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Dec. 22, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
An elderly, blind dog is free from a deep well in a field in Bosnia after being trapped inside for months, thanks to a pair of international animal rescuers. It’s unclear whether the dog fell into the well or if someone put him in there, but he survived thanks to a group of children. "We’re certainly hoping that he fell, but with the dog being completely blind, he was only kept alive because the local children were kind enough to feed him,” said Laura Simpson, founder of the Harmony Fund in Massachusetts, which posted video of the rescue. "Surprisingly, the dog is in fairly good physical condition." Bosnian rescuer Fahrudin Caki Bravo and his friend Ratko Koblar traveled 125 miles to the site and lifted the dog, who they named Christmas, from the well, they wrote on Facebook. “No hole too deep. No space too dark. We will come for you,” reads a graphic in the rescue video. Christmas got veterinary treatment and is now in foster care. — Watch it at ABC News
Two subspecies of lions — one living in eastern and southern African and another found in western and central African and India — will get endangered status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday. Only about 1,400 of the Panthera leo leo subspecies remain in the wild, while there are an estimated 17,000 to 19,000 individuals of the Panthera leo melanochaita subspecies left. Beginning in a month, the U.S. import of any live lion specimen, products or hunting trophies will require a permit issued by the FWS. — Read it at Live Science
New research finds that many birds have the ability to instantly adjust their color so they never lose their vividness with age. Bird feathers are made of a nanostructured spongy keratin material, like human hair or fingernails. Using X-ray scattering, researchers found the birds could fine-tune their colors all along the length of a single feather by manipulating the size of holes in the sponge-like material. The process means the birds never go gray with age, and their color doesn’t change due to their diet. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Discovery News
A heartwarming video captures the moment when a veteran who’d been hospitalized for a heart attack learns he will get his beloved dogs back. The man, who hasn’t been identified, had to give Bailey and Blaze up to the First State Animal Center and SPCA in Delaware, when there was no one to take care of them while he went into the hospital in September. The shelter, which is located inside a Petsmart store, was supposed to take care of the dogs temporarily, but after weeks had passed, they had to be put up for adoption. Now that he’s able to care for his dogs again, he was determined to gather the $250 in adoption fees he’d need to bring them back home. But staff members touched by the man’s love of his dogs worked together with volunteers to raise the money and buy food and other supplies for the dogs. When the man returned to say he needed a few more days to get the money, he was told it wasn’t necessary — the dogs were his. "It had everyone in tears," adoption counselor Lindsay Carrothers said of his joyous reunion with Bailey and Blaze. "You could just feel the love those dogs had for him.And there shouldn't have been anything, especially money, that should've stood in his way to getting his family back." — Watch it at the Huffington Post
A Delta flight attendant was clearly surprised to find a cat wandering around in the galley of an airplane during a flight. A video of the attendant trying to deal with the wayward feline that was shared on YouTube has gone viral. "Ok! Whose-ever cat this is, please come, wake them up if you see them with the cat carrier, I need them to come and get their pet,” she says over the airplane’s loudspeaker. The attendant later says that she has a cat herself, but was nervous of this one since she didn’t know it. Other passengers, and eventually the owner, made their way to back of the plane to collect the curious cat. — Watch it at the U.K.’s Mirror
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