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Oct. 19, 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 cat was saved from a raging fire in an Oklahoma City apartment complex Sunday morning. Firefighters evacuated the residents, and by the time they arrived, two people had already jumped from a second-story window. The firefighters found a black cat inside, and Fire Recruit Jeremy Dunshie was able to revive it using oxygen. The residents and the cat survived the blaze, which destroyed eight families’ apartments. “Great save Recruit Dunshie!” the Oklahoma City Fire Department posted on Facebook with the photo. Investigators said the fire started when a stove in one of the apartments was left on accidentally, reported Oklahoma City’s KOCO. — Read it at North Carolina’s WFMY
Veteran Matthew Bessler and his bomb-sniffing dog, Mike, earned two Bronze Stars for their work with the Army’s Special Forces during two tours in Iraq. The retired Belgian Malinois was spending his days hunting and fishing with Bessler in a small town in Wyoming. He was a calming presence for Bessler, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and the affects of a traumatic brain injury after his 20 years in the Army. That ended just over a week ago, when Mike was shot and killed by a 59-year-old bicyclist near Bessler’s property who told police he felt threatened by the dog. The man hasn’t been cited for any wrongdoing, but neighbors say they didn’t hear barking and Bessler, who’s devastated, is questioning his story. He is also pressing for a military funeral with honors for Mike. “Mike was a retired major in the Army that saved a number of lives because of his work in bomb detection and everything he had done,” he said. A GoFundMe page that was set up to raise money for the funeral has brought in more than $13,000 in five days, quickly topping its goal of $10,000. — Read it at the Washington Post
Like so many of us, bees like to get a buzz from caffeine. New research finds that bees may choose caffeinated nectar over equally-good but uncaffeinated nectar — and that plants may be lacing their nectar with caffeine as a way of passing off lesser nectar. "We describe a novel way in which some plants, through the action of a secondary compound like caffeine that is present in nectar, may be tricking the honey bee by securing loyal and faithful foraging and recruitment behaviors, perhaps without providing the best quality forage," says Margaret Couvillon of the University of Sussex in the U.K. They said the effect of the caffeine is like “drugging,” and that the bees were more persistent in returning to sites where they’d previously found caffeinated nectar. The study was published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it from Cell Press
Klinger, a German Shepherd, is the first guide dog in the U.S. to be officially trained as a running partner for a blind person — and he’s jumped right into his job. He’s been running with Richard Hunter every day since he brought him home to California from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind center in New York. “Klinger has made such a huge difference —I'm no longer running off the path and don't have to worry about distracted drivers,” said Hunter, 48, who’s lost most of his vision since being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosaat age 22. He’s an experienced marathon runner. “Having a running guide (like Klinger) enables a person who is visually impaired to transcend the obstacle of mobility by fostering a potentially very active lifestyle,” said Thomas Panek, Guiding Eyes' president and CEO. The non-profit now hopes to train companions for other visually-impaired runners. — Read it at People Pets
A female southern white rhino was born last week at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and was cute and curious when she got the chance to explore her habitat at three days old. Little Kianga had no fear about going nose-to-nose with an adult female rhino while her mom, Kacy, watched closely. She’s the second calf for Kacy and her dad, Maoto. “Kacy is a very attentive and protective mother,” said keeper Tina Hunter. “She is fairly tolerant of the other rhinos being curious about the baby, but she is definitely keeping them at a distance. She is going to have her work cut out for her, as Kianga is rambunctious, has lots of energy and is a very curious little calf.” — Read it from the San Diego Zoo and watch her in an adorable video on YouTube
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