had pneumonia and the veterinarian declared that he only had a few more hours to live. As Felix started to grow, he had colon issues that caused digestive problems. He also has only one functioning eye and his jaws aren’t aligned properly.  Because Felix’s teeth were not aligned properly, he was only able to eat canned food.

In spite of all of these issues, Felix continued to fight. His owner fed him through a tube for a few weeks until he recovered from his pneumonia symptoms. Felix’s condition left him unable to chew dog food and lap water out of a bowl. He also had problems swallowing his food at times. Through it all, Felix remained energetic.

However, Felix’s owner wanted to try to give him a better quality of living, so he had surgery to correct his clefts. The surgery was a success. The surgeon was able to repair the roof of Felix’s mouth and rebuild his palate. The surgeon completed the procedure using Felix’s own tissues. The surgery also caused Felix’s skull to shift. In order to help transition to his new life post-surgery, Felix also takes some medications. In the aftermath of the surgery, Felix also had to eat through a feeding tube in his neck. It has been a huge adjustment period.

Thanks to the successful surgery, Felix has been able to enjoy many new experiences. He was able to go swimming for the first time. He’s also able to eat and drink regularly like normal dogs. Felix enjoys spending time with his brothers and sisters, including an Australian cattle dog and a terrier. He enjoys playing with stuffed animals.  Felix is a great example that you can overcome challenges if you maintain a positive outlook. To follow Felix’s journey, go to his Imgur account.

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Culture

Personal Clouds- Samoyed Dogs

Kelly Taylor

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Many people around the country and indeed around the world are absolutely in love with the animal that is known as man’s best friend- the dog. They go by many names and people love them all- dogs, doggos, canines, puppies, puppers, good bois, floofs, howlers, and woofers. Regardless of what you call them, and no matter what breed of dog you are talking about, a cute and well-behaved dog can instantly turn a bad day into a good day and put a smile on your face

However, some breeds garner special love and attention from their human companion. Some are better are defending our families and properties. Some are best-suited work helping us with work. Some are great with kids while others are best for a quieter family setup. Some like to run around and play all day. Some prefer to be laid back and lazy on the couch. Some are big and some are little. Some are plain-looking and some are very fancy. And then there are those rare breeds that seem to encompass so many groups that they stand out as a special breed all on their own, and the Samoyed breed of dog is one such example!

Samoyeds are very unique among the thousands of breeds of dogs because, you see, they often remind people of clouds. All it takes is one look at a Samoyed to see where that comes from. It doesnt take a lot of brains to see how soft and white and fluffy this breed is and how cloud-like they truly are!

They are gentle giants and are great pets to have as part of the family. The American Kennel Club talks about the Samoyed breed and calls them a very adaptable, family-oriented, energetic, friendly, and surprisingly gentle breed. This is why the attention surrounding this breed has taken off in recent years as more and more people are discovering this gentle and gorgeous breed and are finding out for themselves how much fun it can be to have a living floof ball in the home.

While they may look like a cloud and even feel like one with their soft fluffy coat of fur, this breed makes for a very big cloud! Samoyeds can reach a height of almost two feet at their shoulder when they are standing on all four, and the average weight for a full-grown male is between 65 and 70 pounds.

They are also a very active and energetic breed of dog, and they can extremely social with people in gnarly but particularly so with their family. They often want to be right with you, in tour lap, or at your side, loving to get hugs, and pets, and belly rubs. When you make a Samoyed dog part of your family, you best plan to spend the majority of your free time going for walks, playing in the yard, and engaging with them in the home. These dogs may closely resemble the clouds that lazily drift along in the sky on a sunny day, but they are a far cry from being lazy couch potatoes!

The only real drawback to these floofy clouds is the extent to which they shed. If all your clothes are black or your fanciest dresses and suits are darker colored then you may have some issues with the white hair that will ultimately end up everywhere. Their thick white coats protect them from cold temperatures which is what they were bred for as an original working-class dog for northern climates. It also means that these double-coated dogs shed all year long- and the shedding gets even more prolific when the summer heat kicks in. Also, people who have severe allergies to dander may find that the prolific spread of the fur around the house might be too much for their immune system to handle.

For most people, however, dealing with the vacuuming and cleaning of hair is a small price to pay to have your own personal cloud to hug and snuggle anytime that you want!

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Cute

A 7-year-old gives a mesmerizing performance on Chaka’s ‘I’m Every Women’

Renee Yates

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With the expansion of social media platforms, people can display their talent to millions of online viewers. Amongst these, some are blessed with exceptional talent. A video that went viral twice and shared by celebrities shows a 7-year-old girl giving a mesmerizing performance on Chaka’s ‘I’m Every Women’. Brooke Monroe Conaway is the little girl who is a big fan of Chaka Khan. With the help of her dad, Cornell, she was able to produce a video that became an online sensation. Brooke is very humble about her talent and said that she liked the video because she had fun making it with her dad. What makes the video even more special is that Brooke is not after fame or money. She is just happy that the video was able to bring a smile to many people around the globe.

Brooke’s dad shared that he has tons of videos of his daughter who is very fond of singing. Not only is Brooke got a blessed voice but she is very good at learning the lyrics of the songs. Apart from Chaka Khan, Brooke is a fan of the late Michael Jackson and Beyonce. She aspires to become a singer or an actress when she grows up but she is open to other professions. She is young and has got plenty of time to decide. She is certain that she wants to do something unique in life. She has started off doing something rare with a video that has gone viral twice.

Brooke and her dad have decided to make even more videos but their goal is just to entertain the people. At the moment, Cornell wants his daughter to just enjoy making the videos. Later on, if she wants to take it up professionally, it’s all up to her. He is happy to take the back seat. He believes that one should let their talent speak for itself. For now, as long as she enjoys singing and making videos, he is happy to support her. Cornell also points out that their videos help break a common stereotype that African-American fathers don’t give enough importance to their kids. The father-daughter relationship shown in the videos is one of the best aspects of the videos.

Brooke has already featured on several news channels and TV shows. She was invited to Little Big Shots which airs on NBC. The show features talented kids from all over the world. It was not just her viral video that got her to NBC. Many videos go viral and not all those people get the sort of coverage received by Brooke. Brooke and Cornell had to audition to get in front of the camera at NBC but with the special talent, Brooke has, NBC had to get her online. This was the first time Brooke go in front of a live audience and it was a great experience for her. She also learned a lot from the experience, especially if she wants to become a singer or actress, she needs to get used to being in front of the camera. Brooke’s getting a lot of attention from agencies who want to sign her up. So far she has decided to go with the Steward Talent Agency. We have high hopes for Brooke and Cornell but for now, we hope they continue making us smile.  

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Culture

Families that love to travel will love Yonder

Renee Yates

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For as long as I can remember, my family and I have always traveled. It is a tradition that we have passed down from one generation to another. Now, that I am raising my own kid, I find myself researching different places to explore with them. Whether it’s a new farmer’s market, a secret beach or an adventure across the open seas, we are always looking for our next story. As you can imagine, out of respect of the current events our globe is facing, social distancing has put our travels on pause. Though disappointing, it is completely understandable. That’s why during one of my late night researches while sipping my favorite tea, I was really excited to discover the treasure known as Yonder. 

It’s very straightforward. Yonder helps travelers establish connections with individuals who have properties deeply hidden in nature. Wow, right!? All you have to do to use it, is type in any keyword like pet-friendly, animal, tree house, you name it, it will work! Then once you hit submit, different locations will spring up for your to choose from. Each listing includes photos and details of each property. You also get an idea of what sort of experience is waiting for you at each location as well as what each host believes and their personal philosophies of how to incorporate nature into every day life

 As soon as I saw this, I quickly realized that this could be the answer to the summer getaway we had been itching to go on. As a family that loves nature, we were super excited to find a website that did most of the work for us. Some of the properties included on their lists are countless farms, ranches, vineyards and my all time favorite, nature immersive. Though some of the properties look a little less well groomed, about 70% of them cater to families. Each of the properties is handpicked and must meet certain criteria exceptional hospitality, natural surroundings, and activities to be listed. ”The creators of the website Tim Southwell and Freyr Thor dream that Yonder will help connect people to the healing powers of the natural world as well as in turn, inspire them to actively protect our planet. What a beautiful message and goal. Yonder believes in the importance of having a relationship with nature so much that they even became a public benefit corporation recently. This translates to mean that there is an equal emphasis on creating both profit as well as positive societal and environmental impact. Yonder hopes that by providing access to nature, their visitors will become more inclined to protect Mother Earth. 

Nature is beautiful and it’s a great goal to have. Yonder is helping so many families right now by helping them find a way to create amazing family memories this summer while still respecting social distancing and keeping a check on health. Most trips that are found on Yonder, provide nature filled life lessons that help create a sort of balance that is missing from the every day busy hustle of the 9-5 lifestyle. 

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