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Sept. 9, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
First-time mom Kya, who’s 7 years old, gave birth to four healthy lion cubs at the Oregon Zoo Monday. The litter is also the first for 6-year-old dad Zawadi Mungu. Kya “seems to be taking to motherhood quite naturally," says keeper Laura Weiner. "All four cubs appear to be thriving. They're moving around a lot, and it's clear that they have a lot of energy." Kya and her babies have been bonding in a maternal den. After several days, the keepers may try to give the cubs a quick exam and determine their gender. For now, though, they are happy to see the new mom doing “a great job on their own.” — Read it from the Oregon Zoo
A new study by researchers in Britain finds that “shock” collars, also known as e-collars, cause stress in dogs. The collars, which are banned in some countries, send short electric shocks to the dog’s neck. The collars are used to train dogs to avoid the shocks by curbing their undesirable behavior. The study finds that dogs trained with these collars spent more time tense and engaged in less “environmental interaction” with other dogs, even when used with pre-warning cues and at low settings. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at the Washington Post
There’s good news for California’s blue whales. A new study finds it’s the only population of the massive species in the world to recover from the impact of whaling, which almost led to its extinction. The researchers say there are now about 2,200 California blue whales, which is close to historical levels. “California blue whales are recovering because we took actions to stop catches and start monitoring,” said lead author Cole Monnahan of the University of Washington. “If we hadn’t, the population might have been pushed to near extinction — an unfortunate fate suffered by other blue whale populations.” — Read it at Discovery News
When a Good Samaritan reported a frightened Pit Bull who’d been abandoned in a remote area, three different rescue groups teamed up to help her. Los Angeles-based Hope for Paws and the new group Rescue From the Hart reached out to Sevadog, an Oregon group that specializes in rehabilitating Pit Bulls. Sevadog agreed to take the dog in if the other groups could catch her. They did — and soon discovered that all that the shy and gentle Bunny wanted was to be loved. The tail-wagging, happy pooch is now enjoying her time with a new feline friend while her rescuers look for the right home for her. — Watch it at YouTube
In June, singer Taylor Swift announced the arrival of her new kitten, which she named Olivia Benson after Mariska Hargitay’s character on “Law and Order: S.V.U.” The photo of the kitten with Swift got nearly 1 million likes on Instagram, and now Hargitay is responding. She shared a photo of herself sporting a collar with a tag that says “Olivia Benson,” and went a little hashtag-crazy in her caption, writing, “@taylorswiftthis came in the mail. #WrongAddress #GotThisByCatccident #DontHaveACatniption #Collared #GonnaWearItAnyway #CatsOuttaTheBag #MeowliviaBenson #ScratchThat #PurrrfectName #TaylorMade #3MonthsLater #ALittleLateToThePawty #ThisCollarNeedsACat #PawAndOrder #OliviaBensonPetDetective” — Read it at ABC News
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