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Civilian Life Taught This Military Dog Some New Tricks

As a bomb-detecting dog, Zenit the German shepherd never chased his tail or dug holes. Those are skills he learned after he was adopted by his former professional partner, Cpl. Jose Armenta.
NPR

Border Collies Enlisted To Clean Beaches

Research suggests border collies help keep beaches clean by chasing away gulls that leaving their droppings in the sand and on water.
NPR

For A Showman Larger Than Life, An Even Bigger Best Friend

Growing up, Ivor David Balding said that he would one day own an elephant. A lifetime later, the long-time circus showman leaves behind his best, and biggest, friend: an African elephant named Flora.
NPR

Medicine Needs More Research On Female Animals, NIH Says

A bias toward using male lab animals and tissue samples from males may be limiting the effectiveness of medical research, according to top officials at NIH. They'll roll out new guidelines this fall.
NPR

Why This Octopus Isn't Stuck-Up

Some chemical in octopus skin acts as a repellent to the little suction cups on the arms, a surprise finding shows. Without it, the eight-armed creature would tie itself in knots.
NPR

Turnspit Dogs: The Rise And Fall Of The Vernepator Cur

The turnspit dog was once an essential part of every large kitchen in Britain. Bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit, the small but strong dogs ensured that the meat cooked evenly.
NPR

Museum Visitors Name New Species Of Wasp

A newly-discovered species of Thai wasp will be called Ampulex Dementor after the soul-sucking Dementors in Harry Potter. The name was chosen after voting at Berlin's Natural History Museum.
NPR

Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai

Nir Kalron was once an Israeli commando, then private security consultant to African leaders, and a dealer of legal arms. Today he's working with African locals to hunt ivory poachers via satellite.
NPR

If Polar Bears Can Eat A Ton Of Fat And Be Healthy, Why Can't We?

Baby polar bears slurp milk that's 27 percent fat, and adults dine on seal blubber. Scientists think bears' adaptation to a high-fat diet might lead to better ways to treat human obesity.
NPR

Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape

Andrea Turkalo spent 22 years in central Africa, studying rare forest elephants. Then civil war forced her to flee — and poachers killed many of the elephants she'd shared a life with.

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