Pet Scoop: Bacteria Survivor Gets Service Dog, Baby Gladys Gets a Gorilla Surrogate

July 2, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Belle, a black Labradoodle, has been trained to assist amputee Aimee Copeland.
Belle, a black Labradoodle, has been trained to assist amputee Aimee Copeland.

Aimee Copeland Gets a New Helper

Just over a year ago, the 25-year-old from Georgia was making headlines because she was in the hospital fighting flesh-eating bacteria that claimed her hands, feet and right leg. Last week, Aimee Copeland met Belle, a 1-year-old Labradoodle who’s completing training to assist her with picking things up if she drops them, getting back up if she falls down and even knowing what time to bring her each of her medications. Copeland will be able to walk Belle using a hands-free leash that goes around her own waist and connects to the dog’s collar. Copeland was infected with the deadly bacteria after she cut her leg in a zip-lining accident in April 2012. For now, Belle has headed back to the Psychiatric Service Dog Academy and Registry in Florida to complete her training before moving in with Copeland permanently in a few weeks. "I'm just loving her and so excited to have that new addition and that new help," Copeland said. — Read it at ABC News

Dolphins Get a Ride From a Whale

A photo taken about 600 feet above the waters around Catalina Island by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a dozen long-beaked common dolphins getting a free ride from a migrating gray whale. The dolphins are pushed along by the larger animal’s bow wave. The eastern North Pacific gray whale is one of about 20,000 that migrate every year from Arctic feeding grounds to breeding and calving grounds off the coast of Mexico. The aerial photos help NOAA track the health of the whales as well as the rest of the Arctic ecosystem. — See photo at Live Science

Swedish Firefighters Save Baby Fox

In a video of the rescue, a petite firefighter named Therese Jonasson is lowered into a narrow plastic pipe headfirst, wearing a harness, to retrieve a fox pup who was trapped at the bottom. She’s then pulled back up by her fellow firefighters, holding the baby fox, who’s wrapped in a blanket. The pup was reportedly released into a nearby forest in Karlstad, Sweden, on Wednesday. — Watch it at the Huffington Post

Gladys, a 5-month-old Western lowland gorilla, is bonding with surrogate mom M'Linzi.
Cincinnati Zoo
Gladys, a 5-month-old Western lowland gorilla, is bonding with surrogate mom M'Linzi.

Good News for Gladys the Gorilla

After months of being cared for around the clock by a dedicated team of gorilla-suit-wearing human surrogates, a 5-month-old Western lowland gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo is now living with her new gorilla surrogate mom. Gladys was rejected by her mom at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas just after her birth in January, but she’s now bonded with Cincinnati Zoo’s 30-year-old female gorilla, M'Linzi. The staff reports that M'Linzi gently carries the baby around her enclosure, lets Gladys pick at her food, sleeps with her during naps and through the night, and offers the little one comfort any time she needs it. — Watch it at Cincinnati’s Fox 19

Two-Headed Turtle Born in Texas

A bicephalic, or two-headed, Texas cooter named Thelma and Louise hatched at the San Antonio Zoo on June 18. Bicephalic animals are twins that did not separate, resulting in two heads on one animal. They’re uncommon but not unheard of in the wild and in captivity, said the zoo’s reptile curator, Craig Pelke. “At this time, Thelma and Louise are doing well on exhibit and eating with both heads,” Pelke said. The turtle made a public debut at the zoo last week.— Read it from the San Antonio Zoo


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