Pet Scoop: Cat Missing 13 Years Returned to Family, Rehabbed Sea Turtles Released

April 8, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Elizabeth Corso holds her long-lost pet, Bandit.
Elizabeth Corso holds her long-lost pet, Bandit.
Bandit’s No Longer on the Run

A 15-year-old cat who’s spent most of his life missing has been reunited with his family in California. Bandit disappeared 13 years ago after a TV repairman left Dante and Elizabeth Corso’s Las Vegas home. They searched all over the city for Bandit, with no luck. About 10 years later, they moved to San Diego. They were shocked to get a call last week from a Vegas veterinarian who said a man who rounded up feral cats had brought Bandit in, and they’d tracked the Corsos down using the feline’s microchip. The first thing the next morning, the couple was on the road to Nevada to retrieve their kitty. “This cat here has an amazing story. Yeah, I wish I knew it,” said Elizabeth Corso, according to NBC San Diego. “All of it — who he’s [been] with, where he’s been … he’s a special one.” — Watch it at San Diego’s KPBS

Algae Bloom Kills Record Number of Manatees

A toxic red tide on Florida’s southwest coast has killed 241 endangered manatees — far more than the previous annual record of 151. There are only about 5,000 Florida manatees left in the wild. Experts are not certain why this year’s red algae bloom has been so toxic, but say it may have been a sad coincidence of weather and timing. “We’ve seen in the past that when algae blooms coincide with manatee movement, it results in catastrophic mortality,” said Dr. Martine DeWit, a veterinarian with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. — Read it at The New York Times

Rare Bird Images Captured

A photo competition asked amateur photographers to submit pictures of endangered and critically endangered birds from around the world. It resulted in some stunning images of the birds, many of which face extinction because of habitat destruction and invasive species. Now, more than 800 of the pictures that were submitted over the last two years have been compiled into a new book, The World’s Rarest Birds. — See photos at the Huffington Post

"I'll race you," reads the caption of this photo posted by the National Aquarium.
"I'll race you," reads the caption of this photo posted by the National Aquarium.

52 Turtles Trek to Florida

Florida or bust! More than 200 sea turtles washed ashore on Massachusetts beaches in November and December, leaving the New England Aquarium’s turtle hospital bursting at the seams. Many of the turtles were taken in by aquariums up and down the East Coast to be rehabilitated. Starting early Saturday, a caravan that left from Maine began a trip dubbed the Sea Turtle Trek to bring 52 turtles who’d recovered to Jacksonville, Fla. The team made stops to pick up turtles from the New England Aquarium, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Virginia Aquarium, the South Carolina Aquarium and more. The drove all night before reaching their destination, and let the animals go on a Jacksonville beach on Sunday. — Read it from Baltimore’s National Aquarium

Twin Polar Bear Cubs Get First Exam

It's a boy — and a girl! Veterinarians at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Brno were able to confirm the sex of the new polar bear cub twins at their first check-up. The playful pair were born to mom Cora at the zoo in November and have only recently been on public display. They’re already known to give their mom a tough time! The zoo is asking the public to vote on names for the twins. So far, Nanuk is in the lead for the boy and Bella is the favorite for the girl cub. — See photos at Zooborns

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