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May 23, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A Navy reservist who bonded with a stray kitten while working in Iraq was reunited with his pal in Los Angeles last week. Following a nearly two-month journey to his new home, Mr. Meowgi purred away as baggage handlers carried him to Brad VanCleave at Los Angeles International Airport. VanCleave was working as a government contractor at Baghdad International Airport in July 2015 when the little kitten stuck his head out of a shipping container. He and his coworkers started feeding the kitten and his mom, but his mom later abandoned the kitten. When it was time for VanCleave to return to the U.S., he didn’t want to leave Mr. Meowgi behind. He asked SPCA International and Operation Baghdad: Pups for help. Mr. Meowgi left Baghdad on March 27 and traveled to Erbil, Iraq, then to Germany, then New York, and finally to Los Angeles. He’s now living with the VanCleave family, along with another cat and a dog. — Read it at CBS News
Ayana and Kiano, a pair of critically endangered eastern black rhinos at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, are expecting a baby. There are only 46 of the rhino species in captivity in North America, and just six of them are breeding females. So, experts are thrilled that Ayana is expecting a calf in October or early November. “Their numbers have declined quite drastically over the past century, so having our own baby and being able to contribute to that population is awesome,” said keeper Robyn Scanlon. — Read it from AP via Yahoo
It was a difficult day at the Preakness horse races in Baltimore on Saturday. After he took first place in the first race at the Pimlico Race Course, racehorse Homeboykris collapsed while walking back to his barn. “We are all just heartbroken,” the 9-year-old horse’s owner, Jan Klein, said in a statement. An autopsy will be conducted on Kris. Later, racehorse Pramedya, 4, fractured her left cannon bone while racing on a turf course. Her jockey fell and was injured, and Pramedya was put down on the track. Her owners didn’t comment. — Read it at ABC News
About a week after he returned from a family camping trip in Oregon, Ollie the Sheltie’s owners noticed that their otherwise active 10-year-old dog was becoming increasingly lethargic and would only eat when he was hand-fed. Despite a full exam, X-rays, blood work and tests, his veterinarian couldn’t find a reason for Ollie’s illness. When it came to a point where Ollie was paralyzed and unable to eat or go to the bathroom on his own, his family made the difficult decision to put him down. But while she was trying to comfort Ollie before the procedure, DoveLewis veterinary intern Neena Golden felt a strange lump through the thick fur behind his ears. It turned out to be a tick, and the vet who was with her, Dr. Adam Stone, recalled learning in vet school about how in rare situations, certain ticks could cause paralysis. They pulled the tick out, and amazingly, Ollie was up and walking again the next morning. “It was just pure grace that the people found something and decided to check it out further,” said grateful owner Falline Fate. — Watch it at Fox 12 Oregon
A litter of five of the most rare subspecies of gray wolves was born at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago to mom Zana and dad Flint on April 25. While three of the pups remained with their parents in their den, five days later, two of their siblings were flown with their caretaker to Arizona to be placed with a newborn wild litter. Brooke and Blaze are now being fostered by the Elk Horn Pack of wild wolves. This technique of moving very young pups from one litter to another of similarly aged pups is meant to diversify the genetic population of Mexican gray wolves in the wild. This is only the second time in the history of the program that pups born in captivity have been placed with an established wolf pack. — See photos at Zooborns
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