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Dec. 5, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Puppies will be puppies — even in the White House. While hosting military families for a holiday visit on Wednesday, Michelle Obama brought her family’s dogs in to meet everyone. Sunny, who joined the family in August, couldn’t contain her excitement to meet 2-year-old Ashtyn Gardner of Alabama. The playful 1-year-old Portuguese Water Dog jumped up on the toddler, who lost her balance and fell over. But luckily, the little girl wasn’t hurt — or fazed. The First Lady pulled Sunny back and helped Gardner to her feet, giving her a hug and introducing her to the pup, who gave her a kiss when she petted her. — See more photos at Today
Ten pilot whales have died in dangerously shallow waters in South Florida’s Everglades National Park, and wildlife workers are struggling to get 41 more whales out of the area. The whales are stranded in a remote section of water that takes an hour to reach from the nearest boat ramp and doesn’t have cell phone service, which is making the rescue effort even more difficult. Rescuers have been trying to surround the whales with boats and herd them back out to sea. Pilot whales normally live in very deep water. Unfortunately, experts say the outlook isn’t promising for the stranded whales, as the whales would have to navigate several sandbars and patches of shallow water to get back to the area where they normally reside. — Read it from AP via Yahoo
In the first evidence of any reptile using a tool, a researcher from the University of Tennessee has observed two crocodilian species using twigs and sticks to lure birds. Vladimir Dinets also found that the two species — muggers and American alligators — used this tactic during the season when their prey would be seeking sticks for nest building. The crocodiles would lie still for hours in shallow water with twigs and sticks on their snouts, lunging if a bird came near the stick. "This study changes the way crocodiles have historically been viewed," said Dinets. "They are typically seen as lethargic, stupid and boring but now they are known to exhibit flexible multimodal signaling, advanced parental care and highly coordinated group hunting tactics." The study was published in the journalEthology, Ecology and Evolution. — Read it at Science Daily
In less than 24 hours, the style guru and host of The Chew helped raise $15,000 in donations for Pet Rescue of New York — and matched them, making it $30,000 in help for the group. “I am truly humbled by your awesomeness, Kelly wrote to fans on his Facebook page on Wednesday. “That $30,000 will unite abandoned dogs and cats with loving families, spreading immeasurable joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Pet Rescue takes in dogs and cats that have been abandoned in high-kill states and finds homes for them in the New York area. Kelly, a former host of What Not to Wear, adopted his dog, Mary, from the rescue in 2009. Although Kelly’s matched pledge has ended, you can still donate and get something in return. For a donation of $30, you get a free copy of Kelly’s new book, Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget. For $50 you get a signed copy of the book, and for a large pledge of $500, you get a 20 minute style consultation with Kelly by phone. — Find out more from Pet Rescue
Three deer got lucky when father-son team Doug and James Kenison heard on Facebook that they were stranded on Albert Lee Lake in Minnesota. The duo owns a hovercraft tour and training company, and went straight to the lake on Sunday to help the animals, who couldn’t regain their footing on the slick surface. They used ropes to pull the deer to safety, and captured their work on video. "It was our honor and privilege to help these wonderful animals," reads a message at the end of the footage. — Watch the video at People Pets
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