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Long-Assumed-Dead Dog Returns Home After 10 Years

Ten years ago, Abby, a year-old black lab, was playing with her human family outside of their Apollo, Pennsylvania home, when something caught her attention and she just wandered off. Her owner,Debra Suierveld, spent weeks searching for the pup, but she eventually gave up, assuming the dog had been killed. Life went on for Debra and her family, but last week they got an unexpected blast from the past.

On January 30th, 2018, the Suiervelds received a phone call from Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley who claimed to have their dog. Debra told them that they must have made a mistake, because of the family dogs were within view, but then they mentioned the name of the dog, ‘Abby’, to which the woman didn’t know what to answer.

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Cow Heading to the Slaughterhouse Makes Daring Escape, Hides in Forest and Becomes Social Media Star

Hermien, a plucky cow from Lettele, in the Dutch province of Overijssel, recently became a social media star and a symbol of freedom, after making a daring escape just as her owner was trying to load her on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. Named after her owner Herman Jansen, the cow initially escaped with her sister, but sadly the latter was recaptured after being shot with a tranquilizer gun. Hermien, however, managed to hoof it to the nearby woods in northern Friesland where she has been living on her own for the last six weeks.

Much to the delight of her fans on Twitter and other social networks, Hermien has somehow managed to evade all attempts at recapture. A slew of hashtags like #JesuisHermien, #GoHermien, and #MeKoe have been trending on Dutch social media site in recent weeks. ‘Koe’ is the Dutch word for Cow, making the #MeKoe hashtag a play on the now famous #MeToo movement. The bold bovine has even won the hearts of Dutch royalty, with Pieter van Vollenhoven, the son-in-law of former Queen Beatrix, tweeting “we’ve got to save Hermien, let’s all buy her together and give her freedom”.

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Indonesian Family Has Been Sharing Their Home with a Crocodile for Over 20 Years

It was 1997 when Muhammad Iwan, 41, saw some children playing with a newborn estuarine crocodile that fisherman had recently caught at Pangandaran Beach, in West Java. He bought the reptile for just 25,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($1.8), named it Kojek, and welcomed it into his family home in Sempur Sub-District, West Java, as a pet.

Fast forward two decades, that tiny crocodile has grown into a massive 200kg gentle giant that Muhammad claims would never hurt him and his family. It’s this gentle side of Kojek that has made him a star in Indonesia, with people traveling to Sempur from all corners of the archipelago just to see him interact with his human family . His already immense fame has recently reached new heights, thanks to social media. Amazing photographs  showing Muhammad bathing the large 2.7m (8ft, 8in) apex predator in his front yard just meters away from his small children aged 2 and 10, went viral last week, sparking all kinds of reactions.

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Welcome to Koshlandia, Siberia’s Whimsical Land of Cats

At first first sight, Alla Lebedeva farm doesn’t seem very different fro all the other in Prigorodny, a small village in western Siberia. But then you notice one of her fluffy Siberian cats, and then another, and another and you being to realize why this place is popularly known as Koshlandia, or ‘land of cats’.

59-year-old Alla and her husband Sergey got their first cat in 2003, a beautiful Siberian feline called Babushka. A year later, she gave birth to five kittens and before long cats pretty much took over the whole farm. When people ask how many cats live in Koshlandia, Alla simply says ‘a million, maybe more’. Some sleep in the henhouse, some in the shed, others are chilling on the fence around the farm or on the roof of the farmhouse. They’re pretty much everywhere, and that’s just how Alla and Sergey like it. In fact, they are so proud of their cat paradise that they always take photos of the cats and post them on social media.

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Meet Pigcasso, the Painting Pig Whose Artworks Sell for Thousands of Dollars

If you ever find yourself having to convince someone that anything is possible, just tell them about a Pigcasso, a 450 pound (204 kg) pig who, after being rescued from a South African slaughterhouse at four weeks old, went on to become an acclaimed painter.

South African animal-rights activist Joanne Lefson adopted Pigcasso after rescuing her from a grim fate at the slaughterhouse, a couple of years ago. She took the animal back to her farm and offered her a variety of toys to keep her entertained. Among those toys were some paintbrushes, and the pig became so fascinated with them that she ignored all her other toys. Lefson decided to leave out some paint and canvas as well to see what the animal would do. Believe it or not, she started painting.

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Strange Phenomenon Preserves Dog Stuck Inside Tree for Nearly 60 Years

In 1980, when loggers for the Georgia Kraft Corp. cut a chestnut oak into logs they made a grim discovery. Lodged in a hollow stretch near the top of the tree was a mummified hunting dog. Rather than send the section of the tree on to the sawmill, the loggers donated it to Forest World, a tree museum in Waycross, Georgia. He has been a star attraction ever since.

The dog, named (slightly insensitively) “Stuckie” after a 2002 naming contest, had apparently been in the tree for approximately 20 years before the loggers discovered him. Experts believe that he had probably chased after some small game, wedging himself into the hollow tree and climbing a whopping 28 feet up before getting stuck.

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Cow Escapes Farm, Joins Herd of Wild Bison in Poland

Here’s something you don’t see every day, a cow in Poland apparently got so bored of its life as a domestic animal on a farm that it escaped and joined a herd of wild bison on the edge of the primeval Bialowieza Forest, on the Belarusian border The copper-colored cow has been living with its new bison family in eastern Poland  for the past three months, and seems to have adjusted just fine.

The first person to spot the cow in the bison herd was ornithologist Adam Zbyryt. At first glance, he thought the small reddish brown specimen was a bison exhibiting a mutation. However, after focusing his binocluars on it, he realized it was actually a Limousin cow, a French breed that is popular in Poland. The young bovine appeared healthy and at ease with the bigger animals.

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Alligators Survive in Frozen Swamps by Sticking Their Snouts Through the Ice So They Can Keep Breathing

Alligators are infamously fierce creatures and have existed in the primary Crocodylia body form for over 180 million years, making them living dinosaurs. These massive reptiles have adapted in some unusual ways to ensure their long-term survival, and one such adaptation astounded visitors and staff at a North Carolina swamp park this week.

Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, 200 miles east of the state’s largest city Charlotte, recently posted a video on Facebook documenting what appeared to be a pond full of dead alligators. A massive cyclone had blown through the state the week before, bringing record lows, and causing the pond to freeze over. Crocodiles aren’t exactly known for their love of icy waters, so seeing a bunch of snouts sticking out through the ice, you’d be inclined to think that the huge reptiles had died. But you’d be wrong.

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Australia’s “Firehawks” Deliberately Start Wildfires to Flush Out Prey

According to a research paper published recently in the Journal of Ethnobiology, several Australian birds of prey have the habit of starting wildfires for the soul purpose of flushing out prey from the blazing grasslands. Interestingly, aboriginals have known about this for over 40,000 years and even have a name for the fire-wielding birds – “firehawks”.

Australia’s dry climate makes it prone to wildfires. Lightnings and human activities are considered the main causes, but according to a recently-published research paper, birds may sometimes have a part to play as well. Raptors like the black kite (Milvus migrans), whistling kite (Haliastur sphenurus), and the brown falcon (Falco berigora) can allegedly start fires in the continent’s 730,000 square miles of savanna by dropping burning sticks in the dry grass to flush out prey like insects, reptiles and small mammals. What’s even more remarkable is that they seem to be doing it on purpose.

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Real-Life ” Bear Dog” Found by Siberian Animal Shelter Has a Really Sad Story

Ever wonder what a cross between a bear and a large dog would look like? Well, if you can’t even imagine it, maybe these pictures of a bear-like dog rescued by a shelter in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk will give you an idea.

Named Medvebaka, from the Russian words for ‘bear’ (Medved) and ‘dog’ (Sobaka), the unusual-looking canine was recently rescued by the Nash Dom animal shelter, whose volunteer staff have been working hard to find him a forever home. Photos of the animal, with a head resembling that of a brown bear and the body of a large dog have attracted a lot of attention on Russian social media, and even abroad, but as it turns out, this in not some mythical creature, but the result of poor mixed breeding.

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Iowa Farmer Is Selling Micro-Cows the Size of Large Dogs as Pets

Remember that time when micro pigs were all the rage and made everyone go ooh and aah? Well, now seems to be the time of micro cows and the adorable tiny cattle are proving wonderful pets. There are very few micro-cattle breeders around the world. and Dustin Pillard, who has been breeding them on his farm in Iowa, is probably the most well-known. He has been featured in newspapers and TV news specials numerous times since he began breeding micro cattle in 1995, but his miniature cows are now the smallest they’ve ever been.

Dustin Pillard, a 46-year-old father of three, grew up in the city but regularly spent time on his grandparents’ farm near Cedar Rapids. In 1992, while in college, he attended a cattle auction where he saw micro-cows for the first time. He was fascinated with them, so three years later, when he became the owner of a 10-acre ranch, he knew he had to populate it with the tiny creatures.He bought five animals and started what is known today as the Oxen Ridge Miniature Cattle farm.

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Meet Gustave, the Legendary Killer Crocodile of Burundi

On the banks of the Ruzizi River in Burundi lurks a monster of almost mythical proportions – Gustave, the man-eating crocodile. He has been around for over 60 years, and has allegedly killed over 300 people.

Since Gustave has consistently evaded capture, his exact size is unknown, but estimates from scientists and eyewitnesses place him somewhere between 18 and 25 feet long (5.5 to 7.5 meters). He weighs more than 2000 lbs (900 kg), or over half the weight of a typical car. He is the largest crocodile ever seen in Africa.  Due to his size, Gustave was initially estimated to be over 100 years old, but further observation revealed that he had a full set of teeth, which meant he was much younger than that. According to the 2004 PBS documentary Capturing the Killer Croc, he “should be nearly toothless,” and was thus estimated to be “probably no older than 60, and likely, still growing”.

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Squirrel Still Visits South Carolina Family 8 Years After They Rescued Her

A squirrel that was nearly killed eight years ago by an owl when she was just four weeks old, continues to visit the Greenville County, South Carolina family that rescued, raised and later released her into the wild.

In October 2009 the baby squirrel was left severely injured after being attacked by an owl. She would not have survived for very long in the wild, but fortunately, a wildlife rescue group happened to find her. They rescued her, treated her injuries and eventually placed her in the the care of Brantley Harrison and her family, in Greenville County. The Harrisons were no strangers to rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals, but, for some reason, they formed a very unique bond with this squirrel.

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Tiny Birds Build Communal Nests So Large They Can Pull Down Trees

While most songbirds build small, discreet nests designed to shelter one clutch of eggs, the Social Weavers (Philetairus socius) of southern Africa build communal nests so large that they can pull down mature trees. Each structure can weigh over a ton, and range upwards of 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall, with over a hundred separate nesting chambers. Successive generations refurbish and reuse these compartments, often for more than a century.

Social Weavers utilize several different building materials, starting with a basic structure of woven twigs. They then line the interior with grasses and feathers and construct a 10-inch long, one-inch wide private entrance with downward pointing spiky straws to deter snakes. While a breeding pair will have a private apartment, most chambers house three or four of the birds at a time. The benefits of this lifestyle become clear in the context of the desert where temperatures vary dramatically.

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Dog Dies of a Broken Heart After Being Abandoned by Owner

A poor dog has reportedly “died of a broken heart” after being abandoned by her owner at an airport in Colombia. She spent the last month of her life wandering around the airport in search of her master and eventually stopped eating as a result of severe depression.

The distressed dog, named Nube Viajera (Traveling Cloud) by the veterinarians who rescued her from Palonegro airport, near Bucaramanga, and looked after her until the very end, was only about two years old, but after a month of wandering around sniffing passengers and refusing to accept food and water, she had become so weak that she was barely able to stand. Witnesses said that in the last days of her life, the animal gave up her daily search and crawled into an isolated corner, refusing to accept any food that passengers and airport staff offered her. She was finally taken to a veterinarian clinic after someone alerted the Friends of Animals and Nature Foundation of Bucaramanga, but despite their best efforts, she died within 48 hours of being rescued.

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