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2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Jimmy the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, groundhog, apparently wasn’t
thrilled to attend a Groundhog Day ceremony Monday, despite arriving in a limo.
When his handler held Jimmy up to Mayor Jonathan
Freund's ear so he could whisper whether there would be six more weeks of
winter weather, the critter swiftly bit Freund’s ear. Although the mayor said
spring was coming early, the groundhog’s handlers said Jimmy’s prediction was for
more winter. Last year, New York Mayor
Bill de Blasio accidentally dropped the Staten Island groundhog. The animal
later died but it was unclear whether it was a direct result of the injuries it
sustained from the fall. This year, New York avoided groundhog incidents by
changing the protocol with Staten Island Chuck. The animal stayed in a portable
enclosure while looking for his shadow, and de Blassio held up a sign saying
Chuck predicted an early spring. “Chuck, I want to thank you for this new approach,” de
Blassio said, according to The
New York Times. “I think we finally understand each other.” — Watch it
Little pikas are related to rabbits and are known for delighting
hikers and backpackers in the California mountains, but a new study finds they are
disappearing from low-elevation sites because of climate change. After
surveying 67 sites where pikas have historically lived, researchers found that
the animals disappeared from 10 of them. Joseph Stewart, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz, said pika populations were most
likely to go locally extinct at sites with high summer temperatures and low
habitat areas. "They are uniquely adapted to cold temperatures, but these
same adaptations make the species vulnerable to global warming," Stewart
said. The study was published in the Journal
of Biogeography. — Read it at Science
A 6-month-old sea otter named Mishka is settling into her new home at
the Seattle Aquarium after a FedEx
flight from Alaska last weekend. Mishka, whose name means “little bear” in
Russian, weighed just 10 pounds when she was found entangled in a fishing net
in July. She got around the clock care at the Alaska
SeaLife Center and now weighs 26 pounds, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined she
couldn’t be released into the wild. Staff members from the ASLC traveled with Mishka to keep her
transition stress-free. She will be acclimated to her new home in Seattle over
the next few weeks before being introduced to another resident sea otter. — Read
it at Alaska’s KTUU
A 4-year-old mixed breed
dog ate a large amount of his owner’s calf-high leather boots on Friday. The volume was too much for Vince’s stomach to pass to his small intestines, so veterinarians at the
Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Philadelphia did surgery Saturday to remove the leather and metal eyelets. "Leather is particularly appealing to dogs but we've seen
dogs eat different things as well — forks, spoons, baby pacifiers, toys — all variety of different things," said Dr. Laura Tseng. Vince is now recovering at the center and will be heading home in the next few days. — Watch it at Philadelphia’s
ABC6 and see photos at the
New York Daily News
A very special calico kitten was adopted Saturday in California. Sherman might look like any other calico-colored kitty — but the fact that he’s a
he makes him quite unusual.
Most calico cats are female. “It’s like a unicorn!” said
Humane Society Silicon Valley veterinarian Andrea Berger. “I’ve been involved with shelters for 20 years and I have never seen one.” The
Humane Society said on its Facebook page that the friendly 4-month-old kitten found a new home at an adoption event at
Petco. — Read it at
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