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April 1, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
In rural Oso, Wash., where a massive mudslide struck on March 22, it was common for residents to have many animals, from dogs and cats to pigs and horses. When the deadly slide hit, many pets and livestock were killed. There have been 24 confirmed human fatalities, but authorities say the total number of animal fatalities may never be known. Now, veterinary clinics and shelters in the area are helping to treat the animals who have been found, attempting to connect lost animals with their owners, and, sadly, identify animals whose bodies have been found in the wreckage when possible. "To know that their animals are lost and may or may not be found. It's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking for the people and the animals," said Dee Cordell of Everett Animal Services. A makeshift shelter has been set up outside Darrington, and there’s been an outpouring of support, with nearly 45,000 pounds of food for dogs, cats and chickens donated. On Saturday, another 27 tons arrived as a donation from Purina. Meanwhile, the Everett Animal Shelter and the Animal Rescue Foundation of Everett are sharing photos and descriptions of animals who’ve been found, and accepting donations to help the animals. — Read it from AP via ABC News
Last week, we told you about the report from Public Health England that found two people had contracted bovine tuberculosis infections from a pet cat — but that the risk of further spread from cats to humans was very low. Now, more experts are echoing that and reassuring pet owners that there’s nothing to fear. Bovine TB is more common in the U.K. than it is in the U.S., said Dr. Paul P. Calle, chief veterinarian for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo. “This may very well have happened before, in the days before milk was pasteurized and cats were kept in barns for mouse control,” he said. “But for an apartment cat, the risk is nil.” — Read it at The New York Times
Suci, one of only 10 Sumatran rhinos living in captivity around the world, died on Sunday. The rare rhino was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2004 — the first of her kind to be bred in captivity. She had been suffering from hemochromatosis, which is a genetic disease that causes too much iron to accumulate in the body. The zoo was devastated by her death at such a young age. Sumatran rhinos in captivity live an average of 35 to 40 years. Her mother died of the same illness five years ago. "Suci was a symbol of hope for her entire species, one that is quickly losing ground in the wild, and her absence will leave a great hole in our hearts," said Terri Roth, director of the zoo's Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife. There are less than 100 Sumatran rhinos living in the wild, making it one of the world’s most endangered large mammals. — Read it at National Geographic
Firefighters came to the rescue of a 7-month-old Pit Bull who fell off a cliff in Marin County, Calif., onto Rodeo Beach on Sunday. Rescuers used a helicopter and rope system to reach Mia as a crowd gathered to watch from the cliff. When they got to her, Mia was wedged between two rocks and not moving, and the firefighters feared the worst. But as they got closer, the puppy moved her head and “let them know she was alive," said Southern Marin Fire Capt. Kai Pasquale. Mia was taken to a veterinarian. Amazingly, she wasn’t seriously hurt and will return home soon. — Watch it at CBS News
Panda mating season is approaching, and experts at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland are closely monitoring Tian Tian and her partner, Yang Guang, for signs that they’re ready to mate. Last year, Tian Tian suffered a late-term miscarriage after being artificially inseminated. "The giant pandas are clearly showing an increased interest in one another, both pandas are fairly regularly scent marking now and we've also seen food intake increase in both pandas as they seek to drive their body weight up — all fantastic instinctive pre-breeding behaviors,” said Iain Valentine from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Panda breeding season is generally from around mid-April to May. — Read it from AFP via Yahoo
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