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Jan. 3, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Ceal the cat will soon be starting the New Year in her old home, after being found 2,000 miles away. The cat was brought to the Saginaw County Animal Care Center just before Christmas and nursed back to health. The shelter staff soon discovered that she was a California girl. Ceal had disappeared from her home six months ago. Her owner was grateful to hear she’d been found, but wasn’t sure how he could get Ceal back home because he couldn’t travel to get her. Luckily, a California family visiting Michigan heard about Ceal’s story. They plan to return to an airport just 40 minutes from Ceal’s California home this week, so they didn’t hesitate to help. “We love animals, so to reunite a pet with [her] owner, we thought we had to do it,” said Candice Kaczmarek. Ceal will make the trip with the family on Friday. — Read it at St. Louis’ Fox 2 Now
Pan Pan died at age 31 at a Chinese panda research base, after battling cancer for years. The world’s oldest male giant panda contributed to saving his species from the brink of extinction, fathering an estimated 32 cubs. He has more than 130 descendants in captivity, and is the grandfather to Bao Bao and Bei Bei, the panda cubs born in the last few years at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. — Read it at NBC News
An adorable endangered Rothschild’s giraffe calf was born on Dec. 26 at the Chester Zoo in England to first-time mom Tula. The 6-foot-tall baby was up on its feet just minutes after its birth. Keepers haven’t yet determined whether the newborn is a boy or a girl. “It really is the best Christmas gift we could have ever have wished for,” said giraffe team manager Sarah Roffe of the calf’s arrival. There are only an estimated 1,600 Rothschild’s giraffes left in the wild. The giraffe subspecies declined sharply due to poaching in the 1990s and has struggled to recover. They also face threats from habitat loss. — See photos at Zooborns
Molly the rescue dog rang in the New Year by welcoming 15 little puppies. The Pit Bull, who was pulled from a Georgia animal shelter just a week earlier, gave birth to her puppies over the course of 12 hours on New Year’s Eve in the care of You Lucky Dog Rescue. The group says it’s now looking for several more foster homes for the puppies —before they all start running around. They’ll plan to keep at least two pups in each home so they can socialize. Molly and all of the puppies will be spayed and neutered before they eventually go to adoptive homes. Both mom and puppies are doing well, the rescue says. — Read it at Atlanta’s 11 Alive
Freddy might have been born the runt of his litter, but at 4 years old, he’s more than made up for his small start. Last month, Guinness World Records gave him the title of World’s Tallest Living Dog, at 40.75 inches. Freddy, who lives in the U.K., is still a few inches shy of the tallest dog ever. That title still belongs to Zeus, another Great Dane who was 44 inches when he died at age 5 in Michigan. Freddy is quite a bit larger than his sister, Fleur, and has been known to stop traffic with his shocking size. — See photos at the Huffington Post
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