Pet Scoop: Denali Pups Party for the Parks’ 100th, Seal Hops Aboard Boat to Avoid Whales

August 25, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Cupcake and Party wish the National Park Service a happy 100th birthday.
Cupcake and Party wish the National Park Service a happy 100th birthday.

“Birthday” Puppies Celebrate Parks

As the National Park Service marks its 100th birthday today, it has five adorable partygoers celebrating the milestone at Alaska’s Denali National Park. The Huskies are 1 month old and are the latest in a long line of sled dogs who serve as the only canine rangers in the park system. To remember this special anniversary, they’ve all been dubbed the “Birthday” puppies and given celebratory names: Happy, Cupcake, Piñata, Party and Hundo (in reference to 100). The park says the healthy puppies are spunky like their mom, Annie. You can watch them on Denali’s live puppy cam. — Get updates on the puppies from Denali National Park via Facebook and learn fascinating facts about Denali’s dogs

Proposal Could Ban Swimming With Dolphins

The popular tourist attraction of swimming with spinner dolphins in Hawaii would be banned under a proposal from NOAA Fisheries, which argues the interaction is depriving the nocturnal animals of the sleep they need. “We can't function as well as we could with a good night's sleep, same with dolphins. Over time, their health may be impacted. They may not nurture young as well. They may abandon their young or habitat, and they may suffer long-term population impacts," said Ann Garrett of NOAA Fisheries. The proposed rules would prohibit approaching the dolphins within 50 yards by means including swimming, snorkeling or boating within two nautical miles from shore. The waters designated by the plan include areas between the islands of Maui, Lanai and Kahoolawe, where dolphins can be found throughout the day. If the guidelines are passed, they would go into effect in 2017. — Read it at CNN

Critically Endangered Primate Spotted in Vietnam

A new group of rare primates that includes juveniles and infants is raising hopes that the Delacour’s langur might not disappear within the next decade as feared. A team of scientists discovered a group of about 40 of the primates, but that still brings the total population to less than 250. “The fact that they are breeding is brilliant news,” said Akofa Wallace, a spokeswoman for the team from Fauna and Flora International. The langurs’ habitat is threatened by mining, and they also face threats from poachers. — Read it at Discovery News

A seal scrambled onto a boat in Canada to get away from a pod of killer whales.
A seal scrambled onto a boat in Canada to get away from a pod of killer whales.

Smart Seal Hops on Boat for Safety

A group out boating to look for whales in British Columbia, Canada, got an unexpected close encounter with a clever seal. The group was watching a pod of 12 orcas hunting, when their prey sought refuge on their 33-foot zodiac boat. “All of a sudden it popped up a little bit closer and just stared at the boat… the next thing you know, it was scrambling to get on the back of the boat,” said Kirk Fraser, who had taken his visiting parents out on Powell River, told Canada’s Global News. The seal fell off the boat three times before managing to hang on long enough to outwit the killer whales, who kept circling the boat and making those on board nervous. But the whales never touched the boat itself in the 45-minute ordeal. Fraser caught several videos of the incident and posted them on YouTube, where they’ve gone viral. — Watch it at People Pets

“Today’s” Puppy Meets His Predecessor

The morning show’s first puppy, Wrangler the yellow Labrador Retriever, made a guest appearance on “Today” on Wednesday. The graduate recently passed his final test with Guiding Eyes for the Blind and is now officially eligible to become a guide dog. His lucky handler will soon meet him — but first, he was on hand to meet Charlie, the adorable 8-week-old veteran service puppy in training who joined the show this week. “When I grow up, I want to be just like Wrangler!” the puppy tweeted with a sweet photo of the pair. Charlie is training with America’s VetDogs. — Watch it at Today


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