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100-Year-Old Tortoise Saves His Species By Fathering 800 Offsprings

Diego, a 100-year-old Galapagos Tortoise (Chelonoidis hoodensis), from the Galapagos island, is set to be released to his native island of Espanola this March, according to the Galapagos National Parks service (PNG).

Park rangers on Santa Cruz Island, California, believe Diego's contribution to the program has resulted in him being the patriarch of at least 40 percent of their 2,000 tortoise population!

Diego is a hero, he single-handedly saved his species by fathering 800 offsprings! 

Jorge Carrion, the PNG director, said, "About 1,800 tortoises have been returned to Espanola and now with natural reproduction, we have approximately 2,000 tortoises. This shows that they are able to grow, they are able to reproduce, they are able to develop."

And just to make this even more impressive, around 50 years ago, there were only two males and 12 females of Diego's species currently living on Espanola. Plus, they were too spread out to actually reproduce. 

Story via DailyMail

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This is the kind of news we love! 

Indonesian police have confirmed the arrest of two men suspected of being part of a ring that poaches and trades in endangered animals. They have seized from them several lion and leopard cubs and dozens of turtles.

Way to go, Indonesian police! Here's to hoping more poachers are brought in and arrested!

In the meantime, we can be grateful these cubs and turtles can live out a life in peace. 

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Animals Of Instagram Spotlight Of The Week: Umora, The Wild Sable

Once a week, we will be featuring an extraordinary animal account on Instagram! Their story, the adorable pictures, and pawesome videos! This week's spotlight goes to Umora, the wild sable

Umora was saved from a farm intended to kill and turn her fur into articles of clothing. She was saved by Zhenya, a Russian woman, who happened to find a picture of a wild sable online and feel immediately in love with the animal. She knew she had to save it. When Zhenya discovered there was an opportunity to buy the sable out of the fur farm, she jumped on the chance. 

And while Umora did come from a traumatic background, living on that fur farm, she's slowly overcoming her fear. 

According to Zhenya, Umora is often quite emotional, and even a tad hysterical, due to her life in the fur farm. Umora is also very clever and active, and she will steal your stuff -- because stealing is fun! 

And with time and patience, Zhenya and Umora are living life to the fullest. You can follow their adventure on Instagram!


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Horse Was Rescued After Being Trapped In Ice For Four Hours

Natalia Teplova, a horse owner in Edmonton, Canada, noticed one of her horses was missing when she called for them on Saturday morning. The missing horse, Lexi, didn't show up with the other horses.

"We went calling for the horses and usually they come up. This time, the other horses came up but she wasn't there," Teplova told CTV News.

As any concerned animal owner would do, Natalia and her husband began a small search party and set out to scour the area around their property, and find Lexi. They searched and searched and nearly decided to give up looking for Lexi that is until Natalia's husband horse he had been riding called out, and Lexi responded. 

"Then he called again and she responded again, and I started running," Teplova said. They found Lexi have been trapped, full submerged in ice-cold water. "Her head was sticking out above the ice. She was submerged all the way to her withers—her shoulders. Her front feet were out. She was barely holding up there."

Teplova called 911 for assistance, and she and others slid ropes around Lexi's body to prevent her from sinking any further. And just to give some clarity as to just how freezing this water was, Teplova added, "I put my hands in just to get the ropes around, in the water, and within seconds, my hand went numb. So that was very, very cold."

Together with the firefighting units, they were about to successfully pull out Lexi -- along with a bobcat! 

It was estimated that Lexi had been trapped in the ice water for at least six hours. 

Story via CTV News

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This poor baby dolphin got caught in a fisherman's deadly net, around the Italian island of Procida, Naples, as the mother helplessly didn't leave its side. Luckily,  the baby dolphin was freed by a kind fisherman, who happened to be there, and the mother celebrated her baby's freedom by jumping for joy! 

It is physically impossible not to smile when she's the mother's reaction! 

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This Man Has Been Rescuing Battle-Weary Stray Cats In Aleppo, Syria

Meet the cat man of Aleppo -- Mohammad Aljaleel. He has been looking after the stray cays of Aleppo during the aerial bombardment

Since the bombardment, Aljaleel has set up a dedicated sanctuary and veterinary clinic for the homeless felines. 

This man is our hero. 

Story via The Guardian

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This Cat Finds Overwhelming Love From Rescued Kittens After Tough Life On The Streets

Harrow was found by Alley Cat Rescue, and his preceding years could only be described as less than amazing. After getting him cared for at the Rescue, Harrow was then introduced to the kittens... and his eyes lit up! He immediately took to them, and they to him. They are now giving him the love he very much needs. And our hearts are so full. 

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Just Days After Patrick Stewart And His Wife Announced Their New Foster Dog To The World, He Sadly Passed Away

You may want to stop here and go get that box of tissues. The 10-year-old pit bull, named Leonard, was rescued from a high kill shelter just a few days ago by rescuers Patrick Stewart and his animal loving wife, Sunny Ozell. They only had Lenny for a mere 48 hours before rushing him to vet where he crossed over the rainbow bridge. And while our hearts break for the couple and for Lenny, it does help to know that his last moments were filled with so much love. RIP Lenny, we will miss you. Read Sunny Ozell's heartbreaking message below. 

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Farmer Saves Fox Cubs By Performing An Emergency C-Section

What starts off as a sad story soon turns into a 'Fox and the Hound' tale. Only without the hound and the heartache of abandonment. Well, maybe a little heartache. Chris Rolfe, a farmer from Haywards Heath, West Sussex, had been checking on his pregnant ewes when he saw a car hit a fox on his way home. He immediately went to check on the fox when he noticed it was a vixen and there was movement of cubs inside her belly. Thinking quickly, he performed a C-Section and pulled out the pups.

Story via BBC News

Want to check out another wholesome story? Try this Twitter user who turned the Vulpes family into a fox grading system full of ironic humor. 

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Cat Near Death And Thought To Be Blind Stuns Everyone When He Finally Opens His Eyes

Cotton, the stray cat, was starving and being eaten alive by mites when a good-hearted samaritan found him and brought him to the vet to get some much-needed care. Cotton's eyes were scabbed over, making it nearly impossible for the lonely cat to find any food. Carmen Weinberg, the founder of Animal Friends Project Inc., immediately took Cotton under her wing and gave him all the tender love and care. See the incredible transformation: 

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Verizon Worker Saves Stranded Cat Stuck On Pole And Gets Suspended For It (7 Pics)

When the neighborhood banded together to help their neighbor's cat down from the pole, no one was able to rescue the poor animal. Not until they came across Maurice German who didn't hesitate to join the effort. 

Story found via CBS Philly

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While the idea of killing our beloved canine companions for meat seems appalling to us, it's been a norm for particular cultures. There is a festival in China known as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, a week-long event that takes place every year. It is estimated that millions of dogs are killed for this festival. Marc Ching, an American activist, has made it his mission in life to rescue dogs from slaughterhouses. In the process, he has been beaten, threatened, and even detained by authorities. But Marc Ching is, thankfully, vigilant in seeing his goal through. 

All the dogs Marc Ching has rescued have been taken to shelters and to the foster care organizations to help find furr-ever homes for the cherished canines. Because of Ching's strong morals and constant action, he inspired activists around the globe and has brought awareness to what is happening. Thanks to Ching, fewer and fewer dogs are dying at the festival. 

You can read more about Marc Ching's cause on his non-profit Facebook page and how you can help! Thank you, Marc Ching, for being the voice for these beautiful pups.

Via CBS News
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Meet Midnight, a 4-year-old black lab is being hailed a hero! When his owner was taking out the trash, Midnight sensed something was off and led his owner to his neighbor's house. Once there, they discovered his neighbor had fallen while trying to reach her bird feeder and was laying in the snow, unable to get up, for some time. Read the full story at CBS News.

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Kind-Hearted People Save Poor Trapped Kitten In An Hour Long Rescue

In Waterway Point in Punggol, Singapore, a group of complete strangers banded together in a rescue attempt to help save a kitten trapped. 

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