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June 11, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Two sheriff’s deputies were on patrol in Big Pine Key, Fla., on Saturday night when they spotted a deer with an empty bag of Doritos on its head, and stopped to help. Deputy Becky Herrin said the deer stood calmly while she and Deputy Joshua Gordon approached, and allowed them to remove the bag before it ran off. "It must have wanted that last chip in the bottom of the bag," Herrin said. Key deer are endangered and federally protected. A miniature subspecies of the white-tailed deer, it’s found only in the Lower Keys and was once close to extinction. There are now about 800 of them. — Read it at the Florida Sun Sentinel
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove the iconic gray wolf from the nation’s list of threatened and endangered species. The agency says the wolf’s population is back to a healthy level, with at least 6,100 of them across the Great Lakes and Western states. The species has already been removed from some regional lists. But the proposal faces criticism from some environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity. "This is like kicking a patient out of the hospital when they're still attached to life support," said the group’s endangered species director, Noah Greenwald. — Read it at Live Science
Scientists have named a newly discovered prehistoric lizard after the late rock star from The Doors. The Barbaturex morrisoni, weighed 60 pounds and would grow to up to 6 feet in length. "I was listening to The Doors quite a bit during the research,” said Jason Head of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places, and Jim Morrison was of course 'The Lizard King,' so it all kind of came together." The lizard species is described in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Paw Nation
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is welcoming two baby birds — an African penguin who hatched on May 8 and a Eurasian crane, who hatched on May 25. The penguin is the third offspring for longtime mates Thumbelina and Flannigan. The chick, who’s gaining independence and learning to swim with the help of zookeepers, will join the zoo’s colony in several months. Meanwhile, the crane chick was adopted thanks to two quick-thinking keepers, who slipped the egg under a female sandhill crane when its parents didn’t seem to know what to do with it. It’s now being raised by two female Florida cranes.
Dogs, cats, birds and horses weren’t the only animals displaced after a deadly tornado swept through Moore, Okla., on May 20. The Animal Resource Center took in this tiny rodent — and managed to find its owner for a sweet reunion. “Even the smallest furbaby deserves to have its family back!” said one of the people who responded to news of the reunion on the Moore Oklahoma Lost and Found Animals Facebook page. — See photo on Facebook
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