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Dec. 9, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Cooper, an American Bulldog, will soon travel 1,500 miles back to his Florida home from New Hampshire, where he was found. Two Salem, New Hampshire, residents found Cooper wandering the streets without a collar on Nov. 30. Animal control officer Corie Bliss scanned the pooch’s microchip and found his owner, Julie Shields, who was shocked that her dog was so far away. Cooper had escaped his fenced-in yard in June, and no one is sure how he got to New Hampshire. The Shields family is sending Cooper a care package with a new collar and some special treats to enjoy on his long trip home. He’ll be getting a ride to Naples, Florida, by the end of the week thanks to Kindred Hearts Transport, a volunteer group that reunites lost pets with their families. “He has a family far away that misses him and has been missing him and are very excited to have him home for the holidays," Bliss said. — Watch it at New England Cable News
On his whirlwind trip to the U.S., Prince William on Monday made his first visit to Washington, where he condemned the rapid growth of wildlife trading worldwide. During a conference at the World Bank, he said networks of gangs “loot our planet to feed mankind's ignorant craving for exotic pets, trinkets, cures and ornaments derived from the world's vanishing and irreplaceable species." He announced a task force to examine the role of the transportation industry in facilitating the illegal trafficking. Prince William is president of United for Wildlife, which is a coalition of seven global conservation groups that will organize the new task force. — Read it from AP via ABC News
Researchers from Germany who studied macaques in Morocco found that males who spent time regularly with fellow males either grooming each other or sitting in close proximity or contact with each other were less stressed than less social monkeys. They determined this by testing the monkeys’ feces for the stress hormone cortisol. They found this difference particularly after stressful events such as a drop in temperature or aggression from competitive males. "Here we show that in the wild, and similar to females, the social bonds that males form with same-sex group members provide them with a buffer against both naturally occurring social and environmental stressors," authors wrote. The study was published in the journal PNAS. — Read it at Phys.org
A privately owned reserve in South Africa reported the extremely rare birth of African elephant twins Friday. The calves were born to 31-year-old mom Curve, who’s named for the curve in one of her tusks. Officials at Pongola Game Reserve believe the father was Ingani, who died about a year ago at age 44. (African elephants have a gestation period of about two years.) Research has found there’s less than 1 percent chance of twinning in elephants — and sadly, they face a high mortality rate as their demand for milk increases. But there have been instances of twins who’ve survived at Kruger National Park, where females in the herd helped nurse the babies. Pongola officials are trying to give Curve the space she needs to give her babies a fighting chance. “Curve needs a stress-free environment to beat the odds,” said elephant specialist Dr. Ian Whyte. Reserve spokesman Donoven Gloy told The Dodo, “the reaction here has been great … everyone has been very positive,” and said the newborns appear well nourished. — Read it from South Africa’s Pongola Game Reserve
Yesterday, we told you about a report from the U.K.’s Express, which said the famous Grumpy Cat has earned $100 million. The report quickly went viral, but now her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, says that figure is “completely inaccurate.” Bundesen declined to comment on what her cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, is worth. She told the Huffington Post she’s still considering when and how to give an interview to set the record straight. — Read it at the Huffington Post
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