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2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
The cold did bother Elsa — but this defiant little kitten still survived. The tiny tabby was found in Denver last week, barely moving after spending a few hours in temperatures below 10 degrees. A Good Samaritan brought her to a local humane society, which rushed to save her life. The staff at the
Denver Dumb Friends League (which is named after a British organization) used hair dryers, heating pads and warm IV fluids to bring up her temperature, which was below 90 degrees. A normal temperature for a
cat is 101.5 degrees. After an hour, she started showing signs of improvement. "We put some food in front of her and she immediately went for it, a little ravenous,” said Dr. Kasey Carter, who treated the kitten. The patient was named Elsa for the character in the Disney movie “Frozen” for surviving in the extreme cold and because of her "fighting little spirit" said Megan Rees, a spokeswoman for the shelter. Elsa will spend a few weeks with a foster family and will then be put up for adoption, unless her owner comes forward. — Watch it at
Keeping food locked up in metal storage containers has lead to a dramatic drop in the number of incidents between bears and campers at
Yosemite National Park in the last 16 years. But this year, there’s been a slight increase in run-ins with some of the bears. So, wildlife biologists have put GPS tracking collars on nine bears in the California park in order to better manage them. "We can locate the animal and get it out of the [developed] area" and back into the wild, says Ryan Leahy, a biologist with the park. He and the park’s rangers respond when they find that a bear has wandered close to a campground, and chase them back into the woods. It helps protect humans and “keep Yosemite bears wild," says Park Ranger Scott Gediman. — Read it at
A team of researchers says a species of butterfly called
Bycyclus anyana uses the distinctive “eyespots” on its wings to trick its predators into attacking its non-essential parts instead of its more vulnerable areas. "Eyespots are conspicuous, they draw your attention and are thought to be used by many animal species to avoid death or attack, by either startling or confusing the predator," said the study’s lead author, Katy Prudic. The butterfly they studied has five generations a year. They can make two different eyespot patterns from the same genes, allowing it to use different looks for wet and dry seasons and fool different predators. The butterfly’s wings are likely to be badly damaged in an attack, but it can at least live to procreate. The study was published in the journal
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
. — Read it at
Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies gathered in Brisbane, Australia, this weekend for some serious business: the chance to hold some adorable koalas. President Obama was among the leaders in town for the
G20, and flashed some huge smiles while holding one of the marsupials — and we don’t blame him! At one point, the koala Obama was visiting with leaned over to nuzzle the one Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott was holding. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, South Korea’s Park Geun-hye and Canada’s Stephen Harper were among the other leaders who took turns holding the cuddly animals. — See more photos at the U.K.’s
On Thursday, actress Katherine Heigl was in her New York City hotel room getting ready for a day of promoting her new TV show, “
State of Affairs.” The actress, who plays a presidential advisor in the show, has several dogs. One of them, Gertie, goes everywhere with her. Gertie "gets really upset and nervous if she can't see me or hear me,” Heigl says. So, when Heigl went to use the facilities in her mom’s hotel room because there were so many people in her own room, Gertie snuck out to try to find her. Luckily, another actress happened to be in the hallway and rescued Gertie. "We heard this voice from the hallway, 'Whose
dog is this? Somebody lost their dog!' " she recalled. "So my mom goes out and it's Jennifer Lawrence who has my
dog." Heigl was grateful to Lawrence, but disappointed that it all happened so quickly that she didn’t get to meet the
Hunger Games actress herself. “State of Affairs” debuts on NBC tonight at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT. — Read it at
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