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Dec. 2, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
At a ceremony celebrating her first 100 days on Sunday, the National Zoo revealed its panda cub’s name. Bao Bao, which is Chinese for treasure or precious, won the public over in a poll with a total of 123,039 votes. “Bao Bao symbolizes 41 years of research and collaboration both at the National Zoo and in China,” said Dennis Kelly, the Washington zoo’s director. “We're grateful to everyone around the world who voted to name her and help us celebrate today." Chinese lion dancers led visitors to the giant panda yard, where Bao Bao’s dad Tian Tian was presented with a frozen treat. Mom Mei Xiang gave birth to Bao Bao on Aug. 23. The baby bear, who’s now 10.8 pounds and making attempts to get around on her own, will make her public debut early next year. — Read it from the National Zoo
Elwood, an 8-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix from New Jersey who was named the World’s Ugliest Dog of 2007, died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving morning. The dog was dark colored and hairless, with the notable exception of a tuft of white hair on the top of his head. After winning his title, he became the subject of a children’s book about acceptance called Everybody Loves Elwood. "For a little dog he touched a lot of lives in his short time," his owner, Karen Quigley, told CNN on Saturday. "He did a lot of things." Elwood, who was also known as Yoda and E.T., had been ill recently but Quigley said his health had been improving. Quigley adopted Elwood from a breeder who had planned to put him down because of his looks. He appeared at many events over the years to raise money for animal rescue groups.— Read it from the AP via Today
German researchers trained crows, who are often called “feathered primates” by biologists for their intelligence, to carry out memory tests on a computer. They were shown an image and had to remember it, then they had to use their beaks to choose one of two images on a touch screen. One was identical to the first image and the other was different. Sometimes, the crows were tasked with choosing the same image and sometimes it was the different one. The crows were able to carry out both tasks and even switch between them. Researchers were even able to tell which group of nerve cells responded when the birds had to choose the same image vs. a different image. The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications. — Read it at Science Daily
Both of the first family’s Portuguese Water Dogs, Sunny and Bo, were on hand Friday to receive the official White House Christmas tree along with Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia. The pups sported festive red and white holiday collars for the occasion. “What do you think, Sunny? This is Sunny’s first Christmas tree,” said the first lady, as the group checked out the 18.5-foot tree from a Pennsylvania farm. It arrived on a horse-drawn carriage, and will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House. — See photos at the Huffington Post and watch it on YouTube
Loki, a rescue dog, paid it forward recently, when he alerted his owner to a small animal carrier in a vacant lot while out for a walk with her near his home in Nevada. Loki sniffed unrelentingly at a fence where Beata Liebetruth noticed the carrier and heard meowing. She realized that the carrier held an abandoned cat and her two young kittens. Liebetruth flagged down a passing truck, who helped her retrieve the carrier and bring it home. She transferred the cats to a larger crate, fed them and called animal services. One of the kittens was adopted on the spot by Liebetruth’s neighbor, and the mom and second kitten, named Lily and Lillian, were taken to the Nevada Humane Society. They’re living at a foster home until Lillian is big enough to be put up for adoption along with her mom. — Read it at Life With Cats
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