Great Dane Rescued From Freezing River

Earlier this month during a snowy walk near the Willimantic River in Connecticut, a 140-pound Great Dane named Mike got a little too close to the edge, and tumbled 16 feet down an embankment and into the ice-cold water. “I was frantic the strong river current would carry him away,” said his owner, Patricia Halloran. Mike managed to stand in chest-deep water on a ledge of tree roots while Halloran called 911. Two firefighters donned cold weather gear and rappelled into the water to reach the 11-year-old dog — who was quite happy to see them. Once they guided him to the bank, Mike was able to walk up the hill on his own. The firefighters wrapped the shaking dog in a thick blanket and police drove him to the veterinarian, where he was treated for mild hypothermia. “I am so thankful that Mike was OK,” said Halloran, who made him chicken soup and gave him TLC once he was back home. “He’s a tough old boy.” The rescue happened on March 10, but the video was recently shared on Facebook by a local meteorologist. — Watch it at Today


Rare Florida Panther Kittens Spotted in New Area

In a “major milestone on the road to recovery” for the endangered Florida panther, a trail cam recorded a nursing mom followed by two female kittens earlier this month. It’s evidence that panthers are expanding their breeding territory across the Caloosahatchee River naturally, establishing a second, distinct population. This is the first wild female who’s been seen north of the river since 1973, when they were added to the endangered species list. A recovery plan for the species calls for three distinct populations to protect the cats from disease. — See photos at the Miami Herald


Footage of Wild Tiger Cub Sparks Hope

Around the world in Thailand, there’s exciting news for another rare cat. The discovery of a new breeding population of tigers in Thailand has been considered “miraculous” for a sub-species almost wiped out by poaching. Six cubs, as well as their moms, were seen on footage from camera traps in an eastern Thai jungle in 2016. It’s the second known breeding population of the endangered Indochinese tiger. “The extraordinary rebound of eastern Thailand’s tigers is nothing short of miraculous,” said John Goodrich, the tiger program director at Panthera, a wild cat preservation group. Experts warned that the breeding populations remain vulnerable.