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Dec. 8, 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 heavy metal band Slayer isn’t exactly known for being a group of softies. But their hearts melted for a homeless kitten on the streets of Indianapolis when they were in town for a show last week. Guitarist Kerry King and members of the band’s road crew had dinner at a steak house in the city the night before a packed show at the Old National Centre. As they left, their assistant tour manager, Jess Cortese, saw a homeless man on the street who offered to sell his kitten for $1. “The kitten apparently was freezing, so Jess took it, and slept with her in her bunk on the bus,” said manager Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. “(She) went to the venue with her today, hanging out.” Another member of the crew knew someone who’d be willing to adopt the kitty, so the band made arrangements to get her there. Now named Gypsy, her new owner says on Facebook that she’s been treated for fleas and worms and has been sleeping happily in the warmth of her new home. — Watch it at Fox 31 Denver
U.S. officials said Sunday that a barking dog may have alerted Al Qaeda captors in Yemen to an attempt by Navy Seals to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie. The Special Forces were approaching the compound on foot from two miles away when the captors were tipped off to their arrival. The captives were then mortally wounded and a firefight broke out. The group had released a video Thursday threatening Somers’ life. — Read it at NBC News
Previous research has suggested that pufferfish hold their breath while inflated, but a new study finds the fish can actually breathe while puffing up. The fish puff themselves up like a spiky football that’s four times their normal size when they sense a threat. Researchers say they do this by gulping water into their elastic stomachs. But puffing up can leave the fish exhausted and vulnerable after they deflate. Puffing up can increase their oxygen intake by five times that of resting levels, and researchers said it takes the fish more than five hours to return to normal metabolic levels. During that rest time, the tired pufferfish are believed to be easier targets for predators. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Discovery News
Money can’t by happiness, and Grumpy Cat is proving it. The feline phenomenon, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, started out as a YouTube star and has been raking in cash for the last two years with endorsement deals and her Lifetime movie, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. The celebrity is reportedly now worth $100 million — but she hasn’t cracked a smile yet. "What she’s achieved in such a short time is unimaginable and absolutely mind-blowing,” says the cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen, who’s 28. “I was able to quit my job as a waitress within days of her first appearance on social media and the phone simply hasn’t stopped ringing since.” — Read it at the U.K.’s Express
The Australia Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Center has been inundated in recent months with rescued baby fruit bats whose parents have died in a spring heat wave, with temperatures topping 100 degrees. The babies are wrapped like tiny burritos and have rubber nipples tucked in their mouths to make them feel like they’re secure and still with their moms. They will be released back into the wild after a few months. — See photos at Zooborns
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