Urban Fox Cubs by Jon Neil.

Urban fox cubs
“One Sunday in May I passed a group of garages at the end of my road where I heard some scratching noises.
Looking up I noticed some fox cubs playing on the corrugated roofs.
I only had my mobile phone with me but knew that this was an opportunity not to be missed. So I opened the camera app and quietly approached the garages.
Luckily I didn’t disturb them too much. One in particular was bold and curious enough to venture close enough for me to take this shot.”
Image Credit: Photograph by Jon Neil/GuardianWitness
Source: Brushes with the wild: readers’ best wildlife photographs of 2017 | Environment | The Guardian

Abbie the Surfing Dog.

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Photo: Abbie is the longest competing surf dog in the world. (Supplied: @abbiesurfs)
by Paige cockburn
The 10-year-old Australian Kelpie rescue dog has just taken first place in the World Dog Surfing Championships at Linda Mar Beach in California.
Abbie had a devastating start to life and was found on the roadside in the Silicon Valley, but was later adopted by Mike who introduced her to the beach in an attempt to rehabilitate her.
“We never planned this … originally we were just doing sports together as a way to bond because she had so much trauma,” Mike says.”She was even afraid of the dark and men, including me at first.
“But doing sports together I could actually measure how much closer we were getting … it built her trust in me.
“Since learning to ride the stick, Abbie has medalled in every competition she has entered and even set a new Guinness World Record for longest wave surfed by a dog — an impressive 107 metres.
But before this, it took some hard work from Mike to change people’s attitudes towards dog surfing and actually consider it a real sport rather than a novelty.

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Photo: (Supplied: @abbiesurfs)
“We tried to push it to be more of a sport … but we did get accused of being competitive,”
Mike says.“However, now everyone is competitive! “The same people who were pissed off at us are now fighting for trophies.
“The transformation has been massive and the world of dog surfing has officially moved from a dress-up event in the shallows, to a truly athletic competition.”
Now read on via A look inside the surprisingly competitive world of dog surfing – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary.

grizzly-bear-sanctuary-canada_79164_600x450Khutzeymateen Provincial Park, also known as K’tzim-a-deen Grizzly Sanctuary, is a wild, way-off-the-beaten-path land and marine park established specifically to safeguard grizzly bears and their habitat. Scientists estimate that about 50 grizzlies are protected by the no-hunting restrictions of the remote rain forest sanctuary.
The only way to see the resident grizzlies is from a small boat or plane guided by a permitted outfitter, such as Sunchaser Eco-Tours and Bluewater Adventures.
“As you enter the Khutzeymateen Inlet, the landscape changes dramatically,” says Erin Boyle, who traveled to the sanctuary as part of a Bluewater excursion.
“In June, the mountains on both sides are carpeted in thick hemlock and bunches of alder, and the banks are lined with protein-rich sedge grass, an early-season staple for bears.
We kept our binoculars trained on the shore, and it wasn’t long before a solitary, subadult grizzly was spotted at the water’s edge grazing in the sun. It was peaceful and still, and [it] felt like we were a million miles away.”
Read on via Best Summer Trips 2014 — National Geographic.

Disney and the Myth of Lemming Suicide 1958.

lemmingLemmings do not commit mass suicide. It’s a myth, but it’s remarkable how many people believe it. Ask a few.
“It’s a complete urban legend,” said state wildlife biologist Thomas McDonough. “I think it blew out of proportion based on a Disney documentary in the ’50s, and that brought it to the mainstream.”
Lemmings are a kind of short tailed vole, a mouse-like rodent that favors tundra and open grasslands.
Three kinds are found in Alaska, including the collared lemming, the only rodent that turns white in winter.
In 1958 Walt Disney produced “White Wilderness,” part of the studio’s “True Life Adventure” series. “White Wilderness” featured a segment on lemmings, detailing their strange compulsion to commit mass suicide.
According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked.
The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers.
The epic “lemming migration” was staged using careful editing, tight camera angles and a few dozen lemmings running on snow covered lazy-Susan style turntable.
“White Wilderness” was filmed in Alberta, Canada, a landlocked province, and not on location in lemmings’ natural habitat.
There are about 20 lemming species found in the circumpolar north – but evidently not in that area of Alberta. So the Disney people bought lemmings from Inuit children a couple provinces away in Manitoba and staged the whole sequence.
Lemmings
In the lemming segment, the little rodents assemble for a mass migration, scamper across the tundra and ford a tiny stream as narrator Winston Hibbler explains that,
“A kind of compulsion seizes each tiny rodent and, carried along by an unreasoning hysteria, each falls into step for a march that will take them to a strange destiny.”
That destiny is to jump into the ocean. As they approach the “sea,” (actually a river -more tight cropping) Hibbler continues, “They’ve become victims of an obsession — a one-track thought: Move on! Move on!”
The “pack of lemmings” reaches the final precipice. “This is the last chance to turn back,” Hibbler states. “Yet over they go, casting themselves out bodily into space.”
via Lemming Suicide Myth, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Wild Boar Piglets wake to a Sunny Morning.

Wild boar piglets in bed
“The piglets of two wild boar sows, totalling at least 14, awake to a sunny morning in the depths of the Forest of Dean.
It’s a place I visit about once a week, but in the early spring, when young boar are likely to be around, I visited the area more often.
I stumbled across this group in a fairly open part of the forest early in the morning, just sleeping between the bases of two trees.
They were gone in a few seconds.”
Image Credit: Photograph by Clive Mowforth/GuardianWitness
via Brushes with the wild: readers’ best wildlife photographs of 2017 | Environment | The Guardian