Pet Scoop: Animal Aid Arrives in Philippines, Dog Becomes First to Climb Mount Everest

Nov. 13, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rescuers work together to assess the situation in the Philippines.
Rescuers work together to assess the situation in the Philippines.

Vets, Rescue Groups Assess Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Animal relief groups including the Humane Society International and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have made their way to Tacloban, one of the areas of the Philippines hardest hit by the monstrous Typhoon Haiyan. The storm, known locally as Yolanda, hit the Philippines on Friday and has ravaged the nation, leaving at least 10,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and more than 2 million in need of food aid. The IFAW is working with the Philippines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to assess the situation and help the animals in need and the HIS has veterinarians on the ground, while other groups continue to search for survivors. “Many of the grief-stricken communities live with farm and companion animals and have no way to provide for them now," said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW manager for disasters. "IFAW is here working with our trusted partner PAWS to offer relief to humans and their animals in this their greatest time of need." Other groups, including World Vets and the American Veterinary Medical Association, have disaster teams on standby while they assess the islands’ needs. — You can help with donations to these organizations: PAWS, IFAW, Humane Society, World Vets

Former Stray Dog Is First to Climb Everest

Rupee was an 8-month-old puppy when he was found in a dump in Northern India. But now, he’s living the high life. “The little fellow had heart, I could tell that, but he was very weak,” said Joanne Lefson. After she nursed him back to health, Lefson, who’d made headlines by traveling the world with her rescue dog Oscar, got her veterinarian’s OK to climb Mount Everest with Rupee — and he did it. The pup, who could barely walk when Lefson found him in the Himalayas, hiked for 10 days to become the first dog officially recorded at the Mount Everest base camp, 17,000 feet above sea level. — Read it at the U.K.’s Daily Mail

Ancient Climate Change Could Have Spurred Penguin Diversity

A new genetic study published in the journal Biology Letters suggests that today’s 18 penguin species began to diverge from one another 11 to 16 million years ago, and that it may be connected to a prolonged cooling spell in Antarctica. Study leader Sankar Subramanian, a postdoctoral student at Griffith University in Australia, said the team determined a more recent time of origin for penguins, and that coincided with a time when scientists think Antarctica went through a cooling period that left it covered in ice. "So we connected these two dots and speculated a possible relationship," Subramanian said. — Read it at National Geographic

This African golden cat in Uganda was attracted to a camera trap baited with Calvin Klein cologne.
This African golden cat in Uganda was attracted to a camera trap baited with Calvin Klein cologne.

Calvin Klein Cologne Lures Cats

Field biologists have a secret to attracting wild cats to remote cameras in the jungle: Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein. Wildlife Conservation Society scientists say they commonly bait their cameras with the fragrance. It’s thought to contain civetone, which comes from the scent glands of nocturnal cats called civets. It gives the cologne a musky scent, but to the cats, it resembles a territorial marking that’s been known to get jaguars in Nicaragua and now African golden cats in Uganda to leave their own scent. New footage from the WCS gives a rare glimpse of an African golden cat investigating a cologne-marked camera trap. — Read it and watch it at Live Science

Meerkats Born at Zoo Recovering From Fire

Seven months ago, 11 meerkats were killed in a blaze at the Five Sisters Zoo in Scotland. Now the zoo, which is trying to rebuild, has some good news: two babies have been born to one of the three surviving meerkats. The 2-week-old pups made their public debut on Tuesday. “They are doing really well,” said keeper George Steel. “Meerkats do no reproduce unless they are happy and settled, so obviously the parents have recovered from their ordeal.” — Read it at Scotland’s STV


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