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Feb. 23, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
It was just before Christmas when Wilmington, Ohio, Police K9 Karson escaped his kennel. After 61 days of searching and following tips, the 3-year-old Belgian Malinois was found Sunday by photographer Pam Jones and her husband, in a field near an interstate. “Once that confirmation came that yes, that's him, then I think all bets were off,” Jones said. “We were getting that dog." Karson’s handler, Officer Jerry Popp, and another officer arrived on the scene to capture the scared dog. Karson survived for two months in frigid temperatures. He lost 14 pounds but was otherwise healthy. Popp never had any doubt Karson could survive the bitter cold and heavy snow. "He's an athletic dog, a strong dog, a smart dog.He'll either find shelter or keep moving. I'm not worried. Not at all,” he said last month. He had an emotional reunion with his dog in the field. “They’re home just being a family at this point,” said Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand. "Karsonisn't just a dog, he's a member of our department, he's a member of this community ... He belongs here, he's one of us." On a Facebook page created to help find Karson, Popp said early Monday that his dog has been catching up on sleep and “acting as if he never left the house.” — Read it at Ohio’s WPCO
Using a pole equipped with a knife, a crew from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary carefully cut a heavy fishing line to save a 45-ton whale Saturday. The whale was first spotted entangled Feb. 13 off the Kona coast of the Big Island. The crew had to wait for the right weather to approach the animal in an inflatable boat. Tour boats and helicopters had helped track the whale’s location until conditions were right for the crew to help it. They cut away several hundred feet of heavy line used to hoist crab pots, and the humpback whale swam free. — Read it from AP via Yahoo
There’s sad news to report about the teen whose yearbook photo made so many people smile when it went viral in the fall. Draven Rodriguez, 17, took his own life Thursday, authorities said. Rodriguez had his yearbook portrait taken with his rescue cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, with laser streaking the background. He’d wanted it used as his official photo in the publication. Schenectady (New York) High School wouldn’t allow that but said it could be used elsewhere in the yearbook. Principal Diane Wilkinson even posed with her Chihuahua in a composite image with the teen and his cat that drew even more attention. It was set to be printed on Wilkinson’s yearbook page to raise awareness for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Photographer Vincent Giordano, who shot the photo, said his studio was “heartbroken by the news.” — Read it at NBC News
Lupicina, a Coquerel’s Sifaka lemur, was born Jan. 8 at the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina to mom Euphemia and dad Lucius Verus. She weighed less than ¼ pound at birth and is doing well in Euphemia’s care. The Coquerel’s Sifaka is found only in Madagascar and is highly social, living in groups of three to 10 lemurs. The infant is being slowly introduced to her father and to her uncle, Thrax. The species’ population has declined by half in the last 50 years because of hunting and habitat destruction. Lupicina was the first lemur born at the Duke center this year. —See photos at Zooborns and check out more cute zoo baby photos
Before going inside to win the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in “Still Alice,” Julianne Moore talked about her dogs in a red carpet interview. “I have a 10-year-old lab mix and a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix — they love each other, they sleep in each other’s arms. They’re great. It’s just that as anyone knows, they’re a lot of work. They’re more work than my kids!” said Moore. The actress has two children, ages 12 and 17. She said she was looking forward to going home to her pups after the awards show. — Read it at InStyle
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