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.
There are lots of reasons to vacation: stress release, exposure to new foods and cultures, quality time spent with loved ones -- and saving animals.
These hotels -- plus a cruise ship -- turn well-deserved relaxation into a virtuous endeavor through partnerships with science foundations and academic institutions, offering guests the chance to help preserve local wildlife in between dips in the pool.
Le Méridien Bora Bora, French Polynesia
The Animals: Green sea turtles and hawksbill marine turtles
The Place: Le Méridien Bora Bora is a sanctuary that attracts honeymooners and relaxation seekers alike, who can sleep in thatched overwater bungalows and swim with sharks and stingrays in impossibly turquoise waters.
The Program: The resort has been actively involved with marine turtle conservation since 2000 by partnering with Bora Bora's Ministry and the Delegation of the Environment to create a Turtle Observatory and an enclosed Turtle Sanctuary in the resort's private lagoon. Along with more than 100 species of tropical fish, the endangered turtles are bred for three years or rehabilitated and released. Guests can "adopt" turtles and track their progress, and this June, the hotel is unveiling an Ecological Center, complete with on-site biologists and veterinarians, a rehabilitation center and a kids touch pool filled with starfish.
Biras Creek, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
The Animals: Paso fino horses and bay horses
The Place: Compared with other Caribbean islands, Virgin Gorda has seen little development. In fact, the beachfront Biras Creek is one of just two upscale resorts on the island, with 31 suites and 140 acres for guests seeking privacy. (The owners of the property, Pam and David Johnson, have also made conservation efforts a priority at their stateside property in Michigan, Bay Harbor Resort.)
The Program: The resort currently houses five rescue horses who are being nursed back to health, including a 23-year-old former racehorse named Sorbetto (Spanish for "strong"), an 11-year-old former street racer named Fugitive and 7-year-old Kid, who was bred for show but discarded because of an imperfect gait. Guests can visit with the horses and their on-site trainer, as well as help feed and care for the animals.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
The Animals: Spectacled or Andean bears
The Place: Located in the Cusco region of Peru, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is composed of private casitas set on 12 acres of rolling hills, with views of the Vilcanota River.
The Program: Inkaterra just won the 2012 prize for conservation at this year's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which makes sense considering it's been all about sustainability for the past 37 years. Since 1975, the hotel group has worked with notable organizations like the University of Leeds to nurture and preserve orchids, hummingbirds, butterflies and the cloud forest.
In Machu Picchu, their Wildlife Rescue Center focuses on spectacled or Andean bears, which are in danger of extinction. Currently, there are three bears on location, including an 11-month-old cub who was rescued from poachers. Guests can visit and learn about the bears at the rehab center.
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
Injuries often happen when dogs are outside chasing tennis balls or playing at dog parks. Because yours needs regular exercise, it can be difficult to protect him from many accidents.
When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best dog for you may be a larger breed. Big dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Saint Bernards can become a child's protector, adventure buddy and best friend. Check out this slideshow to see nine large breeds that can be good for families.
In case you haven't heard, March 21 is a very special day -- it's National Puppy Day! The holiday was created nine years ago to not only celebrate the joy, love and cuteness young pups bring into our lives, but also to help save orphaned puppies all over the world. In honor of puppies everywhere, we've found 14 precious pooches to share with you.
When you're sick, your four-legged family members can provide enormous comfort just by being there.
If you're looking for a dog who's content to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with you, lounging on the couch, reading a book -- well, you'll be doing the reading, and the dog will be doing the lounging -- you've come to the right place. From the Pug to the Shih Tzu, we've rounded up seven affectionate breeds who excel at being lap dogs.
There's no denying that cats are excellent companions, but sometimes they do something that leaves you scratching your head in total confusion. If you're used to dogs, cats' social interactions and the way they communicate can be very confusing. Yet it's these special behaviors, like affectionate head-butting and their penchant for cardboard boxes, that make us love them so much. To help you better understand your elusive feline, we rounded up 10 cat behaviors that people commonly consider mysterious. You'll find that many of these habits aren't weird at all for cats -- they're normal. Click through this slideshow to learn more about mysterious feline habits and what they mean.
Some of the most commonly marketed "oral health improvement" items are considered unsafe, unwholesome and/or downright unhelpful by board-certified veterinary dentists.
Cats are sweet, loving, funny pets who are oft misunderstood by those who haven’t had the pleasure of owning — or, rather, being owned by — a cat. As a result, cat people often hear misguided comments about their life with their cats. Here are seven things that you should never say to a cat person — unless you want to get swatted.
Before you run out and get a dog, make sure you're prepared for the responsibility.
We've looked at the trendiest cat names of the year (as well as the least trendy), and now it's time to look into the latest trends in canine names based on 2013 data. Of course, we've already shared the most "popular" puppy names, but "trendy" is a little different -- while popularity is based solely on the number of puppies given a certain name during the course of the year, trendiness is based on how much a particular name has risen in popularity over the course of a decade. That means that a name might be incredibly trendy, but not even break into the Top 50 for popularity. To determine which names belong on this list, we looked at our database of 925,000 names given in 2013 and compared their popularity that year to their popularity in 2004. The 10 female and male names that gained the most ground made the cut.
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.