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June 3, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A kitten who was born with a deformity in his right front leg that made it hard for him to walk is now off to a new start with a custom 3D-printed prosthetic. The Denver Animal Shelter worked with students at the Art Institute of Colorado to create and fit 4-month-old Sonic’s new leg. “With the help of his new leg, he'll be chasing mice before you know it!” the Art Institute wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Sonic the Bionic” is now relearning how to walk with his new prosthetic, and is up for adoption at the shelter. — Watch it from Colorado’s 9 News
A major research project led by the University of Oxford suggests that competing theories that wolves were domesticated in Europe and China are both right. The team compared genetic data with existing archaeological evidence and showed that domestic dogs may have emerged independently from two separate wolf populations that lived on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent. Most dogs today are a mixture of both Eastern and Western dogs, which is one reason previous genetic studies have been difficult to interpret. The study was published in the journal Science. — Read it at Phys.org
With a taller barrier around the gorilla enclosure, the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla exhibit is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, more than a week after a 4-year-old boy climbed over the barrier, leading to the death of the endangered gorilla inside. The new barrier is 42 inches high with solid wood beams at the top and bottom. The previous barrier, however, did meet safety guidelines and passed multiple inspections. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Police Department has concluded its investigation of the incident but hasn’t yet released the results. — Read it at ABC News
Rachelle Lietz found Eclipso, a tiny abandoned kitten, on the side of the road in Manitou Bay, Canada, while she was visiting family. She rescued the kitten and immediately decided to bring the little one home — although she wasn’t sure what her small dog, Bella, would make of the newcomer. Bella had five healthy puppies last year, but she had trouble accepting them and letting them nurse. To Lietz’s surprise, Bella welcomed Eclipso. She warmed right up to the little kitten, allowing it to nuzzle and even to nurse. Once the kitten is bigger, Lietz will be looking for a forever home for Eclipso because she’s allergic to cats. — Read it at People Pets
Hao Hao, a giant panda on loan to Pairi Daiza wildlife park outside Brussels from China, gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Thursday. The new mom immediately scooped her tiny, hairless baby up in her mouth to protect and clean him. “Hao Hao's first son is right now in the best of health and weighs 171 grams (six ounces),” the zoo said in a statement. This is only the third panda to be born in Europe in the last 20 years. The zoo is cautiously optimistic about the cub’s chances of survival, as the mortality rate for panda cubs is high. Officials said they’d wait to name the cub until they were confident he is “viable,” and will then choose something “beautiful, and Chinese, but Belgians will be able to pronounce it.” — Read it from AFP via Seeker
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