Pet Scoop: Cat Survives 11-Story Fall From Window, Cheetah Cubs Get a New Home

Sept. 9, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Owner Stephanie Gustafson holds Wasabi the cat outside their apartment building in Juneau, Alaska.
The Juneau Empire/AP
Owner Stephanie Gustafson holds Wasabi the cat outside their apartment building in Juneau, Alaska.

Kitty Recovers From Fall

Two-year-old Wasabi the cat is wearing a pink cast on one of her front legs after fracturing it in a fall from her owner’s 11th-story apartment in Juneau, Alaska. The kitty was chasing a mosquito last week, and when the bug escaped out a window, Wasabi followed it and landed in a parking lot. Her owner, Stephanie Gustafson, found her nearby, hurt and wet from the rain. Veterinarians operated on Wasabi to put pins and wires in her fractured leg and broken bones in a joint. She’s expected to take about six weeks to recover. — Read it from AP via Today

Pest-Eating Birds Save Coffee Growers Money

Biologists at Stanford University have found that rainforest birds are helping coffee growers in Costa Rica with pest control, providing $75 to $310 increases in coffee bean yield per hectare of farmland. This is the first time scientists have assigned a monetary value to the pest eating services birds like the yellow warbler provide. The birds go after the aggressive borer beetle, which burrows into the beans and eats its way out, ruining the bean. The pervasive beetle originated in Africa and has spread to nearly every major coffee-producing country. “It's the only insect that competes with us for coffee beans," said lead study author Daniel Karp. "It's the most damaging insect pest by far, causing some $500 million in damage per year." The study was published in the journal Ecology Letters. — Read it at Science Daily

Monkeys Decide When to Speak Up

Humans have the ability to intentionally say what they mean, or keep their thoughts to themselves. Most animals, though, including primates, “make sounds as a reflex based on their mood,” researchers said. But scientists with the University of Tübingen in Germany say the rhesus monkey is able to make a call or decide to be silent on command. “They can instrumentalize the sounds they make in a targeted way, an important behavioral ability which [humans] also use to put language to a purpose," the researchers said. The discovery could lead to insights into the development and treatment of speech disorders. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. — Read it at Nature World News

A pair of 8-week-old cheetah cubs and a Lab puppy will live together at the Dallas Zoo.
A pair of 8-week-old cheetah cubs and a Lab puppy will live together at the Dallas Zoo.

Cheetahs Get New Home, New Pal

The two 8-week-old male cubs, Winspear and Kamau, were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia on July 8. They now have a new residence — and a new buddy — at the Dallas Zoo. The endangered cheetahs will be raised alongside a black Labrador Retriever named Amani, an 8-week-old male whose name means peace in Swahili. Zoological experts have found that dogs can provide a comforting influence for cheetahs because they’re comfortable in public settings. A team from the Dallas Zoo spent nearly two weeks in Virginia with the fuzzy cubs before escorting them to Texas. They’ll live separately from the zoo’s adult brother and sister cheetahs, Bonde and Kilima. — Read it from the Dallas Zoo and watch it at KABC via Yahoo News

Subway Kittens Settle Into Foster Home

Arthur and August, the kittens who delayed two New York subway lines for two hours while they scampered around the tracks late last month, are now enjoying apartment living in Brooklyn. The pair have been taken in to the Scratching Pad, the basement of Steven Liu’s apartment, which he’s turned into a playroom for his fosters. "My roommates helped me rearrange the kitten towers so that there are a lot of hiding places when they get scared,” said Liu, who’s documenting their stay in his blog. “When we’re down there, the kittens are pretty calm and will start purring when we pick them up for some good old chin and butt scratches." — See photos at Paw Nation


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