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Jan. 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.
Usually, Saint Bernards are the ones doing the rescuing in heavy snow. But as a historic blizzard was bearing down on the Mid-Atlantic Friday night, rescue crews in Fairfax County, Virginia, had to save a large Saint Bernard who’d fallen through the ice into a frigid lake. The dog’s family was out snow tubing down a hill toward the lake when the pooch wandered out onto the ice. He fell through about 30 feet from shore. The crews worked through tough conditions to get him out, with blowing snow and a wind chill of 8 degrees. The dog was warmed in a waiting medic unit, and the crews then brought him and his family home to continue their re-warming efforts. — Watch it on Facebook and read it from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue
A black-and-white bear at the National Zoo was having a whole lot more fun in the storm. Tian Tian, the 18-year-old dad of panda cub Bei Bei, woke up to a whole lot of snow on Saturday morning — and couldn’t be happier about it. The panda wiggled and rolled around in the snow in an adorable video that took the Internet by storm. It had more than a million likes and 1.8 million shares on Facebook, plus 1.6 million views on YouTube — and it inspired at least one copycat. A Maryland man wearing a panda suit challenged Tian Tian with his own happy snow video — but it’s not quite as cute as the original. — Watch it at YouTube
A new study calls into question the long-standing theory that a zebra’s stripes helped disguise them for protection from their predators. Researchers from the University of Calgary and UC Davis say that at the point at which predators like lions and hyenas can see zebras stripes, they probably already have heard or smelled their zebra prey. They tested the camouflage hypothesis by passing digital images of zebras in their natural environments through spatial and color filters that simulated how zebras would appear to their predators. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Phys.org
Actress Jessica Chastain turned to her social media fans for help when her grandmother’s dog, Livvy, was allegedly stolen from a California McDonald’s last week. “There's a REWARD for Livvys safe return. For those of you who love animals, you must understand how devastated my grandma is. Please help,” she wrote on Instagram with a picture of the small white dog. Now she’s crediting her fans with getting the dog back safely. On Sunday, she posted a happy photo of her grandmother with Livvy. “Livvy is FOUND!!!!! My grandma picked her up a couple hours ago. Thank you to each and every one of you that spread the word and put attention on this. I truly believe you all are the guardian angels that reunited these 2 beauties,” she wrote. — Read it at People
At nearly 3 months old, the polar bear cub being hand-reared at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio is thriving. “She is a very strong willed and determined little lady!” the zoo says. “As her legs get stronger she is working on standing and walking on all fours ... She is awake for most of the day and is very playful with the new enrichment items she receives each day.” And now, her keepers are ready for the public to select her name. The choices are: Desna, which means boss; Nora, from her parents’ names, Nanuq and Aurora; Kaya, meaning little but wise; or Sakari, which means sweet. — Cast your vote at the Columbus Zoo
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