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April 26, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Cameras placed by researchers in a remote area of China caught a surprising scene: in a clip compiled from still photos taken over 10 to 15 minutes, one snow leopard walks in front of the camera and joins another for a nap. Soon, a third comes along and crawls on top of them before lying down at the back of the frame. Researchers said the three could be siblings, or a mom and her cubs. “Footage like this takes a bit of skill and a lot of luck,” said Byron Weckworth, program director for Panthera, the big cat conservation group that revealed the footage. Snow leopards are elusive and endangered, with an estimated 4,000 of the big cats left in the wild. — Watch it at the Huffington Post
Researchers have sequenced the genes of 161 dog breeds and come up with a comprehensive new evolutionary tree that reveals how different dogs were bred for specific tasks. “What we [found] is four different groups of herders that developed in different parts of the world at different points in time,” said Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It makes sense, because the dogs that you would need to drive bison on the plains have to have a different set of skills than those who herd goats on rocky territory, which is going to be different than what you use to move sheep in a pastoral setting.” The findings were published in the journal Cell Reports. — Read it at Seeker
A critically endangered Rodrigues flying fox is now one month old and on her way to recovering, after being rejected by her mom. Keepers at the Oregon Zoo were thrilled when mom Sara gave birth on March 10, but the next day, they found the 2-ounce baby bat on the floor of the habitat. “When you see a baby on the ground, that's not a good sign,” said keeper Laura Weiner. After several failed attempts to reunite the baby with her mom, the pup was brought back to the veterinary hospital, and she’s been hand-raised ever since, getting nine bottle feedings a day. The rare species is native to Rodrigues, an island 900 miles off the coast of Madagascar. — Read it at Zooborns
A tiny kitten was rescued from inside the wall of a Houston family’s apartment, thanks to the family’s dog. A few days ago, Little Momma became restless and started barking at the wall. “She would not stop growling so I said, 'What? Show mommy.' But she wasn't looking at the front door, she was looking this way,” said Alexis Guerrero. When she and her husband listened closely, they could hear a cat and kitten. As time went on, they could no longer hear the mom, and the kitten’s cries grew desperate, so they decided to take action and break through the wall to save the baby. The couple’s grandson has named the little gray kitten Angel, and the family has decided to keep the little one, who has a new friend in Little Momma. "I wasn't a cat person before but I guess I'll have to adjust. And we will, right, Angel?" said Guerrero’s husband, Alfred Griffin. — Read it at Houston’s ABC 13
Another young kitten got a second chance at life at an animal shelter in Arlington, Virginia. Firefly was very pregnant when she arrived at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, and gave birth to five adorable kittens. Not long after, the shelter took in an orphaned kitten who was about the same age as Firefly’s litter, and decided to see whether the new mom would accept the little guy into her family. “It was immediately clear that Firefly didn't mind having a new kitten one bit — she let him nurse right away!” the shelter said in a Facebook post with a video of the cat family. — Watch it at Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Facebook
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