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August 27, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
At just a few weeks old, Trouble has already made a name for himself. On Saturday, Dennis and Joyce Snyder of Pittsburgh heard meowing in their garage and thought a kitten may have crawled up into their Jeep. They had two different mechanics check it out, but they didn’t find a feline. Finally, they realized the noise was actually coming from the garage drain under the vehicle. When they lifted the lid, a tiny black kitten squeezed his head through a tight hole in the drain. “He looked up at us like, ‘Please help me!'” said Joyce Snyder. They think he crawled into a pipe on the street, 60 feet away, and got stuck when he reached the other end in the garage. Eventually, it was Mr. Rooter plumbing employees who freed the kitten. They protected him while using a jackhammer to break the cement around the drain, then had to use a chisel to split the cast iron drain around the cat’s neck. The Snyders decided to keep the kitten and aptly named him Trouble. — Watch it at CBS Pittsburgh
There’s sad news to report about a dedicated K9 officer in Panama City Beach, Florida. The police department said Argo, a Belgian Malinois, was struck and killed by lightning while he was in an outdoor kennel Sunday as his handler was on his way to a training session. The police chief said Argo’s handler, Cpl. Jason Gleason, “is still having a hard time” with the loss. Argo served for about five years with Gleason, helping him seize illegal narcotics and make felony arrests. — Read it at Florida’s News Herald
A coalition of environmental and health groups say monarch butterflies urgently need endangered species protection, after 90 percent of them have died off in the last 20 years. The drop is being blamed on the loss of milkweed, which the butterflies need to feed and breed. The decline in milkweed is blamed on a herbicide sprayed on genetically engineered corn and soybeans on Midwestern farms, the groups said in their petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Listing [the butterflies as endangered] will make it illegal to intentionally kill monarchs or modify their habitat without a permit," said a statement from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo
City Wildlife in Washington, D.C., is hand rearing 16 baby squirrels ranging from 2 to 7 weeks old — and it’s made for lots of cute moments. Baby squirrel season happens two times per year, and the center is usually busy rehabilitating the ones who become separated from their moms and siblings during those times. They are drinking formula for now, and will later move to solids. “Just like human babies, baby squirrels spend most of their day simply sleeping or eating,” the center says on its Facebook page, where it’s been sharing photos and videos of the little ones, like the one here. — Read it at the Huffington Post
Meghan LaPlante, 14, and her dad had an extremely rare catch in their Maine lobster trap Saturday: a bright blue crustacean. "We were really surprised,” the teen said. “I've never caught anything like it." That’s because there’s only a 1-in-2 million chance of a lobster being blue, due to a genetic mutation that makes it produce an excessive amount of a certain protein. The LaPlante family owns a lobster trap business, but they didn’t want this one to end up on a dinner plate. So, they named it Skyler and donated it to the Maine State Aquarium. — See photos at Reuters via Yahoo
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