Pet Scoop: Blind Sled Dog Gets Help From Brother, Hundreds of New Species Discovered

Jan. 28, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Poncho, left, helps guide his blind brother, Gonzo, right.
Poncho, left, helps guide his blind brother, Gonzo, right.

Sightless Husky Still Part of Team

Three years ago, Gonzo, one of 120 dogs at the Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in Jefferson, N.J., started losing his eyesight, but he was still eager to run with his team. On the advice of a veterinarian, the kennel’s managers continued to let him go out, not treating his disability as an obstacle. They lined up Gonzo, an Alaskan Husky, and his brother Poncho side by side toward the back of the 8-member team. Workers at Muddy Paw, which takes in former professional sled dogs who are past their prime, say Poncho realized Gonzo needed help on the trail, and would let him lean on him to figure out where the turns were and how fast they were going. One time, he even stopped to help Gonzo when he stumbled on the trail in deep snow. "He essentially picked him out of the powder ... threw him back on the trail and never skipped a beat," said kennel owner Neil Beaulieu. "I've run dogs in a lot of places, all over the country, and it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen sled dogs do." — Read it from AP via New York’s Newsday

Some Male Bats Live in Bachelor Pads

Talk about a man cave — a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that male Daubenton’s bats living along a valley near the River Wharfe in the U.K. often live alone in spotless bachelor pads, while the females and the kids live in messier roosts. Project leader John Altringham of the University of Leeds’ School of Biology says the mothers might not want to compete with males for food, “but it is also possible that the males choose not to roost with the females. Mothers and pups often have a lot of ectoparasites like ticks and mites. In a warm, crowded nursery, parasites can thrive. Parasites not only make life uncomfortable but can affect a bat’s health.” — Read it at Discovery News

Goat Knocks Reporter Off Her Feet

Luckily, TV reporter Linda Carson of ABC 7 in Florida can laugh at herself. While taping a segment at the Manatee County Fair in Palmetto last week, Carson was standing in a pen full of goats. As the cameras were rolling, she asked one goat not to nibble on her pants — and he apparently wasn’t thrilled with the suggestion. He stepped back then head-butted Carson, knocking her over. She got to her feet after having a good chuckle. — Watch it at Today

The Yellow Dyer Rain Frog is among the newly discovered species.
The Yellow Dyer Rain Frog is among the newly discovered species.

Nearly 500 New Species Discovered in the Past Two Years

Scientists from the 10 Senckenberg institutes in Germany uncovered 491 new species of plants and animals from all over the world in 2011 and 2012 — some of them by studying previously unidentified material or using new research methods. They include the Yellow Dyer Rain Frog, colorful land crabs and the first eyeless huntsman spider. Some of new species are threatened with extinction, despite just having been discovered. — Read it at Science Daily

Felines Compete in International Cat Show

The claws came out as cats competed for the top prize in the 21st International Cat Show in Athens, Greece, on Sunday. From the hairless Sphynx to the fluffy Persian and the large Maine Coon, you can check out photos of some of the contestants in this gallery. — See photos at Yahoo


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