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March 29, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A wayward northern fur seal pup should have been headed to Alaska, but after taking a wrong turn, she wound up 100 miles from Bodega Bay last week — in a front yard in Fremont, California. “It was just adorable. I mean, this little brown thing, just a baby seal — and it was looking up at you with these big old brown eyes,” said Jena Shellenbarger, who found the 9-month-old pup behind a bush in her yard. The pup was rescued by Fremont Police officers, who nicknamed her Ozzie. But when she arrived at the Marine Mammal Center, they already knew her as Kumofur. She had been rescued once before, at 4 months old, and was just released earlier this month. The center plans to release her again when she’s ready, and hopes she’ll head in the right direction this time. — Watch it at KTLA
Towan, a 48-year-old orangutan who’s a hybrid of the Borneo and Sumatran species, passed away at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Towan and his twin sister, Chinta, were born at the zoo in 1968. They were the first known orangutan twins to be born at a zoo, and Towan became a prolific artist. “Towan absolutely loved experimenting with finger paints and sidewalk chalk,” said the zoo’s Pat Owen. “He was so intense during his painting sessions; he took his artwork very seriously. We’ll miss his unique artwork.” The great ape was suffering from renal and respiratory problems. — Read it at Discovery News
Researchers have found that Australian red-backed fairy-wren chicks start learning to imitate their parents’ songs while they’re still inside their shells. They discovered that the birds called to their young while they were incubating, and for five or six days after they hatched. They also found that parents put more effort into feeding chicks who had calls similar to their own. The researchers theorize that the similarity of the nestlings’ calls to their own could reveal which chicks are the most vigorous and the best learners, so parents can invest more resources in the babies who are most likely to thrive. The study was published in the journal The Auk: Ornithological Advances. — Read it at Phys.org
A curious koala brought traffic to a halt in Queensland, Australia, on Saturday, when he decided to go for a stroll in the middle of Brisbane Valley Highway. Cars and bicyclists stopped to watch and snap pictures as the marsupial wandered in the middle of two lanes, and didn’t seem to care that he was being trailed by a police officer. The incident was caught on video and shared on Facebook, where it’s been viewed more than 2.5 million times. The officer was eventually able to guide the koala off the road and safely back into a tree. — Watch video at Facebook
With the start of kitten season just around the corner, Miami-Dade County Animal Services is now “hiring” for the best volunteer position ever: kitten cuddlers. Like shelters around the country, the shelter is preparing for an influx of kittens this spring. It needs volunteers to snuggle, feed and foster newborn abandoned kittens so they can thrive and later be made available for adoption. Kitten cuddlers will be trained on bottle feeding and will get a kit with everything they need to take care of the newborns. — Read it at NBC Miami
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