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July 31, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A prequel to last summer’s cult hit film “Sharknado,” the Syfy channel’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One” is taking the country by storm. In the movie, which debuted last night, angry sharks get sucked up by tornadoes and fall on the city. Now, the ASPCA has released a much cuter (and less gory) spoof of the over-the-top cheesy flicks: "Barknado." In the clever video, the massive storm picks up adoptable dogs and gently places them at the feet of a prospective adopter. “The only way to stop it ... is to adopt it,” says the narrator. "Barknado" kicks off the ASPCA’s Bark Week (its answer to the Discovery Channel's Shark Week), from August 4-9. During Bark Week, the group’s social media team will share silly photos and videos of adoptable pets dressed as sharks. — Watch it at the ASPCA
Biologists say a dedicated mother octopus off the coast of California guarded her eggs continuously for four and a half years. Her action blew away the previous octopus gestation record of 14 months and even beat the alpine salamander, who keeps offspring internally for four years. The researchers made 18 visits over four and a half years to observe the octopus guarding the same eggs. The team last saw the mom in September 2011. When they returned a month later, they found the remains of the egg casings, which is a sign of successful hatching. "The results we measured substantially exceeded everyone's expectations,” said Bruce Robison, a senior biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and co-author of the study published in PLOS ONE. — Read it at Scientific American
Florida panthers were once on the brink of extinction, but with their population recovering, farmers have been complaining that the cats are attacking their calves. Now a study from a University of Florida researcher hired by federal wildlife officials confirms that the panthers are killing calves in an area where the panthers are thriving. The cats are protected by the Endangered Species Act, so the farmers can do little to stop them. The study’s findings can be used by wildlife managers to find ways to compensate farmers for their losses. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo
When Matt Clayton was getting ready to leave his home in Australia on Sunday, his newly adopted cat, Tilly, stopped him. He says she kept looking at him and then looking at the ceiling and meowing persistently. Finally, Clayton poked at the ceiling and smoke came pouring out. “If Tilly the cat wasn’t here, it would have been a catastrophe for sure,” said fire chief Ken Campbell. If it hadn’t been for Tilly, who was adopted three weeks ago from the RSPCA, Campbell said the smoldering compressed straw insulation could have engulfed the home in just 20 minutes. — Read it at People Pets
Last month, a concerned citizen called the Secret World Wildlife Rescue in England when she noticed a mother hedgehog move some of her babies but leave two behind. At first, the center said the mother would likely come back for them when she heard their cries. When she didn’t return, the caller was asked to bring the tiny babies to the Secret World. Named Huffy and Puffy, the hedgehog siblings were only days old. They got round-the-clock care, with feedings every two hours. Now, a month later, Huffy and Puffy have been weaned, and the Secret World plans to release them into the wild before the end of the summer. — See photos at Today
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