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National Geographic Kids 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals: Inspiring Tales of Animal Friendship & Four-Legged Heroes, Plus Crazy Animal Anticsby National Geographic Kids
DOG RESCUES 200 CATS!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.
Wuffy the dog is always on the lookout for cats. But she doesn’t chase or bark at them. She rescues them.
Eleven years ago, owner Gary Rohde was shocked when Wuffy popped out of some bushes with a weak kitten in her mouth. Then she brought out three more! Back home, Wuffy cared for them like a mother cat, licking their faces. “They were drenched with dog spit,” Rohde says. Thanks to Wuffy, the kittens survived.
Since then, Wuffy has rescued more than 200 cats. She’s even on call with a local rescue group, which sends her troubled cats that need attention, such as Mao Mao. He hissed and spit so much that rescuers worried no one would want to adopt him. Wuffy shared her sleeping space with Mao Mao, cuddled with him, and taught him to trust new friends. Now the cat has a home of his own.
Why does Wuffy favor felines? That mystery hasn’t been solved. “I didn’t teach her how to do it,” Rohde says. “Even her veterinarian is stumped.”
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S.A.
The albino black rat snake fittingly named We never gets any privacy. But there’s not another snake crowding her space—it’s her other head!
We’s heads are actually twins from two eggs that grew together. That’s unusual, but this snake is full of surprises. We is a “she” on her bottom half, but differences in size and skin patterns show that one head is female and the other is male. The two don’t realize they’re connected. “If they did, one would smack the other and say, ‘Let go of me!’” says Leonard Sonnenschein, president of the World Aquarium where We lives.
Most two-headed snakes live only a few months, but seven- year-old We has gotten special care at the aquarium. One thing’s for sure: She definitely won’t ever be lonely!
Now even pigs can have gold-medal dreams! During the third annual Pig Games last year, Russian pigs faced a fierce team of international competitors in sports such as pigball (like soccer), pig swimming, and pig racing.
Russia’s sporting swine live in a special complex where vets and coaches keep them in fabulous form. Nariner Bagmanyan, whose company organizes the games, says the well-trained Russian pigs were calm and focused before their events. Or maybe they just had their eyes on the prize: a tub of cooked carrots with cream!
The home team left its challengers in the dust, winning all three events. Russia’s pigball players defeated the international team by a whopping 16 to 3. But Bagmanyan cuts the visiting athletes some slack: “To play soccer in a foreign country is probably difficult for everybody, even pigs.”
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