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WASHINGTON - Polar bears in the Arctic suffered sharp declines in the first decade of this century, losing about 40 percent of their population, according to US and Canadian scientists. Credit: Getty Creative The worst years for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea were 2004 to 2007, when scientists believe thinning ice made it harder for the bears to find seals for food. "Of the 80 cubs observed in Alaska from 2004 to 2007, only two are known to have survived," said Jeff Bromaghin, US Geological Survey research statistician and lead author of the study in the journal Ecological Applications. Survival improved after 2007 and the population had stabilized at 900 bears by the year...

According to staff at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan, Fuji, the first dolphin in the world to receive a prosthetic tail fin, has died of liver disease at an age estimated to be about 45. Credit: Getty Creative In early October, aquarium officials observed Fuji's appetite decreasing and her swimming patterns becoming unstable. She passed away on November 1. VIDEO: Dolphins Give Each Other Unique Names Fuji arrived at the aquarium in 1976, after having been captured off Ito City, on Japan's eastern shore. In 2002, an unknown disease caused 75 percent of her tail fin to rot. Without the fin, a dolphin cannot maneuver in the water. But thanks to a rubberized prosthetic tail fin...

PRAGUE - One of the last northern white rhinos on the planet has died in a reserve in Kenya, leaving the sub-species on the verge of extinction, experts said Saturday. Credit: Getty Creative The male, called Suni, "was probably the last male capable of breeding," according to Dvur Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic, where the rhino was born in 1980. There are only six of the very rare rhinos left, having been hunted by poachers in central and east Africa for their horns, which are highly prized for traditional Chinese medicine. The Czech zoo is the only one in the world to have succeeded in breeding the sub-species in captivity. Suni -- who is thought to have died from natural causes in...

Texas Ebola Patient's Dog Will Be Spared

WASHINGTON - The pet dog of a Texas healthcare worker who was infected with Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient will not be killed, US officials said Monday. Credit: Getty Editorial The American answer to the question of what to do with a dog whose owner gets Ebola contrasted starkly with what happened in Spain last week, when authorities there put down an infected nurse's dog. "The healthcare worker had a dog, and we want to make sure we respond appropriately," said David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "And so we are working hard to find a location to care for the dog and a location where we can have the proper monitoring of the dog." Dallas...

I was very saddened and shocked to learn of the passing of my fellow veterinarian and writer Lorie Huston. Credit: Dr. Lorie Huston I first got to know Lorie on a virtual basis in 2008 when I first started writing for examiner.com. Lorie was another Pet Care Examiner and in those days we would receive a weekly update as to which writer had the top readership in our respective categories. Lorie was always the top Pet Care Examiner, which motivated me to write more frequently and expand my catalog of topics in an effort to reach the top spot. For complete disclosure, Lorie still typically beat me, which I just came to accept over time. This on-line interaction was the impetus for my...

NEW YORK - A dead baby bear found dumped in New York's Central Park was killed by being run over, an autopsy concluded Tuesday. Credit: Getty Creative The mysterious discovery of the six-month-old female cub in a grassy area in Manhattan's largest park on Monday baffled conservationists and police who are investigating where the cub came from. The New York state department of environmental conservation, which on Tuesday performed a necropsy, said that the cause of death was "blunt force trauma consistent with a motor vehicle collision." The department said it was investigating criminal offenses including "illegal possession, transport and disposal of an untagged bear." The female cub...