Pet Scoop: Coast Guard Rescues Two Sea Turtles, Rare Rabbit Surprises Scientist

June 8, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued and released two entangled sea turtles off the coast of California.
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued and released two entangled sea turtles off the coast of California.

Sea Turtles Rescued and Released

A Coast Guard crew from Alameda, California, was sent to a well-known drug transit zone last month to investigate a suspicious item reportedly floating in the water. When they arrived, they didn’t find any drugs — but they did find two sea turtles tangled in fishing line and buoys floating at the surface. A newly released video shows the Guardsmen coming to the turtles’ rescue. "There was no question what we had to do. And no one spoke a word. We immediately moved into rescue mode," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Hylan Rousseau, who was on board the Cutter Stratton. They cut the lines from each of the turtles, including one who weighed 70 pounds. Both swam right off to freedom. "Everyone was elated," said Chief Petty Officer Brian Milcetich, a member of the law enforcement team. "As you see in the video, he (the turtle) didn't stick around to celebrate." — Watch it at Seattle’s KING5

American Pharoah Jockey Donates Winnings

American Pharoah raced into history Saturday, becoming the first horse in 37 years to take the Triple Crown as he won the Belmont Stakes. The 3-year-old horse’s owner is deciding what’s next for him, and considering having him continue racing. “It is my genuine desire, as someone who loves horses, as a fan, to race him as long as I possibly could,” said owner Ahmed Zayat. “At least — at least — until he finishes as a 3-year-old. I take this very responsibly. I think it’s a huge, huge honor and privilege, and we owe it to the sport to do the right thing.” Meanwhile, jockey Victor Espinoza, who’d come close to winning the Triple Crown in the past, said he’d donate all of his Belmont winnings to City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment facility in California. “At the wire I was like, 'I cannot believe I did it,'" Espinoza said. "I (won) the Triple Crown race now, but I didn't make any money, because I donated my money to the City of Hope." — Read it at SB Nation

Baby Beluga Passes Away at Georgia Aquarium

There’s sad news to report following a rare birth we told you about just a few weeks ago. Less than a month after her birth, a beluga calf born to 20-year-old mom Maris has died at the Georgia Aquarium, leaving the animal care team heartbroken. The team had provided around-the-clock care for the mother and baby. “Because of the statistical probability of survival of beluga whale calves, we’ve always been guardedly optimistic,” said the aquarium’s Gregory Bossart V.M.D., Ph.D. “Preliminary diagnostics … indicated that the calf had gastrointestinal issues that were preventing her from properly absorbing and assimilating nutrients that she needed to grow and thrive.” The team plans to share the knowledge it’s gained on beluga reproductive health with other aquariums, and said its primary concern now is Maris’ well-being. — Read it at the Georgia Aquarium

Graduate student researcher Sarah Woodfin holds a rare Annamite striped rabbit in Vietnam.
Graduate student researcher Sarah Woodfin holds a rare Annamite striped rabbit in Vietnam.

Rare Rabbit Photographed

On the first day of a three-month expedition in Vietnam to study the elusive Annamite striped rabbit, graduate student researcher Sarah Woodfin got a rare opportunity: the chance to hold and photograph the tropical forest animal. Woodfin is working with rabbit expert Diana Bell, who first described the species in 1999. The species has only been seen a handful of times. Woodfin, a lifelong rabbit lover who’s studying at the University of East Anglia in the U.K., held the animal for less than 30 minutes before releasing it into the same spot where it was found. She described it as “very handsome, with a golden-brown body, a red rump, black stripes, small ears and no tail.” — Read it at Live Science

Actress’ Cats Interrupt Scene From “Mad Men” Finale

Now that “Mad Men” is over, Elizabeth Moss, who played Peggy Olson, can admit what was happening in the background while she taped her phone call scene with Don Draper for the series finale. Because she wasn’t on camera in the scene, she recorded it over the phone, in her pajamas — and with her cats, she told Seth Meyers on his show Thursday. While John Hamm’s character was having an emotional breakthrough, Moss was busy trying to keep her cats in check. “He’s like crying and I’m like trying to get the cats to be quiet. They’re like ‘meow’ and I’m like ‘Shhhh!’” she revealed in the interview. — Watch it at People Pets


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