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An endangered Beluga whale was born to 20-year-old Maris at the Georgia Aquarium on Mother’s Day. The female calf weighed 126.5 pounds. It’s rare for a beluga to be born in captivity, and calves born in captivity are smaller than those born in the wild. The animal care staff is providing around the clock care to Maris and her calf. Sadly, the calf Maris gave birth to in 2012 died in less than a week. But the staff is hopeful that this little girl will thrive. Shortly after her birth, she swam to the surface of the water to take her first breath, which is an important milestone. “Thus far, we are very encouraged by what we are seeing from both mom and calf,” said Dr. Gregory Bossart, the aquarium’s chief veterinary officer. — Watch it at Today and see more cute baby animal photos
Unlike other fish, the opah, which lives deep in the Pacific Ocean, has been found to generate heat as it swims and distribute the warmth through its body with special blood vessels — making it the first warm-blooded fish ever discovered. They also have special gills that minimize heat loss. That allows them to keep their bodies several degrees above the water temperature when they are 250 feet down. "There has never been anything like this seen in a fish's gills before," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration biologist Nick Wegner, the lead author of the report. “Because it can warm its body, it turns out to be a very active predator that chases down agile prey like squid and can migrate long distances." The findings were published in the journal Science. — Read it at USA Today
Firefighters in Lake Oswego, Oregon, came to the rescue of a 10-year-old horse who fell and was stuck in a creek bed Wednesday night. Major’s owner called for help when the pair had an accident while crossing a small bridge. Major’s leg broke through the bridge, causing him to tumble into the creek. "His legs were wedged against the bank where he was unable to get them underneath him to get up," said Fire Marshal Gert Zoutendijk. At the advice of a local hunt club, firefighters rigged up a rope and pulley system to pull the horse free. The 1,000-pound horse, who remained calm the whole time, was eventually able to get up and walk back to his stall. — Read it at Oregon’s KGW
The staff at Boulder, Colorado’s Via Mobility called firefighters for help when they noticed a mother cat and her kittens stranded on top of a 2-story storage facility Thursday. The kittens couldn’t get enough traction to walk on the metal roof, and they were too young to climb down. The little ones were taken in by the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. Their mom, who was named Hōrō-sha, a Japanese word for wanderer, is a feral cat who will be spayed and released. — Read it at Colorado’s 9News and watch it on YouTube
Jamie Kraczkowski credits her dog, Isis, with saving her from an abusive boyfriend during an incident two months ago. But when police in Hazel Park, Michigan, arrived on the scene to help her, she was told she had to find a new home for her dog because of a citywide ban on Pit Bulls. A public uproar ensued, and last week, the City Council decided to lift the ban altogether, with some limitations. Pit Bulls can now live in Hazel Park as long as they pass a behavioral assessment and their owners have a fence, among other stipulations. — Read it at People Pets
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