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July 7, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Hidden away in the Santa Susana Mountains outside Los Angeles, researchers with the National Park Service recently made a couple of adorable discoveries: two litters of mountain lion kittens. A litter of two female kittens was found on June 8. The pair was born to a 6-year-old known as P-35. The second litter, which had one female and two males, was found later that month, on June 22. Their mom is a 5-year-old known as P-39. The kittens were given their own numbers and tags so they can be tracked. They’re believed to have the same dad, P-38. Photos and videos of the feisty kittens were revealed by the NPS this week on social media. “It's great that our local big cats are reproducing, but these kittens will face challenges as they grow up, from roads to rat poison to males finding their own territory,” the Park Service said in Facebook post. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times
Orlando Uber driver Simon Pierre Andre Nau, 60, was arrested after refusing to transport a blind man with a service dog on Monday night. The Orange County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office said the customer had ordered an Uber for himself and a group of blind friends with guide dogs. When Nau arrived, he told Robert Stigile “I don’t take dogs.” He then started to pull the van forward while Stigile was still in the doorframe, said a valet who witnessed the incident. He called 911 at Stigile’s request. The driver faces charges of failing to transport a blind person with a service dog and battery. — Read it at the Orlando Sentinel
Buddy the dog is safe thanks to firefighters in Colorado who saved him using the Jaws of Life. The dog, who turned 1 on Tuesday, was swimming at Cherry Creek State Park near Aurora on Saturday afternoon when he somehow got his left paw wedged between two 2,000-pound boulders. His panicked owner, Dan Santiago, and others tried unsuccessfully to free Buddy before someone at the scene called 911. The Cunningham Fire Protection District arrived and used the Jaws of Life to push the boulders apart enough to free Buddy’s paw. Luckily, Buddy only suffered from a laceration to his leg. “There’s a special place in my heart” for the firefighters who saved Buddy, said Santiago. — Watch it at Denver’s Fox 31
A shelter puppy who was born deaf has found the perfect match in 10-year-old Julia. Julia was also born deaf, and made fast friends with Walter, a Terrier and Chihuahua mix, when they met at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA in January. She’s sharing her knowledge of sign language with the puppy, and so far she’s taught him the signs for how to sit, ask for food and respond to his name. Last week, a sweet video of the two was shared on Facebook and went viral. “I remember just looking at him, and I knew that he was meant to be ours,” recalls Julia’s mom, Chrissy, of meeting the now 7-month-old puppy. — Read it at CBS News
An unusually friendly elk seemed to want to greet — and snuggle with — every firefighter from Washington’s Kittitas County Fire District No. 7 as they battled a fire on July 2. “She made her presence known, that’s for sure. She isn’t your typical wild elk,” said department spokeswoman Richelle Risdon. “The consensus seems to be she’s an orphan. She adopted the cows, horses and goats from a neighboring ranch as her family. She wants nothing to do with elk moving through the area, like she doesn’t see herself as an elk.” Known as Buttons, the elk “made herself at home” with the firefighters and photos of her cuddling with them went viral on social media. — Watch it at Good Morning America via Yahoo
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