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800 years ago, the phrase "The wolves have returned" would have been legit cause for abject terror all across Europe.

Oh hey. We're here to eat you. Photo by Ronnie Macdonald/Flickr.


But in 2015, it's great news. Because it means the species, threatened or endangered in many countries on the continent, is making a big-time comeback.

According to Finland's Yle Uutiset news program, a group of hunters recently spotted pack of wolves, cubs in tow, just casually ambling around in a part of the country where they haven't been seen since at least 1905:

"A litter of wolf cubs have been caught on film in Raseborg, between Helsinki and Turku. Four cubs were filmed by a game camera in late June near the border of Raseborg and Salo. Their parents are apparently Finland's southernmost breeding wolf pair in more than a century."

And it's not just Finland! Apparently, it's a trend all across Europe, as Stephanie Pappas of the Christian Science Monitor reported in December 2014:

"Despite having half the land area of the contiguous United States and double the population density, Europe is home to twice as many wolves as the U.S.
...
Wolves are thriving, with more than 12,000 individuals found in 10 populations in 28 countries
."

There are many theories as to why the wolves are rebounding so decisively, but a New York Times report from 2013 credits the population increase to "restrictions on shooting them." Which ... seems obvious. And raises an important question:

Why was anyone shooting wolves in the first place?

Wolves have a terrible reputation that, in 2015, is pretty much completely undeserved.

Awoooooooo, sucker. Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Let's face it. Fairy tales really weren't the best PR for wolves, instilling generations of children with a deep-seated, irrational fear of these furry carnivores. More recently, the skeletal and weirdly hairless werewolf featured in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" made a valiant attempt to turn thousands more children off the species for the rest of their lives.

Thankfully, we no longer live in thatched huts that can be huffed and puffed down. We have apartments. And we know werewolves aren't really a thing. We're pretty well-equipped to coexist with these guys now.And we can really, really stand to follow Europe's lead and step up our conservation game here in the lower 48 U.S. states, which despite being twice the size and far less urban than Europe, contains only half the number of wolves.

If they can do it, we can do it.

In the meantime, in an era where a new terrible report on the state of the environment seems to drop every other day, this is a much-needed piece of encouraging news.

Welcome back, wolves of Europe. We missed you.

Seriously, though. Don't eat us. Photo by Ronnie Macdonald/Flickr.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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