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Dec. 5, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Mission K9 Rescue, a Texas-based non-profit, helped bring 13 hero contract working dogs home to the U.S. from Kuwait. The pack of bomb-detection dogs were owned by a private security company rather than the military, so they don’t get free transportation back to the U.S. when their tour is over. They’re arrived back on U.S. soil last week thanks to donations. The dogs don’t have handlers here, so they are available for adoption. Mission K9 plans to rehabilitate the Shepherds and reintegrate them into society, and hopes to have them in new homes where they can get some much-deserved rest and relaxation by Christmas. “They are retired and will only go to homes where they have a nice soft bed and many treats,” Mission K9 said in a Facebook comment. — Watch it at WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore via Facebook
Endangered leatherback sea turtles are known for their migratory and nomadic natures, usually traveling thousands of miles. But scientists have discovered an area along the Mozambique coast where they have established a permanent home. “Having a long-term, resident population of densely congregated leatherback turtles — in coastal waters — that's really remarkable,” said Steve Morreale, senior research associate in the Department of Natural Resources. “It clarifies the ecology of this species, and as a result, we've broadened our scientific view." Researchers from Cornell University think the turtles likely have a bountiful supply of jellyfish in the area. Their study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Science Daily
A Naval pilot in the U.K. was surprised to find a kitten in the bumper of his car after a 300-mile trip in England. He said he could hear a “very quiet meowing” coming from inside the car, but he couldn’t find the source. "I called up some of our air engineers who came and helped me to start dismantling my pride and joy. On taking off the rear bumper we were greeted by a tiny tiger-striped kitten,” Lieutenant Nick Grimmer said. Grimmer, who works for a squadron known as the Flying Tigers, brought the kitten to work with him. “The place he has felt most comfortable is in my flying helmet, which is the only place he is able to sleep," he said. He adopted the kitten and named him Tigger, and now the pair is starring on the cover of the 2017 Royal Navy and Marines charity calendar. — Read it at the U.K.’s Telegraph
An endangered female Rothschild’s giraffe was born last month at BIOPARC Valencia in Spain to mom Bulería and dad Julius. The Rothschild’s or Baringo giraffe is the most endangered of the nine giraffe subspecies, due to habitat loss and poaching. The beautiful baby girl has been “well received” by the rest of her herd, and has been feeding normally, the zoo reports. She and her young mother are bonding behind the scenes at the zoo for now. — Read it at Zooborns
An adorable elephant calf got stuck in a muddy pond in Kenya. Its mom attempted to help, but to no avail, so reinforcements were called in. Four men arrived in a helicopter and jumped out, running over to roll the little one safely out of the water. The baby was understandably frightened by all the commotion. Luckily, once the helicopter took off, the baby’s mom rushed to its side. The calf snuggled up to her, giving her relieved kisses in a sweet video. — Watch it at USA Today
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