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Jan. 6, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Two electricians rewiring lighting over Boston’s busy Interstate 93 at 1 a.m. Wednesday spotted a cat hiding on a steel beam. The two recognized the feline from missing cat fliers they’d been seeing for days. Juno’s owner was taking her to stay at a family member’s home for the holidays when she slipped out of her cage without her owner knowing. When the driver then tried to make sure his door was closed properly while driving on I-93, the 6-year-old adopted Russian Blue apparently tumbled out onto the highway. Her owners, Erin McCutcheon and James Norton, did everything they could think of to search for Juno, including hiring a dog trained to track missing pets. It was nine days later when the electricians came face-to-face with the frightened, hungry kitty, on a girder 80 feet above the road. “I couldn’t believe the cat looked remarkably good for having been hanging out on a steel beam for nine days without any food or water,” said electrician Jay Dondero. He and his coworkers lured Juno to safety with some cat food — and called her owners with the good news. “We burst into tears the second I got off the phone,” said a grateful McCutcheon. — Read it at the Boston Herald
Polar bears are facing threats from the loss of sea ice, but now scientists have found another risk in the Arctic: persistent organic pollutants. A new analysis finds the pollutants pose a risk to adult polar bears, and they are even more dangerous to their cubs. Luckily, the risk to seals was found to be low. The study was published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. — Read it at Science Daily
Conservationists are hoping that a team of dolphins who were specially trained by the U.S. Navy to locate undersea mines can help them find a few of the 60 vaquitas who remain in the wild. They want to locate some of the endangered porpoises in the Gulf of California in Mexico — the only place where they live — in an effort to relocate them and breed them in captivity. The project is scheduled to begin in the spring. — Read it at Live Science
Connor Guillet, a non-verbal 6-year-old, has quickly developed a sweet bond with a deaf 3-year-old Boxer named Ellie. Connor was born addicted to opiates and adopted when he was a month old by mom Brandi. A week before Christmas, Brandi was contacted by a rescue group in Florida about a deaf Boxer who responds to sign language. “I had a light bulb go off immediately,” Brandi said. “To think that Connor can sign to her and actually communicate with her made my heart melt.” The pair met the next day, and it was a “match made in heaven,” she said. “She was beyond gentle with him … there is something definitely special about Ellie.”The Guillets started with fostering Ellie, and she has become part of the family. They’re hoping to make it official with an adoption this week. — Read it at CBS News
A Good Samaritan who’d stopped on a dirt road in Iowa with his own dog heard desperate barks coming from the direction of the Middle River. There, he spotted 13-year-old Sam struggling to get out of the icy water. After trying unsuccessfully to rescue the Labrador mix himself, Jerry Romaine called 911 for help. Four firefighters arrived and used a boat to pull Sam from the water and bring him to shore. They then brought the lucky dog to a local veterinary clinic, where he was warmed up. Half an hour later, he was standing and wagging his tail. The vet was able to contact Sam’s owner, who was relieved he was OK and brought him home to recover. — Watch it at Iowa’s Des Moines Register
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