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July 9, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Seven sea cows who suffered from this season’s red tide bloom are headed back into Florida’s waters. After being rescued between January and March, the manatees were treated and rehabilitated at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Five of the animals are being released Tuesday morning in Lee County, including Lorange, a 400-pound female; Manlee, a 880-pound male, Tide, a 550-pound male; Eel, a 745-pound female and Flee, a 905-pound female. Two more manatees, Cheer, a 480-pound male, and Threepio, a 860-pound male, are being released from Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where they have been living since their initial treatment at the zoo. A record number of 272 manatee deaths have been linked to red tide in Southwest Florida waters this year.
The critically endangered Australian night parrot hasn’t been seen by a human in more than 100 years — until now. Australian naturalist and filmmaker John Young says he coaxed the small, elusive bird out of it hiding place on May 25, using a recording of a parrot call. With only an estimated 50 to 250 of the birds left in the wild, Young refused to reveal where he saw it. "I think the worst thing we can do at the moment is to let too many people anywhere near it," he said, only saying the alleged sighting was in the northern state of Queensland. — Read it at Paw Nation
Theodore Reed, who raised the profile of the National Zoo while he was the director between 1958 and 1983, died last week of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 90. The veterinarian and zoologist is credited with modernizing the zoo’s buildings, expanding its research and breeding program, and successfully lobbying to bring giant pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to Washington in 1972. Those residents helped to more than double the zoo’s annual visitors. — Read it at The New York Times
Three years ago, Smoke, a gray Pit Bull, disappeared while his owner, Eric Hough, was living in Echo Park, Calif. Hough reported his dog stolen. Then, last month, Smoke turned up at a Florida shelter, where the staff discovered he had a microchip — but Hough had moved, and his contact information was out of date. Some dedicated volunteers tracked Hough down and gave him the good news. Non-profits Missing Pet Partnership and Kindred Spirits split the cost to fly Smoke back to California, where he was reunited with Hough on Sunday. No one knows how Smoke wound up across the country, but Hough is just thankful to have him back. And Smoke? He’s happy to indulge in an old favorite: teriyaki chicken. “Never give up hope. We did it. We brought Smoke home,” said Hough. — Read it at CBS News
Mom Yuan Yuan gave birth to a tiny little girl on July 6, the zoo announced over the weekend. At less than half a pound, the cub is being bottle fed with her mom’s milk and cared for in an incubator. The Taipei Zoo says she’s showing signs that she’s healthy — including letting out “loud and strong” cries when she’s hungry, according to the zoo’s Facebook page. The newborn is the first for Yuan Yuan and her partner, Tuan Tuan. — See photo at People Pets
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