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2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Sadly, Chester, the senior
dog who was terminally ill when he was adopted by a Georgia woman, died Friday. Nicole Elliot wanted to help
Chester fulfill his bucket list when she took him in on June 27. She documented his little adventures, including a shopping spree and a dip in a stream, on his Facebook page,
Chester’s Final Journey — and his bittersweet story made headlines last week. "I am so sad to tell everyone that my sweet baby Chester has left this world," Elliot posted on Facebook Friday. "I am heartbroken, but at the same time I wouldn't have wanted it any other way … I know without a doubt Chester died knowing that he mattered. He knew love." She said she hopes Chester’s story has inspired other people to adopt
dogs who might not have the easiest time finding a family. Elliot has worked with
Animal Ark Rescue on a
campaign to help dogs like Chester, and has raised nearly $16,000 so far. — Read it at
A stunning new series of pictures by nature photographer Jeff Cremer captures a mother Harpy eagle and a cute little chick in their nest, towering high above the Peruvian rainforest. "It's about as rare as seeing a unicorn," Cremer said of his find. The massive
birds of prey can stand up to 3 feet tall and have a wingspan reaching 6 feet, and they are able to hunt in deadly silence. The location of their nests makes it difficult to spot them. After Cremer saw the mother
bird flying to her nest, which was about 100 feet up in an ironwood tree, he and his team used special climbing gear to get the photos. — Read it at
Until now, scientists studying leopards in the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia haven’t been able to tell the jet-black
cats apart, which hinders research and
conservation efforts. But a new technique has allowed researchers from
James Cook University in Australia to see the hidden spots. Usually, the flashes on remote cameras in the area are only activated at night. But by blocking the light sensors on the cameras, the flash goes off — and captures pictures revealing the leopards’ complex patterns. "We found we could accurately identify 94% of the animals," said Dr. Gopalasamy Reuben Clements. "This will allow us to study and monitor this population over time, which is critical for its
conservation." — Read it at
On Friday afternoon, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wasn’t the one standing at the podium and exploring his desk. For the second year in a row, Murray allowed City Hall to become Kitty Hall for an hour, and 11 adorable kittens from the Seattle Animal Shelter happily took over. Shelter director Don Jordan said running city hall was a perfect fit for felines. "They stand firm on their beliefs and fight hard for what they want," Jordan said. "Though they are known to ignore their constituents if it suits them." The idea of the event was to get people excited about adopting
cats, and it seemed to work. There was a long line of citizens waiting outside City Hall to play with the kittens during their visit. — Read it at the
For several days, rafting guides on the Nolichucky River in Tennessee worried about a 5-month-old bear cub who they repeatedly saw alone on the riverbanks. On Thursday, the cub climbed aboard one of the rafts. Guide Danny Allen took her downstream and called
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers. The cub, who was named Noli for the river where she was rescued, is now being rehabilitated by the
Appalachian Bear Rescue. She was severely dehydrated and suffered from other heat-related problems, but she’s making progress. The rescue plans to release her back into the wild once she’s healthy and has reached 50 pounds. — Read it from
Reuters via Yahoo and see photos on
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