Pet Scoop: Baby Sloth Gets a Surrogate Teddy Bear Mom, Man and Dog Rescued From a Cliff

July 24, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A baby sloth clings to his surrogate mom, a teddy bear, at the Burgers' Zoo.
Christiaan Luttenberg, Burgers' Zoo
A baby sloth in the Netherlands clings to his surrogate teddy bear mom.

Teddy Bear Fills in For a Baby Sloth’s Mom

Sjakie, a 2-month-old sloth, is getting around-the-clock care from zookeepers at the Burgers’ Zoo in the Netherlands because his mother couldn't produce enough milk for him. “After a few days we could hear sounds like he was really hungry,” said the zoo’s manager. The first step was to give Sjakie something to cling to, like he would do with his mom. He rejected several stuffed animals, until a zookeeper’s 2-year-old daughter offered her own teddy bear — and it worked. The bear has since become a surrogate mom for Sjakie to cuddle. — Read it at ABC News

Plus: According to a new report, polar bears originated 5 million years ago — not 600,000 years ago, as a previous study had claimed. The new study looked at the full genomes of polar bears, black bears and brown bears, rather than just snippets of DNA. — Read it at The New York Times

Rescued Manatee Gives Birth at SeaWorld Orlando

The park’s animal care team is keeping a close eye on a manatee and her healthy calf, who was born on Wednesday. The baby has been nursing and bonding with mom away from the public. The mother, who was found just six weeks ago, is recovering from severe injuries that she sustained to a front flipper from a crab pot line. — See the photos at SeaWorld’s Inside Conservation

Hiker and His Dog Are Plucked From a Mount Hood Precipice

Alan Rosenfeld and his dog, Ranger, had hiked the same trail on Oregon’s Mount Hood often. But, this time, the 4-year-old Golden Retriever took a wrong turn, falling onto a 45-degree slope. Rosenfeld tried to help his dog — and wound up getting stuck, too. The pair found a stable boulder to sit on until a rescue crew arrived. — Watch it at KATU

Uptick in Oddly Colored Lobsters Baffles Scientists

Orange, blue, yellow, white. Normally, lobsters are a mottled greenish-brown, but crustaceans of many colors have been showing up in traps recently. "Are we seeing more because the Twitter sphere is active and people get excited about colorful lobsters?" wondered a researcher at the New England Aquarium. "Is it because we're actually seeing an upswing in them? Is it just that we're catching more lobsters so we have the opportunity to see more?” The answer remains a mystery. — Read it at Today

Kevin Bacon Does a Dive Routine With His Dog

The actor posted a video of himself and his Pit Bull, Lilly, performing a “dual-dive” into a swimming pool. "The divers are approaching the board in the tandem canine-human diving event," he says. His wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, cheers from behind the camera as the two hit the water. — Watch it at People Pets

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