7 Special Animal Stories to Bring You Joy

7 Special Animal Stories to Bring You Joy
February 17, 2022 AVMA LIFE
7 Special Animal Stories to Bring You Joy

7 Special Animal Stories to Bring You Joy

Everyone deserves a pick-me-up, and these stories are here to do just that. Whether you’re an animal lover or just want to learn some new facts, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading for some fun and informative animal stories from the year. Get ready to smile.

Humpback Whale Calves Spotted along Seattle Coast

Humpbacks are making a comeback. A record number of calves has been spotted this year in the Salish Sea off the Seattle coast. According to the Pacific Whale Watch Association, a total count of 21 calves were recorded. This number is notably higher than last year, when only 11 calves were recorded in this region.

Considering that 25 years ago the species was endangered, a huge celebration is in order. The positive increase is hopefully here to stay, as the U.S. Biden administration announced it would protect 116,098 square nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean, which is a crucial area for three populations of humpback whales.

Bee Expert Finds 800,000 Wild Honeybees

The hive is all abuzz with good news! 800,000 native honeybees have been found in an ancient oak woodland in Oxfordshire, England. The bees were discovered high in tiny hollows of oak trees.

Experts believe these bees could be the last remaining descendants of the British Isle’s original forest honeybee. The bees are a subspecies or ecotype of the typical honeybee. They are furrier, smaller, and darker, which sets them apart from others.

The discovery of these furry little beings is amazing news for what was believed to be a dying breed.

Why Animals Need to Play

Just like children and adolescents, young animals have the desire to play and have fun. Scientists believe that animals participate in play for a multitude of reasons.

Some animals participate in play for pure enjoyment like otters, while others play for developmental purposes and survival skills. Kittens are one of the animals most known for playing to gain survival skills. Naturally quick with their claws and born predators, kittens are more than just cute. Whether for fun, development, or survival, we can all agree that watching animals play is a heartwarming sight.

Baby Seals Can Change the Tone of Voice to Mimic Sounds

Baby seals have found a way to be even cuter. Seals are one of the few mammals that have the ability to change their tone and pitch to mimic sounds and short phrases of humans, like a parrot. They adjust their pitch depending on their surroundings. They are one of the few animals capable of volume control.

Scientists have discovered that seals have these abilities as early as 1 to 3 weeks old. It is both an adorable and amazing ability. Scientists believe that studying seals’ abilities could help unlock key mysteries in the evolution of human speech.

Dogs Catch Chemical and Physiological Cues from Humans That Transmit Emotion

Dogs are truly (hu)man’s best friend. Researchers have found that dogs can “catch” human emotions, meaning they can feel the emotions of their human owners. Dogs pick up the emotions that radiate from their humans and their facial cues. Those two things play a significant role in the dog’s reaction to the world around it­— a phenomenon known as emotional contagion.

Your bond with your dog is unlike any other. Dogs experience the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, which helps establish or enhance the bond between you and your canine friend… just when you thought you couldn’t love them more.

Chinese City Creates Food Court for Elephants

Elephants in China are getting a “food court” made just for them. Chinese wildlife authorities have created a feeding experience, much like a dining hall, along elephant migration routes to help protect local farmland. The massive route features a 670,000 square meter food/dining base in the middle of the Jinghong Nature Reserve.

This innovative idea is good for both the elephants and residents of the area. This addition will help stop elephants from trampling through farmland and eating crops. It’s a win for everyone.

Teen Rescues Bumblebee and Makes Permanent Friend

Let’s bee friends! Thirteen-year-old Lacey Shaw has made an unlikely friendship with a bumblebee. Shaw rescued the bee while on a walk with her dog. She scooped up the wing-crumpled bee and took it to a safer area. The bee decided that it didn’t want to end the friendship as quickly as Lacey had anticipated.

The bee tagged on to Shaw that evening and became a permanent house guest and friend. The bee was then given the name Betty and a little pot to sleep in. Betty goes everywhere with Lacey, including bowling alleys and on shopping trips. Betty is always by Lacey’s side.