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April 15, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A stray gray and white cat was recently brought to the KC Pet Project shelter in Missouri with an injured paw, and during an exam, the staff found he had a microchip. It turned out the cat, Lutèce, had been missing for seven years. Although his owner’s contact information had changed, the staff was able to track him down through his emergency contact. Lutèce had been a very quiet cat at the shelter, but when his long-lost owner, a chef named Franc, arrived and spoke to him in French, the kitty “immediately began meowing back loudly and extending his paw to Franc through the kennel door,” shelter workers wrote in a post on Facebook. “Our hearts melted.” Franc said Lutèce had disappeared during a move, and it was “a miracle that this was happening.” — Read it from the KC Pet Project via Facebook
A female western gray whale named Vavara has taken the record as the mammal with the longest known migration, researchers say. She swam 13,988 miles from Russia to Mexico and back in 172 days, according to a new report. The previous record holder, the humpback whale, migrates up to 10,190 miles round trip between its breeding grounds near the equator and the waters of the Arctic and Antarctic where they feed. Researchers from Oregon State University placed satellite-monitoring tags on seven critically endangered female western gray whales but Vavara was the only one whose tag stayed on for the whole journey. The findings were published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Live Science
Researchers have observed a troop of chimps in the wild making sharp spears and using them to stab their prey. "The tools (spears) are made from living tree branches that are detached and then modified by removing all the side branches and leaves, as well as the flimsy terminal end of the branch," said the study’s lead author, Jill Pruetz of Iowa State University. The chimps would then use their weapons to attack small primates. The researchers said female adult chimps made and used the spears more often than males, who relied on their strength and size for hunting. They said spear hunting was more effective for females who are often hindered by the infants they’re carrying. The study was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. — Read it Discovery News
Months ago, Sean and Vidhya Bagniewski of Iowa were interviewed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and joked about how they hoped to train their Lab puppy, Harry, to stay out of the trash. So on Sunday, they were surprised and excited when they got a call saying they were going to appear in Clinton’s video announcement that she was running for president, which highlights several people talking about what they’re ready for in 2015. “Most importantly we really just want to teach our dog to quit eating the trash,” Sean says in the video. “And so we have high hopes for 2015 that that’s gonna happen,” his wife laughs. In an interview about their appearance in the ad, the couple admits “it’s kind of our fault” that the pup gets in to the trash, and says Harry has passed his obedience classes. — Watch it at NBC News
The Costa Mesa, California, fire department’s urban search and rescue team freed a family of trapped ducklings from a storm drain Saturday night. The department says they got a call about the half dozen baby birds at about 8 p.m. and had them out of trouble within 30 minutes. “Strong work by your Costa Mesa Firefighters! We respond to mitigate ALL emergencies and will stabilize any hazardous situation,” the department posted on Facebook with photos from the scene. — See photo at the Los Angeles Times
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