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March 8, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Jake was only three weeks old when he became trapped in a backyard shed that caught fire last April. Luckily, one of his neighbors, firefighter Bill Lindler, heard his family’s screams and rushed to save little Jake from the blaze. When his family couldn’t afford the care for the burns that covered 75 percent of his body, they left him at the vet clinic — and Lindler came to his rescue again, giving him a forever home. Nearly a year later, Jake’s wounds have healed. He’s happy and healthy, and he’s a busy guy. Jake is an honorary firefighter with the Hanahan, South Carolina, Fire Department, where Lindler works. "I'd like to see him be a therapy dog for burned children one day, so they can see that he's a survivor and that, despite the scars, they're all still beautiful. But right now though, we're working on having him be an arson detection dog," he told The Dodo. You can follow Jake's adventures on his Facebook page. — Read it at BarkPost
A flying drone captured rare footage of a baby pygmy blue whale likely nursing from her mom in the waters off the western coast of New Zealand. Marine ecologist Leigh Torres was on a research vessel when her team’s drone captured the behavior last month. “From the overhead perspective we could clearly see this coordinated behavior between mother and calf. It was beautiful to see," Torres told National Geographic. The scientists believe the calf was nursing because the pair wasn’t moving through the water, and the baby would alternate between coming up for air and swimming under his mom to nurse. The calf is believed to be about 4 to 6 months old, and will likely separate from his mom soon.— Watch it at the Huffington Post
A yearling harbor seal pup who was found stranded and clinging to life near Seattle in December was returned to Puget Sound on Monday afternoon. For four months, the pup was nursed back to health by the Progressive Animal Welfare Society. She got a ride out into the Sound with the U.S. Coast Guard. A video of her release shows her lying on the boat’s deck and taking everything in before sliding into the water. Then, she pops back up to look at her rescuers one more time from the water. — Read it from the U.S. Coast Guard and watch it on Facebook
After surviving for several days on a shrinking ice patch on Deer Creek Reservoir in Utah, Sadie the dog was rescued by volunteers with Utah County Search and Rescue — and it was caught on video. Sadie’s owner, Charelle Meriweather, said her dog was staying at her cousin’s house when she disappeared. She believes someone intentionally opened the fence gate and let Sadie out last Monday. The next morning, Meriweather’s cousin spotted Sadie on ice out on the reservoir. For two days, her brother attempted to rescue Sadie with a canoe, but the nervous dog would run away. Finally, with the ice melting, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office was called to help rescue the dog. When the volunteers arrived in their rescue boat, Sadie had fallen through the ice. They pulled her right out and got her back to her grateful owner — who won’t let Sadie out of her sight. "I am just so glad she is home," Meriweather said. — Watch it at Salt Lake City’s Fox 13
The Toronto Zoo’s 5-month-old pandas were officially named in a ceremony attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. The baby bears were named Jia Panpan, which means Canadian Hope, and Jia Yueyue, or Canadian Joy. A photo of the popular leader cuddling with the two cubs quickly went viral on Twitter. — See photos at the U.K.’s Guardian
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