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Jan. 15, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Exactly a month after they asked the public for help in finding their beloved mascot, the Boston Police Department’s SWAT team had a welcome sight greet them Thursday morning: SWAT Cat. The calico cat had been a stray who started visiting the squad about two years ago, and became “part of the family.” The unit adopted her, getting her spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. But she disappeared in late November, and in December, the BPD put out a photo of her lounging on an armored vehicle in the hopes that the community could help find her. “The SWAT Team wants to thank the community for keeping an eye out for the feline and for all the calls and emails of support,” the department posted on Facebook Thursday with a photo of SWAT Cat. “The officers are just happy that she was safe all this time.” — Read it at Boston.com
A new study from researchers at Yale University finds that capuchin monkeys will take the time and effort to spitefully punish their peers. Researchers saw the monkeys yanking a rope to collapse a table holding a partner monkey’s food, even when the other monkey merely had more food. In contrast, chimpanzees would only collapse their partner’s table after a direct personal affront like theft. "Our study provides the first evidence of a non-human primate choosing to punish others simply because they have more," said Kristin Leimgruber, the paper’s lead author. "This sort of 'if I can't have it, no one can' response is consistent with psychological spite, a behavior previously believed unique to humans." The study was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. — Read it at Science Daily
Having now reached unbearable levels of cuteness, nearly 5-month-old panda Bei Bei will meet his adoring public for the first time at the National Zoo on Saturday, when the doors to the Panda House are finally opened. Although he slept through most of his media debut just one month ago, the little guy has apparently developed quite a feisty personality in the last few weeks. “He’s very active, very boisterous. He’s moved from the baby stage to the toddler stage,” said the zoo’s Brandie Smith. “There are moments when he wants to challenge [his keepers], to show them that he’s a tough male. There are times that he’s more playful. There are times that he’s sleepy.” — Read it at the Washington Post
Headlines flooded social media Thursday with comedian Ellen DeGeneres’ news that she and her wife Portia De Rossi had adopted a 9-week-old “kid.” But it quickly became clear that the new addition was actually a puppy — who they named Kid. “Inamed him Kid because, yaknow, people, there have been rumors forever.When are you and Portia gonna have a kid?” DeGeneres joked on her talk show.“So, now I can say we have a Kid. So it can just stop.” Still, it sounds like DeGeneres has had plenty of sleepless nights, much like she really does have a kid. Luckily, Kid fits right in with the couple’s two older dogs, Augie and Wolf. — Watch it at People Pets
Bella, a 9-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, is trained to help her owner by alerting her to oncoming panic attacks, anxiety and migraines. So, there was never any doubt that Bella would play a big role in Valerie Parrott’s wedding day. Now, a sweet photo of Bella easing the bride’s anxiety at her Jan. 9 wedding in South Dakota has gone viral. "She will do things like lick my hands or lean and put her weight on me to get me to focus on her instead of my surroundings," Parrott said. "Basically it helps me to take a moment away from whatever is causing the anxiety and keeps me from having a panic attack." The photos of Bella, dressed up for the occasion, have captured lot of hearts after appearing on Reddit. — See photos at the Huffington Post
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