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July 17, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Lance Corporal Andrew Harmon spent seven months working side by side with Rebel, a yellow Labrador Retriever, in Afghanistan. Although they formed a close bond, he hadn’t seen Rebel since then — and he’d been praying to be reunited with his buddy. Recently, he got a call from a woman in North Carolina who’d adopted Rebel after he was injured by an explosion. With a very ill son, she couldn’t afford surgery that Rebel needed to remove a tumor from his leg. Harmon didn’t hesitate to jump in and care for his old pal. He brought Rebel to live at his South Carolina home with his wife, 1-year-old daughter and his Labradoodle. "It's just indescribable," Harmon said of his reunion with Rebel."It was almost like when I had my daughter or when I got married ... something like that. That's the best way I can describe it." Rebel is recovering well from the surgery and fitting right in with Harmon’s family. A GoFundMe campaign started to raise funds for Rebel’s medical bills has brought in $7,500 in 10 days — more than what’s needed for Rebel and enough to help his former owner with her son’s medical expenses, as well. — Watch it at South Carolina’s WISTV
A 59-year-old owner of a senior Golden Retriever had just met with Dr. Grace Brannon when he collapsed in the lobby of BluePearl veterinary hospital in Illinois. Brannon, other staff members and bystanders jumped into action, calling 911 and starting CPR. Brannon gave her client mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and the man regained consciousness. The staff provided the man, who didn’t want to be identified, with oxygen and used ice packs to cool him down until paramedics arrived. “It’s not unlike what they do when we have an emergency with a pet,” said Brannon. In an interview later, the man said, “I guess I couldn’t have picked a better place to have an emergency.” He was treated at a local hospital and released several hours later. Sadly, the scary incident was followed by the family’s emotional decision to put down their 12-year-old dog, who was suffering from neurological problems. — Read it from BluePearl
Much like humans can quickly identify the faces of other humans, new research shows chimpanzees can do the same with the faces of other chimps, as well as human faces. When three chimps were shown pictures of another chimp’s face along with several objects, they recognized the face very efficiently, researchers said. But, it was harder for them to identify a face if the photo was upside down — something that’s harder for humans, too. "Both humans and chimpanzees have developed a specialized ability for face processing," said lead author Masaki Tomonaga of Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute in Japan. "This implies that the face plays a very important social role in both species. These results are quite suggestive when considering the evolution of social intelligence. Both species may use facial information for their social lives in the same manner." The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Live Science
A “plump and happy” sea lion pup named Beach Ball was released back into the wild Wednesday morning after two months of rehabilitation at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The wayward pup got his name when he wandered off the beach, through a parking lot and up to the steps leading to the Beach Ball Bar in Newport Beach, California. The photos of him by the bar’s sign reading, “Notice: We Card Everyone, No Exceptions,” went viral in May. He swam off into the Pacific along with several other rescued sea lions and elephant seals. — Read it from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center via Facebook
Last month, photos of Phantom the baby koala snuggling with his mom during a lifesaving medical procedure at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital made headlines around the world. Now, there’s great news for Phantom and his mom, Lizzy, who was being treated after she was hit by a car. The two were released back into the area where they were originally found, the hospital said Wednesday. "There's nothing more rewarding than achieving a successful rehabilitation for these two beautiful koalas," said Dr. Rebecca Millers, who cared for the two koalas, in a statement. "They weren't with us for long but in the short time we had them, we all fell completely in love with this adorable pair." — Read it at Today
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