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April 8, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
People in the small town of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, have pulled together to raise $8,000 for a bronze statue of the town’s beloved 14-year-old cat. Hamish McHamish belongs to resident Marianne Baird, but since he was about a year old, he’s spent his time in various houses, shops and university buildings around the town. Hamish arrived in a convertible as a crowd gathered to watch the unveiling of his likeness, proudly sitting next to it. The kitty is a local celebrity, with his own Facebook page and Twitter account — and there’s even a book written about him. “Our statue is a way of saying thank you to Hamish for being so ‘purrfectly’ adorable and to celebrate him and the joy he brings us,” said Flora Selwyn, a local magazine editor who organized the fundraising for the statue. — Read it at Time
A black Lab mix who’s believed to be about 8 to 12 weeks old was found on Sunday in a loosely tied garbage bag at a park in Pascagoula, Miss. Someone spotted the bag, which also contained empty plastic bottles, moving around, and called for help. Forever Homes 4 Dogs, a local rescue, responded, and founder Anna Sepulveda said she doesn’t think the pup was in the bag for very long before she was discovered. "She's a fighter and she's going to be just fine," Sepulveda said. The puppy has been named Phoenix, and is living with a foster family until she’s ready to be adopted. — Read it at Mississippi’s Sun-Herald
Some 37,000 bats have taken up residence in the tunnels of the Ostwall fortification, a former Nazi war site near Poland’s border with Germany. The defense line built by Adolf Hitler spans 40 miles and includes more than 100 bunkers. It’s now a tourist site and Europe’s largest artificial roost. "The area is perfect because of a steady temperature and humidity," said Jan Cichocki, a zoologist at the University of Zielona Gora who’s working on a bat census. The bats hibernate from October to April, and many are beginning to fly up to the surface now in search of food and to form breeding colonies. — Read it from AFP via Yahoo
Double Dutch jump roping is hard enough to do when you have two legs to coordinate. But even with four legs, Geronimo, a 4-year-old rescue dog, makes it look easy. The Border Collie and Kelpie mix blew her own Guinness World Record out of the water on the Today show Monday, skipping 128 times in 1 minute. Her new record was confirmed by adjudicator Mike Janela, who was in the studio to watch. Geronimo first grabbed attention with her jump roping talent two years ago, when her owner, Samantha Valle, posted a video of her on YouTube. How did Valle teach her dog to jump rope? “A lot of time, a lot of patience — and not much of a life,” Valle joked on the show. — Watch it at Today
The $3.2 facility is now fully funded. It’s being built in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, by the non-profit Marine Mammal Center to help save the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Ke Kai Ola (Hawaiian for "The Healing Sea") aims to open its doors this summer to take in sick or injured seals and release them back into the wild when they’re healthy. Fewer than 1,100 of the seals remain in the wild, with the population declining 3 to 4 percent each year for the last decade. "Every little pup, specifically a female, that we can bring to reproductive age is going to help that population," said Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. — Read it from Live Science
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