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Nov. 30, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
One last time, the first family’s dogs are a big part of the White House’s extravagant Christmas decorations this year. The first dogs have often inspired the White House’s Christmas displays during their years in Washington. This year, the photogenic Portuguese Water Dogs are portrayed with larger-than-life-sized replicas made from 25,000 yarn pom-poms. The Bo and Sunny likenesses in the East Wing hallway appear alongside dog-themed ornaments and toys like tennis and soccer balls. Miniature versions of the dogs playing in front of the giant gingerbread White House were on display in the State Room, and the pair even appeared in sugar cookie form on a platter with other treats during an event for military families on Tuesday. The dogs themselves delighted children when they helped Michelle Obama welcome the families to their home. — See more photos at the Washington Post
Gracie didn’t hesitate to race up a tree when she was returned to the wild at Columbey National Park in Australia last week. The 4-year-old koala broke her hind leg when she was hit by a car. She was treated at Port Stephens Koalas in New South Wales, where she had a pin put in her leg and had to wear a cast for six weeks. “I reckon she’ll take off like nobody’s business,” her rescuer can be heard saying in a video of Gracie’s release. She was right. The koala immediately hopped out of her laundry basket and onto the tree. “Nothing wrong with your broken leg anymore, is there? You’re just fine … You’re home.” — Watch it at The Western Australian via Yahoo
An endangered Coquerel’s Sifaka was born on Oct. 25 at the Maryland Zoo. The baby is the fifth offspring for 12-year-old mom Anastasia (Ana) and 14-year-old dad Gratian. “Ana is a very good mother and the baby is growing rapidly,” said the zoo’s Erin Cantwell. The baby’s gender isn’t yet known. “By December, the baby should begin to sample solid food and crawl on Ana’s back periodically. Before the New Year, when the baby is six to eight weeks old, he or she will begin to venture a few feet away from Mom, which is always nerve-wracking for us, but exciting for guests to watch.” — See photos at Zooborns
Amy Weasel, her 11-year-old son Bryant and his service dog flew smoothly with American Airlines from Indiana to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a vacation last week. But on the last leg of their journey home on Thanksgiving Day, Weasel says a flight attendant and management asked them to get off the plane in Charlotte, North Carolina. Bryant has Dravet Syndrome, which results in seizures, and Chug, his Labradoodle service dog, is trained to detect the seizures before they happen. He goes everywhere with Bryant, including to school. When she planned their vacation, Bryant’s mom says she called American Airlines and submitted the required paperwork to bring Chug on board before their trip. But the group was still asked to get off their flight and was rebooked onto another flight leaving the next day to St. Louis, Missouri, which is three hours from their home. “It was just very unfortunate that this flight attendant was not trained in knowing how to accommodate people with special needs,” says Weasel. American Airlines apologized to Weasel in a statement and says it is “looking into the issue with PSA Airlines, the regional carrier who operated that flight.” — Read it at St. Louis’ KSDK
A heartwarming new video shows the rescue of a protective mama dog from under a shopping cart where she was living in the Los Angeles area. Caring neighbors left her food and water but said she wouldn’t let them get close enough to take her in. The experienced rescuers from the non-profit Rescue from the Hart were called, and slowly worked to gain Bailey’s trust. They eventually were able to remove her from the area. Bailey’s rescuers cleaned her up and were there to help her when she gave birth to five puppies a few weeks later. She proved to be a great mom, and now all of her pups — and Bailey herself — have been adopted into happy homes. — Watch it at YouTube
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