Pet Scoop: Baby Walruses Leave Alaska for Big City Homes, Bo Obama Celebrates His Birthday

Oct. 10, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Walruses Mitik and Pakak are leaving Alaska for new aquarium homes.
Mitik and Pakak have been living at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Orphaned Walruses Get New Homes

A pair of 4-month-old orphaned walruses who were nursed back to health at the Alaska SeaLife Center is gearing up to travel via FedEx cargo jets to their new permanent homes on Thursday. Fisherman found Pakak on July 21 in Barrow, Alaska — and he quickly stole the hearts of his caretakers with his snuggly ways. Now weighing in at 350 pounds, he’s headed to the Indianapolis Zoo, reports the Anchorage Daily News. Mitik was discovered about a week later, when he tried to climb aboard a fishing vessel. It’s believed that the duo belonged to the same herd, and they were left behind when the rest of their group drifted off. Mitik, who is small for his age at 234 pounds, is bound for the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn. “We say he is small, but scrappy — the perfect New Yorker,” said Martha Hiatt, who traveled from the NYC aquarium to Alaska last month to help care for Mitik. — Read it at The New York Times, and watch the walruses on YouTube

ZuPreem Bird Food Recalled

Premium Nutritional Products, Inc., announced a recall of several formulas of its ZuPreem line of bird food due to high levels of calcium, which can pose a health threat to birds. The company says that people who’ve purchased the products should discard the food, and return the packaging to the store where the food was bought. — Read it at Pet Food Industry

National Zoo Mourns Its Baby Howler Monkey

The Washington, D.C., zoo’s 6-month-old howler monkey, Loki, died on Sunday night from complications of a metabolic bone disease. The condition is an imbalance of Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus, which is most often caused by "lack of sunlight, a lack of dietary intake of vitamin D and/or the body’s inability to properly metabolize these compounds," the zoo said in a statement. Although UV rays can penetrate the skylights in the zoo’s Small Mammal House, "staff are implementing immediate husbandry changes, where appropriate, such as rotating animals to outdoor enclosures to allow direct sunlight exposure and evaluating diets for at-risk animals." — Read it at NBC Washington

Bo Obama Turns 4

“It’s a big 4th birthday for Bo!” tweeted the First Dog's doting mom, Michelle Obama, on Tuesday. “He’s getting some extra treats today.” It’s been a big year for the Portuguese Water Dog, who served as the inspiration for the White House’s holiday décor, and donned bunny ears to announce the annual Easter Egg Roll. Bo is now the subject of a campaign ad, in which the Obamas debate about who has a better relationship with the dog. In the ad, the president reveals that “softy” Michelle lets Bo on the bed — when he’s not there. — Watch it on YouTube

Spider Attack Sealed in Dinosaur-Age Amber

A 100-million-year-old scene of a juvenile spider attacking a wasp was found preserved in a piece of amber that was excavated from a Burmese mine. It's the first fossil evidence of an attack, and contains 15 intact strands of spider silk. “The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them,” said George Poinar, Jr., a zoology professor at Oregon State University. The findings were published in the October issue of Historical Biology. — Read it at Live Science

Jimmy Fallon’s Puppy Makes Late Night Debut

The comedian’s Golden Retriever pup appeared on Fallon's show on Monday night, with dog trainer Cesar Millan. “Gary, look, you’re on TV,” said Fallon, who asked Millan for advice on raising Gary in New York City, joking that Millan had “tranquilized her” because she sat peacefully in his lap. — Watch it at People Pets

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