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May 1, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Iraq war veteran Sgt. Jason Bos and his former partner, the bomb-sniffing dog Cila, were happily reunited Wednesday at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Bos and Cila, who he calls “Cici,” worked together for nearly five years. But when Bos had to leave the Army two years ago because of a back injury, the chocolate Lab was assigned to another handler. About a month ago, Bos heard that Cila was retiring, and he was contacted to see if he’d like to adopt her. He jumped at the chance and got help from the American Humane Association to bring her home from a base in Germany. Bos wasn’t sure if Cila would remember him, but she quickly showed she did by leaping into his arms, smothering him with kisses and rolling over for a belly rub. Bos and Cila headed to his home in Michigan, where she’ll kick off her retirement with the chance to sleep on the couch instead of in a kennel, as she would as a working military dog. “Her whole life has been about working. Now it's time for her to worry about just relaxing,” Bos said. — Read it and watch it at the Chicago Tribune
Scientists at Yale University’s Canine Cognition Center are investigating dogs’ memory, attention and counting skills to try to figure out what they’re thinking. So far, they’ve learned that one strategy dogs use to figure out a puzzle is to observe what humans do. For example, dogs who watched a human use their hands to open a box were likely to try to open it themselves using their paws, rather than their snouts. Laurie Santos, the center’s director, hopes to publish a paper with her findings next year. — Watch it at NBC News
A new study finds that at its fastest, a mite that’s about the size of a sesame seed can travel about 322 body lengths per second. It topped the previous record holder, the Australian tiger beetle, which could go 171 body lengths per second. But the cheetah, which only moves 16 body lengths per second, is still the fastest land animal overall. Researchers think the tiny mites, which are found in Southern California, move quickly to hunt their prey. Their prey are so small and fast that the researchers said they haven't even been able to see them with high-speed cameras yet. The team presented their findings at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego this week. — Read it at National Geographic
Firefighters in Broward County, Fla., came to the rescue of a small gray and black kitten who was stuck in a storm drain Tuesday. Someone heard cries coming from the drain and flagged down the fire crew. The firefighters couldn’t fit into the drain, so they put a ladder down a nearby manhole and used gentle water pressure to coax the animal out. Now, the firefighters are looking for a good home for the kitten. They think Stormy is about 6 to 8 weeks old, but they’re not sure yet if the little feline is a boy or a girl. — Watch it at Miami’s Local 10
A nail-biting video shows a rare Mexican black bear climbing a canyon wall with her cub doing its best to follow along. Stephanie Latimer posted the video on YouTube recently. She writes that she was kayaking March 21 when she spotted the scene in the Santa Elena Canyon in Texas' Big Bend National Park. Although the cub struggles to figure out the best climbing strategy, thankfully the video has a happy ending. — Watch it at the Huffington Post
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