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August 25, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Dozens of villagers gathered around when a baby elephant fell into an uncovered well in southern India and became trapped recently. The dry wells pose a frequent danger to animals and people in the area, who sometimes fall in and can’t get out. Luckily, there was a digging machine nearby. A worker used it to create a path out of the hole, allowing the calf to climb up and out of danger on his own. The large crowd of onlookers cheered loudly as he made his way to freedom. — Watch it from Reuters via Science Daily
Using a technique recently developed to treat cleft palates in children, a pediatric surgeon and a veterinary specialist were able to help a 9-month-old mixed breed puppy. "Mr. Moo was particularly difficult because he actually had absolutely no soft palate at all," said Dr. Bryden Stanley, head of surgery for small animals in the Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Stanley got the help of Dr. John Girotto, a pediatric plastic surgeon and associate professor in the university’s College of Human Medicine. The surgeons said the operation, which took place in May, could benefit children as well. Dogs grow so much faster that they will be able to see the long-term outcome of the procedure much more quickly. — Read it at Michigan Live
Several potentially new species were discovered during a recent 18-month expedition to Bolivia's Madidi National Park, including a “robber frog” with gold-rimmed eyes that’s so small it could fit in the palm of a child’s hand, said the Wildlife Conservation Society. "As soon as we saw these frogs' distinctive orange inner thighs, it aroused our suspicions about a possible new species, especially because this habitat has never really been studied in detail before Identidad Madidi," the expedition, said James Aparicio, a herpetologist at the Bolivian Faunal Collection. Still, further testing is needed to confirm that it’s a new species. They also found a bat with a record-long tongue, a gladiator frog and a spectacled lizard. — Read it at Live Science
Most of the work done by JJ, a 4-year-old Golden Retriever who works as a therapy dog at a hospice facility in Oregon, is never seen by the public because of privacy concerns. But recently, her handler, registered nurse Tracy Calhoun, reposted a February 2014 video of JJ comforting a patient there, and it quickly went viral. In the video, JJ lays in the woman’s hospital bed with her while a man’s voice can be heard reading a W.B. Yeats poem. JJ has a Facebook page that’s written in her own voice. In her description, she says, “This is a lady who has very few people to visit her. She cannot see and often does not wake up, but she did like having her hand on my fur ... We fell asleep later with her hand splayed on my head, both of us snoring (but not proof of that!).” Calhoun said JJ works 12-hour shifts with her at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House in Albany, Oregon, and was certified as a therapy dog by Project Canine. “The depth of the response to the video is amazing, as well as heart-warming," said Calhoun. — Watch it at Fox News
Lakeland, Florida, firefighters saved two tiny lives Monday, in two separate incidents. First, a man arrived at the station saying he could hear meowing coming from the wheel well of his car. After the kitten survived a 5-mile ride in the car’s engine, firefighter Daniel Ivancevich pulled him to safety. Bryson was uninjured and taken to SPCA Florida. Later that same day, another kitten was found in a box left behind their station. That kitten was named Sparky and was also taken to the SPCA, where he was warmed up and fed. Both kittens are about a month old and are headed to foster care for now, but will be available for adoption. — Watch it at My Fox Tampa Bay
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