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The Water Bowl: 27 Animal Stars of The Hobbit Died on Dangerous Farm

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The production company who brought The Hobbit to the big screen is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, on-set animal wranglers allege. Although no animals were harmed during filming, a spokesman for the saga’s director acknowledged that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at the Wellington, New Zealand, farm that housed about 150 animals during the production process. –AP

As Thanksgiving (a.k.a. Turkey Day) approaches, Mercy for Animals is accusing workers at five North Carolina Butterball turkey farms of animal cruelty. The animal rights group released a hidden camera video of employees in October 2012 allegedly engaging in “shocking abuse and neglect,” which lead to “serious untreated illnesses and injuries,” according to the organization. –ABC News

Meet the latest team of insurance agents: skydiving cats. Swedish insurance firm Folksam uses flying felines in its latest ad, which is set to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I can Fly.” No worries: “We love cats, and this movie is obviously a trick shot,” the company says in a statement. “We have of course followed the Animal Welfare Act and not thrown out a few cuties from an airplane.” –Time

In a new experiment, scientists were able to reverse paralysis in dogs’s back legs by injecting them with cells grown from the lining of their noses. The results yield hope for helping restore movement in human patients who have suffered spinal injuries. –BBC News

It’s a new beginning for 60 dogs and cats, who are now in a San Diego shelter after they were displaced by Superstorm Sandy. The pets were at the risk of being euthanized at New York and New Jersey rescues that had lost power during the storm. –AP