Pet Scoop: Alligator Gets New Prosthetic Tail, 18 Penguin Species on Thin Ice

March 12, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Mr. Stubbs tries out his new tail.
Mr. Stubbs tries out his new tail.

Mr. Stubbs Tries His Custom Tail

An 11-year-old alligator at the Phoenix Herpetological Society is learning to walk and swim with a new prosthetic tail. Mr. Stubbs lost his own tail when he was put into a pen with larger alligators, who attacked him. Without a tail, he struggled to get around. Working with Midwestern University, doctors at The Core Institute Center Orthopedic Research and Education designed a groundbreaking prosthetic for the gator — their first prosthetic for an animal. The tail took three months to develop, and the project cost about $6,000. “We’re just trying to make his quality of life what it should be,” said Russ Johnson of the Herpetological Society. He says Mr. Stubbs could live up to 80 years with the tail — about four times as long as what his life span might have been without it. — Read it at ABC News

Pet Frogs Carrying Salmonella Could Still Be in Homes

In a new report in the journal Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control warns that American dwarf frogs linked to a Salmonella outbreak may still be living in some homes. Between 2008 and 2011, an outbreak tied to the pet frogs sickened nearly 400 people. The frogs, who can live to be 18 years old, may still be living with unsuspecting owners. There were five more illnesses linked to the frogs last year. People who keep the dwarf frogs as pets are warned to wash their hands after coming in contact with aquarium water, and children should not clean the frogs’ tanks. — Read it at PawNation

E.U. Bans Sale of Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Animal rights groups are celebrating the European Union’s ban of new cosmetic products containing ingredients tested on animals. The ban went into effect immediately on Monday. The move closes loopholes from a ban first decided on four years ago. The Humane Society International said it hopes the E.U.’s course of action will be replicated by the global cosmetics industry. — Read it at AP via the Huffington Post

Chico, right, and his seeing-eye dog, Jack, need a new home.
Chico, right, and his seeing-eye dog, Jack, need a new home.

Special Cattle Dogs Need a Home

A special pair of 8-year-old cattle dogs in Denver is searching for a new home, together. The dogs were brought to Max Fund, a no-kill animal shelter, after their owner passed away late last year. One of the dogs, Chico, is fully blind, and gets along with help from his dedicated companion, Jack. “Jack takes care of Chico, they love each other … they just couldn’t be separated,” says Erica Jenkins, an adoption counselor at the shelter. “They’re really great, sweet dogs that just need a loving home.” — Watch it at Fox News

Disappearing Antarctic Ice Threatens Penguins

NBC News traveled to Antarctica to report on rapidly disappearing ice that threatens the future of at least 18 different penguin species. Less ice means less shrimp-like krill, which grow beneath the ice. Krill is the main food source for penguins — as well as for seals and whales. — Watch it at Today


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