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August 16, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A team of firefighters and rescuers in Maryland came to the rescue of a Saint Bernard named Mabel on Monday after she fell to the bottom of a 30-foot dry well in her yard. Daniel Lemmon, a firefighter with the Harford County Technical Rescue Team, rappelled down into the narrow space to get to Mabel in a complicated rescue. He harnessed her and the team lifted her out using a pulley system. “She was an excellent patient. And I’m serious, because the dog cooperated 100 percent. She was so cooperative the whole time, no issues at all, didn’t snap at me, didn’t bark,” Lemmon said. “If there’s someone who’s the star of this, it’s really the dog.” Mabel seemed to be just fine when she was set back on the ground. She even took off running in circles, the rescue team said. A trip to the vet confirmed that she hadn’t been injured in her ordeal. “They couldn't find a sore spot on her, but they did recommend buying her a cape because she's obviously a super dog,” owner Leslie Ruhno said in a Facebook comment thanking the rescuers. — Read it at ABC News
When she wanted to investigate how smaller magpies and larger crows compete for food, behavioral ecologist Rhea Esposito used bright orange Cheetos so she could see what was happening from her car, which was parked 20 feet away. In what she dubbed the Cheetos Challenge, the birds had to use a tool (a string) to pull the snack out of a hollow log. She found that the daring magpies were the first to explore and taste the Cheetos. The crows would repeatedly approach and retreat, but when they determined that the Cheetos were tasty, they would steal them from the magpies. Esposito presented the results of her experiment at the Ecological Society of America convention in Florida. — Read it from the AP via the San Francisco Chronicle
An unusual pygmy elephant with tusks that are pointed down instead of up, like those of a prehistoric saber-tooth tiger, has been spotted in Malaysia. The elephant was found at a palm oil plantation by a team of wildlife experts. “It is very rare," said Sen Nathan of the Malaysian state of Sabah’s wildlife department. “We're not exactly sure why the tusks are like that but it could be a congenital defect or maybe because of inbreeding.” The team plans to send the elephant to a sanctuary until it can be released in a suitable area with a tracking device so they can keep tabs on it for its safety. — Read it at Discovery News via Seeker
A 2-week-old zebra at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia named Zina, which means free spirit in Swahili, has been enjoying a good run around her enclosure to start the day. “Zina is staying close by her mother’s side at present but does enjoy a gallop around the paddock in the morning,” said keeper Carolene Magner. She was born on July 30 and is the fifth baby for her experienced mom, Kijani. Zina is the second foal born in a month at the zoo, and they’re already about the same size. Keepers expect the pair to become playmates as they grow. — See photos at Zooborns
Emergency responders in Enfield, Connecticut, came across a squirrel bouncing around and trying desperately to free itself from a yogurt container. The scene was caught on video as the rescuers attempted to hold on to the little critter with a sheet and remove the container. The officials said it was a Yoplait yogurt container, which has been a problem for other animals in the past because of the small opening it has at the top. — Watch it at the Huffington Post
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