Top 10 Most Searched Animals In March 2017 and Why

It’s safe to say that America is a nation of animal lovers. Every week, internet users watch thousands of cat videos on YouTube [1]. They post pictures of their pets and create memes from animal encounters they read about online. They tune into TV shows like Cesar 911 and My Cat from Hell [2]. If it’s furry, fierce, funny, or ferocious, it’s bound to be a big hit.

 

So, what drives this fascination with the animal kingdom? Is it a positive phenomenon or is it an intense interest in wild animals that is harmful for their well being? Should there be more of a spotlight on certain species, especially considering how close many are to extinction? These are difficult questions, but it’s clear that the craving for animals is stronger than ever.

 

Keep reading to learn about the biggest animal stories and most searched animals in March 2017.

The Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Dog

 

It’s no surprise to find man’s best friend in the top spot. News stories, anecdotes, pictures, and videos of pet pooches have long dominated the internet. Nevertheless, there was a standout story in March, and it bemused animal lovers all over the world. According to a new study, dogs may be capable of lying to their owners in order to benefit themselves [3].

 

The researchers based their findings on a simple test. They paired dogs with either a cooperative or competitive human. The cooperative human gave the dog a treat if it could lead them to the right box. The competitive human took the treat and kept it. After a while, they realized that many of the animals were leading the competitive human to empty containers [4].

 

 

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The Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Dog

Yet, this wasn’t due to a lack of awareness, because they would lead the cooperative human to the right place every time. It was surmised that, when working with the competitive human, the dogs realized that being right wouldn’t benefit them. So, they deliberately made the wrong choice and returned to the snack with the cooperative human later. In other words, they lied.

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The Second Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Cat

When internet users are not searching for dog related stories, they’re filling their brains up with cat content. It was good news in March, as researchers revealed that the haughtiest of domestic pets really does have a soft side. For decades, debate has raged over whether cats feel any kind of love for their human masters [5].

 

Most are standoffish, fiercely independent, and never guaranteed to come when called. They are also, according to researchers in Oregon, very fond of spending time with humans. They tested the responses of cats when given access to food, scent, toys, and human contact. The majority of animals picked human contact almost every time [6].

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The Second Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Cat

This story definitely dispels the myth about cats being entirely selfish, but it’s unlikely to convince diehard dog owners. These furry beasts are still in need of some good PR. At the very least, now that it’s clear that they enjoy spending time around humans, the latest craze for cat cafés doesn’t seem quite so wacky.

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The Third Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Giraffe

In March, one of the biggest stories to come out of America was about a giraffe. At one point, 15 million people in a week tuned into a live stream of the animal as it was about to give birth. The situation actually became the butt of a thousand jokes, because April the giraffe turned out to have a rather delayed arrival [7].

 

The keepers later admitted that they must have gotten the date of conception wrong, after telling viewers to expect the baby any day. It took a month of live streaming and intense interest from the general public before the long legged mom produced a healthy calf. The level of excitement was enormous and so was the sense of relief because zoo births can be risky.

The Third Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Giraffe

One woman even had her own fun (and turned into an online sensation) after she posted a spoof video of April. The lady, who was also heavily pregnant, filmed herself waiting to give birth in a hospital room. She was, of course, clad in full giraffe costume. The video racked up a staggering ten million views in twelve hours [8].

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The Fourth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Horse

It has long been associated with wealth and status, but scientists now claim that horse riding can improve your cognitive ability if you start at a young age. In fascinating news, research shows that the vibrations produced while riding stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This has a direct impact on the capacity to learn and interpret information [9].

 

It is believed to be the first study of its kind as all previous research has focused on the physical benefits of riding. According to scientists, horse steps create three-dimensional accelerations. Therefore, the movement of the pelvis offers sensory and motor inputs to human riders. Unfortunately for eager adults, this effect has only been observed in children [10].

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The Fourth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Horse

Over the pond, in the United Kingdom, it was revealed that 1,500 horses died on racecourses throughout the last decade [11]. This has led to calls for the sport to be banned entirely, with some labeling it an ‘exploitative’ pastime. The release of the figure has sparked a heated debate between big racing companies and animal welfare organizations.

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The Fifth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Fish

Now, to the most adorable animal story of the year. In March, a man in Texas created a miniature wheelchair for his disabled pet fish. Yes, that’s right, there’s a goldfish in Texas with a wheelchair. Yes, there are plenty of cute videos online. The animal was given to the man from a friend.

 

The fish is afflicted with swim bladder disease, which means that it cannot control its own buoyancy. As a result, it has trouble moving around the tank and has to swim uncomfortably at the top of the water or on its side. Not anymore though, because his owner fashioned a clever device out of Styrofoam and airline tubing [12].

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The Fifth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Fish

The ‘wheelchair’ is attached to two Styrofoam weights. They balance one another out and help the fish to control its movements. After a few adjustments, the little guy was able to start swimming around the tank like a regular goldfish. According to his owner, he’s very happy and glad to have so many new fans.

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The Sixth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Bird

Birds have been getting a lot of negative press just recently. It looks like the dreaded bird flu is making an unexpected return. While health organizations are being very cautious about what they tell the public, some of the biggest poultry farms are culling animals as a preventative measure [13].

 

The virus has been found in birds in China, Europe, and Africa, but the WHO is insisting that the risk to humans is minimal [14]. The problem is the speed at which flu viruses mutate and develop. There are plenty of vaccines around (many were created after the last scare), but the virus changes so fast that current medicines may hold no value.

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The Sixth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Bird

In sad news, a zoo in Vienna was forced to cull its entire flock of pelicans after they tested positive for bird flu. It was clear about the fact that the deaths were an essential move designed to protect the rest of the animals [15]. At this time, the new and supposedly more powerful strain of the virus (H5N8) has not been contracted by any humans.

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The Seventh Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Chicken

The chicken has been transformed this year after scientists unveiled the first ever test tube poultry. It was grown from stem cells in a lab and, even though it looks and tastes like real chicken, it was never part of a living, breathing animal in the broader sense. The hope is that it signals the start of a clean meat revolution and the end of farmed food [16].

 

Over the last five years, a lot of money and time has been invested in the development of lab-grown meat. It is now possible to grow beef in this kind of setting as well, without having to raise or kill any animals for the purpose [17]. The team responsible for the test tube chicken claim that the process will be ready for commercial use within four years.

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The Seventh Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Chicken

It is an interesting prospect because many people can’t understand why vegetarians have taken such an interest in lab-grown meat. Some can’t help but ask why a non-meat eater would want any of their food to resemble dead flesh. In response, vegetarians have pointed out that food preferences are a complex thing and that guilt free meat should be just that – guilt free.

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The Eighth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Snake

There was a hair-raising snake story in the news in March. In Indonesia, a missing man was discovered in the belly of a huge reticulated python. According to reports, the animal was a whopping 23 feet long and had swallowed the man whole [18]. It is a pretty gruesome tale, and there are some unbelievable pictures to go with it, but they are not for the faint-hearted.

 

Sulawesi, where the accident happened, is home to many pythons and the neighbors of the missing man decided to catch one when they saw it lurking around the village. They claimed to be able to see his boots protruding from the stomach. This is why they decided to cut the snake open and take a look inside. Unfortunately, they did find their friend inside [19].

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The Eighth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Snake

In cheerier news, a park ranger in an Indian village was filmed offering water to a thirsty snake. It just so happens that it is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. Reportedly, the king cobra was just one of many animals struggling to survive after a drought [20]. So, the ranger held a bottle of water to its throat and let the twelve-foot reptile have its fill. That’s one brave man.

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The Ninth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Rabbit

Another Easter passed in March and so too did another brief fascination with rabbits. These floppy eared creatures become a much-loved motif and symbol around this time of the year. It gives animal lovers a chance not just to gush about them, but also to learn. For example, did you know that rabbits perform a dance when they’re feeling happy?

 

Rather adorably, it’s called the ‘binky.’ It involves the rabbit jumping into the air and turning its head back and forth at a rapid pace while twisting its body in the opposite direction. According to animal experts, it is a clear sign of delight and indicates that the animal is in a playful mood [21]. To get a closer look at the dance in action, check out one of the many YouTube videos.

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The Ninth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Rabbit

It’s no surprise that rabbits are an age-old symbol of fertility because they have the ability to produce as many as a dozen litters every year. Each litter can contain up to fourteen offspring. It means that, in theory, a single rabbit could create upwards of eight hundred children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in just one calendar year!

The Tenth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Cow

Cows were in the news in March for a very strange reason. It was one which few could have predicted, and even fewer can fully understand. Gaming giant Nintendo released a new title for its most recent console, the Nintendo Switch. ‘1 2 Switch’ is a compendium of mini-games which lets players simulate the milking of a virtual cow [22]. So far, so strange.

 

The situation became even odder though when animal rights organization PETA publicly criticized the game. It accused Nintendo of ignoring the truth about dairy farming and providing a whitewashed version of what actually happens to cows on farms [23]. Nevertheless, it seems like an odd feud considering players are handling a virtual cow made out of computer pixels.

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The Tenth Most Searched Animal In March 2017

The Cow

As if the situation could get any crazier, a farm in Vermont has now challenged Nintendo to a ‘milk off.’ The console maker has accepted, though it’s not clear when and how this clash of the titans will go down. Nintendo better be prepared for a fight, because the Billings Farm and Museum of Woodstock, Vermont has been milking cows for over a century [24].

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