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Oct. 24, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
After a devastating fire last month, the owners of Perry Hill Farm in Bedford, N.H., thought their cat, Gumbo, had perished. But three days after the blaze, the farm’s mascot and family pet, Colby the pig, finished her breakfast and began to trot eagerly toward the woods. Because they’d rarely seen the 9-year-old, 1,000-pound hog move so quickly, Colby’s caretakers followed her — right to Gumbo. “She was on a mission,” said farm owner Harriet Finks. “Colby took us to him.” Gumbo had suffered several injuries in the fire, and spent a month under the care of a veterinarian. Now Gumbo is doing well and is back home with his hero, Colby, and the rest of their family. — Read it at ABC News
Yawns might be contagious for dogs, but researchers at Lund University in Sweden suggest that the behavior is learned over time. The study, published in the journal Animal Cognition, found that puppies younger than 7 months old are immune to catching yawns — much like babies and toddlers. Previous research has suggested that contagious yawning in humans, dogs, chimpanzees and baboons is evidence of empathy. Children tend to start yawning contagiously around age 4, researchers said. — Read it at UPI
A new survey from the University of California, Berkeley found that assumptions about a cat’s personality based on its color can have a negative impact on adoption rates at animal shelters. Though we’ve long known that it can be tough to place a “spooky” black cat — especially around Halloween — the study also finds that white cats are often believed to be aloof and tortoiseshell cats are seen as intolerant, while orange cats are assumed to be friendly. "To date there is little evidence that these perceived differences between differently colored cats actually exist, but there are serious repercussions for cats if people believe that some cat colors are friendlier than others," said Mikel Delgado, lead author of the study, which was published in the online issue of Anthrozoos. — Read it at Science Daily
With everyone wondering exactly what Brad Pitt is talking about in his first ad as spokesman for Chanel No. 5, the viral spot has been spoofed by Saturday Night Live and Conan O’Brien — and now it’s gone to the dogs. A new video from the Pet Collective features a dog in a white shirt, pondering life as he pushes “Kennel No. 5.” And with 760 votes so far in Today.com’s poll, 70 percent of voters say the dog does the spot better than Pitt’s original or the SNL spoof. — Watch it at Today
The San Diego Zoo wants your input on what to name its adorable male panda cub. You can cast your vote in the zoo’s poll, which includes six choices for names: Qi Ji (Miracle), Yu Di (Raindrop), Da Hai (Big Ocean), Xiao Liwu (Little Gift), Yong Er (Brave Son) or Shui Long (Water Dragon). You have until Oct. 30 to weigh in, and the winner will be revealed at a naming ceremony on Nov. 13. — Cast your vote at the San Diego Zoo
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