Penn Vet Students to Star in New Animal Planet Series, Penn Vet

Photo | Penn Vet

Photo | Penn Vet

The next time your new kitty won’t eat and keeps coughing up hairballs, you might want to check the mirror before you rush her off to Penn Vet. Animal Planet just announced a new series featuring “the first-ever behind-the-scenes look at the University of Pennsylvania’s highly competitive veterinary school.” Taking advantage of what it promises is “unprecedented access,” the series, titled (duh) Penn Vet, will shadow students in their fourth and final year as they’re taught and mentored by Penn’s renowned animal docs. Read more »

5 Furry Philly Groundhog Day Alternatives to Punxsutawney Phil

There is nothing wrong with Punxsutawney Phil.

In fact, for a groundhog, the little guy is pretty cute. Getting a bit chubby in the cheeks, perhaps, but by February, who isn’t. Maybe he really can predict the weather, or maybe he only emerges from his cozy winter burrow for the same reason we all eventually do. Either way, he’s a good-natured Groundhog Day MC, and for that we should be grateful — especially since he forecasted an early spring this morning.

But growing up in the city, I can’t say that I’ve ever actually seen a groundhog, much less a groundhog meteorologist.

What I did see on Saturday afternoon was the world’s mangiest sparrow struggling to carry a Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot down Second Street. As my dogs and I approached, he fluffed up what were left of his post-blizzard feathers and teetered toward us, one wiry little foot at a time, as if to say, “Come one step closer and you’ll be sorry, lady — and your little dogs, too.” We backed off, and eventually he was able to secure his cargo, flying away to enjoy it in the safety of my neighbor’s gutter.

Did this mean that we’re looking at six more weeks of Cheetos-hoarding weather? Who knows, but I’d trust my little orange-dusted friend to know what’s up in Philadelphia over a backwoodsy groundhog. (No offense, Phil — you did good this morning, and I’d love to believe you.) I’d trust these guys, too. Read more »

Three Philly-Area Pups Will Compete in Puppy Bowl XII

From left: Rottweiler Leah; Lab Marley; Kevin

From left: rottweiler Leah from Center City’s Morris Animal Refuge; lab Marley from Souderton’s Salfid Rescue, Inc.; schnauzer Kevin from Marlton’s New Life Animal Refuge.

If Super Bowl Sunday finds you curling up with dog treats instead of chips and dip, chances are your idea of the Big Game is Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. This year’s production, the 12th, will feature contestants from three local animal shelters: Center City’s Morris Animal Refuge, Marlton’s New Life Animal Rescue, and Salfid Rescue, Inc., in Souderton. Prepare to lose your heart: Read more »

Fox Spottings Increasing in Philly’s Germantown Neighborhood

So far, they haven’t kept neighbors up at night howling at the moon (or is it wolves that do that?), but the foxes who have moved into Germantown have kept them talking for several months now.

The earliest mention of a fox in the neighborhood on the Facebook discussion group “Living in Germantown: All Together” came back in July, when resident Alima Umm Lam’yaa “spotted a FOX running down the street on Coulter near Morris earlier.”

Since then, there have been several more sightings; at least one case involved two foxes together. The most recent one was a “home invasion,” where G’towner Garlen Capita, a community planner at WRT Architects, photographed one on the front porch of a neighbor’s home in the 300 block of West Earlham Terrace. Read more »

Watch: The Country’s Oldest Polar Bear Eats Her Birthday Cake at Philly Zoo

Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo

Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo

On Wednesday, personnel and guests at the Philadelphia Zoo gathered around the polar bear exhibit to celebrate the birthday of Coldilocks. The female polar bear turned 35 this week, holding tight to her title as the oldest polar bear in the United States.

Part of the celebrations included treats, of course: a three-tiered ice cake covered in peanut butter, nuts and raisins, and a couple hollow pumpkins to knock around. Onlookers also treated her to a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday,” with kids and parents alike chiming in. It was all captured by the zoo in the video below:

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Oldest Polar Bear in the U.S. Celebrates the Big 3-5 Tomorrow at Philadelphia Zoo

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

Tomorrow morning the Philadelphia Zoo and its guests will gather to celebrate the birthday of Coldilocks the polar bear. The old lady is turning the big 3-5, with a cake and a birthday song.

Coldilocks is celebrating the extra year for many reasons — the most important of which is bragging rights. She is the oldest polar bear in the United States, far surpassing the 23-year average lifespan of polar bears in zoos. She’s been living in Philadelphia for most of her life, three decades. Like many animals the Zoo keeps, polar bears have been classified “vulnerable” due to increased threats from climate change and the resulting shrinking of polar ice.

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Where to Get Your Pet’s Photo Taken With Santa

santa-paws-palomar-hotel

This Christmas, even your furry babies can visit with Saint Nick. The annual Santa Paws event returns to Palomar Hotel on December 12th, for pets to meet Santa Claus and bring him their holiday wish lists. Your little one will get his or her picture taken and receive a bag of treats from local pet boutique Doggie Style. Next-door eatery Square 1682 will also provide holiday refreshments, like cookies and hot cocoa for both humans and their companions.

Donations will be accepted for Saved Me, an adoption center that rescues dogs and cats from shelter euthanasia to find them loving homes. Representatives and some of the animals from the center in need of holiday homes will also be at the event if you’re looking for a new addition to the family.

For that perfect final touch to your holiday card this year, you can visit the hotel living room on December 12th from 1 to 4 pm for a photo.

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PHOTOS: Meet the Adorable Baby Red Pandas at Philadelphia Zoo

Photographer HughE Dillon did us a solid this morning by going to the Philadelphia Zoo to take photos of the two brand new baby red pandas. Today was the first time the yet-to-be-named furballs have been set free in their sanctuary, in full sight of the public. They were born in June to 5-year-old parents Spark (mom) and Basil (pops). I’m going to stop typing now so you can look at the pictures. Gets your awwwwwwws ready:



Up until today, the mother has been caring for the cubs. I’m told they are super active, and are currently able to eat a diet of fresh bamboo, grapes, apples and biscuits on their own. When they are old enough, the cubs will move to other institutions to breed with other red pandas.

Similar to the social media campaign they held in 2014 to name their new lion cubs, the Zoo is encouraging fans to chime in about what the cubs should be named. To put in your two cents, visit their Facebook page here, or email pandas@phillyzoo.org.

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Red Panda Cubs Debuting Tomorrow at Philadelphia Zoo

red-panda-cubs-philadelphia-zoo

Not the actual red panda cubs at Philly Zoo. Photos will be released after their debut. | Matthieu Photoglovsky via Shutterstock.com

Two red panda cubs that were born this summer will get their grand debut tomorrow morning at the Philadelphia Zoo. At 10:30 am on November 18th, zoo keeps will bring out the little guys, who were born to 5-year-old parents, Basil and Spark. So far, the cubs — one boy and one girl — don’t have names.

The Zoo couldn’t be more thrilled about the new members. Reps say that red pandas, which are found in the Himalayas, have been classified as vulnerable because of loss of habitat, fragmentation, poaching and climate change.

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