Top 6 Vacation Spots With Hands-On Animal Conservation ProgramsThese hotels turn well-deserved relaxation into a virtuous endeavor by offering guests the chance to help preserve local wildlife in between dips in the pool.
Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Animals: Dolphins
The Place: Atlantis Resort, named for the mythical Greek island, offers rooms and experiences for a range of travelers, from the more casual Beach and Coral Towers to the upscale Cove, an adults-only section of the resort with fine dining (Nobu, anyone?) and a decadent spa. The family-friendly destination also has a water park and a marine habitat.
The Program: It's all about the bottlenose dolphins here: In addition to interactive coves where guests can meet the ocean-dwelling creatures, the resort's "Dolphin Cay" is home to a specialist-staffed rehab facility and 16 animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina, some of which have given birth since their arrival with the help of on-site marine mammal specialists. Meanwhile, a portion of the proceeds from the dolphin programs is donated to the Kerzner Marine Foundation, which supports marine preservation through scientific research, education and community outreach.
Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
The Animals: Endangered fish and coral reefs
The Place: The glamorous Huvafen Fushi, which resembles a stingray from above, has underwater spa rooms, overwater bungalows and an underground wine cave. Guests can even slumber on a traditional Maldivian dhoni sailboat!
The Program: The resort is committed to rebuilding, conserving and protecting the living coral reef that surrounds the Indian Ocean island. Guided by the staff marine biologist, guests can participate in the Coral Cultivation Initiative and snorkel out with a biologist to a coral nursery, where bits of coral nestle in small concrete cups. Each participant chooses an orphan coral to tag and name, which is ultimately transplanted to a larger reef to help it thrive.
Orion Expedition Cruises, Borneo
The Animals: Orangutans
The Place: Aboard the Orion II, travelers sail the high seas with 100 fellow passengers while luxuriating in five-star service with a casual vibe. Orion Expedition Cruises are known for their less-traveled destinations, including more remote areas of Russia, Japan, New Guinea, Cambodia and even sub-Antarctic islands.
The Program: Starting in late 2012, the Orion II will venture on its first Borneo season, including three voyages that will take passengers -- along with renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galikas -- to her Orangutan Foundation and Preserve, Camp Leakey. Guests will have rare access to the Infant Care Centre & Rehabilitation area, as well as an orangutan feeding station. Orangutan Adoption Kits are also purchased by the cruise line for each passenger.
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
They lay, they play, and they take selfies with supermodels. Meet 5 of the most social media-savvy pets—animals taking control of their own fashionable online image.
A recent study shows why
Not many leading ladies have four legs, lots of hair and, well, dog breath. But that hasn’t stopped Chris Naka from posing alongside office pooch Wrigley in a series of pictures recreating iconic scenes from romantic movies. Naka, 30, told Today that the fun began when he and his creative coworkers at the Blue Man Group in Chicago decided to use the last few minutes of their lunch break to pose their boss’ dog with him in a scene from Titanic. And an idea was born. “Someone printed a bunch of our early pictures, posted them in the green room, and folks from all over the theater started sending emails with movie suggestions,” he said. Check out some of their funny (and bizarre) pictures here.
We talked to 122 veterinary professionals and got their take on which canines are the smartest of them all.
This year, Animal Planet is pulling out all the stops for Puppy Bowl X. The tenth-anniversary extravaganza promises penguin cheerleaders, canine first responders singing the National Anthem, and special appearances by Lil Bub and Keyboard Cat, who will be performing a piano-filled rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” during the kitten halftime show. Best of all, continuing the tradition of showcasing adoptable pets, all the puppy players are up for adoption or have already found forever families. We’re hoping that the pups are watching themselves on TV from the comfort of their new homes. The main event starts at 3 p.m. EST on February 2 on Animal Planet. As you wait for the most anticipated event of the season, check out the starting lineup of some of our favorite Puppy Bowl players. And be sure to head to the Animal Planet site later this month to create your own Puppy Bowl fantasy league. Out of 11 all-star puppies, participants will be able to pick a fantasy team of three players.
Walter the otter is settling into his new home
We recently listed the top five smartest dog breeds as chosen by veterinary professionals, and, unsurprisingly, our readers were quick to comment on other breeds that show enormous intelligence. Now we're sharing another result from that survey of 122 veterinary professionals. We aren't going to say "least intelligent" because all dogs have their own kind of genius, right? But we will say that in the opinion of the surveyed veterinary professionals, the breeds named here aren't necessarily known for their cleverness even if they are known for having many wonderful characteristics. Of course, please know that in no way are we saying these dogs aren't smart or aren't trainable. They just might not keep up with the Border Collie in their obedience class. And that's OK — whether our pets sit at the front of the class or flunk out of puppy school, we love them just the same.
Typically, cats don't rush up and bombard you with kisses like some dogs, but many do display genuine friendliness. Happy-to-be-with-you cats range from the demure lap lounger to the chatty feline who escorts you from room to room. Vetstreet shines the spotlight on nine feline breeds with stellar reputations for thoroughly enjoying the company of their favorite people.
Do you find it hard to sit still? Would you rather spend your time running and playing and working outdoors instead of lounging at home on the couch? If so, you may have met your match in these breeds. We polled 122 veterinary experts to get their opinions on which dog breeds are the most energetic. Here are the five that received the most votes!
Are cats an acquired taste?
Researchers say invention can tell you what your dog is thinking.