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August 16, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Meet the olinguito. This adorable little creature made history on Thursday, when researchers announced that the reddish-brown animal is the first new mammal species to be identified in the Americas in about 35 years. "It looks kind of like a fuzzball ... kind of like a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat," said Kristofer Helgen, the Smithsonian's curator of mammals. It’s not that no one had spotted the 14-inch animal before. One had even lived in several zoos in the U.S. But it was thought that the creature, who leaps between trees at night in its native Ecuador and Colombia, was a member of its sister species, the larger olingo. Helgen realized that olinguitos and olingos were different from each other by comparing skeletons and pelts of the animals. He then traveled with a team to South America, where study co-author Roland Kays of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences says they found the newest member of the raccoon family on the “very first night … It was almost like it was waiting for us." The olinguito’s description was published in the journal ZooKeys. — Read it from the Associated Press
Parent company Procter & Gamble has issued a voluntary recall of several lots of certain varieties of its Eukanuba and Iams brand dry dog and cat foods because of possible salmonella contamination. No salmonella-related illnesses have been reported. Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting, according to the FDA. If your pet shows these symptoms, you should take it to your veterinarian right away. Humans can also become infected if they don’t wash their hands thoroughly after handling the food. You can get the complete list of the recalled products on the FDA’s web site. — Read it at CBS News
Justin, a 3 1/12-month-old kitten, hasn’t had an easy start. In April, he was found horribly burned on the streets of Philadelphia, and was taken for help by Good Samaritan Damaris Sanabria. He went through months of surgeries and hospital stays while he was nursed back to health by the Animal Alliance of New Jersey, and now the happy, healthy kitten has a forever home with his new owner, Kelley. She says he’s “full of life and full of love.” Justin showed off his beautiful black and white coat on The View this week, where he was reunited with Sanabria for the first time since his rescue. — Read it at Paw Nation
The People’s Park of Luohe in China managed to pass off a Tibetan Mastiff as an African lion — until the dog started barking. It was a mother and son who were visiting the zoo who reportedly heard the “lion” bark. “The zoo is absolutely cheating us,” the visitor, Sharon Liu, told the state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily. “They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.” The paper also reported that this wasn’t the first substitute animal at the zoo. The park has placed a white fox in a leopard’s den and a common dog in a wolf’s pen. The zoo’s explanation? "The wolf is somewhere else in the pen and the dog is a pet,” a zoo official told the Oriental Daily. “The African lions will be back. They went to another zoo to breed." — Read it at Yahoo News and watch it at CNN
We’ll have to admit, this Naples, Fla., family’s porch does look like the perfect place to curl up and take a nap. But the residents were more than a little surprised when a black bear decided to break through the screen and make himself comfortable out there on Wednesday. The MacDonough family’s nervous babysitter called homeowner Alice MacDonough right away, and she rushed home. They watched through a window as the bear slept for about an hour before wandering off. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is concerned that the bear doesn’t seem to be fearful of humans, is now trying to trap the animal. — Watch it at Florida’s NBC2
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