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Sept. 5, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Amateur Photographer Snaps Image of Lions in a Line
For Daniel Dolpire, a retiree from South Africa who went on a group safari, it was the shot of a lifetime. Earlier this year, he caught this picture of six 3-year-old male lions from the Black Rock Pride lounging together at the edge of the Salt Link in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. "I have been taking wildlife photos for over 20 years, but this has got to be my special moment," Daniel said. The six lions, who all have the same father, seemed to pose for a few minutes before going their separate directions. — Read it at Today
It’s pet diplomacy gone awry. After a Japanese official gave Russian President Vladimir Putin one of its famed Akita puppies as a gift, Putin wanted to return the gesture. So, he announced in July he would send the generous Japanese official, a known cat lover, a Siberian cat. But Putin reportedly didn’t take the proper steps, and the kitty is stuck in Japanese customs. A Russian newspaper called Japan’s rules for pet imports “overly strict.” — Read it at the Wall Street Journal
A study by a Swedish university finds that the way a hen looks affects how much sperm she gets from the rooster. Specifically, the hen with the largest comb gets more sperm and has more chicks. Published in the journal PLoS Genetics, the research also found that domestic hens have larger combs and denser bones than wild hens, and the hens with greater bone mass can lay more eggs. "The original hens have smaller combs, thinner legs, and lay fewer eggs. When people bred for the characteristic of laying many eggs, the comb grew automatically," one of the researchers explained. — Read it at Science Daily
Kitty Hitches a Ride to College
While a Connecticut couple was making the long drive to bring their son to the Rochester Institute of Technology in western New York, they kept thinking they heard purring. Six hours into the trip, on a stop to get gas, they then heard the pitter-patter of little feet. The family asked a mechanic to investigate, and the workers found a 6-week-old kitten curled up in a spot above the gas tank.
The kitten, who was believed to be feral, was in good health despite her ordeal, and the workers decided to name her Connecticut. Although shy, Connecticut lets visitors at the shelter where she’s staying hold and pet her. She will be up for adoption in the coming weeks, after she gains some weight. — Read it at the Democrat and Chronicle and watch it at WHAM
Two weeks ago, we told you about the birth of a critically endangered cub at the Point Defiance Zoo in Washington. Not long after his birth, the staff found that the cub wasn’t getting enough milk, and decided to hand-rear him. Now, the zoo says he’s made a considerable weight gain, and has “an off-the-charts abundance of adorableness.” — See photo at Facebook
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