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WebClawer: Kardashian family gets pet chimp, scientists harness hamsters' energy

February 20, 2009 |  8:07 pm

Hamsters may hold the key to harnessing human energy

Harnessing hamsters' energy?  A dog who fell off a cliff refuses his rescue attempt?  The Kardashian family gets a pet chimp?  The Web is full of animal stories, good, bad and ugly:

  • Researchers with  Georgia University's Nano Research Group have fitted hamsters with tiny detector jackets that capture the biomechanical energy the rodents release while exercising.  "We believe that this is the first demonstration of a live animal   producing current with nano-generators," said Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, who  says the technology could be applied to human clothing within five years.  It would take 1,000 hamsters to power a cell phone.  Telegraph
  • Five exhausted dolphins are in desperate need of rescue, according to Winston May, the mayor of Seal Cove, Canada -- but he says the Canadian government has refused to send help. The dolphins are stranded in Seal Cove harbor -- most of which has frozen, barring their path back to the Atlantic Ocean.  May says he asked Canada's federal Fisheries Department to send an icebreaker to make a path for the dolphins, who are swimming in a small (and shrinking) area of open water only 100 feet from shore.  But he was told no icebreakers are available.  "They're not going to survive much longer...You can hear (the dolphins) crying all night long," May said.  But Wayne Ledwell of the Whale Release and Strandings Group says an icebreaker may not be the answer, since the ice they push ahead of them could crush the dolphins.  MSNBC
  • A collie mix named Fox, who fell off an 80-foot cliff while chasing the animals for which he was named, was stuck for two nights at the bottom in Cornwall, U.K.  Several coast guard members attempted to rescue Fox, but he barked and growled at them and ran when they came near.  His distraught owner, Jane Ravine, explained that the dog had a "loathing hatred" of men and would only approach women.  After the initial rescue attempt failed, RSPCA rescue team member Marige Zwager went down the cliff and was able to pull Fox -- with the aid of a "safety bag" -- to safety.  "I'm so relieved," Ravine said.  "It was a horrible ordeal while Fox was down there."  The dog is now recovering at home.  Daily Mail
  • Reality TV stars the Kardashians' recent addition of a pet chimpanzee to the family has caused a lot of heated comment in the wake of Travis the chimp's attack on a friend of his owner.  "Chimpanzees are wild animals and they are not meant to be pets," said Jason Jacobs, spokesperson for the L.A. Zoo. "This kind of thing turns my stomach."  Celebuzz

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

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