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Features (Creature Feature)

Cole Bros. Circus pays for ­elephant mistreatment

Elephants that traveled with Cole Bros. Circus — which visits the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds this week — were so thin that the circus has been fined for bad care.
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Who’s who in the pecking order

The side porch of our home in northern Calvert County faces east. It’s a great place to have our morning coffee and feel the first warm rays of the sun. It’s also where my wife sets out the hummingbird feeders, so we get to watch the high-speed high jinks of these delicate little birds.
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Rude Ranch Animal Rescue steps into the spotlight

With a nickname like The Best Little Cat House in Maryland, you might imagine that Rude Ranch earned its screen time on HBO. But Harwood’s unique no-kill shelter has won a prime spot on Animal Planet’s show Must Love Cats. The popular show features profiles of fascinating cats and the people who love them.
    How did Rude Ranch get a feature? Through happenstance and the power of the Internet.
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Fido has a TV channel

It’s tough being a dog. As we rush out the door for work, they get a quick pat on the head. Then you’re gone and Fido is home alone.
    Fido now has his own TV channel to watch while you’re away.
    That’s right. A television station, broadcast 24/7, just for the dogs.
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Patuxent Wildlife Art Show screens movies with a message

For 23 years, the Friends of the Patuxent have raised funds for their beloved natural refuge by holding a weekend-long art show and sale. For 20 years, The Environmental Film Festival has raised awareness for the decline of the planet by screening green-themed films in the D.C. area. Three years ago the groups joined forces.
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Sharpen your ears: They’re out There quacking, snoring, ­growling and peeping

It’s loud out there in frog land.    
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Tundra swans prepare for their annual flight north

Chesapeake Country waterways are swan lakes from November to March, as migratory tundra swans weighing as much as 20 pounds move in.
    Some 18,000 of the big birds make Maryland their home. Dabblers, they tip bottom-up to feed on Bay grasses and small clams. They like winter wheat, barley and rye, too, and some of the swans will feed in fields.
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Get to know local amphibians

This year’s elongated February marked a different sort of Leap Year. FrogWatch USA joined with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for an amphibious census.
    With nearly one-third of known amphibious species thought to be in danger of extinction, FrogWatch USA is hopping mad.
    You can help combat species endangerment and extinction in several ways.
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There’s a dark side to surgically implanted medical devices

“Watchdogs Want More Oversight of Artificial Knees and Hips.”
    So read the February 21 headline from Maryland News Connection, a startup statewide news service, leading us to wonder what kind of watchdogs they were talking about.
    We should have taken the story seriously, but we couldn’t get beyond the headline.
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On Valentine’s Day, Dogs Shove Cupid off Center Stage

Dogs had a big day on Valentine’s.
     At Madison Square Garden in New York, 2,000 dogs strutted their stuff in the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, won by a silky haired Pekingese as nearly 7.5 million people watched on television over two days.
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