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March 11, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Firefighter and the Three Bears
A South Carolina volunteer firefighter and his family pulled over when they spotted what they thought was a box of puppies on the side of a road. As he approached and heard squealing, Brandon Poole thought there might be piglets inside, but instead, he found three baby bears. Poole and his family brought the cubs to the firehouse, where he called the game warden. Although his young daughters were angling to keep the cute cubs, Poole made sure the animals were put into expert hands. One of the cubs went to a state park in Charleston and the other two to a Knoxville, Tenn., rescue group. “I’m trained to save lives, so it felt real good to me to help the bears,” Poole said. — Watch it at CNN
Jilly, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (PBGV), topped 20,000 other dogs to win the coveted Crufts Best in Show title in the U.K. on Sunday. The 4-day show takes place in Birmingham, England. Also known by her official name, Soletrader Peek A Boo, the 4-year-old is "a fun dog, happy, a very active and busy little dog, they're like that as a breed so she's always on the go,” said breeder Gavin Robertson, according to the Irish Independent. — See photo at BBC News
While it was already known that rats sniff other rats to find out information about their gender, health and diet, new research finds that the act of sniffing itself might have a social function. Face sniffing allows the rodents to confirm their hierarchical status and to maintain order, found researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "When animals come face-to-face with each other, they more or less have to be on their best behavior, otherwise they risk getting hurt," said researcher David Wesson. The findings were published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at Live Science via Yahoo
Former President Paints Puppies
Recently, leaked emails revealed that former President George W. Bush has become a painter. Now, we’re learning more about his talent — including his favorite subjects. “He started off painting dogs. I think he said he’s painted 50 dogs,” laughed Bonnie Flood. For six hours a day, over the course of a month, Flood worked on Bush’s painting skills with him in Florida. She says the president, who signs his works “43” (he was the nation’s 43rd president), finally moved out of his comfort zone of painting canines to paint more landscapes. “He has such a passion for painting,” Flood said. Bush's dog Barney, who was with him at the White House, passed away last month at age 12. — Watch it at Atlanta’s Fox 5 via ABC News
At the famed South by Southwest conferences in Austin, everyone is flocking to see one big celebrity: Grumpy Cat. Huge crowds have been standing in line for hours — even in wind and rain — for the chance to have their photo snapped with the sourpuss, who was brought to the festival by Mashable. “I’ve seen a lot of pop-cultural Web sensations rise and fall in my day, but I have never seen people wait two hours in the spitting rain for the chance to be photographed next to a sleeping cat,” writes Salon’s Andrew Leonard. — Read it at Salon
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