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May 24, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Roberto Gonzales had two very special visitors at a VA hospital in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday. Gonzales, who was paralyzed while serving in Vietnam in 1970, is now suffering from failing organs. One of his final wishes was to be reunited with his beloved horses, Sugar and Ringo, one last time. “Horses are his life. We've been training and raising horses for over 30, 40 years,” said Gonzalez’s wife, Rosario. The veteran was wheeled outside the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in his bed to be greeted by the horses. “When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes. They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him,” said Rosario. — Watch it at News 4 San Antonio
A new study from Brigham Young University finds that dogs use human emotions in determining how quickly — or how slowly — to explore an unfamiliar location. In two experiments, psychology professor Ross Flom looked at the frequency in which dogs followed a pointing gesture to find a hidden reward. The gestures were paired with positive behaviors like smiling and speaking in a pleasant tone, or negative behaviors, such as frowning and speaking in a harsh tone, from the person pointing. He found that the positive behaviors didn’t improve response time, but the negative behaviors delayed it. The study was published in the journal Animal Cognition. — Read it Phys.org
Warming oceans aren’t good for many marine animals, but a new study finds the mollusk group that includes octopus, squid and cuttlefish are actually doing quite well in the changing conditions. Researchers found steady increases in diverse cephalopod populations, suggesting the warming ocean conditions might be beneficial to them. Scientists weren’t completely surprised because cephalopods are known for being adaptable. “As environmental conditions change, they [cephalopods] may change the rate at which they grow or the size at which they mature and reproduce,” said the study’s lead author, Zoë Doubleday, of Australia's Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide. “These traits allow them to adapt to changing environmental conditions more quickly than many other longer-lived marine species.” The study was published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at Live Science
A citizen came to the rescue of a fawn who was lying on a highway in Hartford, Connecticut, Sunday, after its mom was struck and killed by a car. The resident brought the baby deer to the Hartford Police Department for help. The officers cared for the fawn and contacted the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “What cop isn't going to want to care for that fawn?” said Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley. “The thing is pretty cute. How do you not look at that, and think it's pretty cute, you know?” The young fawn, who the officers named Bambi, is now recovering at a wildlife rescue. Foley reminded people that usually it’s best to leave wildlife alone, but said in this case the person was right to help the fawn. — Read it at Connecticut’s Fox 61
Last year, Freddy the tortoise was found along a roadside in Brazil with a shell that had been badly burned in a fire. But she got a new chance at life thanks to the Animal Avengers, a rescue group that includes a 3D designer, four veterinarians and a dental surgeon. Using photos of Freddy and a healthy tortoise, the designer was able to print a custom prosthetic shell that was then surgically attached to the animal. It was then hand-painted by an artist to blend in with nature. — Watch it at ABC News
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