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Dec. 11, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
“IKEA Monkey” Gains Fame
Dressed in a dapper shearling coat and a diaper, a rhesus macaque shocked customers when he was spotted walking through the parking lot of a Toronto IKEA store on Sunday. Police think the 7-month-old monkey escaped from both a crate and his owner’s car to head inside the store. “It’s a smart monkey,” police said. Authorities from Toronto’s animal services were able to trap the monkey once it was in the store, and his owners came forward. They’ll face a $240 fine for keeping an illegal pet. News of the “IKEA Monkey” quickly spread on social media, where images from witnesses went viral and at least two parody Twitter accounts were started. — See photos at the U.K.’s Daily Mail
For several years, we’ve heard about the dangers of BPA, a chemical used in some plastics, to humans. Now, researchers at Texas Tech say they’ve found both BPA and phthalates, a chemical used to make plastic more flexible, in some dog toys. But it’s not clear what affect the chemicals might have on man’s best friend. "The interaction of pet health and environmental chemicals is understudied ... But the amount of BPA and phthalates we found … would be considered on the high end of what you might find in children's toys," said master’s student Kimberly Wooten, who worked on the study. The results were presented at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference last month. — Read it at Live Science
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who had to give up her 4-month-old teacup Persian kitten shortly after receiving her as a gift from boyfriend Kayne West because she developed allergies, wrote in her blog that her “heart is completely broken” over the kitten’s death. Kardashian had given Mercy to her sister’s assistant, Sydney. Last week, the kitten was diagnosed with a fatal, cancer-like virus that’s often associated with breeding, and was put down. "Mercy was a gentle and loving kitten and we are all going to miss her so much,” Kardashian wrote. — Read it at Today
The View Host Rescues Black Lab
In much happier celebrity pet news, Sherri Shepherd, one of the hosts of The View, has adopted a 3-year-old black Labrador — and she says she’s going to ask her boss, Barbara Walters, if she can bring her to work. The dog was transported to Shepherd’s New York home from a Tennessee shelter by pet rescue network Pooches on the Move. "My dog, she's on me like white on rice — she's like my shadow," Shepherd tells People. "Wherever I go, Ashley is right there." Shepherd says she specifically wanted a black dog because she knows they can be harder to find homes for. — Read it at People Pets
Keepers at the D.C. zoo have been working to make cautious introductions between its male and female tigers, Kavi and Damai, who were transferred from other zoos in the spring. After looking at each other through a door for months, the two were introduced while Damai was in heat — and while staff was at the ready to separate the two big cats if things turned ugly. While Damai seemed friendly toward her new partner through the glass, she “lost her nerve and hid under the bench” when Kavi was allowed into her enclosure. Damai is no longer in heat, but the keepers say they’ll continue with low-key introductions between the two, in the hopes that Damai will gain trust in Kavi. — Read it at the National Zoo
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