Pet Scoop: Cute New Photo Shows Panda Cub Napping, Cat Alerts Owner to Sinking Yacht

Sept. 17, 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 National Zoo's sleepy panda cub is gaining his iconic black and white markings.
Smithsonian's National Zoo
The National Zoo's sleepy panda cub is gaining his iconic black and white markings.

Panda Cub Naps in New Photo

Now weighing in at 1.9 pounds, mom Mei Xiang’s little cub is getting too big for her to pick up with her mouth. The National Zoo released a sweet new photo of the panda cub napping this week. He’s getting more adorable as the weeks go on, gaining his black markings and looking more like a panda. His keepers say his black saddle looks just like his dad, Tian Tian’s. They’ve also observed that he likes to sleep with his paw over his eye — something both his dad and his big sister, Bao Bao, like to do, too. The cub’s eyes are still closed, and like many infants, he spends much of his days sleeping. That’s allowed mom to venture out of her den a bit more and take some time to eat one of her favorite foods: a pear. — Follow the cub’s progress at Facebook

New Study Compares Wolves and Dogs

In an experiment, researchers put sausage into closed Tupperware containers and compared the responses of wolves and dogs. They found that the wolves tended to put their noses to the Tupperware and keep trying to get at the sausage inside. Dogs, however, quickly looked at humans. But experts are divided on what this means. Brian Hare, a specialist in canine cognition at Duke University, said he thought the research confirmed a well-known behavior, “the looking to humans phenomenon” and didn’t mean one was smarter than the other. “It should be noted that in a pilot study, an 8-week-old puppy was able to open the puzzle box,” wrote study author Dr. Monique Udell of Oregon State University, to emphasize that the dogs were physically able to open the container. She added that perhaps older dogs had learned not to try to solve problems. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at The New York Times

Sea Turtle Eggs Get Special Protection in Mexico

In Mexico, troops and drones are being used to guard endangered sea turtle eggs to protect them from being poached by "hueveros" or egg robbers. The poachers hide between dunes and cacti on beaches to nab the eggs for restaurants. The egg robbers have been known to arrive on horseback and wielding weapons to take the eggs. If they’re caught, poachers face up to nine years in prison and $12,000 in fines. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo

Major Tom the cat woke up his owner when the yacht they live on started to fill with water.
Major Tom the cat woke up his owner when the yacht they live on started to fill with water.

Cat Wakes Owner on Sinking Yacht

Major Tom the cat is being credited with saving the life of his owner when his yacht began to fill with water while it was anchored 40 nautical miles off the coast of Australia. “He kept head-butting me and got me up, and eventually after checking the wind and doing the normal course check I noticed the bow heavy, heavy in the water … the whole boat was flooded,” said owner Grant McDonald. “It was too dark and too dangerous to enter and try and find a leak. I had to make the quick decision to get the cat and get on the life raft as quickly as possible.” After being in the raft for hours, McDonald and his cat were rescued by a passing container ship with a Chinese crew. McDonald, who lived on the yacht, lost everything but his cat when the boat sank. — Read it at People Pets

Kitten Rescued From Underground Pipe

Firefighters had to cut open a pipe outside a home in De Pere, Wisconsin, to save the life of a tiny kitten who was stuck inside Tuesday. The rescue crew was called to the home to investigate the gray kitten’s meows in the storm sewer. The kitty was stuck in a pipe that carries storm water from the home’s downspouts and sump pump to the storm sewer in the street. Firefighters think the kitten might have crawled into the pipe from the street and got stuck at the point where the pipe turns upward at a 90-degree angle. — Read it at Wisconsin’s Fox 11 News


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