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July 19, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Last summer, a photo by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson of John Unger and his dog, Schoep, in Lake Superior went viral on the Internet, touching the hearts of millions. Unger would take his then 19-year-old dog for nightly swims to ease his arthritis and help him fall asleep. Schoep, a shepherd mix who Unger had rescued, lived in Minnesota and gained fans around the world. Last month, hundreds of cards and gifts poured in for his 20th birthday. On Thursday, though, Unger shared another photo on Facebook. This one was of a paw print in the sand, with the caption, “I Breathe But I Can't Catch My Breath ...Schoep passed yesterday … more information in the days ahead.” Thanks to the $10,000 donations that poured in last year, Unger was able to afford treatments to alleviate some of Schoep’s pain, allowing the two to go on several walks a day. — Read it at Today
“Drumroll, please ... It's two more boys for Lun Lun!” announced Zoo Atlanta on Facebook. The giant panda twins were born on Monday, and the zoo says the cubs are doing well. After losing some weight after birth, which is normal, they gained weight steadily this week without getting a supplement of formula since Monday. Lun Lun has given birth to five offspring — and they’ve all been boys.
New research conducted on Mexican free-tailed bats at Texas A&M University finds that male bats vocalize in a certain way to lure females to their roost. Once they have their attention, they change their tune in a creative way to keep the ladies interested until mating begins. "These bats can fly very fast, almost 30 feet per second," said Mike Smotherman of Florida International University, who led the study. "They only have about one-tenth of a second to get the females' attention.” The study was published in the journal Animal Behavior. — Read it at Science Daily
SeaWorld Orlando released four rehabilitated manatees into the waters of Eddy Creek at Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore on Thursday. Three of the sea cows had been rescued in December and the fourth was rescued in March. “All four of the animals responded really well to the rehabilitation treatment,” said Pedro Ramos-Navarrete, a SeaWorld zoological supervisor. Each of the animals was fitted with a satellite tag, allowing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to follow their movements and ensure their success. — Watch it at YouTube
Emma, a 1-year-old miniature donkey, was born with a right rear hoof that wouldn’t extend. Shortly after her birth, veterinarians at Auburn University in Alabama performed surgery to amputate her leg and fitted her with a pink prosthetic leg. In the last year, she’s gone through several prosthetics as she’s grown, and is a happy, healthy donkey who likes to romp around with her pal, a 1,600-pound horse named Hank. Emma has proven to be a great test case for veterinarians, including how to fit her for the prosthetic while keeping her comfortable — and coming up with a buckle that she won’t peel open with her teeth. They’re hoping to transfer what they’ve learned from the little donkey to larger animals, like horses, who are more difficult to equip with prosthetics. — Read it at AP via USA Today
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