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August 2, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
In a huge breakthrough for the survival of the Przewalski's horse species, the first foal was born via artificial insemination at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia. The filly was born on July 27 to first time mom Anne. For Budhan Pukazhenthi, a reproductive physiologist at SCBI, and his team, it was the culmination of seven years of work to perfect the technique. “It seems reasonable to assume that reproduction for the Przewalski's horse would be similar to domestic horses, but it simply isn't the case," said Pukazhenthi. "I was elated to receive the call informing me that the foal had been born. I couldn't wait to see her!” The Przewalski's horse is considered the last wild horse in the world. Native to China and Mongolia, the species was declared extinct in the wild in 1969. Today, there are about 1,500 of the animals in captivity and 500 in the wild. “This filly feels like an extra-special triumph for us and her species," said Dolores Reed, supervisory biologist at SCBI. — Read it from the National Zoo
If you’ve ever wondered what the world looks like through the eyes of a polar bear, Tasul, who lives at the Oregon Zoo, will show you. Her collar is equipped with an accelerometer that can detect behaviors like walking, eating and swimming, and a GoPro Camera that records video footage for a research team with the U.S. Geological Survey. The data collected from her everyday movements will be used to study the behavior of Tasul’s wild cousins. After learning from Tasul, researchers hope to put collars on polar bears in the wild so they can monitor them without having to observe the bears directly. — Read it at Live Science
Ginger, a Weimaraner mix, spent four years living in a field in Washington state, being cared for by employees of a nearby company called Accra-Fab. The employees said they were afraid the dog would be put down if they brought her to a shelter, so they provided her with food and water and used binoculars to make sure she looked healthy so they wouldn’t scare her off by approaching her. Last month, they told pet rescuer Carmel Travis about Ginger, and she immediately wanted to help. Travis was able to catch the dog by luring her with a double cheeseburger. Ginger had a microchip, and Travis contacted a family who’d adopted her from a local shelter. They said the dog had run off before they even made it home with her, and they had since moved away. But while she was looking for a home for Ginger, Travis fell in love. “She’s too sweet to let go,” said Travis. “She captured my heart.”— Read it at Life With Dogs
How do they really feel? A new study by Japanese animal behaviorists finds that dogs show their emotions through specific — if subtle — facial expressions using their ears and eyebrows. In their experiment, researchers would show a dog a series of things including their owner, a stranger, a toy and something they didn’t like. High-speed cameras captured the reaction on the dog’s face. They found that the dogs had a different expression for each object that they were shown. For example, they raised their eyebrows when seeing a person, but raised them higher when seeing their owner. The researchers think the facial movements reflect activity in the parts of the brain that control emotion. The study was published in the journal Behavioural Processes.— Read it at Paw Nation
It might be Belle’s first time in her kiddie pool, but this baby looks like she’s already outgrowing it! The 300-pound Asian elephant was born on July 7 to mom Rasha at the Fort Worth Zoo. The zoo’s Facebook fans voted on her name, which is short for Texas’ famous bluebells. In a video from the zoo, the adorable calf makes a big splash, rolling around in her pool. — Watch it at USA Today
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