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March 4, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Overweight Kitty Tugs Hearts
Biscuit hasn’t had it easy. When he was surrendered at the City of St. Charles Animal Control shelter in Missouri, he weighed 40 pounds. “I just couldn’t believe how big he was,” said lead animal control officer Teresa Gilley. With the help of the shelter’s veterinarian and staff, he dropped to 35 pounds and was adopted, but he was returned to the shelter a year ago because his family was moving, and hasn’t been able to find a new home. Now 37 pounds, the shelter is hoping that 4-year-old Biscuit’s luck may have turned, thanks to a story about his plight in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week. According to an update on the shelter’s web site, offers to adopt Biscuit are now pouring in from around the country. His caretakers are hoping to find him the right home nearby to avoid any stress from travel. — Read it at PawNation
And they’re off! Battling fierce winds and temperatures that can drop to 50 degrees below zero, 65 sled dog teams took off over the weekend for this year’s running of the Iditarod. They made their official start in the town of Willow, Alaska, and will run 1,000 miles toward Nome, on the state’s western coast. The winner gets a new truck and $50,400 in cash. — Read it at AP via the Miami Herald
By tagging more than 2,000 fish to track their movements, biologists in Sweden and Switzerland have shown the first direct evidence that in addition to food and climate, escaping predators is a reason for animal migration. The study showed that freshwater fish like roach that commonly migrate from lakes to streams during winter had a significant survival benefit when it comes to predation from cormorant. "[This] is one of the first studies to directly quantify a predator avoidance benefit to migrants in the field," the researchers said. The study’s results were published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Science Daily
Orangutan Born in Rare C-Section
In January, vets at Zoo Atlanta had to step in and help Blaze, a 16-year-old Sumatran orangutan, deliver her infant via Caesarean section — a rare procedure for an ape. Separated from her newborn while she recovered, Mom is slowly being reintroduced to her healthy baby boy. The little one, who has not yet been named, has been cared for by a team at the zoo while getting daily visits with mom. — Watch it at Today
To mark the arrival of two Sumatran tigers at the zoo, the Zoological Society of London had a novel idea: to launch an interactive tool mapping the whereabouts of the tigers’ domestic cousins in their new city. Cat owners can upload photos, descriptions and the location of their feline friends, creating a census of London’s cats — as well as any cats living outside the city and around the world who’d like to take part. — Read it at AP via Oregon Live
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