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Oct. 1, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Allison Henry decided she didn’t want toys or clothes for her 10th birthday. Instead, she asked her friends and family to give to a special cause: buying a bulletproof vest for a local police dog. Henry donated nearly $1,000 to an organization called Vested Interest in K9s, which provided the vest to Ryker, a canine officer at the police department in Holyoke, Mass. “I just feel that a dog should be safe, because I really like animals,” she said. The police officers noted that their dogs face the same dangers they do but often don’t have the same protection. Ryker and the police chief thanked Henry in a special ceremony last week, where she met Ryker and was presented with a plaque. — Watch it at CNN
Three species of tiny, endangered tree snails have been successfully bred at the ZSL London Zoo and other zoos around the world. The zoos plan to reintroduce hundreds of the Partula snails to their former home on the Polynesian island of Tahiti later this month. The snails, which were facing extinction, have been missing from the island for nearly 30 years. They’ll be released into a protected reserve. “There used to be more than 70 species of Partula tree snails across the Pacific French Polynesian islands, but due to man’s influence, most of these species are now endangered or extinct in the wild,” said London Zoo invertebrate keeper Don McFarlane. — Read it from the ZSL London Zoo
Previous studies have shown that cuckoo finches will sneakily lay an egg in the nest of another bird species to trick other mothers into raising their chicks for them. A new study finds that the cuckoos actually lay multiple eggs in those nests to increase the odds that they can fool the other bird. If the other mother bird discovered just one finch egg in her nest, she might recognize that it didn’t match the others and throw it out. “The same female repeatedly lays multiple eggs in the host’s nest and confuses the host,” said study co-author Martin Stevens, of the University of Exeter in England. “Once they hatch, the host seems to accept them as her own.” Their findings were published in the journal Nature Communications. — Read it at The New York Times
Six injured sea lions who were rescued by activists in Peru have been released back into the wild. The sea lions suffered from bumps to the head, broken ribs and poisonings, said one of the rescuers. All of them survived, including a 15-year-old female who was pregnant. They were found washed up on shore in June and July, and were nursed back to health before being tagged and released off the coast near Lima. They’re expected to rejoin a large sea lion colony there. — Watch it from Reuters via Yahoo
Snakebite the dog, a Bassett Hound mix, has been a regular on the streets of Elko, Nev., since his former owners abandoned him outside a local motel. Animal Control officer Cindy Danielson had kept track of Snakebite sightings for six years, but he’d always managed to disappear before she could catch him. Then, on Sept. 10, officials at a local school called to say he was hanging out on their grounds with another stray he’d befriended, letting the kids pet him. “When I got there, I saw both of them being petted and I was like, 'You have to be kidding me!'” Danielson told the Elko Daily Free Press. "Finding them there, ready to be picked up, made me feel kind of foolish … Both of them came right up to me and were licking my hand and wagging their tails. They both allowed me to put leashes on them.” Now, both of the dogs have a happy ending. The two went home with a new family on Sunday. — Read it at the U.K.’s Daily Mail
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