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Feb. 12, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Lily, a 4-year-old rescue cat, owned the catwalk at designer Tracy Reese’s New York Fashion Week show on Sunday. The Siamese Blue Point was part of an effort by Purina to show that cats can be leash-trained, though a case of nerves led to her getting a lift by a model. “As a designer, I draw inspiration from everything around me, including cats,” said Reese. “I loved the idea of incorporating cats into the runway show; cats have a lot of energy, which was the perfect complement to the models and my new line.” — Read it at AP via the Huffington Post
A new DNA analysis of 40 different bird species finds that a shift from violet and ultraviolet vision in birds has happened at least 14 times in history. Birds use their color vision to select mates, hunt for food, and to keep an eye on their predators. While human eyes have three different color receptors, birds have four, according to study co-author Anders Ödeen of Uppsala University in Sweden. “They see potentially more colors than humans do,” Ödeen said. The study’s findings were published Monday in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. — Read it at Live Science
Some zoos are providing the skittish exotic cats with their very own companion dogs, to play and help calm their nerves. "It is all about comforting and reassuring the cheetah," said Janet Rose-Hinostroza of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where four of the 19 cheetahs have dogs. "The dog always has the cat's back, but it's never the other way around. Dogs worry about their cats. They protect their cats." — Read it at AP via Yahoo
Owl Survives SUV Encounter
Last Thursday night, Sonji Coney Williams was heading south on the Florida turnpike to visit her son, when she accidentally struck a bird. She felt terrible, but didn’t stop because it was dark and she didn’t think the bird had survived. But the next afternoon, when she was out running errands, a family flagged her down in a parking lot to tell her something was stuck in the grille of her truck. The bird she struck was apparently a Great Horned Owl, who slipped through the grille and had been along for the ride ever since. Williams said she almost fainted when she saw the owl’s huge, blinking yellow eyes peering out at her. Authorities from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife service opened the hood and removed the bird, who they said appeared to be in good shape and hadn’t suffered any injuries in the adventure. — Watch it at CNN and read it at Arizona’s KVOA
When Steve Hughes went to buy an Idaho lottery ticket for a group of 33 heating and cooling workers at the University of Utah, he left his truck running so Stella, his Miniature Pinscher, wouldn’t get cold. But before he made it into the store, he realized that the dog had locked him out, so Hughes sent his girlfriend into the store while he coached Stella on how to unlock the doors. For the last 13 years, the group had played the same number in the lottery each month, but Hughes’ girlfriend played a different number — and it was a lucky one. The group hit the lottery for $1 million, and they’re thanking Stella for it. "She got a couple of big surprises when I got home," Hughes said. "She got 18-inch rawhide bones."—Read it at AP via Yahoo
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