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March 17, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Last week, Jagger the Irish Setter made international headlines amid fears that he was poisoned at the prestigious Crufts dog show in England. The beloved dog died at his home in Belgium on March 6, less than 48 hours after leaving Crufts. But the U.K. Kennel Club says a toxicology report shows the 3-year-old dog was fed a “fast-acting poison” and the timing of his symptoms makes it “inconceivable that he could have been poisoned at Crufts.” The poisons found in his body result in severe symptoms within 30 minutes to three hours, and it is believed that Jagger ingested the poison when he ate cubes of meat, which were still largely undigested when he died. “There has been a lot of concern about whether the poisoning happened at Crufts and we are now able to reassure all dog-lovers who came to Crufts that this could not have been possible and it is highly likely that the poisons, thought to be on a piece of beef, were eaten in Belgium, shortly before Jagger’s death,” said Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club’s secretary. The group also asked for privacy for Jagger’s family. — Read it at the U.K.’s Guardian
There’s good news for manatees: Florida wildlife officials say an annual aerial survey found more than 6,000 of the endangered marine mammals. The tally is considered a minimum count of the state’s manatee population, since there’s no way to estimate the number of manatees that are not visible during the survey. "The high count this year shows that our long-term conservation efforts are working," said Richard Corbett of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing whether the manatee population has rebounded enough for it to be reclassified as a threatened species. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo
A new study provides evidence that oxytocin, which helps mothers and babies bond, may also help owners and dogs bond. The Australian study examined the ability of dogs to use human cues to determine which of two bowls contained a hidden treat. The 31 male and 31 female dogs were tested twice, after being given a nasal spray of either oxytocin or a placebo. They found that the dogs who were given oxytocin outperformed those who were not. "This told us that oxytocin is definitely involved in a dog's ability to use human cues," said the researchers. The study was published in the journal Animal Cognition. — Read it at Discovery News
While combing through the wreckage of a fatal apartment building fire in Schenectady, New York, Monday, firefighters were shocked to find a dog alive on the fourth floor. Once they got him out of the building, the hungry and grateful dog smothered his rescuers with kisses. But he saved his happiest moments for his reunion with his owner, Stacey Lydon. Lydon had recently found Zeus tied outside a building. The dog had been staying at the apartment with her co-worker, who was interested in adopting him, when the massive fire broke out. “The nature of this business and what we’ve been dealing with on a daily basis, it’s good to have a little good news,” said Chief Raymond Senecal of the Schenectady Fire Department. — Watch it at NBC News
Two male Andean bear cubs were born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in November to 8-year-old mom Billie Jean and 21-year-old dad Cisco. Now, they’re ready to be named, and the zoo is asking the public to weigh in. They’ve come up with three choices for each cub in Quechua and Aymara, the languages of the indigenous communities in the Andes region, which is the bears’ the native habitat. Cub #1 is “rambunctious and seems to need Mom's attention a bit more than his brother.” The choices for his name are Larusiri (lah-roo-SEE-ree), which means "giggly," Mayni (MY-nee), which means "unique," or Kusisqa (coo-SEES-kah), meaning "happy.” Cub #2 is “playful and likes to wrestle but is more laid back” than his brother. The choices for his name are Tusuq (too-SOOK), which means "dancer,” Muniri (moo-NEE-ree), which means "loving" or Wayna (WHY-nah), meaning "young." — Vote at the National Zoo
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