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Dec. 15, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
One of just six northern white rhinos left in the world died Sunday, apparently of old age, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Angalifu was 44 years old. "Angalifu's death is a tremendous loss to all of us," said curator Randy Rieches in a statement. "Not only because he was well beloved here at the park but also because his death brings this wonderful species one step closer to extinction." Attempts to get Angalifu to mate with Nola, a female at the safari park, were unsuccessful. In addition to Nola, Angalifu leaves behind one northern white rhino in the Czech Republic and three in a Kenyan preserve. The species has been brought to the brink of extinction because they’ve been poached for their valuable horns. Experts are now hoping to help the species survive by using in vitro fertilization, possibly with the help of a southern white rhino as a surrogate mother. — Read it from the AP via ABC News
P-22, a mountain lion who’s been a resident of downtown Los Angeles for the last two years, seems to be making a Hollywood style comeback after a health scare earlier this year. In March, when P-22 was captured so scientists could change the batteries in his radio collar, he was suffering from mange and had been exposed to rat poison. But new camera trap pictures from Los Angeles’ Griffith Park released by the National Park Service show a much healthier looking cat. P-22 is the park’s lone mountain lion resident. — Read it at National Geographic
The orphaned southern sea otter pup being raised at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has one very well known fan: “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. Last month, Rowling tweeted a picture of the adorable pup being measured at the Shedd, with the caption, “'What would you like to be if you weren't a writer?' An otter weigher.” When a Shedd staff member tweeted the famous author to ask about her preference for a name for the baby otter, she replied, “Luna, of course!” The name was one of five choices in a public naming poll, and refers to Half Moon Bay in California, which is close to where the pup was found. It’s also the name of a friend of a character in one of Rowling’s books, Harry’s friend Luna Lovegood. Some 10,000 voters agreed, and on Friday, the pup was officially named Luna. — Read it from Live Science via Yahoo
After nearly a year of rehabilitation, a sea turtle named Meghan was released back into the wild of Florida’s Key West Thursday. Meghan was the first olive ridley sea turtle ever successfully rehabilitated in Florida. The species is the smallest of the sea turtles and named for the olive green color of its shell, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Florida Fish and Wildlife assisted the Loggerhead Marinelife Center with the offshore release into calm seas on a clear day. “It was seriously a perfect day for a release! We wish Meghan the best of luck,” read a post on the center’s Facebook page. — Watch it from AP via the Washington Post
In August, a video of Kansas farmer Derek Klingenberg calling his cattle by playing Lorde’s hit “Royals” on his trombone went viral. Now, Klingenberg is at it again, with a Christmas gift for his herd. Getting into the spirit of the season, he’s now calling them back by playing “Jingle Bells.” — Watch it at the Huffington Post
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