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June 9, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A middle school in San Antonio, Texas has a unique addition to their yearbook: a dog’s school picture. But it’s not any ordinary dog. Taxi, a Lab/Golden Retriever mix, is the service dog of Rachel Benke, a seventh grader who has had epileptic seizures since birth. Taxi follows Benke everywhere and once even predicted a seizure when she was on the school’s running track. "I don't know how Taxi knew this," Rachel’s mom Theresa said, "but he wouldn't let anyone near her until the paramedics arrived." The yearbook shout-out was a surprise for Rachel and her life-saving friend. — Read it at People Pets
A new study offers hope for the honeybee population, which has been in rapid decline for the past few years. While there is still significant debate about the cause of their demise, pesticides have long been thought to be a contributing factor. But a new pesticide made from the venom of an Australian funnel-web spider kills common pests and leaves honeybees unharmed. “It is important that governments and industry develop pesticides that are as specific to their target pests as possible,” says Geraldine Wright of Newcastle University, a study co-author. “Our work shows that … it is possible to make insecticides that do not affect honeybees.” The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at National Geographic
When it comes to simple contests based on game theory and strategy, chimpanzees outwit humans a majority of the time, according to a new study from the California Institute of Technology. But researchers aren’t necessarily chalking up the superiority of the chimps to intelligence, as much as to their extensive experience in competition. "While young chimpanzees hone their competitive skills with constant practice, playing hide-and-seek and wrestling," says Colin Camerer, co-author of the study, "their human counterparts shift at a young age from competition to cooperation using our special skill at language." — Read it at Science Daily
Rejected by his mother shortly after his birth last month at Zoo Miami, a White-faced Saki monkey is now being hand-reared by zookeepers. These rare monkeys, native to the rainforests of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela, are considered vulnerable due to habitat destruction, hunting for food and the pet trade. It’s the first birth of this species for the zoo. — Read it and see pictures at Zooborns
Missing your pooch in paradise? Borrow one! An animal shelter in Kauai offers a program called Shelter Dogs on Field Trips, where vacationers can check out a dog for a day field trip around the island. Excursions include several dog-friendly beaches, hiking trails and parks. And often, the friendship lasts for more than an afternoon. "Currently, we have Kauai Humane Society alumni residing in more than 25 states and four Canadian provinces," says Penny Cistaro, spokesperson for the group. "We estimate that more than 100 dogs have found their new loving home as a result of a field trip." — Read it at The Huffington Post
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