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Oct. 17, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Baby Elephant Adores His New Mom
Moses the elephant was just a few weeks old when he was found orphaned at the Vwazi Wildlife Reserve in Malawi in February, but the national parks there didn’t have the funds to raise him. So Jenny Webb, the founder of the Jumbo Foundation, an orphanage for large animals, took him in. Now the 7-½-month-old boy sleeps on a mattress in the dining room with Webb, in her Lilongwe, Malawi, home. And just like with a human newborn, Webb has to get up about every two hours at night to give Moses — who tips the scales at 220 pounds — a bottle. This infant drinks about 6.3 gallons of a special formula each day.
Moses loves to snuggle with Webb, and he socializes with her dogs. “We think of elephants as big, strong creatures but they are very emotional,” said Webb. “Moses picks up on my feelings. If I am sad, he is nurturing. If I am angry, he quickly gets upset.” Webb hopes to reintroduce Moses to life in the wild when he’s about 5 years old. But for now, she’ll continue to care for him, including covering his hide with a blanket to protect him from the sun — emulating the way an elephant mom would shield her baby by standing over him. — Read it and see the photos from the AP via Today
The 1-month-old cub met the media for the first time at the Leon Zoo on Monday — and he was more than ready to pose for cameras. The newborn is part of a rare subspecies of lions, and he gets his snowy white coat from a color mutation. — See the photo at People Pets
There’s been a squirrel population boost in some patches of the country, and fruit growers are feeling the pinch. At Vermont orchards, for example, squirrels wait until the apples are just about ready for picking, and then swarm in to eat half of a tree’s fruit. What’s behind the boom? Biologists say that squirrel populations have rare but periodic "eruptions," which are tied to weather conditions that produce abundant food for the animals, who are then quick to reproduce. — Read it at the AP via ABC News
15-Year-Old Dog Survives Two Months in the Wild
Mike Stotts and his dog, Romeo, went camping at a Santa Fe, N.M., park in August. One morning, Stotts woke up to find that his senior Golden Retriever mix had managed to get out of their tent, and had disappeared. After three days of searching for Romeo, Stotts accepted what park rangers had been telling him — the dog couldn’t have survived without food or water in the summer heat. But 66 days later, he got a call that a couple had found his best friend near the park. Romeo had lost about a third of his body weight, and had suffered an injury to his ear, but he was happy to be reunited with his owner on Tuesday. “If anyone was expecting him to be all kissy-face, that was never him,” said Stotts. “But I know he was glad to see me." — Watch it at Texas’ KXAN
Tallon Nightwalker, 16, has grand ambitions. The Fort Collins, Colo., teen has a goal of having his photo taken with every animal species on the planet. He started his quest when he was about 5 years old, and so far, his dad has captured pictures of Tallon with 840 animals. Only about 25,000 more to go! Tallon’s father, who works at a wildlife sanctuary, says that the project has brought the two closer together — and he hopes that the attention his son brings the animals might help save some of them. — Read it at the Denver Post
Last month, we told you about how Larry, the “chief mouser” at London’s famed No. 10 Downing Street, had to start sharing his title with Freya, a tabby who belongs to Chancellor George Osborne. Apparently, the cats don’t always get along. This week, the two had to be separated after they were photographed having a real catfight on the front step of the famed address. — Read it at the U.K.’s Telegraph
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