Pet Scoop: Cat Oversees School Crosswalk, Thousands of Baby Turtles Released

Dec. 19, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Sable helps a middle school's crossing guards each morning and afternoon.
Sable helps a middle school's crossing guards each morning and afternoon.
Sable the Cat Puts Safety First

It’s like clockwork. Each day, when students arrive at or depart from Enterprise Middle School in West Richland, Wash., 15-year-old feline Sable goes to work. Rain or shine, the black cat leaves his home and sits at the crosswalk, watching the students come and go from his post. Sable’s owner, Tamara Morris, told Washington’s KAPP TV said she was nervous that Sable would try to cross the street the first time he went out there, about a year ago. But he never has. “He just hung out there and couldn’t wait to be around the kids,” she said. And the kids are happy to have the company. "It's really cool, because you always know that there's someone there," said Courtney Budge, a student on the safety patrol. "You're never disappointed." — Watch it at KAPP TV via YouTube

Thousands of Baby Turtles Released in Bolivia

In an effort to reestablish a turtle population that’s been diminished by hunting, more than 120,000 yellow-spotted river and South American river turtle hatchlings were released into a protected area on a beach in Bolivia. They’re part of a project to release up to 3.8 million baby turtles into the wild in Bolivia and Brazil. — Watch it at Today

Holiday Hound Cakes Recalled

Claudia’s Canine Cuisine’s 7.5 oz. bags of DogCandy Holiday Hound Cake and Blueberry Hound Cake, holiday treats made for PetSmart stores, have been voluntarily recalled due to the potential to become moldy. The FDA said that mold has been found on several cakes delivered to the stores. They were distributed to approximately 130 stores in 36 states. The company said the cakes’ moisture content was higher than expected because they were packaged while they were still warm. No illnesses have been reported, and the products can be returned to PetSmart stores for a full refund. — Read it at DVM 360

Panda cub Xiao Liwu holds a ball during his latest exam.
Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo
Panda cub Xiao Liwu holds a ball during his latest exam.

Panda Cub Doesn’t Want to Share

Just like a child, Xiao Liwu wants to play — and he doesn’t want to share his ball. At his latest exam, the San Diego Zoo’s panda keepers gave him this plastic ball to test his coordination and encourage him to play with new things. (It looks like he was willing to do so!) At 20 weeks old, the baby bear weighed in at 14.5 pounds, meaning he’s on track with other giant pandas born at the zoo. — Read it at the San Diego Zoo

Rudolph Really Had a Red Nose

Researchers have found that a dense network of blood vessels in a reindeer’s nose do indeed make it rosy. The animals have 25 percent more capillaries carrying red, oxygen-rich blood in their noses than humans, say researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Rochester in New York. "In colder climates and also when they are higher up in the atmosphere pulling Santa's sleigh, the increase in blood flow in the nose will help keep the [nose's] surface warm," said Dr. John Cullen of the University of Rochester. The scientists wrote about their findings in the British Medical Journal.— Read it at Live Science

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