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Dec. 2, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Cara Esau brought her sons an early Christmas surprise Monday: their Australian Shepherd, Pippin, who’d been missing for a year. Cameras were rolling as Esau walked into her house with Pippin, shocking her boys, who got more and more excited to see their missing pet as the reality of her return sunk in. The pooch wiggled happily and gave her family kisses. "I was blasted with emotions at first," said Timothy Esau. "It was really confusing, my mind was swirling. I kept thinking, is this a dream? I just didn't know." His brother agrees. "I was so excited, it was the best time of my life. I'm so glad to have Pippin back, I've missed her so much," said Aaron. Pippin was reported stolen from the front of a store on Dec. 14, 2014. Police were called to a home Monday where there was a dog who met Pippin’s description. Once they confirmed it was her through her microchip, the woman who had her was arrested and charged. But the Esau family says that for now, they’re choosing not to focus on what happened, and are just glad that Pippin is home, safe and sound. — Watch it at Oregon’s Fox 12
We have another very happy dog to tell you about. Last Friday, Edward Emmerich and his Belgian Malinois, Duke, became trapped in floodwaters in McKinney, Texas. Emmerich, who’s homeless and had been living in an encampment with Duke, clutched his dog in the water while trying to call 911. Rescuers pinged his cell phone to determine his location, and hoisted both Emmerich and Duke from the water. That’s when Duke showed his gratitude. "His feet hit the ground and he almost instantly went towards the firefighter that had saved him, jumped all over him, licked all over him," photographer Michael O'Keefe, who witnessed the scene, told NBC DFW."It was real touching to watch.” O’Keefe captured heartwarming photos of the scene. Emmerich is a construction worker, and one of his clients is now allowing him and his dog to stay at the home he’s working on. — See photos at the Huffington Post
Researchers in France say they believe the results of their experiment suggest macaques are aware of the emotional state of other macaques and show empathy toward them in some circumstances. In the experiments, 14 pairs of monkeys were placed opposite one another and were able to take turns picking an icon on a screen to offer their partner a sip of juice as a reward or a puff of air into the eyes as a punishment. They then tracked their eye movements and blink rate as signals of social engagement. They found most of the monkeys gave rewards freely but weren’t inclined to punish their peers. The researchers noted a link between social gazing and granting a reward, suggesting the monkeys were aware of what they were doing. The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at Phys.org
An injured red-tailed hawk was saved from a street in lower Manhattan near a construction site Monday by New York City firefighters. The bird was spotted by construction workers, who asked the crew at a nearby firehouse for help. The firefighters, including one who is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, gently wrapped the bird in a sheet and scooped it up. They brought it back to the firehouse to give it care. The bird appeared to be in good spirits, reported NBC New York, but it was unclear whether it was well enough to be released. The rescue came just a day after the NYPD saved another hawk from the East River. — Read it at the New York Post
In a sweet new video, a baby elephant stuck in a watering hole is pulled to safety by an adult. According to Wild Wings Safaris, which posted the video on YouTube, the rest of the herd had left after getting a drink in the watering hole, but the calf was struggling to climb out. As the calf’s mother was having trouble helping her baby, the rest of the herd returned, and an older female lent a helping trunk, the group said on Facebook. — Watch it at YouTube
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