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Scientists believe that they are well on the way to bring back a Woolly mammoth from extinction.

A firm in the United States has raised $15m towards the experiment.

Scientists are set on creating an elephant-mammoth hybrid, with first calves expected in six years.

Woolly mammoths vanished 10,000 years ago from the face of the Earth.

The team of scientist believe they can create the elephant-mammoth hybrid by making embryos in the laboratory that carry mammoth DNA and skin cells from Asian elephants.

These embryos would then be carried to term in a surrogate elephant or maybe in an artificial womb.

If all goes to plan – and the hurdles are far from trivial – the researchers hope to have their first set of calves in six years.

Officials at a zoo in India confirmed a royal Bengal tiger escaped from its enclosure.

The escape caused the complete evacuation of the Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar.

The tiger, named Suraj,  escaped from the Tiger Safari exhibit by breaking through a rusted section of wire.

Visitors were quickly evacuated from the zoo, and Suraj was located wandering outside the enclosures at the Tiger Safari exhibit.

The big cat was wrangled back into the enclosure and the hole in the fence was repaired, officials said.

Visitors were allowed back inside the zoo once the all-clear was sounded.

A two headed snake in the United States is having its 16th birthday.

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, which is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, has a special two headed rat snake.

The two heads have fully functional brains and it will turn 16 on Saturday. Visitors are being invited to join the celebration.

Rat snakes typically live about 10 years in the wild, and conjoined twins usually live for far fewer years because their body’s lack of dominant leadership makes them an easy target for predators.

The birthday party will feature crafts, games (snakes and ladders) and cake for visitors.

A huge whale has spent the afternoon playing with a paddleboarder in Argentina.

A drone photographer captured video of the moment a southern right whale swam up to a paddleboarder and gave the board a push.

Photographer Maxi Jonas posted the video to Twitter showing the southern right whale in Puerto Madryn.

The whale gives the paddleboard a push with its fin before tracking the board’s movements while swimming directly under it.

Whales are common in Puerto Madryn with the whale watching season going from May through to December. More than 1,600 southern right whales have been spotted near the Puerto Madryn shore so far this year.

The Komodo dragon is so endangered that it has been moved onto the endangered animal list.

Previously the reptile had been on the vulnerable list according to the IUCN red list of threatened species.

The komodo dragon is the world’s largest lizard. Its loss of number has been due to rising water levels driven by the climate crisis shrinking its habitat.

The komodo dragon is found only on a few Indonesian islands. It lives on the edge of the forest or in open savannah, rarely venturing higher than 700 meters above sea level. Rising water levels are set to affect 30% of its habitat in the next 45 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN.

However, the komodo dragons’ habitat is becoming increasingly fragmented by human activity. This makes populations less genetically healthy and more vulnerable.

Growing up to 3 meters long and weighing more than 150kg, komodos feed mainly on forest-dwelling pigs, deer, buffalo, and fruit bats. When they attack, their venomous saliva causes their prey’s blood pressure to suddenly drop and stops it from clotting, sending them into shock.

Love bees? Plant trees!  (when you can)

New Zealand beekeepers are asking Kiwi bee lovers to ‘Feed the Bees’ this September for Bee Aware Month by planting trees and other plants that bees love.

Bee Aware Month is run every year by Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ), a national body representing beekeepers and honey producers.  ApiNZ want New Zealanders to help our bees become strong and resilient so they can better deal with threats.

Kiwi bees face a lot of threats – varroa (a nasty parasite), diseases, habitat loss and climate change.  “One of the best things that you can do to help bees is to plant bees that produce lots of high-quality bee food (pollen and nectar) at times when bees need it the most,” says ApiNZ chief executive Karin Kos.

Some of the best bee trees and plants are pip fruit trees (like apples, pears and quinces), rosemary, zinnias, sunflowers and pumpkin plants.  While it’s difficult under Covid Alert Level 3 and 4 to buy and plant trees, you can still take a good look at your garden and find the perfect spot for a bee tree and then plant them when you can, says Ms Kos.

Bee Aware Month is also a great time to learn more about bees.  ApiNZ has information and activity sheets here:  https://apinz.org.nz/bee-aware-month-2021/ It is also running a kids’ art competition where kids can draw, paint, collage or sketch an artwork with the theme ‘Bees, Trees and Me’. 

ApiNZ will choose 12 winners and create a special Bee Aware Month calendar to be sold to raise money for bee health research and education.  There are fantastic prizes from Arataki Honey, Egmont Honey, Awapuni Nurseries, the Environmental Protection Authority and ApiNZ to be won!

The New Zealand Police force have a new secret weapon in their fight against crime.

A small cat named Arnold, has been unveiled as their new “specialist search cat.”

NZ Police shared a video on Facebook this week of their “latest recruit”. So far the video has already seen more than 1 million views and 16,000 comments.

Arnold has been working hard on his training. He can even jump through hoops!,” a police spokeperson said.

The police promised to post more of Arnold’s adventures in coming weeks on their Facebook page.

Elephants that live in Sri Lanka will soon get their very own identity cards!

The new cards will be given to 200 elephants who are kept as pets or live in captivity in this initial stage. Altogether, there are around 7,500 elephants that live in the wild in Sri Lanka.

The idea is that the cards will help protect the elephants from being treated badly by their owners. The new cards will carry a photo and a DNA stamp. This will be unique for every elephant.

Elephants are considered sacred, or special, in Sri Lanka – particularly by Buddhists.

Along with the ID cards, elephants will now be sent for medical check-ups every six months.

Elephants are popular with tourists who visit Sri Lanka – and some places offer elephant rides.

An alpaca from Taumarunui in New Zealand is at the center of a big debate in the United Kingdom.

The Alpaca is called Geronimo and a court order says it must be put down because it tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) twice.

However, there is a large community of people who are trying to save Geronimo’s life.

Several people have taken to social media asking the government to reconsider the order to put Geronimo down.

However, the ministers involved, and even Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have not changed their minds.

Geronimo’s owner, farmer Helen MacDonald, has made many public pleas for the alpaca’s life, assuring that the animal is now healthy.

MacDonald claims the diagnosis of bTB is based on inaccurate testing.