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Nov. 21, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Curiosity didn't kill this cat, but it did get him in a precarious situation. Passers-by heard the 3-week-old kitten meowing from inside a replica of the Lincoln Memorial at the Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont, Fla. The local Humane Society and firefighters couldn’t figure out how the tiny kitty managed to get inside. They finally decided to cut a hole in the statue, and one of the firefighters climbed inside to rescue him. Dehydrated and hungry, the kitten is being nursed back to health before he’s put up for adoption. But he already has a name — Abe — and the curator of the hall of fame wants to adopt him and make the tourist attraction his home. — Watch it at Florida’s Click Orlando
By the time the public hears about a new species, the initial excitement of its discovery may have long passed. Out of a random sampling of 600 species reported worldwide in 2007, the average length of time between collection and description was 20.7 years, according to a report published in the journal Current Biology. "We suspected the shelf life was long, but not that long!" said study researcher Benoît Fontaine of France's Le Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. While there are several factors contributing to the backlog, Fontaine said quicker identification would require training more taxonomists and streamlining the methods for describing new species. — Read it at Live Science
Keepers at the Phoenix Zoo noticed right away when Ivan, the Komodo dragon, started dragging his right front leg. They determined that the giant 19-year-old lizard was likely uncomfortable from arthritis and fitted him with a prostethic splint. The splint was made by the famed Hanger clinic, known for fitting Winter the dolphin, whose story was told in the movie Dolphin Tale, with a prosthetic tail. The 300-pound reptile, whose personality is more like a puppy than a ferocious dragon, now has a much easier time getting around. “He’s a character,” said Paula Swanson, the zoo’s manager of reptiles. — Watch it at Today
In a heartfelt handwritten letter to her fans, singer and songwriter Fiona Apple said she would postpone the South American part of her tour to care for her beloved dog, Janet. Apple said the 14-year-old Pit Bull suffers from Addison’s disease, “which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol.” In the letter, which Apple posted on her Facebook page on Wednesday, she wrote, “Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact," and she explained that the “decision is instant” to stay by her dog’s side. The post quickly had more than 40,000 likes and 8,000 supportive comments from fans. — Read it at USA Today
President Barack Obama plans to pardon either Cobbler or Gobbler at the White House on Wednesday, part of a presidential tradition dating back to 1989. But in a letter, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is asking Obama to skip the pardoning, saying it’s a “sorely outdated event” — and suggested a vegetarian menu for the first family’s Thanksgiving meal. — Read it at Politico
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