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Dec. 16, 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 young female bald eagle who was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard in September was one of three rehabilitated eagles released on the grounds of a Michigan power plant Monday. Petty Officer William Peters was among the members of the Coast Guard who saved the bird they named America after getting a call from a boater who saw her swimming in Michigan’s Saginaw River. He watched as she was released and said her condition was “a complete turnaround from what it was when we picked it up." The two other eagles who were rehabilitated were found in poor health elsewhere in Michigan. When an official opened their cages, the other two birds soared out of sight while America flew to a nearby tree and examined the scene for a while. All of the eagles were cared for at the Consumers Energy plant’s raptor rehab. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo and watch it via Science Daily
There’s good news for Elsa, the kitten who was found freezing on the streets of Denver last month and rescued by a Good Samaritan who brought her to Denver’s Dumb Friends League. (The group is named after a British organization.) The kitten, who was named for the snow queen in the hit movie “Frozen,” quickly warmed the heart of her foster parent, Jim Slater — and he’s decided to give her a permanent home. "She was by far the sweetest kitten I've ever fostered," said Slater. "She's just amazing." And she couldn’t ask for a better place to live. Slater was chosen as the group’s volunteer of the year for 2014. In the last two years, he’s volunteered for 2,500 hours and fostered more than 70 animals. — Read it at Colorado’s 9News
Researchers have found that cinereous mourner chicks in the Amazon are born with bright orange coloring that closely matches one of two large, hairy toxic caterpillars. They said the chicks are also shaped like the caterpillars and behave like them while they’re in the nest, bobbing and weaving while their mother is away in search of food. Their parents don’t have the same bright plumage — they have mostly gray feathers. Scientists have found evidence that many animals mimic other species to protect themselves, but there’s been little evidence of it in birds. The study was published in the journal American Naturalist. — Read it at Phys.org
When first lady Michelle Obama made her annual holiday visit to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington Monday, she read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and took questions from the kids. But the focus of many of the questions was on the family members who accompanied her: Portuguese Water Dogs Bo and Sunny. They asked about where in the White House the dogs are allowed to go, whether they open their own Christmas gifts and whether Bo and Sunny have stockings. “They do. Everybody has a stocking in our house — Grandma, Malia, Sasha, the president, me, Sunny and Bo. But we’re not going to tell them what we’re putting in their stockings, OK? It’s a secret.” And the first lady is used to the pups stealing the spotlight. “Everybody who comes to the White House, they’re excited to see the president … maybe … but everybody wants to see Sunny and Bo.” — Read it from the White House and watch it at the Washington Post
Two years ago, Obie made national headlines when he was rescued from an elderly couple weighing a whopping 77 pounds — far too much for a Dachshund. With the help of his new owner, veterinary technician Nora Vanatta, the pooch lost more than 50 pounds. Now at a svelte 23 pounds, Obie is showing off his weight loss in a 2015 calendar that chronicles his journey. After his previous owners fed him only people food, Obie had to adjust to having dog food twice a day, a couple of treats and lots of exercise, Vanatta told NBC's Today show earlier this year. — See photos at the Huffington Post
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