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Feb. 18, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Polar Bear Cub Debuts in Toronto
The fuzzy, white 3-month-old bear was happy to romp around in the snow at the Toronto Zoo as he greeted his loving fans for the first time. The little polar bear has come a long way since his birth on Nov. 9. He was removed from his mom, Aurora, to be hand-reared after his two littermates died, and is now thriving after spending a lot of time in intensive care. “Although he is very playful and full of personality, he also still loves his nap time so please respect his sleepy time on the day of your visit,” the zoo said on its Facebook page. Now, the zoo wants the public’s help in naming the cub. The staff has selected six names to choose from, including Humphrey, Orson, James, Lorek, Searik or Stirling. You can cast your vote on their web site until March 3. — Watch it at Today
A team of researchers from Harvard University has zeroed in on four genes that have unusually high rates of mutations in dogs with obsessive compulsive disorder. Dogs who have OCD tend to repeat behaviors like chasing their tails or chewing their paws for many hours a day, and can’t be distracted. Like in humans, the disorder is tough to treat. Antidepressant medications that are currently available for OCD only help about 50 percent of the humans and dogs who take them. The genes identified in the new study also play roles in pathways that have been connected to human OCD, suggesting that dogs could be helpful models for developing better treatments for people, too. The study was published in the journal Genome Biology. — Read it at Discovery News
Even appearing at the 111th International Toy Fair in New York City this week wasn’t enough for make Grumpy Cat smile. But maybe she’s smiling inside. The 2-year-old cat who was originally known as Tardar Sauce unveiled her latest merchandise at the fair — a line of toys, clothing and furniture. (She can add this to her coffee line, Grumppuccino, which launched in the fall.) The feline with the famous frown posed for pictures with huge crowds of adoring fans at the fair during a 2-hour time slot. — Read it at the U.K.’s Mirror
Mystery Dog Finds New Home
Last month, we told you the story of Soldier, the Pit Bull who was found on the streets in South Carolina with an old photo of a soldier mysteriously tucked inside his collar. The 2-year-old dog had no other identifying information, and despite getting lots of media attention after he was found, no one came forward with information on who the dog belonged to or why he was carrying the picture. After receiving hundreds of phone calls from people interested in adopting Soldier, Greenville County Animal Care thought the best fit was Julie Hensley, who lives in Virginia and heard about Soldier on Facebook. She drove through a snowstorm to pick the dog up, and they hit it off well when they met. He has a happy new home, but the photo remains a mystery. — Read it at Fox Carolina
Photographer Lauren Bath traveled to Mon Repos Beach in Queensland, Australia, where several species of sea turtles nest from November to March each year. When the nests hatch, dozens of baby sea turtles make their way down the beach to the ocean, and Bath was there to document their pilgrimage this year — and to take some beautiful photos of it. — See her photos at the Huffington Post
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