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August 11, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A couple who had to evacuate a California wildfire Thursday returned to the ruins of their home five days later — and found their cat, Ruthie Rosemary, had somehow survived. Debi and Jeff Brusatori had put the tabby in their car before evacuating, but she somehow escaped and they couldn’t find her. When they returned to the site, they heard a meow coming from under their burned out truck. There was Ruthie Rosemary. Firefighters aren’t sure how the cat, who’s 3 to 4 years old, survived the blaze. Ruthie Rosemary was unscathed except for some singed whiskers and eyebrows. The Fork Complex Fire, which was started by lightning strikes, has consumed more than 22,000 acres, reports the Los Angeles Times. — Read it at CBS News and see more photos on Facebook
Excitement is building in Washington, D.C., after National Zoo officials revealed Monday that giant panda Mei Xiang is showing signs of being pregnant. They detected a secondary rise in her urinary progesterone levels on July 20. That could mean the mother of two is pregnant again — or, it could mean she’s having a false pregnancy, which is common in pandas. The staff expects her to either give birth or experience the end of a pseudopregnancy within the next 30 to 50 days. Mei was artificially inseminated on April 26 and 27 with fresh sperm from her partner at the zoo, Tian Tian, and frozen sperm from a panda living in China. Mei Xiang’s youngest cub, Bao Bao, will turn 2 years old later this month. She’s also mom to 10-year-old Tian Shan, who lives in China. — Read it from Reuters via NBC News
A new study finds that two venomous frog species who live in Brazil jab their predators through bony spines in their heads — something one of the researchers found out the hard way. Biologist Carlos Jared of the Instituto Butanan was collecting specimens when one of the frogs stuck him with one of its spines. “He had intense pain radiating up the arm lasting for five hours,” said Jared’s co-author, Dr. Edmund Brodie of Utah State University. “That was the eureka moment.” Their findings were published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at The New York Times
A Spaniel named Woody was rescued after surviving a fall from the 600-foot peak of Pen y Fan in Wales Saturday. The dog had leapt over a cliff in pursuit of a stone thrown by a member of the public, and then tumbled 200 meters down as his owner watched in horror. A team of eight from the Breton Mountain Rescue was dispatched to the scene after reports that people were putting themselves in danger while trying to get to the dog. They safely got Woody off the hill on stretcher, fearing he could have spinal injuries. But X-rays and an assessment by a veterinarian showed he suffered only a broken tail and cuts and bruises and was otherwise in good health. “Woody was one of the best-behaved casualties we have brought off the mountain,” said rescue team leader David Grant. “Very well behaved, grateful, light to carry and didn’t complain once.” — Read it from BBC News
Last week, we told you about how a family from Alabama was driving to Colorado to be reunited with the 10-year-old Boxer they’d lost 9 years ago. Well, after an 18-hour drive, Lloyd Goldston and his family were greeted Saturday by a very happy dog who clearly remembered them all those years later. As Boozer smothered the family with kisses, Goldston told volunteers at the Foothills Animal Shelter that the dog “was never gone from our hearts.” Boozer went missing when the Goldstons were moving from Tennessee to Alabama and was adopted from a Boxer rescue group in Tennessee by another family. When that family moved to Colorado, they found they could no longer care for him and surrendered him to the shelter. The shelter discovered Boozer’s microchip and tracked down the Goldstons. “To say [the reunion] was emotional would be an understatement,” said the shelter’s Jennifer Strickland. “There was a real connection. It was wonderful to see.” — Watch it at ABC News
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