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July 23, 2012: 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 was moving from California to Miami when they had a car accident in the Everglades. Their 11-year-old cat, Sam, was ejected from the minivan, and he ran away when his crate broke. While members of the family recovered from their injuries, animal advocates stepped in to help find Sam in a region with an abundance of predators — like alligators and pythons. “We didn't have much hope of finding (Sam)," Kathleen Sullivan, an employee of Brigid's Crossing Foundation cat sanctuary, told the Naples News. But the kitty was miraculously spotted under a pine tree, just 20 yards from the scene of the crash. “He just sat there like he was waiting to be rescued," said Sullivan, who found Sam. — Read it at the Miami Herald
Plus: An Atlanta woman who was visiting Florida is hoping for the safe return of her service dog, a toy Pomeranian named Lily, who also ran off following a car accident. She’s offering a $2,500 reward for the pup, who helps her cope with depression. — Read it at WSBTV
They live on barges for weeks at a time, scanning for sea cows. Manatee observers are required at many maritime work sites in order to keep the mammals from coming within 50 feet of an operation. "I'm always focused on the water, and yes, it can get boring," says Trish Bargo, an Army veteran turned manatee spotter. But protecting the gentle animals can also be rewarding. — Read it at the LA Times
The Australian Shepherd mix who Jane Lynch adopted in December may be settling into his home — but his owner hasn’t settled on just one name for the puppy. "Francis Willoughby is his full name," Lynch tells People. "We call him Bannis, I don't know why. Instead of Francis, I call him Bannis or Ban Ban. Franny, Francisco, Francois . . . We have tons of nicknames for him." — Read it at People Pets
For the first time in 24 years, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., announced the birth of two Cuban crocodiles. Keepers were surprised when their 55-year-old mom, Dorothy, laid eggs for the first time in many years. They pulled the eggs from her nest to incubate them, and since temperature determines the gender of the crocs during embryonic growth, the keepers were able to produce males to help boost the species' population. — Read it from the National Zoo
In one of the final stages of the 2,100-mile Tour de France on Friday, a black dog ran out in front of the cyclists, causing an accident. It’s not the first time that a canine has figured in the famed race's history. Five years ago, a Frenchman won the coveted yellow shirt — despite crashing earlier in the race because of a dog. — Read it at CBS Sports
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