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Jan. 11, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Mary the Beagle had been missing from her Utah home for two days when her owner spotted her — on an 800-foot mountainside. The owner called his neighbor, who works with Utah County Search and Rescue, and a team climbed through icy conditions to reach Mary on Friday. They were expecting the dog to be happy to see them, but she was so stressed that she wouldn’t come near her rescuers, despite many tries, like offering her treats and having her owner speak to her over a radio. With darkness growing and fearing that Mary would jump if they tried to grab her, the team left her with an emergency kit including food, warmers and blankets, and planned to come back in the morning. When they returned on Saturday, Mary had come down from the cliff herself, and was OK despite some minor injuries. She’s now back home and recovering. — Watch it at ABC Montana
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a plan to try to save Arctic polar bears from the threat of extinction as global warming melts their icy habitat. The plan’s first priority is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which come from the burning of fossil fuels and contribute to a warming climate. “Make no mistake; without decisive action to address Arctic warming, the long-term fate of this species is uncertain,” said Greg Siekaniec, Alaska Regional Director of the FWS. The plan also calls for reducing conflicts between the bears and humans and minimizing the risks of contamination from oil spills. — Read it at Seeker
The rusty-patched bumblebee, which was once common across the continental United States, is now the first bumblebee to be added to the endangered species list. The seven bees that were previously listed are all found only in Hawaii. The rusty-patched bumblebee’s population has plunged by 90 percent since the late 1990s as a result of factors including exposure to pesticides, climate change, habitat loss and disease. The new designation will improve efforts to protect the bumblebees’ habitat and reduce the use of the pesticides that are killing them. — Read it at The New York Times
While making his rounds during a snowstorm in Cache, Utah, on Friday, Sam McGregor spotted a freezing kitten lying on the ground. “I reached down to pick her up, and she just looked up at me. I couldn't just leave her like that and put her back in the cold,” McGregor said. He wrapped her in his jacket, rushed her into the heated cab of his truck, and got her to the Cache Humane Society for help. Once his shift was over, he returned to the shelter to check on little Sue, the staff said. “Once she was warmed up a little, she was definitely hungry,” said executive director Stacey Frisk. “She blew through two cans of wet cat food in no time. She was so enthusiastic about eating even though she was so exhausted. She even fell asleep in her food bowl.” McGregor insists he’s not a hero. “I just saw someone who needed my help,” he said. — Read it at UPI
Everything the dog passed away nearly two years ago, but she’s still making a difference in the world. You may remember the story from the first anniversary of her death, when her grieving owner, Chris Sontag-Ratti, promised to send a tennis ball to any dog owner who wanted one so they could create lasting memories with their pet, as he did with Everything. That inspired Dan’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in New York to pay the kindness forward. They collected 4,000 tennis balls and invited two lucky rescue dogs to a swim session surrounded by all the balls in memory of Everything. Now, they’re offering to send bags of the tennis balls to animal shelters across the country so dogs waiting to find a home can have some fun, too. — Read it at People Pets
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