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March 9, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
An adorable baby two-toed sloth now clings to a stuffed animal for comfort after apparently falling out of an almond tree on a beach in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. A local couple was walking on the beach when they saw something tiny and white moving under the tree, and realized it was a baby sloth. Unable to find the little one’s mother, they rescued it and brought it to the Sloth Sanctuary. Thinking the baby was a girl, they named it Ashley. A veterinary exam later revealed it was a boy, so his name was shortened to Ash. “Ash is doing great and is seen here relaxing in the Costa Rican sun!” the sanctuary said in a Facebook post with his picture Tuesday. — Read it at Sloth Sanctuary Costa Rica
A DNA analysis has confirmed that two grey seal pups who were abandoned by their mother on a beach in England in December are in fact twins. The two, who were named R2-D2 and C-3PO after the Star Wars robots, have made history. They’re the world’s first known instance of twin grey seals born in the wild. "It must happen in the wild from time to time, but we have never had knowledge of wild grey seal twins," said Anne Kirstine Frieof the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, which conducted the DNA testing. Instances of grey seal pups had only been known to occur in captivity before this pair was found. Since they were abandoned, the duo has been cared for at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Hospital. They’ll be released back into the wild once they’ve gained enough weight. — Read it at the Washington Post
A new study finds songbirds like Japanese great tits combine their tweets with distinct meanings to make more complex sentences. Researchers said the birds appear to have created their own structured language. “Japanese great tits can combine different ‘words’ to send a compound message,” said lead author Toshitaka Suzuki. Previously, only humans were thought to have the ability to combine distinct elements of their vocalizations and extract a compound meaning from them. The study was published in the journal Nature. — Read it at Discovery News
Two rare clouded leopard cubs are getting around-the-clock care at the new veterinary hospital at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. The male and female cubs were born on Feb. 29, and the staff decided to hand raise them after their mother stopped caring for them. They’re doing well and are expected to open their eyes and start to move around in the next few weeks. — Read it and watch it at YouTube
Move over, Derek Hough: Bindi Irwin has a new partner. The 17-year-old Dancing With the Stars champion showed off her sweet Pug puppy in a short video on Instagram on Monday. “Meet Stella. The newest edition to our little family,” she wrote in the caption. “At 10 weeks old, she's already melting hearts.” The puppy lives with Irwin and her family at the Australia Zoo, where her late dad, famed “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, worked until his death 10 years ago. — Watch it at People Pets
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