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Nov. 25, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
An Indianapolis family has a four-legged best friend to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. They’re crediting Shadow, a Labrador Retriever-Terrier mix, with saving them from a fire that started early Tuesday morning, while the family was asleep in the home. Shadow, who’s pregnant, nudged Dallas Bailey awake when a fire started with a space heater near the foot of his bed. Dallas ran out of the room to tell the rest of his family, who all got out safely. Officials say the fire caused about $70,000 in damage to the home, and the Red Cross is working to help the family find a place to stay. “She's amazing for doing that," Dallas’ brother Thaylon Bailey said of Shadow. “I’m thankful for her,” said his mom, Theresa. — Watch it at The Indy Channel
Wildlife officials in Florida rescued an emaciated 4-month-old panther kitten in Naples early this month. They believe her mom was struck and killed by a car. Florida Fish and Wildlife received several reports about the kitten, and they were able to lure her in to a trap in order to help her. The kitten is now staying behind the scenes at the Naples Zoo while the FWC works to find her a permanent home. Sadly, said she won’t be able to return to the wild because she was orphaned at such a young age. — Read it at CBS Miami
Endangered African penguins have been paired at zoos based on recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ species survival program. That’s usually based on which of the birds are least related to each other. But in reality, the penguins’ preferences rarely align with the AZA’s plans. That means it’s up to their keepers to try to convince certain birds they’re a good match for each other, while distracting them from other potential partners. “Some people would say that’s not fair or nice, because you’re taking a bond that has previously formed and you’re breaking it up, but we’re not seeing any negative repercussions to it whatsoever,” said Glenn Dobrogosz, director of the Greensboro Science Center in North Carolina. “Their new bonds seem to be happy. They’re getting along, they’re building nests together, they’re cooperating, they’re switching off laying on the eggs. Ultimately, 10, 20, 30 years down the road, it’s better for the species.” — Read it at The New York Times
After spending nearly half of her life with her beloved Jackie, heartbroken tennis star Serena Williams shared an emotional tribute to her 16-year-old dog on Instagram. Williams said she was 17 when she brought the Jack Russell Terrier home, just two weeks before she won her first Grand Slam. “She had a way of telling me it was time for me to be brave and let her go. With my dad by my side we were able to say a loving goodbye ... I feel so lucky to have such a special friend. Give your dog, cat, pet a big hug,” she posted Tuesday, with several photos of Jackie. Condolences have been pouring in from her followers. — Read it at People Pets
A critically endangered Sumatran tiger cub was born Nov. 14 at Zoo Miami. The baby boy has been in seclusion with his first-time mom, Leeloo, since his birth, and the zoo says it’s been taking extra precautions to help the two establish a strong bond. They plan to allow the cub to remain isolated with Leeloo with little or no contact from the staff for the next several weeks. There are believed to be fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. — See photos from Zoo Miami on Facebook and see more cute zoo baby photos
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