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Hurricane poses problems for pets
Image: Hurricane Harvey
Rescue efforts continue in Texas as thousands of people face the effects of Hurricane Harvey
Vivid stories are emerging from the havoc of Hurricane Harvey

As rescue efforts continue in Texas as thousands of people face the effects of Hurricane Harvey, heart-warming and heart-breaking accounts are emerging about their pets and other animals caught up in the storm.

Many ‘good Samaritans’ have helped their neighbours rescue their pets using their boats; while pictures are appearing across the media of people carrying their pets to safety – some across their shoulders and some using bags, blankets and boxes to shelter.

On the other hand, Texas officials have warned owners against leaving pets and livestock tied up, repeatedly. “I promise you, that I will hold anyone accountable that unlawfully restrains their dog in extreme weather conditions,” said Roman Forest police chief, Stephen Carlisle, in a statement. “Dogs are your family members too.”

As a motorist stopped for gas in Runge, Texas, while heading to the border to pick up his own pups, a dog he nicknamed ‘Harvey’ hopped into his Jeep to escape the storm. The motorist posted a series of tweets and videos on social media, asking for people to share in hopes of finding the dog’s rightful owner. The dog didn’t have a microchip, but fortunately he was able to locate the owner of ‘Cash’ – the dog’s real name – and he posted a video of his safe return.

In another incident, a resident in Sinton, Texas, spotted a young dog carrying a bag of food in its mouth as it made for shelter. She took a picture that quickly went viral with more than 34,000 shares and 16,000 likes. The pup’s owner subsequently confirmed that ‘Otis’ made it home safe and sound.

It was not just domesticated animals that were spooked by the storm. According to the New York Post, a taxi driver in Missouri City, Texas, was shocked to find a Cooper’s hawk camping inside his cab on Friday. The bird had flown in through an open window, apparently terrified of the low pressure and high winds of the storm.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is offering advice to all animal owners in Texas and co-ordinating rescue responses and funding.

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.