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    You are a guest. Leave this earth a little more beautiful, a little more human, a little more lovable, a little more fragrant, for those unknown guests who will be following you.
    ~ Anonymous

            Text and image source: English Literature

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            I feel like dancing

            BIG NEWS from The President!

            Watch the heart-stopping moment this teen shoved a bear that swatted their family dog in backyard

            A brown bear perched atop a brick wall


            We’ve featured all sorts of stories about pet owners going to great lengths for their dogs, but I think this may be the most shocking one we’ve ever seen yet.

            No one in their right mind would charge, let alone, come near a mama bear taking a stroll with her cubs, but that’s exactly what 17-year-old Hailey Morinico of Bradbury, California, did this Memorial Day weekend.

            In a harrowing clip captured by their home’s security camera, a black bear and her two cubs are seen balancing on top of the low brick fence in the Morinicos’ home.

            They were heading toward a fruit tree in the backyard when four dogs suddenly bolted out and barked loudly at the mammal.

            A bear attacking a black dog


            The bear became upset and swiped at the largest of the dogs, touching the black dog’s nose while still perched atop the wall. Two bear cubs are seen behind her.

            Then, out of nowhere, Hailey darted across the yard to save her own babies—her four dogs, who are now in danger of getting hurt.

            Using both of her hands, the teen shoved the mama bear, and she disappeared over a wall into a neighbor’s yard. She poked her head back over for one last look before running off.YouTube

            A teen pushing a bear off a wall

            The teen said the only thing she had in mind at the time was to protect her dogs.

            “I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a bear and it is taking my dog. It is lifting it up off the ground,’” she said. “In that split second, I decided to push the bear, like it was nothing, apparently.”

            Hailey then scooped up one of her dogs while the others ran back to safety.

            Luckily, none of them suffered any serious injuries; Hailey escaped with only a sprained finger and a scraped knee.

            Although it’s the route she took, she wouldn’t advise anyone to follow her example.

            “Do not push bears and do not get close to bears,” she said. “You do not want to get unlucky. I just happened to come out unscathed.”YouTube

            KNBC Los Angeles identified the bear as a black bear, some of which have brown or tan coats. Human-bear encounters are rare in California, but these animals sometimes come out of their habitats and visit the foothill communities to forage food, particularly on garbage days.

            Experts don’t recommend confronting any bears. But just in case you encounter one, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says you should stay away from them. If they don’t leave, get to a safe place and call 911.

            “If you encounter a bear in your yard, chances are it will move on if there is nothing for the bear to forage. If there is enough distance between you and the bear, you can encourage the bear to leave by using noisemakers or blowing a whistle,” officials wrote.

            Black bears are characterized by their small, narrow heads and small ears. Their coats can be of a tan, black, or brown color. Females can grow up to 200 pounds, and males can be a massive 350 pounds. Some giants even weigh more than 600 pounds.

            A teenage girl running while carrying a small dog


            The population of black bears in California has been on the rise over the last two decades. During the early 1980s, there were about 10,000 to 15,000 of them. Now, there are an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 of them in the city, and that’s a conservative estimate.

            Bears are naturally good climbers who can easily scale a tree or block a wall, like in this case.

            About half of California’s bears are found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and areas to the north and west. Only around 10% of the black bear population lives in central western and southwestern California.

            They like to eat plants, insects, nuts, berries, and whatever else they see as edible.

            Hailey is definitely one brave fur mom! Here’s the footage of her defending her beloved pets.


            ‘Super mom’: Photographer captures images of mama duck with 76 baby ducklings


            We’ve all seen momma ducks with 20 to 30 ducklings trailing behind her, but have you seen one with over 70 offspring in her care?
            If you haven’t, meet “Mama Merganser,” the super duck mom caring for 76 ducklings!

            One windy afternoon on July 16, 2018, wildlife photographer Brent Cizek headed for a scouting excursion on Lake Bemidji, Minnesota, with just one camera and one lens with him.

            He had initially intended to capture a photo of a mallard he had seen the day before, but he didn’t expect to snap something far more special.

            As he motored toward the boat slip, Brent spotted something in the river: a female Common Merganser surrounded by over 50 ducklings. As he watched, the little mergansers formed a line behind their mom and began swimming away.

            A female common merganser surrounded by a brood of ducklings


            The scene was too remarkable to pass up, so Brent got into action.

            “I probably shot 50 pictures, and I was just praying that one was going to turn out sharp because the waves were so strong it was nearly impossible to even keep them in the frame,” he recalled at the time.

            Making things more complicated was that he had to alternate between maneuvering his trolling motor and snapping photos with his camera. Luckily for him, just one picture turned out.Twitter

            At home, Brent counted at least 50 ducklings in the photo. But during subsequent visits to the lake, he saw as many as 76 paddling behind Mama Merganser.

            50 and 76 ducklings are definitely on the high-end, but large groups like this are actually pretty common, according to Kenn Kaufman, field editor for Audubon.

            Female ducks have an interesting habit of leaving a few of their eggs in the nests of other ducks. They will have a nest of their own but will make their way over to another nest or two to lay a few eggs there.

            Most of the time, mother ducks will drop off their eggs in the nests of other ducks of the same species, but sometimes they’re also known to lay their eggs in the nests of other duck species.

            Young mergansers in the water


            There’s no clear explanation behind this practice, but experts think it has to do with preservation. For example, in case a duck’s own nest is destroyed, she will still have more offspring being safely incubated in other nests.

            Not putting all their eggs in one basket is sort of a reproductive insurance policy for these ducks.

            This behavior doesn’t completely explain what Brent captured, though, because ducks can only successfully incubate a limited number of eggs. Female ducks lay about a dozen eggs and can only warm up to 20. Having more than that will be too much for them to handle.

            Their theory is that this particular merganser picked up several dozen ducklings that strayed away from their mothers.

            Adult ducks can’t identify which birds are theirs, and the ducklings that have already imprinted on their biological mothers will start to follow another Common Merganser who looks like mom.

            Young mergansers in the water


            Another plausible theory is that the ducklings are part of a crèche, wherein female birds entrust their newborns into the care of an older and wiser female.

            This elder usually has broad experience in raising young and doesn’t mind taking a few hatchlings under her wing while their parents go off to do what adult birds typically do.

            According to David Rave, an area wildlife manager overseeing the Bemidji region for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, several species of birds—including common mergansers—use this system.

            This super duck mom will tend to these young birds for a couple more weeks before they are big enough to defend themselves.

            They will eventually leave the group, and the females will one day potentially adopted a brood of ducklings of their own.

            Luckily for this wildlife photographer, he was able to capture this remarkable scene for the rest of the world to see!

            Here’s a compilation of raw videos that Brent Cizek took of Mama Merganser and her adorable ducklings.

            Young mergansers going into the water


            If you want to see more amazing photography follow Brent Cizek’s Instagram and Twitter. Please share this story with your friends and family.