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Rare Beaked Whale Washes Up in Australia

SYDNEY - A rare beaked whale washed up in Australia Tuesday, exciting researchers who know little about an animal that spends much of its time diving at depth far from shore. Baird's Beaked Whale. Credit: Fred Hochstaedter/Flickr The three-to-four metre (10-13 feet) long whale was found dead at Redhead Beach, some 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of Sydney, with experts examining it and taking specimens before sending its head to the Australian Museum in Sydney. "It is sad but also exciting as we can learn so much more about the animal," Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia president Ronny Ling told AFP. "We don't know much about them, we rarely get to see...

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...

WOJCIECHOW - A lion cub who was abandoned at birth by his parents has been cuddling up to a shaggy-haired sheepdog and mother-of-five at a private zoo in Poland. Credit: Getty Editorial Parys was born last week at the small zoo in the eastern town of Wojciechow to a mother who showed no interest in nursing him, and a father who gave him one lick and then walked off. "Animals sometimes abandon their young, as do humans from time to time," zoo owner Krzysztof Zerdzicki told AFP. "When I picked up the little guy, the lioness came over to me and tapped me with her head as if to say, 'take care of him'. And then she left." Zerdzicki entrusted the black-spotted cub to his pet dog Carmen, an...

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...

Can Dogs Transmit Ebola?

PARIS - Following the uproar over the killing of an Ebola patient's dog in Spain, experts said on Thursday there was a risk of canines carrying the deadly virus but none that they could infect humans. Excalibur, the dog of an Ebola patient. Credit: Getty Editorial A study published in 2005 pointed to a theoretical risk that dogs could pass the virus to humans through urine, faeces or saliva, but there is no evidence of this ever having happened, virologists said. They recommended caution given the lack of firm data. "The wise move is to... assume they (dogs) do represent a risk to humans," Andrew Easton, a professor at Britain's Warwick University, told AFP. Spanish authorities on...

MADRID - Health authorities on Tuesday ordered the death of the dog owned by a Spanish health worker infected with Ebola in Madrid, triggering a campaign to save him by her husband and animal rights activists. Excalibur the dog. Credit: Associated Press The husband, Javier Limon, who has been placed in quarantine, contacted local media to object to the decision by Madrid's department of health. "They told me that if I didn't give authorisation, they would get a judicial order to enter my home by force and sacrifice the dog," he told El Mundo newspaper. The authorities said in a statement there was a risk the dog could be "a carrier of the virus even without showing symptoms", and that it...