Pet Scoop: Alaska Zoo Takes In Orphaned Polar Bear, Half-Ton Seal Causes Traffic Jam

March 21, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Kali, an orphaned polar bear cub, has been taken in by the Alaska Zoo.
Kali, an orphaned polar bear cub, was taken in by the Alaska Zoo in March.

Staff Bottle Feeds 4-Month-Old Cub

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescued a 3- to 4-month-old polar bear cub near Point Lay, Alaska, after his mom was killed by hunters. The cub, named Kali (pronounced cully), which is the native word for the closest village to the spot where he was found, has become a temporary resident at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. The zoo’s staff is bottle-feeding the 18-pound cub, who’s adjusting well. While the zoo is happy to have little Kali in its care for now, he won’t be living there permanently because it already has two adult polar bear residents. The FWS and the Zoological Association of America will be looking for a permanent home for him. But for now, Kali seems content to drink his bottles and romp around with his teddy bear. The cub “eats, sleeps and plays just like any baby of any species," says Patrick Lampi, the zoo’s director. — Read it at Today and watch video at AP via USA Today

Pet Ownership Up Among Single Americans

While it’s still more common for a pet to be owned by a family, a survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association finds that pet ownership among people who’ve never married, or are separated or divorced, has jumped more than 16 percent to nearly 55 percent. The increase was particularly strong among those who’d been divorced, separated or widowed, and ownership by single men climbed nearly 28 percent from 2006 to 2011. Despite those positive trends, the AVMA’s survey also found that one in four pet owners didn’t visit their veterinarian in 2011, which it considered cause for concern.— Read it at Supermarket News

Chimps Share to Help Their Friends

A new study might reveal the roots of cooperation in humans. While researchers already knew that chimps work together, scientists at the Warwick Business School in the U.K. have found “the first evidence that one of our closest primate relatives, the chimpanzees, not only intentionally coordinate actions with each other, but that they even understand the necessity to help a partner performing her role," said study leader Alicia Melis. In an experiment, they found that when one of a pair of chimps had two tools, the chimp would choose the right tool for the task and hand it over to help his partner. The results were published in the journal Biology Letters.— Read it at Discovery News

An elephant seal stopped traffic on Avenida Atlantica.
An elephant seal stopped traffic on Avenida Atlantica.

Elephant Seal Stops Traffic in Brazil

The 10-foot marine animal held up traffic on a busy street in Brazil for 90 minutes on Saturday as it tried to cross at a crosswalk. The elephant seal, estimated to weigh half a ton, attracted a huge crowd as police and firefighters splashed water on it because they were worried that it would become dehydrated. No one is sure why the seal decided to make the journey, but it eventually made a safe return to the Atlantic on its own. — Watch it at the U.K.'s Daily Mail

Feline Understudy Gets Fired

Montie could have had a shot at getting on the Broadway stage as the backup cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which opened last night. But the black-and-white kitty wasn’t interested in following directions on stage, so he’s out of a job. “While there are others who are joining the production as understudies and covers, Montie will remain at the theater indefinitely,” said the production’s publicist, Rick Miramontez. That’s because his owner trains cats for the show.— Read it at The New York Times


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