A sexy shrimp at the @lovelandlivingplanet Aquarium in Draper, UT. These shrimp form commensal (beneficial for one member, harmless for the other) relationships with other invertebrates, most often anemones. One or several shrimp will make a home within the tentacles of the anemone and consume tissue and planktonic particles that adhere to it, without harming the anemone itself.
A family portrait of a mother koala named Augustine with her young ones Gus and Rupert (one is her own offspring and one is adopted) at the @AustraliaZoo Wildlife Hospital.
Everyday, this wildlife hospital receives up to 100 emergency calls and treats up to 30 different species of animals. On average, about 70 koalas come in for care each month. The dedicated veterinarians, nurses and volunteers work here around the clock to provide treatment for sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals of all kinds. They also conduct research in order to learn more about koala diseases, migration and wildlife health management.
To see a behind the scenes video of how this image was captured, check out @natgeo!
Male and female black lemurs at the @stlzoo.
Like most lemurs, this species’ diet consists mainly of fruit and leaves. They have also been known to seek out toxic millipedes, but not to snack on. These lemurs will gently bite the millipede, stimulating the insect just enough so it secretes defensive toxins. The lemur will then rub the toxin all over its own body and will usually release the millipede relatively unharmed. These toxins are believed to function mainly as a deterrent for biting insects, however they are also known to produce quite an intoxicating effect for the lemurs.
To see a video of these two, check out @natgeo!
A beautiful Chilean flamingo at the @gladysporterzoo in Brownsville, Texas. These birds cannot drink salt water. If they do ingest some with their food, they can excrete excess salt through specialized glands in their nostrils. To get enough water these flamingos drink from freshwater springs and puddles. They even have the ability to absorb rainwater through their feathers!
To see video of this flamingo, check out @natgeo!
A smooth-coated otter at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This species is the largest otter in Asia, and is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It will soon need to be downgraded, however, as it faces great threats in the wild, especially entanglement in fishing nets, poaching for its pelt and collection of its young into the pet trade. A captive breeding program in European zoos has been established, so there is still hope for this species.
The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), where this otter was photographed, is a wildlife rehab group working in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They not only rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned animals to release back into the wild, but they have established breeding programs for endangered species as well. To learn more about the program, visit @accb_cambodia.
A male Asian narrow-headed softshell turtle at the @stlzoo. This species can be found in large, clear rivers with sandy bottoms in Thailand. Their numbers throughout southeast Asia have dropped terribly because these turtles are so big and meaty, people hunt and eat them. This species is now listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list.
To see a close up video of this softshell turtle, check out @natgeo!
A decorated warbonnet at the @alaskasealifecenter. This odd looking fish has bold cirri (long thin structures) forming tufts along its head and down to its dorsal fin. The function of these decorative filaments is not one hundred percent clear among biologists. Some believe they could serve as camouflage to help it blend into its mossy underwater environment, while others theorize that they could act as a lure for unsuspecting prey.
A European barn owl photographed near Parco Natura Viva, Bussolengo, Italy.
This owl was found and rehabilitated by the Italian association ‘Il Futuro della Biodiversita Locale’. She was close to death when found near Verona, possibly from eating poisoned prey. FBL cared for her with hourly medication and meals until she was able to feed alone and fly safely.
FBL has already collected and rehabilitated more than 300 animals and released 80 into their natural habitats since starting in late 2016. The association involves teenagers in the release of the recuperated animals to help them become aware of the importance of caring for the environment. For more about this conservation program, follow @ilfuturodellabiodiversita@greenteenteam and @parconaturaviva. Check out @natgeo to see a video of this majestic owl.
Male and female banded horned treefrogs at El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center.
These very rare banded horned treefrogs have a unique habit, they prey on other frogs. It is possible that this frog-eating habit brings them into frequent contact with other frogs and makes them much more likely to contract the amphibian chytrid fungus that is wiping out frogs in Latin America. These two individuals are part of a conservation breeding colony maintained by the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project @amphibianrescue in Panama.
For a video of these two, check out @natgeo!
A Western European hedgehog at Centro Fauna Selvatica "Il Pettirosso" near Modena, Italy.
This wildlife rehabilitation center rescues more than 4,000 animals per year, 70% of which are placed back into the wild. The center is funded completely by donations and is run by volunteers who work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, even during natural disasters in Italy.
This hedgehog was found in broad daylight amidst the sudden frosts of autumn. At only a few weeks old, he was infested with parasites and close to starvation due to the lack of insects that came with the sudden temperature change. Now he is safe, warm, and waiting along with 56 other hedgehogs at Pettirosso until he is ready to be released back into the wild.
Check out @natgeo for a video of this little guy!
A baby northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), Siem Reap, Cambodia. @ACCB_Cambodia is often a refuge for animals like this little one that have sadly been sold into the illicit pet trade in southeast Asia, a hotspot for this kind of activity.
Juvenile primates are usually docile and undoubtedly adorable, which may create the illusion that they could make a perfect pet. However, as they grow into adults they often become aggressive in attempts to display dominance, just as they would in the wild.
As owners realize how unsuitable primates are as pets, these animals often have no where left to go.
At the ACCB, young rescued animals like this often receive help learning and developing the skills needed to survive in the wild. The goal is that one day they may be released back into their natural habitat to live free!
Thanks, @forbes for placing me among those who use their social media for good. With the world at our fingertips there has never been a better or easier time for all of us to take action and change the world for the better. Let's keep the good going! Link to article in my bio.
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Red lory photographed at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore. These birds are extremely intelligent and very social.
Their 9-storey Lori Loft is the largest aviary of its kind in the world. #red#bird#singapore
A huge tail helps the marbled cat to balance in the trees at night, biologists think, though little is known about this secretive species. Be sure to check out @natgeo for a video of this cat!
More small cats of the world can be seen in 'Shadow Cats', a story in this month's National Geographic Magazine. #cats#natgeo
Leopard Cat at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), Siem Reap, Cambodia
@ACCB_Cambodia is often a refuge for cute kittens like this Leopard Cat that have had the misfortune of becoming victims of the pet trade. While leopard cats are appealing due to their looks and similar size to domestic cats, their untamed nature makes them unsuitable and potentially dangerous as pets. Once they become unmanageable they are often sold for meat or fur, or released unprepared for a life in the wild.
This Leopard Cat was turned over to ACCB as a juvenile after its owner realized the cat was unsuitable as a pet. Often kittens that are spotted alone are assumed to have been abandoned, and are then taken and sold as pets, which was likely the case here. During her stay at the ACCB she will receive minimal human contact while she develops the skills that she will need to survive in the wild so that one day she may be released back into her natural habitat!
Check out the "Shadow Cats" story in the February issues of National Geographic Magazine for more amazing cat photos!
A dragon-headed katydid at Malacca Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary in Malaysia. When holding still in the forest, this animal mimics a leaf extremely well, making it very hard for predators to see and eat him! Check out @natgeo for a video of a very special katydid!
A spectral tarsier at the Singapore Zoo (@wrs.ig) and is one of the world's smallest primates! See @natgeo for another video of this carnivorous creature!
An endangered Persian leopard at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden. See @natgeo for a closeup of this creature!
A blue-spotted charaxes butterfly at the Omaha Zoo (@theomahazoo). See @natgeo for a video that features this butterfly!
It's a very good day for the African grey parrot! This incredibly intelligent species just got increased protection from CITES, which means that nearly all commerce of these birds will be outlawed.
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the world organization that regulates how humans treat wild animals and plants.
An endangered brow-antlered deer named Blitzen at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas (@sedgwickcountyzoo).
Here's Suci as a baby with her mom, Emi, several years ago at the Cincinnati Zoo (@cincinnatizoo). This zoo pioneered the captive breeding of this critically-endangered species.
Sumatran rhinos are being poached in the wild so quickly that biologists fear they could go extinct in the wild within the next twenty years. See @natgeo for a video of Suci today!
A veiled Chameleon in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chameleons are one of nature's most interesting and stealthy predators. Many species like this veiled chameleon can actually change colors to fit their surroundings and then stand perfectly still, only moving their eyes when hunting their prey.
Each eye moves independently, allowing the animal to see two directions at once! See @natgeo for a video of another kind of chameleon!
Here's Joel's favorite photo of this long-eared owl at The Wildlife Center in Espanola, New Mexico. See @natgeo to see a video of this animal!
Here is Joel's favorite photo from this shoot with a toco toucan at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium @theomahazoo . See @natgeo for a video of this bird!
Here is Joel's favorite photo of two endangered red-shanked douc langurs at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. See @natgeo for a video of these two!
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