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Jan. 27, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
For her 9th birthday, Maddie Wright’s dad made her a deal. If the Columbus, Ohio, Blue Jackets hockey player of her choice scored a goal at the game they were going to Monday night, she’d get a shelter puppy. So, Maddie quickly chose her favorite player, #13 Cam Atkinson, and made a sign to bring to the game letting him know about the deal. Atkinson, who said he first spotted the sign behind the glass during warmups, delivered — with a hat trick. “We’re getting a dog, and it’s happening soon,” said her dad, Brian. “But we had to remind her: we’re getting ONE dog,” despite Atkinson’s three goals. And just to sweeten the deal, Atkinson said he’d pay for the pup’s adoption from the Humane Society of Delaware County. Maddie’s family was meeting a potential pup on Tuesday, and the Blue Jackets reported that she already has a name picked out: Cam. — Read it from the NHL Blue Jackets
A new study suggests that early Chinese farmers may have domesticated wild leopard cats more than 5,000 years ago. This would mean that cats were domesticated in China, and 5,000 years earlier in the Middle East. Researchers in Paris analyzed bones from ancient Chinese farming sites and determined that they belonged to leopard cats, not to a Near Eastern species. Pigs are the only other animals believed to have been domesticated more than once. But, the leopard cats’ domestication in China didn’t last. None of today’s house cats share their genes, except for the Bengal cat, which was bred in the 1960s for a wilder look. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Science
Omo, an extremely rare white giraffe, was seen this month at Tanzania's Tarangire National Park. The giraffe has a genetic condition called leucism, which results in some of her skin cells being unable to create pigment. "It is very rare. This is only the second record of a white giraffe in Tarangire over the past 20 years or so, among more than 3,000 giraffes in the area," said Derek Lee, the founder of the Wild Nature Institute, who researches the park’s giraffes. He was the first person to photograph Omo, who fits right in with her peers. Many people have been concerned for Omo’s safety, fearing she’ll be poached for her unique coloring. It’s illegal to kill giraffes in Tanzania. — See photo at ABC News
New York Police Officers DeAngelis and DeBellis were patrolling in the Bronx last week when a frantic woman asked them for help. She said her son had been walking their dog when the dog suddenly pulled away and ran off. Her son said Midnight had been hit by a car, and then kept running. The officers gave the woman a ride in their patrol car to search the area for Midnight. Then, her son called and said he’d been able to get ahold of the dog, but they needed to get him to a veterinarian to be examined. The officers picked up the woman’s son and their dog, and the whole group drove to a local animal hospital. “I’m a huge animal lover,” said DeAngelis. “I really wanted to help.” — Read it at NYPD News
A TV celebrity’s legacy lives on at the Duke Lemur Center. During a 14-hour sleet storm in North Carolina on Saturday, Zoboomafoo’s 4-year-old daughter, Gisela, had her first baby. The male Coquerel’s Sifaka is the grandson of Jovian, who appeared in the TV show “Zoboomafoo” when it aired on PBS from 1999 to 2001. The show was hosted by brothers Martin and Chris Kratt. Zoboomafoo, the star, was most often played by a puppet, but Jovian was chosen to appear in the show’s live lemur footage. He died in 2014 at age 20. The newborn lemur’s dad is Rupert, age 6. — See photo from Duke University via Facebook
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