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June 19, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Smokey, a rare white buffalo, was born at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Colorado early Saturday morning — a bright end to a week of devastating wildfires. The popular theme park and tourist attraction suffered “catastrophic” damage from the Royal Gorge Fire, which has burned more than 3,200 acres. "The park's wildlife park has a small herd of buffalo, elk, and bighorn sheep,” public relations manager Peggy Gair told the Huffington Post. “All miraculously survived the fire that swept through the park and across the Royal Gorge.” She said the animals are being cared for there until they can be safely moved. About 25 percent of the park’s calves are born white because they’re sired by Royal Gorge’s 9-year-old white buffalo bull, she said. — Read it at the Huffington Post
Natura Pet issued a massive recall Tuesday of all of its pet food made more than a week ago, after the FDA found Salmonella in one of its products. A single positive test for a contaminant usually leads to a limited recall but the company has chosen to recall all Innova, California Natural, EVO, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma branded dry pet food and treats with expiration dates prior to June 10, 2014. The company has since implemented additional product testing procedures. If you have any of the food, keep the UPC, lot code and expiration date information from the bag and dispose of the food. You can fill out a form from Natura to get a full refund. If your pet shows signs of stomach problems, contact your veterinarian. — Read it at the Christian Science Monitor and get recall details from Natura
In San Diego County, the public is being warned to avoid contact with the common ground squirrel after the plague was detected in three of the animals in two local campgrounds near Palomar Mountain. County officials are warning people not to touch, feed or camp near the squirrels. The most common way for the plague to be passed is through fleas, which bite the squirrels and could then pass the disease on to humans. — Read it at Paw Nation
Get ready: the 25th annual World’s Ugliest Dog contest takes place on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, Calif. The winner takes home a $1,500 cash prize — and the promise that his or her photo will show up all in media outlets all over the world. The “homegrown” contest has “accelerated beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings,” said organizer Vicki DeArmon. Between 25 and 30 dogs are expected in the contest. They will be separated into mutts and pedigree dogs, and the finalist from each group will face off before the three judges for the coveted title. May the ugliest dog win! — See photos at Today
Plus: Speaking of ugly animals, a new group is working to save “aesthetically challenged” species who don’t get the same love as those adorable pandas. Evolutionary biologist Simon Watt is leading a newly formed group, the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, to draw more conservation attention to animals like the Australian blobfish. — Read it at Discovery News
The big orange cat who loved lasagna and moved easily between the comic strip pages to TV and movies, made his first appearance 35 years ago today in 41 newspapers. Created by Jim Davis, the quotable kitty went on to become the world’s most syndicated comic strip. The Telegraph rounds up some of Garfield’s best quotes, including “never trust a smiling cat” and “When the lasagna content in my blood gets low, I get mean.” — Read it at the U.K.’s Telegraph
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