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August 4, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Clark attempted to escape from the cops, but with little luck. The 150-pound tortoise was found on the streets of Alhambra, California, Saturday afternoon. The police department had fun with their unusual apprehension on Facebook, writing, "The tortoise did try to make a run for it; but, our officers are pretty fast. Almost had a pursuit!" Two officers were needed to take the large suspect into custody, but they joked that they couldn’t manage to get the handcuffs on him. Several people offered to adopt the wayward tortoise, but Clark’s owner came forward and was reunited with him Sunday. — Read it at ABC News
A new study finds that white mice can be trained to detect specific odors in random mixtures, although they don’t perform as well when background components are increased. The mice were able to identify a target scent with 85 percent or better accuracy. The Harvard University researchers found that the ability to identify a particular smell was significantly diminished if background smells activated the same neurons as the target odor. The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. — Read it at Science Daily
U.S. Geological Survey biologist Jarred Barr discovered a fuzzy duckling living with a brood of avocet chicks in San Francisco last month. "It was just following right behind the adult avocet and chicks like it was another avocet," Barr said. Alex Hartman, another USGS biologist, thinks the duckling was separated from its family after it hatched and glommed on to the avocets. When Barr was working in another nearby pond, he spotted a mallard family. He went back to get the duckling to see if he could place it with the ducks but couldn’t find it. "Our plans fell through, but we didn't want to disturb the birds any further," Barr said. "When in doubt, in my mind, the best thing is to leave something be." — Read it at Live Science
Reality TV star Tori Spelling is among those raising money for the American Humane Society in a simple way. If you share a picture of yourself drinking a cup of coffee with your dog on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag JustSayJoe, coffee maker Brim with donate $1 to the charity. Brew Buddies by Brim runs through August 13, with the goal of raising $10,000.
Jamie Clauss’ studio was all set up to do a newborn photo shoot when her neighbors, Jan and Chase Renegar, who are also photographers, stopped by. “[Jan] said, ‘Oh, I wish I had a baby to do a newborn shoot with you,’” recalled Clauss. So, they used the next best subject: Snuggles the dog. The couple doesn’t usually treat their dog like a baby, but she sure looked like a natural as her owners fawned over her and wrapped her in blankets for the tongue-in-cheek shoot. The photos, not surprisingly, have gone viral. — See photos at Buzzfeed
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