Bobcat that lived through wildfire has four kittens
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Wildlife officials say a young bobcat captured, collared and released a day before a massive, deadly wildfire has given birth to four kittens.
Officials with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said Friday that biologists recently found the bobcat's den in dense vegetation in a large residential backyard in Thousand Oaks.
While their mother was away, the biologists weighed, measured and tagged one male and three female kittens. Their mother, B-362, was tagged the day before the start of last year's Woolsey Fire, which destroyed 1,600 structures and left three people dead.
Biologist Joanne Moriarty said in a statement that it's been a stressful time for wildlife, "but we're happy to see her thriving." — AP
Notre Dame's bees, drunk on smoke, survive blaze
PARIS — Hunkered down in their hives and drunk on smoke, Notre Dame's smallest official residents — about 180,000 bees — somehow managed to survive the inferno that consumed the cathedral's ancient wooden roof.
Confounding officials who thought they had perished, the bees clung to life, protecting their queen.
"I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn," Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant said Friday.
"Instead of killing them, the CO2 (from smoke) makes them drunk, puts them to sleep," he explained.
Geant has overseen the bees since 2013, when three hives were installed on the roof of the stone sacristy that joins the south end of the monument. The move was part of a Paris-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers. — AP
Five months later, tiny Japanese baby going home
TOKYO - A tiny Japanese baby who weighed just 9 ounces when he was born five months ago is going home from the hospital.
Ryusuke Sekino was shown on Japanese TV on Friday sitting in his mother's arms, looking somberly around at news media cameras.
His mother, Toshiko Sekino, said she was worried and cried a lot at first because he was so fragile and had transparent skin. She said she now is able to breastfeed him and is looking forward to taking him home and giving him a bath there.
The University of Iowa keeps a Tiniest Babies Registry, which shows the previous smallest surviving boy weighed 9.5 ounces when he was born last year in Japan. A German girl born in 2015 weighed 8.9 ounces.
Ryusuke now weighs 7.4 pounds, Kyodo reported.—AP
Oil rig workers save dog swimming far offshore
BANGKOK - A dog found swimming more than 135 miles from shore by workers on an oil rig crew in the Gulf of Thailand has been returned safely to land.
A worker on the rig belonging to Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Vitisak Payalaw, said on his Facebook page that they saw the dog swimming toward the platform April 12. He said they were lucky to spot the dog because if there had been waves it probably would not have been visible.
The dog made it to the platform, clinging to the support structure below deck without barking or whimpering, Vitisak wrote.
The crew managed to lower a rope and secure it around the dog and haul it up. Vitisak said they think the dog might have fallen off a fishing trawler; they dubbed the dog Boon Rod, or Survivor.
The dog was delivered by boat to the southern port of Songkhla last Monday and was declared in good shape after being taken to the animal protection group Watchdog Thailand. Vitisak said if the dog is not claimed, he may adopt the dog. — AP