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WebClawer: Man says his guide dog was denied restaurant access; unconscious tiger bites vet

February 12, 2009 | 11:37 am

Cat food is edible for humans, says Popular Science We claw the Web so you don't have to.  And if today's pet news makes you mad at a certain fast-food chain, cheer up: You can always eat cat food instead!

-- In we-didn't-ask-but-science-answered-anyway news, cat food is not just for cats anymore! While common ingredients like meat byproducts and ash aren't parts of a healthy human diet, "I'm fully confident that your body can handle kitty chow," said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Assn.  "Technically, you could safely digest a baseball."  But not so fast: While cat food, especially organic varieties, probably won't hurt you, it's formulated with cats' nutritional needs in mind, so don't make a habit of it. (Popular Science)

-- A vision-impaired Michigan man says his leader dog was denied access to a Quizno's restaurant by a restaurant employee. Bob Rehan, a teacher at a school for the disabled, stopped with students at the Southfield, Mich., Quizno's for lunch during a field trip. When he entered the restaurant with Martin, he says, the employee told him the dog couldn't come in. When Rehan and his colleagues explained that the law allowed leader dogs access to restaurants and other public places from which dogs are normally barred, he says the employee did not care. He considered calling police but decided against making a scene with the students present and instead has filed a complaint with the Justice Department and various advocacy groups. A statement from Quizno's said in part, "The store in question is owned and operated by an independent franchisee and we require our franchises to abide by the law and do what is right to create a positive guest experience. We do not condone discrimination of any sort and have undertaken a full investigation of the situation." (MSNBC)

-- A veterinarian at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo was bitten by an unconscious tiger during a routine medical exam yesterday. "It was unconscious at the time, under the influence of anesthetic," said zoo director Dr. Lee Simmons, who explained that Dr. Douglas Armstrong's arm "probably touched a whisker, and the tiger reacted. These animals have all kinds of sensitive reflexes." The animal, a 200-pound male Malaysian tiger, bit Armstrong three times. Simmons described the bites as severe but added that the incident "does not seem to have done any permanent damage." (Omaha World-Herald)

-- The elusive jaguar, the largest cat in the Americas, was thought to have disappeared from most of Mexico. But scientists who set up a camera trap in the Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve recently captured three images of the predator, alive and well, at an altitude of 6,053 feet. Study leader Octavio Monroy-Vilchis, of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, said the jaguars may be moving to higher ground as a result of disappearing habitat. (National Geographic)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Adam Rountree / Bloomberg News

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