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March 4, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Lisa Snyder found a 1-year-old Pointer mix tied to a pole in a California park Sunday, with a handwritten note on his collar that read, “My name is Joey. I am looking for a home. Please take care of me!!” Unfortunately, Snyder is without a home herself and has been living out of a broken down van. When she couldn’t find anyone in the area willing to take Joey in, Snyder, who uses a cane to get around, decided to walk the dog three miles in the rain to the Harbor Animal Care Center. The shelter staff found the dog does have a microchip, and sent a letter to his owner. They have 10 days to claim Joey, or the shelter will try to find him a new forever home. “He deserves one. He’s a good dog,” Snyder said. After the community heard about Snyder’s good deed, they thought she deserved some help, too. A GoFundMe page was set up for her, with a goal of raising $500 to help her repair her van — and it’s brought in more than $1,500 in just one day. — Read it at CBS Los Angeles
There’s good news for tortoises on the Galapagos island of Pinzón: researchers have found newborn tortoises there for the first time in more than 100 years. "We found ten tiny, newly hatched saddleback tortoises on the island early last month," the researchers reported. "There could be many more, because their size and camouflage makes them hard to spot. Our discovery indicates that the giant tortoise is once again able to reproduce on its own in the wild." The success comes after more than 50 years of conservation efforts. For years, the hatchlings had fallen prey to invasive rats, which were finally eradicated from the island in 2012. The study was published in the journal Nature in January. — Read it at the Huffington Post
Newly published research finds that two of the four strains of HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, came from gorillas in southwestern Cameroon. Of the four strains, known as Groups M, N, O and P, scientists already knew that Groups M and N came from chimpanzees in Cameroon. The new study identifies the origins of Groups O and P. Group O has only been found in two people, and Group P in about 100,000 people in parts of Africa. Group M is by far the most common strain, and infecting more than 40 million people worldwide. "From this study and others that our team has conducted in the past it has become clear that both chimpanzees and gorillas harbor viruses that are capable of crossing the species barrier to humans and have the potential to cause major disease outbreaks," said study leader Martine Peeters, a virologist at France's Research and Development Institute (IRD) and the University of Montpellier in France. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at Agence France Presse via Yahoo
The Duggars are making headlines this week, but this time it’s not because of another baby on the way. Some of the stars of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” are being accused of animal cruelty after Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, shared a video on Instagram where he sleds downhill toward a cat. He calls out, “Move, cat!” as he gets a push downhill from his brother-in-law, Ben Seewald. Duggar family members can be heard cheering and laughing as Dillard bumps into the cat, who jumps out of the way. The cat didn’t appear to be injured, but fans reacted strongly on Instagram, asking why the Duggars would think the video was funny. Derick and Jill Dillard are expecting their first child. — Read it at E!Online
Photographer Martin Le-May caught a stunning image in London of a green woodpecker taking flight with a weasel on its back. Experts confirm that the image is not a fake — and Le-May explains that it was no joyride for the weasel. He said that the weasel was on the attack when the bird took off. "I heard a distressed squawking noise and feared the worst,” he said. "I think we may have distracted the weasel, as when the woodpecker landed it managed to escape and the weasel ran into the grass." Not surprisingly, the photo quickly went viral online Tuesday. — Read it at Today
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