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August 7, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
The Carolina Wildfowl Rescue, along with volunteers and city workers, rounded up about 50 geese who were stuck in a dried-up pond near Sacramento, California, on Tuesday. A small group of birds were abandoned in the pond about 20 years ago, and their numbers have grown since then, reports Reuters. The domesticated birds are flightless, and after drought conditions left them without water, they were easy prey for foxes and coyotes. The birds were herded into kennels in just 15 minutes and separated into three groups so they could be driven to new homes in three nearby towns. “I am so excited, they are finally safe,” said Katrina Lane, a local resident who had been bringing them food and water. — Watch it at California’s Fox 40
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have identified a gene mutation responsible for canine subvalvular aortic stenosis, which is the most common inherited heart disease in dogs. It afflicts Newfoundlands and Golden Retrievers — and can be found in children, too. “Our hope now is that breeders will be able to make informed breeding decisions and avoid breeding dogs that harbor this mutation, thus gradually eliminating the disease from the Newfoundland breed,” said UC Davis veterinary cardiologist Joshua Stern. The findings many also help with treating dogs who are diagnosed with the potentially lethal condition. The study was published in the journal Human Genetics. — Read it from UC Davis
There are about 1,000 pairs of puffins in Maine, and you can watch many of them on web cams set up by the Audubon Society. The group says that in the last two years, the number of fledging chicks has dropped, possibly because the fish that are their major food source have left for cooler waters. Now, the Audubon Society is asking volunteers to watch the puffins feed via the web cams and report back. "There are some questions that can be better answered through lots of people viewing," says Steve Kress, director of the National Audubon Society's seabird restoration program. They’re asking observers to watch this year’s featured chick, Pal, and respond to a survey on what kind of fish his parents feed him, including when they do it and how many fish he gets. They hope to document how much food it takes for a chick to fledge. The information the citizen scientists gather will be included in published papers. — Read it from AP via the Huffington Post
Gigi, a Shih Tzu from Iowa, was found dirty and scared. But a grooming revealed an adorable little dog. Gigi is the winner of this year’s Dirty Dogs Makeover Contest from Wahl pet products and GreaterGood.org. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines, which nominated Gigi, will get a $5,000 grant in her honor. The second place winner, Howard of Allegany County Animal Shelter, will get a $2,000 grant and third place winner Vita of Southern California German Shepherd Rescue will receive a $1,000 grant. The contest aims to highlight the important role that grooming plays in pet adoption. — See the top 25 dogs at Wahl Pets’ Facebook page
During a trip to Indonesia in 2011, a crested black macaque grabbed British wildlife photographer David Slater’s camera and took a selfie that became infamous. Wikipedia offers the image in its Creative Commons section, which allows anyone to use it. But Slater argues that he owns the rights to the image and isn’t getting paid. “I only earned from [that image] for one year out of the four years it’s been out. And the money I got from it only covered the cost it took me to get there. Photographers like me depend on those lucky, brilliant shots,” he says. Wikipedia, though, says, “the file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested.” — Read it at ABC News
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