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June 7, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
The last living search and rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero trying to find survivors in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks passed away Monday at 16 years old. Bretagne (pronounced Brittany), a Golden Retriever, also worked with her handler, Denise Corliss, to search for victims after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and other disasters. She officially retired at age 9 and went on to work as a reading assistance dog at an elementary school. Corliss said she knew it was time to say goodbye when Bretagne refused to eat for three days in a row. On Monday, members of Texas Task Force 1, the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and other agencies stood at attention and saluted Bretagne as Corliss brought her to Fairfield Animal Hospital in Texas. They saluted again as the hero dog was brought out with her body draped in an American flag. "[Bretagne’s] partnership with Denise Corliss was magical,” said Dr. Cindy Otto, who runs the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. “The two of them touched lives throughout their careers together, not only in search and rescue but even after her retirement.” — Read it at Today
After an investigation, the Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor said the mother of the 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo will not face charges. The boy’s family was heavily criticized because keepers felt they had to shoot and kill the critically endangered western lowland gorilla, Harambe, to save the boy in the May 28 incident. The mother, who was also watching three other children at the time, was “attentive by all witness accounts, and the 3-year-old just scampered off," said prosecutor Joseph Deters in a news conference. “Any parent who is honest with himself or herself would have to understand how this could happen to even the most attentive parent.” The zoo plans to reopen the gorilla exhibit today with an enhanced barrier. — Read it from the AFP via Seeker
A new study finds that giant pandas have higher metabolism than previously believed — but climate change threatens their supply of bamboo in the wild. “We're very concerned,” said James Spotila of Drexel University. “Higher climate temperatures would upset the entire system in the panda reserves and the wild, eliminating vast amounts of bamboo.” In addition, rising temperatures are bad for the pandas themselves, researchers said. The bears experience heat stress when temperatures rise above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. “Unchecked climate change will undo all of the years of hard work by the Chinese to save their national icon,” Spotila said. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Phys.org
Several concerned Brooklyn residents called 911 on Sunday to report that a kitten was stuck in the engine area of a parked car. Sergeant Rios and Police Officer Reiff of the NYPD’s 69th Precinct responded and used a jack to lift the Lexus so Reiff could get underneath the car and find the kitten. He was able to free the black feline, and brought him back to the station, where he gave him a bath in the bathroom sink. Luckily, the cute kitten was then quickly adopted by another officer at the precinct. — Read it at NYPD News
Paying homage to the popularity of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago announced a newborn Bactrian camel has been named Alexander Camelton. The popular show is up for a record-breaking 16 Tony Awards, and the star of the show seemed to appreciate the tribute. Lin-Manuel Miranda Tweeted a surprised face and a camel emoji in response to the name. Camelton made his official debut last month and is the first offspring for mom Nasan and dad Scooter. — Read it at NBC News
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