Newsflash: Lion Cubs Debut at a German Safari Park, Kitten Survives Two Days in a Drainpipe

October 24, 2011: We've scoured the Web to find the best animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

German lion cubs are named for Lion King characters
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These three cubs, born at an animal park in Germany, have Lion King-inspired names: Nala, Simba and Asali.
Germany Unveils a Trio of Lion Cubs

Visitors to Germany’s Serengeti Animal Park last week got a peek at 5-week-old Nala, Simba and Asali, who were named after beloved characters in the Lion King. — See photos at Today

Plus: Triton, a lion at a South African zoo, has an innate love for soccer. He knew just what to do when he got his paws on the ball. — Watch the video at the Huffington Post

Pennsylvania Considers a Tax Break for People Who Adopt Pets

In an effort to boost dog and cat adoptions, new legislation has been introduced that would give Pennsylvania residents a $300 tax credit for rescuing an animal from a shelter, the humane society or rescue groups that meet the state’s qualifications. — Read it at DMV360

Robins are Deemed "Super Spreaders" of the West Nile Virus

Researchers report that the mosquito-borne virus is spread by birds who are abundant in areas of the country where there are a lot of people — birds like the American robin. "The virus has had an important impact on human health in the United States partly because it took advantage of species that do well around people,” said one of the scientists. — Read it at Science Daily

Elephants Enjoy a Favorite Fall Treat: Pumpkins

Trick or treat? A mother elephant, Asha, and her 6-month-old, Malee, were happy to play with pumpkins before noshing on the tasty snack at a zoo in Oklahoma City. — See the photos at People Pets

A Man, a Piano and a Dog

Mo the dog sits on top of a piano

Five years ago, Danny Kean hit the road in Alaska with his dog and a piano in the back of his red pickup. Kean makes stops along the way to sit in the back of the truck and tickle the ivories, often inviting onlookers to play along with him. While he performs, his English bulldog-beagle mix, Mo, hangs out on top of the piano. — Read it at Nola, and watch the video on YouTube

A Lucky Kitten Finally Emerges From a Drainpipe

After being stuck for 48 hours, a kitten was rescued from a drainpipe near a school in Indianapolis. The feline was found when a plumbing company put a sewer camera into the pipe — and spotted three kittens who were trapped in the space. The company then dug a hole near the camera and managed to pull out one of the kittens. — Watch the video at WTHR

Skunks Invade the Chicago Suburbs

So far, 715 skunks have been rounded up in the suburbs northwest of Chicago this year — that's up from 563 caught during the same period last year. Experts attribute the smelly population problem to more beetle grubs in the soil, a drop in rabies, and a lack of predators. — Read it at USA Today

Mice Shake Up the Food Chain at a California Wildlife Refuge

The little house mouse has invaded the Farallon Islands, a small wildlife refuge west of the Golden Gate Bridge. The rodents have created chaos by eating everything in sight — and attracting owls who attack nesting birds. — Read it at The New York Times

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