Pet Scoop: 23 Baby Pandas Make an Adorable Debut, Officer Adopts Kitten She Rescued

Oct. 3, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A keeper at Chengdu Research Bases places baby pandas on a stage for their debut.
A keeper at Chengdu Research Bases places baby pandas on a stage for their debut.

Panda Cub Tumbles From Table

Last week, China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding showed off 23 of the adorable panda cubs who were born there this year. Staff members carried each of the baby pandas out to a makeshift stage so they could be photographed together. But it’s hard to keep an eye on that many cubs at once — and one curious little guy tumbled right over the edge of the stage. Luckily, keepers were quick to come to his rescue and he was OK. The cubs were between the ages of 1 and 4 months old, reported the U.K.’s Guardian. A total of 27 cubs were born at the base this year, twice the number reported by the staff there last year. Pandas were recently moved from the endangered species list to vulnerable status. — Read it at Today

Famed Frog Dies, Leading to Species’ Extinction

Known as Toughie, the last known Rabbs’ fringe tree-limbed frog died last week at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Toughie was believed to be at least 12 years old because he was already an adult when he was collected in 2005. He was one of many frogs rescued as scientists raced to beat the deadly chytrid fungus in Panama. He was named by his rescuer’s 2-year-old son, and it stuck and helped lead to his fame. — Read it at National Geographic

Animals Flock to Churches for Blessing

Dogs, cats, fish and even lizards arrived at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to be blessed by friars in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. Scenes like it played out at many churches all over the world. The Blessing of the Animals traditionally takes place around Oct. 4, which is the feast day of Saint Francis. The saint was the inspiration for Pope Francis’ name. — Read it at NBC Washington

Stormy is now comfortable at her new home with one of the police officers who saved her from a drain.
Stormy is now comfortable at her new home with one of the police officers who saved her from a drain.

Officer Adopts Rescued Kitten

Police officers, firefighters and a plumber who happened to be passing by worked together for more than two hours last week to save a kitten who was stuck in a storm drain in California. A man passing by had heard the kitten’s cries and called for help. Authorities had been trying to call to coax the kitten from the drain when a Roto Rooter manager saw the commotion and stopped by with a sewer video inspection camera. “In the process of running the camera up there and moving it around, the cat just came out,” he said. The kitten was adopted by Officer Elen Calderon, who was the first to arrive to help her. She’s named her Stormy. — Read it at Alabama’s WIAT

Grumpy Cat Takes Broadway

The Internet famous cat with the ever-present frown became the first real-life feline to join the cast of the Broadway musical Cats. But not surprisingly, even that honor didn’t make Grumpy Cat happy. “Being selected as the first real cat to perform in Cats on Broadway is an honor. I hate it,” she said. “If I’m really being honest, I’d prefer to play the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.” Even though she wasn’t pleased with it, the celebrity cat was worked into the end of the show to become an honorary Jellicle Cat, a show spokesman said. — Read it at People Pets


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