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Sept. 22, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Two 3-week-old cheetah cubs born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are getting around-the-clock care and bottle feedings from the animal care staff. The staff decided to hand-rear the cubs because their mom, Allie, hadn’t been successful with raising her previous litters. The sisters were born on Sept. 1, and within a few days, they were already swatting and interacting with each other. “They are great eaters, they started playing when they were just three or four days old. They could barely walk at that time, so it was pretty interesting seeing them tumbling around with each other,” said lead keeper Eileen Neff. Like Ruuxa, another hand-raised cheetah at the zoo, the cubs will each be paired with a companion dog to help keep them relaxed and calm. So there’s plenty more cuteness to come! — Read it at the San Diego Zoo and watch video of them playing at Yahoo
Health officials in New Jersey are warning dog owners to watch for symptoms of the highly contagious parvovirus. The illness has killed dozens of dogs in the region. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. It spreads through dog-to-dog contact or from contaminated items or surfaces. Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are most at risk. — Read it at ABC News
A white rhino calf is now doing “extremely well” at Care for Wild Africa after a tough ordeal. Liam Burrough, a wildlife advocate, was driving through Kruger National Park in early September when he saw the then 8-week-old calf alone on the side of the road. When he stopped, the calf sought relief from the heat in the shadow of his car. "She had undoubtedly lost her mother at this tender age to a poacher in this, one of the hardest hit areas by poaching in the Kruger,” Burrough wrote on Facebook. “We sent another car to get help from a rangers station whilst we sat, giving the calf cooling showers with bottled water and more than anything, comfort and reassurance." In the post, which was shared 15,000 times, Burrough also shared his outrage at the poaching situation there. Days after the response to his post, he said he was “full of hope for the cause.” — Read it at Today
Each year, Veterinary Pet Insurance gives out the Hambone Award — a recognition of the pet with the most bizarre medical claim. (It’s named for a dog who ate an entire holiday ham while stuck in the refrigerator.) This year’s 12 nominees include Jack, a Jack Russell Terrier who was snatched by a Snowy Owl; Henry, a Labrador Retriever who jumped off a 20-foot deck and landed on a parked car; and Max, a Dachshund who survived a bear attack. All of the nominees recovered from their harrowing incidents. You can vote for your favorite in the 6th annual contest through Sept. 30. — Cast your vote at VPI Hambone Award
The last known giant tortoise from the island of Pinta in the Galápagos archipelago has been painstakingly preserved by taxidermists and is now on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He was estimated to be about 100 years old when he died in June 2012. “We wanted something that would really capture the majesty of George," said Christopher Raxworthy, curator of the museum's Department of Herpetology. The 5-foot-long, 165-pound reptile will be on display at the museum until early January and will then return home to the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galápagos. — Read it at Live Science
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