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August 22, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
It seems that even the first family's Portuguese Water Dog has to adhere to the first lady’s healthy living initiatives. While speaking at a Kids State Dinner hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House this week, President Obama spilled the news that Bo needs to get in shape. "I only have one request for you, and that is try not to drop any scraps on the floor," he said. "Because Bo . . . is on a diet right now, and he will eat anything that he sees, especially some of the tasty meals that you guys have prepared." — Read it at Today
The results of a new study may make cat lovers purr: Scientists found that the owners of felines are no more likely to develop brain cancer than people who don’t have pets. The research was conducted after another study was released last year in the journal Biology Letters that linked a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which cats can carry in their intestines, with brain cancer in humans. The new study determined that eating unwashed vegetables and undercooked meats was a stronger risk factor when it came to developing a T. gondii infection than owning a cat. — Read it at Live Science
In 2007, 13 rhinos in South Africa were killed for their horns. Last year, that number rose to more than 400 — and the endangered species is being killed at a rate of more than two per day. “It’s horrific, so somebody’s got to do something and do it now,” says one expert. “Otherwise, our children and our grandchildren will have to go onto the Internet to have a look at what a rhino looks like.” — Watch it at NBC News
Runaway Georgia Tortoise Finally Found After Three Days
Tortellini wasn’t exactly moving at record speed, but it still took a big search and rescue group, the sheriff’s department and a social media campaign to track down the 70-year-old, 150-pound tortoise after he disappeared from a Georgia wildlife rehabilitation facility. Tortellini was found safe and sound three days later, and 1 ½ miles away — meaning he'd traveled at an estimated speed of about .014 miles per hour. — Watch it at USA Today
After 38 years of offering the option to visitors, private cars will no longer be allowed to drive through the New Jersey park’s wildlife preserve, where patrons can get an up-close glimpse at lions, elephants and zebras. The last private cars will pass along the 4.5-mile route on Sept. 30. According to a spokesman, the decision, which is a boon to animal rights activists, was based solely on customer feedback. — Read it at The New York Times
The newly established Makira National Park — made up of a region larger than the state of Rhode Island — is Madagascar’s largest protected area, and “represents the center of biodiversity conservation for the nation,” said the head of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Makira National Park is home to lemurs, geckos, snakes and other unique wildlife. — See the photos at Discovery News
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