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Jan. 7, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Kai waited outside the Ayr railroad station in Scotland Friday with his suitcase. But Kai isn’t your typical traveler. He’s a Shar Pei mix who was left at the station all alone, with his leash tied to a railing. His suitcase contained his belongings, including a pillow, toy, food bowl and food. Authorities found he had a microchip and was named Kai, but when they contacted the person he was registered to, they discovered he’d been sold online in 2013. The original owner couldn’t provide the authorities with any information about his most recent owner. They are looking for the information on the person who abandoned him because under Scottish law, if the person is found guilty they could be banned from owning animals for life. "This case highlights the potential consequences of selling an animal online as it often leads to the impulse buying of pets that people know very little about,” said the Scottish SPCA’s Stewart Taylor. “Regardless of the fact Kai was left with his belongings, this was still a cruel incident … Kai is around 2 to 3 years old and is a lovely dog with a nice nature. We will look after him until we can find him a permanent and loving home." — Read it from the Scottish SPCA
New genetic research from the U.S. Geological Survey shows recent generations of polar bears have moved toward areas with more persistent ice. The team defined four general clusters of polar bear populations: the Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. Their evidence shows a gene flow northward toward the Canadian Archipelago, which is an area with more sea ice retention. They hypothesize that the region will become a refuge for the bears based on projections of sea ice due to a warming climate. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Discovery News
It’s official: our favorite bowl game will air opposite the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIX. Team Ruff and Team Fluff will face off in Puppy Bowl XI on Sunday, Feb. 1 at 3 p.m. ET on Animal Planet. Like last year, you can create your own adorable fantasy team. This cuter version of the Super Bowl even has its own answer to the Katy Perry halftime show — it will be headlined by Katty Furry, while kittens play on the sidelines. And not to worry, the Hallmark Channel has announced Kitten Bowl II will air at 12 p.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday. — Read it at SB Nation and meet the starting lineup at Animal Planet
An animal control officer brought little Bunny to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Virginia after she was found in a bag inside a clothing donation bin at 7 weeks old. No one is sure how she wound up in that predicament, but she was quite frightened when she arrived at the shelter. Luckily, she was healthy and has really come out of her shell at her foster home. Now 3 months old, Bunny is a “total social butterfly,” the group says. She loves to follow her foster mom around and play with other cats — and even the dog — in her temporary home. She’s now available for adoption. — Find out more from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter on Facebook
A rush-hour snowstorm wreaked havoc in the Washington, D.C., area Tuesday, but at least one resident didn’t seem to mind. The National Zoo’s 1-year-old panda got her first chance to play outside in the snow — and had the time of her life. On her first snow day, Bao Bao tumbled down the hill in her enclosure like a pro, climbed the trees and pounced on her mom, Mei Xiang. — Watch it at YouTube
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