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2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Late last year,
we told you about Rocky, a military police
dog who was injured in an explosion in Afghanistan. One photo of him wearing a Purple Heart on his collar and another of him lying in a hospital bed in Germany with his handler, Spc. Andrew Brown, who was also injured in the blast, went viral. Not long after the photos were taken, Brown was transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington, D.C., while Rocky continued to go through repeated surgeries and extensive rehabilitation on his left hind leg. On Friday, Rocky arrived in Maryland, where he was thrilled to be reunited — although briefly — with Brown. "Just excitement — it’s the only way I can describe it," Brown said of the reunion. The K9 made the stop while he was on his way back from Germany to Fort Hood in Texas, where he’ll be evaluated to see if he can return to work or whether he should be medically retired. If he does retire, Rocky has a home waiting for him with Brown and his family. — Watch it at
A new study of the brown skuas, a seabird that breeds in Antarctica, found that the
birds appeared to be able to recognize specific humans who had been near their nests. The scientists from South Korea were checking the birds’ nests weekly to monitor their breeding status, and noticed that each time they checked the
birds would become more aggressive in their attacks. They’re described as “yelling” at the humans, following them and even kicking them — but tests showed they only did this to scientists who’d previously visited their nests. “It is amazing that brown skuas, which evolved and lived in human-free habitats, recognized individual humans after just three or four visits,” said lead author Won Young Lee of the Korea Polar Research Institute. “It seems that they have very high levels of cognitive abilities.” The findings were published in the journal
Animal Cognition. — Read it at
A customer in the U.K. was “somewhat startled” when they opened a box of DVDs that had been sent through the mail — and a
cat jumped out. Cupcake had apparently taken a nap inside the box, and her owner didn’t notice her inside when she sealed it and sent it to the customer. Cupcake spent eight days in the box as it was shipped 260 miles through England. The customer brought Cupcake to the
RSPCA, where she was treated for dehydration, and her owner was found using her microchip. Thankfully, she’s recovered “really, really well,” said the veterinarian who treated her. And her owner, Julie Baggott, was quite relieved that she was found. “I feel terrible about what’s happened, you know. I mean, I put everything in the box and I sealed it straight away, so I don’t know how she managed to get in there,” she said. “It was a miracle she was alive, she’s managed to survive that awful ordeal.” — Read it in the U.K.’s
During a soccer match between Brazil’s teams Oeste and Capivariano, a
dog decided to run out onto the pitch, interrupting the game. Although he ran from the first player who tried to catch him, he quickly decided to lie down on the field and enjoyed getting some pets from players who wanted to earn his trust. He let one of them scoop him up and carry him across the field, then hand him off to an official who put him down on the other side of a fence surrounding the field. We’re not sure which team the pup was rooting for, but Capivariano won, 1-0. — Watch it at
Lambert the lion is a big softy. He first arrived at
In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center in Wylie, Texas, in June 2014, after a family who bought him privately realized things weren’t working out. Lambert quickly adjusted to his new surroundings, but some of the comforts of his old home were missing. Rescue center owner Vicky Keahey recalled that Lambert had slept in a bed at his first home, and went out to get him a blanket to keep him comfortable. “That did the trick,” she said. And ever since, Lambert has needed a blanket to sleep with every night. They’ve gotten bigger as he’s grown, and he gets a fresh one each night. “It is a mandatory,” Culver said. “Everybody knows he gets his blanket … We try to spoil all of our cats.” — See photo from Washington’s
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