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Feb. 29, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A woman driving in San Diego County, California, on Wednesday had no idea that a stowaway had climbed into the front end of her car until Good Samaritans waved at her to pull over. She’d gone about eight miles when other drivers spotted the 5-year-old lynx point Siamese hanging out of her front bumper, dangerously close to the road. Bystanders used a crowbar to free the cat, and animal control brought it in to a veterinarian for an examination. “Amazingly, the cat is fine! And, thanks to a microchip, the cat has already been reunited with its owner (who lives next door to the car owner),” the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services posted on Facebook on Friday. — Read it at Fox 5 San Diego
Researchers spent eight years observing nearly 12,000 beluga whale “bubbling events” at Marineland Park near Toronto in an effort to find out the reasons for this behavior. They found that the whales often expelled bursts of bubbles when they were startled; pairs released streams of bubbles when they swam together; and they blew bubble rings — although males rarely did this when they were focused on breeding in the spring season. In the summer, however, they would playfully swim through their bubble rings. “This is a species that makes its own toys,” said biologist Michael Noonan of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He suggests whales use the air they need to survive to blow bubbles to engage with the world and express their curiosity. — Read it at Smithsonian Magazine
The “Everybody Wins” Oscar nominee gift bags are worth about $230,000 each, and go to those in the top five categories who didn’t walk away with the statuette on Sunday night. They contain things like extravagant trips and luxury car rentals for Hollywood’s A-list. But last year’s Best Actress winner says the only thing in it that she actually uses from the bag is a voucher from Halo, Purely for Pets, to donate 10,000 meals to animals in need. "I always donate the pet meals to an animalshelter," said Julianne Moore. Other stars including Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Robert Duvall,Barkhad Abdi and Ethan Hawke have also taken Halo up on the offer to give the food to the shelter of their choice.
A heartwarming video of a surgical assistant at the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Center snuggling a puppy as she came off anesthesia has gone viral. Meesha was “a little scared because her body felt so weird” as she was recovering from surgery, according to the caption on the video, which the shelter shared on Facebook Thursday. Surgical assistant Dennis Moses took her to a quiet hallway to comfort her, and their sweet interaction was captured on video by a shelter volunteer. “I know, I know,” he tells the whimpering puppy as he rocks and kisses her. The next day, BARCS shared an update: a photo of Meesha, who’d been renamed Maddie, cuddling comfortably with the family who’d adopted her. “Maddie is doing very well, getting comfortable here in her new home, and loves to snuggle with all of us,” her adopter commented. — Watch it at Los Angeles’ KTLA
Before the Georgetown and Butler University basketball teams faced each other on the court in Washington, D.C., Saturday, they released a cute video of their mascots, who are both Bulldogs, in a presidential race for the “Canine Party” ticket. Georgetown Jackand Butler Blue III promised to set their differences aside for the big game, which Butler ended up winning 90-87. “A species known for thousands of years by their loyalty, compassion, obedience and unconditional love,” the video says. “It’s time to elect America’s best hope, man’s best friend.” — Watch it at Sports Illustrated
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