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August 29, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Man’s best friend is helping farmers in Namibia live in harmony with cheetahs. In the last 19 years, 450 Anatolian Shepherds and Kangals have been placed with farmers in the African nation to protect their goats and sheep from the predators. Before that, up to 1,000 cheetahs were being killed each year by farmers who saw them as a threat to their livestock. "We see about 80 to 100 percent decrease of livestock loss from any predator when the farmers have the dogs," said Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), which breeds the dogs. "It's a non-lethal predator control method so it is green, it's happy, it's win-win." The cheetah population in Namibia dropped to 2,500 in 1986. Their numbers may now be around 4,000, making it the world’s largest cheetah population. — Read it at Phys.org
A new brown spotted shark discovered by a Conservation International team off the coast of Indonesia is a species of bamboo shark that grows to just 27 inches long. The fish live on the ocean floor, and move their bodies so that their fins push them along in a motion that looks like walking. The shark searches on the seabed for marine invertebrates and small fish to eat. Dr. Gerald Allen, a biologist who led the team that made the discovery, describes the Hemiscyllium halmahera in the journal International Journal of Ichthyology. — Read it at the U.K.’s Telegraph
More than 20 million people are estimated to have visited Gus during his decades as a resident of the Central Park Zoo, which is run by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The polar bear was born at the Toledo Zoo in 1985, and became a New Yorker when he was just 3 years old. In 1994, the fluffy white bear gained fame when zoo staff became concerned because he was swimming obsessively. He went through extensive therapy and his behavior improved. Gus was euthanized on Tuesday after veterinarians discovered that he had a large, inoperable tumor. “Gus was an icon at the Central Park Zoo and a great source of joy for our visitors and staff,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President of Zoos and Aquarium, in a statement. — Read it at The New York Times
This rescued Himalayan-Persian crossbreed will appear in the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for having hair that measures 9 inches long. The 2-year-old kitty is already an Internet star. His Facebook and Instagram followers know that his owners like to joke that his “epic frown” makes him look like a dictator. “Literally everything in the house has hair on it, including us! I feel like I'm always vacuuming!” said owner Anne Avey. “We already knew that he was the best cat in the world, but to be recognized in the Guinness World Records book takes it to the next level.” The book will be released on Sept. 12. — See photos at Today
A devastating fire consumed the Trafton family’s home in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. When they couldn’t find Peanut, one of their four dogs, they assumed he had died in the blaze. But the next day, an insurance investigator who was examining the damage found the Dachshund in the wreckage of the house. Peanut was treated for dehydration and smoke inhalation, and is expected to recover. “There is no way we would have thought he would have survived," said his relieved owner, Gail Trafton. — Read it at Paw Nation
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