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Jan. 16, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Everyone needs a friend like this. Back in October, Seminole County Animal Services in Florida found a 2-year-old Dachshund protecting a 7-month-old paraplegic kitten by a gated driveway. The Doxie, later named Idgie, was guarding the cat, Ruth — barking and growling if someone came close. Ruth can only move by dragging herself with her front legs. “Both of them were found in fairly good shape, not filthy or malnourished, so it seems as though they probably had a home at some point,” the shelter’s Diane Gagliano told the Orlando Sentinel earlier this month. “But on the flip side, no one came and claimed them, and how could the cat get very far without the owner knowing?" The shelter had to set up a special pen to keep the two together, because Idgie was so unhappy when they were apart. Thankfully, they don’t have to worry about being separated now. Jacqueline Borum, who runs Hollywood Houndz Boutique & Spa, adopted the duo and is keeping them at the business where “everyone can enjoy them and take care of them,” she said. “They are so special!” Borum named the pair after the loyal friends in “Fried Green Tomatoes.” The story was reported in the Sentinel earlier this month and has since gone viral. — Watch it from the Orlando Sentinel via YouTube and get updates on Idgie and Ruth from Project Paw
Video footage from a group of camera-wearing alligators reveals that the predators do most of their hunting at night, even though they have the most success in the morning, say scientists from the University of Florida. The Crittercams from National Geographic were fitted on 15 adult gators from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Guana River in Florida. The footage showed the reptiles were successful at hunting prey about 50 percent of the time, and would try to attack prey up to four times in an hour. The cameras also showed that the alligators had the most hunting success when they were submerged in the water, although they would come to the surface to eat. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Live Science
Jamie Cyrwal of Maryland was visiting her mother in Maine two weeks ago when her dog, Dempsey, jumped the fence in the backyard and ran off. Cyrwal and her mother searched night and day, wearing snowshoes and setting up scent stations to lure Dempsey back, but to no avail. Then, Christine Pierce, who doesn’t know the family but lives in the area, heard a report of someone hitting a dog about a mile from her home. She had heard about Dempsey and thought it might be him, so she set out to find the injured dog. Pierce followed the tracks in the snow and found him, barely alive. “It’s really a miracle,” said Dr. Darren Richards of Madison Animal Hospital. “Nine days in the subzero temperatures that we had, and he’s not a very big dog, so he’s lucky.I think when she found him, he was probably within an hour or two of dying.” A very grateful and relieved Cyrwal has now been reunited with Dempsey, who will stay with Cyrwal’s parents in Maine until he’s well enough to travel back home. — Read it at CBS Baltimore
Rescuers took in dozens of endangered sea turtles when the water in Florida turned unseasonably cold last week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says their staff, volunteers and partners spent many hours searching for and rescuing the cold-stunned green and Kemp’s ridley turtles. “Cold-stunned turtles may float listlessly in the water or wash ashore, largely unable to move,” the FWC explained on Facebook. “In this state, they are susceptible to further effects from the weather, and to attacks by gulls that often involve eye injuries. Many of these turtles would die without human intervention.” The turtles recovered from their exposure to the cold at the Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City. By this week, the water temperatures had warmed up, allowing for their release on Tuesday. — See more photos on Facebook
Ever wondered what it was like to actually be a cat, jumping wherever you’d like and knocking over anything in your path? A new video game, “Catlateral Damage,” lets you do just that with what creator Chris Chung describes as a "first-person destructive cat simulator." The instructions are simple: “You’re a cat. Swat stuff on the floor.” Pottery, DVDs, books — it’s all fair game. — Read it and watch a trailer at NBC News
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