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July 28, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A family in Australia accidentally struck a koala in Queensland, but didn’t know the marsupial then hitched a ride with them. It wasn’t until after the animal survived a 54-mile ride at speeds of about 68 mph on a freeway Monday that they realized the 4-year-old male was clinging to the bottom of the car. Rescuers brought the koala to the Australia Zoo for help, but the only thing he suffered was a torn nail. "It is absolutely amazing that he has such minor injuries and he survived," said veterinarian Claude Lacasse. "It is a truly remarkable story, he is a very lucky koala." The koala, who they named Timberwolf, is recovering at the zoo in Brisbane while vets determine exactly where he was struck, so they can return him to his home in the wild. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo
Rural squirrels quickly run off when they see humans, but New York City squirrels hardly seem to notice them, according to a new study. Researchers found that city squirrels allowed pedestrians to come relatively close to them and would move away only when they felt a human intently watching them. Ninety percent of the city squirrels moved out of the way of humans walking on a footpath, while just 5 percent froze and showed signs of being alert and vigilant. That suggests the animals can tell the difference between threatening and nonthreatening behavior. The study was published inJournal of Zoology. — Read it at Live Science
Working with the Toronto Zoo, U.K. researchers collected saliva from moose and reindeer and simulated grazing by spreading it onto samples of red fescue grass carrying a toxic fungus. They found that the saliva inhibited the growth of the fungus within 12 to 36 hours. Moose tend to graze in a defined home range, and researchers said it’s possible certain groups of plants are getting repeated exposure to saliva, and over time, that’s resulted in fewer toxins in their preferred area. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Science Daily
With only an estimated 50 Amur leopards left in the wild, the arrival of two at the Twycross Zoo in the U.K. is a big deal. The cubs were born in June to mom Kristen and dad Davidoff, and the zoo waited to make sure they were healthy before announcing their birth. The pair hasn’t had any human contact, so their gender isn’t yet known. Amur leopards have a small range in China and southeast Russia, and the species faces extinction because of poaching, illegal logging and loss of habitat to humans. "We are hopeful that these U.K.-born babies will one day be part of wider conservation plans for the reintroduction of the species to the wild," said the zoo’s Head of Life Sciences, Dr. Charlotte Macdonald. — Read it at Discovery News
Supermodel Heidi Klum is mom to four kids — and three dogs. Together, they’re “one big happy family,” she says. Klum has two German Shepherds, Max and Freddy, and one little Pomeranian, Simba, who thinks he’s just as big as his pals. “He is about a tenth the size of Max and Freddy, but also thinks he is a guard dog,” Klum says. Her favorite part of being a dog owner is the weekends where they all spend time in the garden and in the swimming pool. She says the big dogs jump right in, while Simba acts as a lifeguard on the side. — Read it at People Pets
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