Which Animals Use Tools?

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Flash back to 1960. At that point in time the best definition of a human was a being with the ability to make tools. Man the tool-maker was considered to be different from animals in this regard. Dr. Jane Goodall was observing chimpanzees at Gombe National Park in Tanzania and saw two chimps strip the leaves off of small twigs and use them as tools to “fish” termites out of the ground to eat. This was the first time a non-human had ever been seen to create a tool and use it to accomplish a task.

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Wildlife Rehab: ‘Animals Enrich Our Lives’

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Linda Peck has two raccoons in the bathroom, five more in a pen outside, a robin on the back porch. In the basement, she’s raising mice to feed the raptors.  A wildlife rehabilitator for 30-plus years, Peck, 74, fields calls — and takes in animals — from throughout Minnesota.  The animals arrive injured, diseased, shot, poisoned — as many as 250 of them in a single year.  “I believe (animals) enrich our lives. They enrich mine, and I think if we don’t maintain a connection to the natural world we are losing some joy. We’re going to lose our own existence if we don’t learn how to live gently,” Peck said, explaining why she continues an effort that can be as heartbreaking as it is rewarding.

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Should Wild Animals That Attack People Be Killed?

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A marathon runner who was mauled by a bear in New Mexico on Saturday thought quickly, played dead and escaped injured, but alive. The female bear, which wildlife officials said was with her cubs when she was surprised by the runner, was captured and put to death.  New Mexico officials said they were “confident” they had the right bear, which wore a radio collar, and noted with regret that state law requires them to euthanize and test for rabies any wild animal that attacks or bites a person, no matter the circumstances.

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Animals Find Forever Homes This Holiday

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There are millions of loving and healthy cats and dogs sitting in shelters that are in need of a “forever home” or simply just a family to belong to. The Tri-County Animal Shelter recently announced its holiday promotions, which began Dec. 1 with a “Home 4 The Holidays” event and will finish off the month with a big holiday party Dec. 19.

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Video: Sleepy Clouded Leopard Kitten

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If you are not already following the story of the precious clouded leopard born at the Tampa Bay Zoo, get on board immediately.  The currently unnamed cub, born in March, has been spotted taking a bath, expressing himself and now sleeping.  The little guy is very serious about finding the exact right nap time position, which can be challenging, but exceedingly rewarding. His dedication pursuing exactly what he wants indicates a bright future for the little big cat.

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Video: Dog Left in Car Blares the Horn

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This dog is furious about being left in a parked car with the windows up and wants everyone to know.  According to the video’s uploader, the dog was discovered in Eureka, California. Apparently, it’d drawn a few onlookers by the time the videographer arrived due to the fact that it had been blaring the horn on and off for several minutes.  No word on whether or not the road-raging pup ever got the attention of its owner, but you have to assume the reunion was tense. Or at least awkward for the owner to come to a parked car full of strangers watching.

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How Being Vegan Really Helps Animals

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More people are moving toward a plant-based diet, owing in part to evidence about human health and environmental sustainability, and in part to the emerging scientific consensus on the breadth and depth of animal consciousness and sentience.  Full disclosure: I am a pesco-vegetarian — I eat an occasional fish.  But how might choosing to eat fewer animals than ever before — or no animals at all (vegetarian), or no animals or animal products (vegan) — make a difference for animals or for the world.

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