Weekly News Roundup 10/4 to 10/10

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Airbnb launches ethical animal experiences for world travelers

Airbnb is looking to change the way travelers view animal experiences while abroad. On Thursday, the travel company launched “Animal Experiences” to make finding ethical excursions involving some of the world’s most intriguing animals easier to find. “With technology taking up so much of our lives, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature and animals,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and cofounder. “With Airbnb Animal Experiences, locals and travelers are just a few clicks away from being alongside them in the real world.” Airbnb partnered with World Animal Protection to launch the activities, which range from paddleboarding with corgis in Florida to rescuing puppies from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The company is working with biologists, conservationists, and animal lovers to provide access to more than 300 species. . . . more

How do we prevent pets from becoming exotic invaders?

This summer, a professional trapper caught an alligator in a lagoon in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, following a week-long search that drew crowds of onlookers and captured national headlines. Dubbed “Chance the Snapper,” after a local hip hop artist, the five-foot, three-inch reptile had likely been let loose by an unprepared pet owner, say experts at the Chicago Herpetological Society. This was no anomaly: Pet alligators have recently turned up in a backyard pool on Long Island, at a grocery store parking lot in suburban Pittsburgh (the fourth in that area since May), and again in Chicago. Keeping a pet alligator is illegal in most US states, but an underground market for these and other exotic animals is thriving—and contributing to the proliferation of invasive species in the US and elsewhere. . . . more

Dog people versus cat people: Who’s more outgoing? More intelligent?

Dog people and cat people really do have different personalities, according to a new study. People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be livelier—meaning they were more energetic and outgoing—and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open minded, and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be nonconformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules. And in a finding that’s sure to spark rivalries among pet owners, cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers. . . . more

Owning a dog linked to lower risk of death after a heart attack, study finds

Dog owners live longer and fare better after a heart attack or stroke compared with those who have no canine companions, two studies published Tuesday suggest. Researchers found that dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduced risk of death from any cause among the general public, and a 33% lower risk of death among heart attack survivors who live alone, according to the reports published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. . . . more

Bahamian dog trapped in rubble for more than three weeks survives

A dog who survived Hurricane Dorian is being called a miracle in the Bahamas. The people who rescued the dog have named him Miracle because he survived underneath rubble for about a month. Rescuers from Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida, say they have rescued more than 100 dogs since the devastating storm in the Bahamas. They have used a drone to aid their recovery efforts and the technology was integral during this particular rescue. The rescuers located the dog pinned underneath an air conditioner and building debris in Marsh Harbor. After comforting him with food, rescuers were able to pull him out of the debris. . . . more