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Nov. 25, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Eight days after a dog became trapped in the world’s largest manmade hole, emergency workers were finally able to pull her to safety in an elaborate rescue operation on Saturday. It’s still unclear how the dog wound up in the 700-foot deep former diamond mine in South Africa known as Big Hole. Tourists spotted her swimming back and forth across the pool of water at the bottom more than a week ago. She found a ledge to rest on, and people helped her survive by throwing her food. After several attempts to rescue the pup, nicknamed Underdog, failed, the private medical company ER24 sent a team of seven workers to the scene. They performed a 5-hour rescue using ropes and pulleys to bring her to safety. “Considering what it has been through, the dog does not show any signs of dehydration or starvation, nor did we see any injuries,” said emergency worker Albert Hensburg. According to updates from ER24 on the company’s Twitter feed, Underdog is doing well and will be discharged from the vet today. Hundreds of adoption applications have been filed with offers to give her a new home. — Read it at the U.K.’s Metro
Mila, an African elephant, lived at a New Zealand zoo when she accidentally killed Helen Schofield, a well-known veterinarian there. Schofield was in Mila’s enclosure at the Franklin Zoo to bring her fruit and tripped on the way out in April 2012. The elephant picked her up in her strong trunk and didn’t respond to commands to put her down, but investigators ruled the incident accidental. Witnesses say she was trying to protect Schofield. After the incident, the zoo’s trustees decided to close the facility and find new homes for its animals. With no regional options available, the San Diego Zoo agreed to take Mila, 40, who’s a former circus elephant. Schofield’s sister, Jenny Chung, made the long journey to California with nine other New Zealanders known as Team Mila. "She never meant to hurt Helen, I'm convinced of that," Chung said. "She's lovely and she deserves to live like an elephant." Mila will be in quarantine until tests show she doesn’t have tuberculosis, a disease common in elephants. The goal is to eventually introduce her to the rest of the herd at the San Diego Zoo. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times
Last week, we told you about 8-month-old puppies Jermaine and Jeffrey, who were found on the streets of Philadelphia. Jeffrey is blind and Jermaine has made himself his brother’s guide dog. After a photo of the two cuddling at naptime went viral, thousands of offers to adopt the pair poured in to the rescue group Operation Ava. Today, the Pit Bull mixes will be headed home for the holidays with Jonathan Hochman and Veronica McKee, who live in nearby Springfield, Pa. “I thought these are the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen,” McKee said. “They’re incredibly sweet, but they still have that sibling rivalry. There's this sharing thing. It’s pretty funny … I have a feeling we're going to get as much out of it as they are.” — Read it at Today
It was already clear from her twerking performance with Robin Thicke at the VMAs that singer Miley Cyrus knows how to make a video go viral. Last night, she added extra assurance by adding an enormous cat projected on a screen behind her at the American Music Awards while she sang Wrecking Ball. The kitty appeared to lip synch along with the star, who was sporting felines on her costume. There was no explanation for the cat’s appearance in Cyrus’ breakup ballad. — Watch it at Entertainment Weekly
Little Chiidax is doing well at the Alaska SeaLife Center after a rough start. The northern fur seal pup was left in a box outside the Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices on July 24, with a note saying his mother must have died during his birth. He was underweight at 9.5 pounds when he arrived at the Alaska SeaLife Center, but he’s now doubled his weight and is making the switch from a diet of formula to fish. Chiidax has also molted his dark pup coat and is now cream and brown colored. He’s the first of his species, which spends most of its life at sea, to be rehabilitated at the center. Because they don’t know where Chiidax came from, his rescuers don’t know where to release him. So, once he’s ready, he’ll be moving to the New England Aquarium, which is home to the largest population of northern fur seals in North America, reports the Alaska Dispatch. — See more photos on Facebook
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