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April 25, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
In a “true rags-to-royalty story,” Vincent was crowned the winner of the 37th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake University in Iowa on Sunday. It was quite a moment for the Bulldog, who was rescued from the streets in Des Moines less than a year ago and found his forever home with Meredith and Chad Green just three months ago. “He had the look, the wrinkles, the nose, the happiness,” said guest judge Kurt Van Auken, a local radio producer. “His tongue was always wagging. It was pure joy looking at him.” The judges chose Vincent unanimously, picking him over 44 other dogs to win the honor. He succeeds Tank, who won last year’s contest, to be the official mascot of the Drake Relays. — Read it from Drake University
Researchers have identified the key gene that regulates the size of beaks in the iconic Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands. Changes in the birds’ beak size has allowed them to expand the types of food they eat. The finches’ common ancestor arrived in the islands 2 million years ago and spawned 18 different species. The scientists found that HMGA2, which is typically associated with body size in dogs, horses and even humans, as the gene that controls beak size in the finches. Their findings were published in the journal Science. — Read it at Discovery News
In 2010, Chloe jumped out of her carrier in a parking lot in South Wales when her owner was bringing her to the vet. Rebecca Lee searched all over for Chloe and put up posters, but later got a call telling her a cat who met Chloe’s description had been hit by a car in the area. So, Lee was shocked when she got a call from Cats Protection saying Chloe had been found alive and well. Apparently, she’d been taken in by an elderly woman lived only about a mile from Lee’s home. When the woman’s health declined, her family brought Chloe to the shelter, where she was scanned for microchip — and reunited with her original owner. “Chloe was nervous with us but she was very happy to see Rebecca and started rolling over and purring when she saw her,” said Molly Hughes of Cats Protection. — Read it at the U.K.’s Guardian
A tiny Chihuahua puppy was just days old when his mom was fatally hit by a car in Detroit. Bobby was taken in by the Michigan Humane Society, which quickly found a surrogate mom for the orphan: a new mama cat who was nursing her litter. The puppy fit right in with his new mom, Gwen, and siblings. The young family is living with a foster family, where they’ll get the care they need. Once he starts eating solid food, Bobby will head to a new foster home with other dogs so he can be socialized. He and his littermates will all be available for adoption when they’re big enough. — Watch it at the Detroit Free Press
A little koala joey poked his head out of his mom’s pouch at the Australia Zoo last week to take a look at the world around him — and cameras caught him stealing a kiss from his mom, Ash. “This little dare devil has already been caught climbing onto his mum’s head while the other joeys are still nestled in the pouch!” the Australia Zoo said in a press release. A record 13 koalas were born at the zoo this season. — See photo at People Pets
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