Pet Scoop: Bear Breaks Into a High School, Pet Goldfish Still Swimming After 24 Years

June 15, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Black bear inside Alaska high school
This bear busted into a high school in Alaska, where the mascot is a bear.

Bear Sneaks Into an Alaskan High School

Bartlett High School’s mascot may be a bear, but that doesn’t mean that students want a live one inside their school. Yet that's exactly what happened when a small black bear wandered into the building through a door that was left open by construction workers. Police responded and began banging on doors to scare the bear back outside — a maneuver that worked. "She was shopping. Any trash can that had any food in it was knocked over," said police officer Chris Mueller. "Another teenage ne'er-do-well, just a different species." — Read it at Fox News

Goldfish Still Going Strong — 24 Years Later

When Brit Paul Palmer won a goldfish at a fair when he was four years old, his mom gently explained to him that it wasn’t likely to live very long. She was wrong. Palmer, now 28, is still the proud owner of Sharky the goldfish, who's now 24. “He’s had a charmed life because mom actually put him down the toilet once thinking he was dead but he swam back up the U-bend,” said Palmer, who's not so sure how long the luck will last. “We know he’s probably on his last fins . . . I’ll miss him when he finally goes.” According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s oldest goldfish lived to 43. — Read it at Chronicle Live

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Finally Listed as Protected in Oil Country

A tiny lizard in the middle of a long political battle finally knows its fate. Federal wildlife officials declined to declare it endangered, but a voluntary agreement will protect 650,000 acres of the lizard’s habitat in Texas and New Mexico — about 88 percent of its total habitat. Republican politicians breathed a sigh of relief: They felt that an endangered listing for the lizard would have threatened oil and gas development.

But the agreement displeased some conservationists. “Today’s decision was based on politics, not science,” said Taylor McKinnon, public lands campaigns director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “By caving to the oil and gas industry, the Obama administration is doing wrong by this rare lizard, it’s ignoring science and it’s setting a dangerous precedent for other declining species.” — Read it at The New York Times

Gracie
Courtesy of PETA

Three-legged Dog From Afghanistan Flourishes in the U.S.

Last year, American soldiers in Afghanistan rescued a three-legged dog named Gracie. A PETA branch in Norfolk, Va., found her a foster home, and after a long search, Gracie, who’s also missing both ears likely due to an infection she suffered on the streets of Afghanistan, was adopted by a couple in Virginia Beach. In an update from PETA, Gracie is doing well and likes to "joyfully zip up and down their backyard at breakneck speed. She loves sleeping in bed, and spending time with their grandchildren."

Air Canada Has a New Cat Ban

Some Air Canada flights are keeping passengers from bringing their kitties aboard to accommodate customers who suffer from cat allergies. The new rule requires the company to ban cats on the fleet's smaller aircraft when a customer with a cat allergy disability gives 48 hours notice before travelling. — Read it at Canada.com

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