Pet Scoop: D.C.’s Panda Cub Celebrates 1st Birthday, Woman Saves Dog From Freeway

August 25, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Party animal! Bao Bao hangs from a tree in her enclosure during her 1st birthday celebration at the National Zoo Saturday.
Smithsonian's National Zoo
Party animal! Bao Bao hangs from a tree in her enclosure during her 1st birthday celebration at the National Zoo Saturday.

Bao Bao Takes the Cake

For her first birthday, the National Zoo’s panda cub indulged in an ice cake made of fruit juice and slices of fruit and vegetables, and took part in a traditional Chinese Zhuazhou ceremony Saturday. In the ceremony, the 1-year-old is presented with symbolic items, and the one she reaches for first is supposed to reveal something about her future. Bao Bao reached for a poster with pictures of peaches on it first, meaning she’ll live a long life as a panda ambassador. Bao Bao is only the second surviving cub to be born at the zoo. Her keepers say she’s a little more stand-offish with them than her older brother, Tai Shan, was. Tai Shan was born in 2005 and now lives in China. — Read it from AP via Yahoo News

Famed Snowy Owl Dies in Minnesota

There was sad news Friday for another animal who was a celebrity in Washington, D.C. Residents fell in love with a wayward snowy owl who spent time in the city last winter and were heartbroken when it was hit by a bus in January. The owl was treated at D.C.’s City Wildlife and then rehabilitated at The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. It was released into the wild in April. Unfortunately, his body was recovered from a Minnesota highway, near where it was released. Officials believe he was struck by a vehicle. They were able to identify him by a band placed on his leg and said they could tell from his condition that he had been successfully hunting. — Read it from the Raptor Center

Study: Honeybees Are From Asia, Not Africa

The first global analysis of the honeybee genome shows a surprising amount of genetic diversity — and reveals that they originated in Asia, not Africa as was previously believed. Researchers say understanding the bees’ evolutionary history is important in battling disease, climate change and management practices that threaten them. The scientists said the bees seemed to be derived from an ancient lineage of cavity-nesting bees that arrived from Asia around 300,000 years ago. They then spread quickly across Europe and Africa. The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics. — Read it at Phys.org

Andie Valerio jumped out of her car and ran to catch a Pit Bull mix who was wandering on a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour last week.
Andie Valerio jumped out of her car and ran to catch a Pit Bull mix who was wandering on a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour last week.

Woman Catches Dog on Freeway

Good Samaritans worked together Thursday to save a dog running in rush hour traffic on the 710 Freeway in Los Angeles. Drivers slowed down to create a moving barrier to corral the dog to the side of the road so she wouldn’t be hit, then Andie Valerio got out of her car and raced to the pooch on foot. “That’s the dog whisperer right there,” said a reporter in a traffic helicopter that was following the incident. Valerio brought the Pit Bull mix to the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority shelter. Officials there are hoping the news coverage will help them locate her owner. If no one comes forward, she’ll be put up for adoption. “This dog is so sweet we'll for sure find her a home,” said animal control officer Robby Gochicoa. — Watch it at NBC Los Angeles

Injured Koala Saved With CPR

Using CPR and heart massage, a wildlife professional and a team of firefighters saved the life of a koala who was hit by a car in Melbourne, Australia. The koala was named Sean for a firefighter who helped rescue him. Another one of his rescuers, Michelle Thomas, said Sean may have been struck by the car up to 24 hours before he was given CPR. A passerby had placed him in a tree, but later called Wildlife Victoria to get him help. "He's eating. He's doing well," Thomas said. "He's one very lucky koala." Sean is now recovering at Thomas’ Animalia Wildlife Shelter. — Read it at People Pets


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