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Golden Retriever Surprises Owner With a Baby Koala Whose Life She Saved

This is the heart-warming tale of Asha, a golden retriever who rescued a baby koala.

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(TMU) — While this rescue happened in September 2018 and had nothing to do with the current fires and plight of the koalas and other wildlife, it does not make the story any less heart-warming.

Australia is a large country and an island continent with many unique animal and plant species. The island is about the size of 48 adjoining states of the USA and is only 10% habitable by humans, mostly along its coastline while the rest of the country is mostly desert or semi-arid. Temperatures range from above 50°C (122 °F) to below 0°C (32 °F).

The country has suffered through drought since 2017, and although they do have a bushfire season, the current devastating fires are worse thanks to the long drought and record breaking temperatures. December 2019 saw the highest temperatures in 110 years. Nullarbor, South Australia, suffered through the hottest day on the 19th when temperatures reached 49.9°C (121°F).

The bushfires began in September 2019 and have continued unabated in the state of New South Wales (NSW) with Victoria and South Australia also affected.

Amidst the threat of global warming, the world has been horrified by the destruction and especially the death of wildlife, estimated to be over 1 billion.

Animals being rescued and Koalas in particular have taken center stage on social media. One such story is the heart-warming tale of Asha, a golden retriever who rescued a baby koala. Asha’s story was shared on social media over the weekend and it quickly went viral.

 Kerry McKinnon from Strathdownie, Western Victoria, was surprised when Asha had a koala joey clinging to her back.

It was quite early in the morning, and my husband yelled out to me to come have a look at something,” Kerry, 45, told News.com.au. “I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, but then I saw this tiny baby koala snuggled on top of Asha.” Seeing the spectacle, Kerry says, “I just burst out laughing. Poor Asha didn’t know what to think; she just kept looking at me with such a confused look.

She looked a bit guilty when I came out to see what was going on. Her expression was hilarious.

She kept looking back at the koala bear, but she wasn’t trying to get him off her or anything. She was happy to let him snuggle into her.

The mystery of how the joey ended up with Asha has still not been solved but as Kerry explained:

I think the koala bear baby fell out of his mum’s pouch and didn’t know what to do. He would have just wandered over to our back porch and seen the dogs in their beds, then decided to snuggle in Asha’s fur because it’s nice and warm.

Asha definitely saved the koala’s life by keeping him warm. He would have died out there if left alone all night. The poor thing could have been taken by a fox or something too.

McKinnon continued:

I think dogs have that protective instinct. The koala didn’t want to leave Asha’s back. When we took the koala off to wrap it in a blanket, it hissed at me and carried on.

I think it would have been happy to have just slept there all day. It was really an amazing animal friendship to see and so uniquely Australian.

All is well with that particular joey who was later checked out by a vet and cared for by a local koala carer until it ready to be released into the wild again.

McKinnon told Associated Press she took the photos in September 2018 on her porch where the baby koala was snuggling in Asha’s fur for warmth, most likely due to the cold temperature.

She further confirmed the area they live in has not been affected by the bushfires currently ravaging the country, explaining:

The story being circulated about her and the koala are nothing to do with the fires, these photos were taken in September 2018.

Although temperatures have cooled and rain brought some relief over the weekend, the situation is far from over as fires continue to burn in several areas. Over 25 people have died and about 20,000 homes destroyed at this time.

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

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Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

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