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2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
This Thanksgiving, the staff at the
Oklahoma City Zoo is grateful for Lilly, a
Golden Retriever mom who stepped in to save a litter of critically endangered African Wild Dogs. The puppies were born to 3-year-old Xena on Nov. 7, but when the inexperienced mom showed a lack of maternal care, her keepers decided to remove the pups. After making calls to colleagues, animal shelters and dog rescues to find a lactating dog who could be their surrogate, the staff discovered Lilly. A retired search and rescue dog living in Wichita, Kansas, she’d recently given birth to a single puppy. Lilly is now caring for her own pup along with Xena’s one male and two female pups at the zoo’s hospital. “Even though Lilly’s not an African Wild Dog, she’s still much better suited to surrogate for our pups than humans would be,” said zoo veterinarian Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino. “This is a positive for both Lilly’s offspring and the African wild dogs, as they will benefit from initial socialization with a canine species.”
Zoo officials are hopeful that when the African Wild Dogs reach an appropriate age for socialization, they’ll be able to reintroduce them to their pack. For now, they are growing and thriving thanks to Lilly. — Read it at
New research that looks at the physics of how dogs drink water helps explain why they are so much sloppier at the process than cats. Neither cats nor dogs can suck liquids because their cheeks facilitate hunting for prey. Prior research showed that
cats gently plunge their tongues into the water and create a column of water under their retracting tongue. But the
Virginia Tech researchers say they’ve found that “dogs smash their tongues on the water surface — they make lots of splashing — but a
cat never does that.” They found that when dogs withdraw their tongues from water, it makes a significant amount of acceleration that creates the water columns. Those columns feed up to their mouths, allowing them to drink. They also found a proportional relationship between the water contact area of a dog’s tongue and its body weight. The volume of water a dog’s tongue can move increases exponentially relative to the dog’s size. The researchers presented their findings at the
American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting in San Francisco. — Read it at
The 2-hour Thanksgiving special “Fox’s Cause For Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular” features dozens of
dogs with inspiring rescue stories. Hosted by Jane Lynch and Hilary Swank, there will be many additional celebrity appearances. The stars are set to present several awards, including one for the Shelter Hero of the Year and the Best Viral
Dog Video. Among the videos set to be featured is a new one from the Los Angeles group
Hope for Paws about Lexi, a
Pit Bull who was rescued along with her newborn puppies recently. The show also aims to raise money for the
Petfinder Foundation, which supports shelters and rescue groups around the country. The special airs on Fox, Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. — Find out more from
Fox’s Cause for Paws
Leo, a 5-month-old stellar sea lion, has a home for the holidays thanks in part to the
U.S. Coast Guard. The pup was found emaciated, stranded and alone on a beach in Ocean Shores, Washington. He was brought to
PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, Washington, for temporary care. Since he needed long-term care and socialization,
NOAA decided to move him to the
Marine Mammal Center in California. They worked with the Coast Guard, which loaded Leo onto a C-130H aircraft to fly him from Seattle to Sacramento on Nov. 13. From there, he was driven to the center in Sausalito, where he’ll stay until he’s strong enough to be released into the wild. “The
U.S. Coast Guard definitely deserves a lot of respect,” the
Marine Mammal Center said in a Facebook post Monday. “They do a lot and are very unsung. We appreciate their help with Leo!” — Read it from the
Marine Mammal Center
A trio of polar bear cubs was born Sunday at the
Ouwehands Dierenpark zoo in Rhenen to mom Freedom. Authorities there say it’s unusual for triplets to be born in captivity but that all three cubs appear to be healthy. The baby bears’ dad, Victor, is currently living at the
Yorkshire Wildlife Park in England. He has already fathered 16 other offspring and is considered an important part of Europe’s captive breeding program. Freedom and her cubs will spend the winter indoors at the
zoo. — Read it and watch it at
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