Pet Scoop: Does Boo's Mom Work at Facebook?, Famed Beluga Dies at the Vancouver Aquarium

August 9, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Boo, the World's Cutest Dog
Boo has 5 million Facebook fans — and maybe even a Facebook employee mom.

Has Boo’s Mom Been Identified?

A writer with AllThingsD says that he’s unlocked one of the Internet’s greatest secrets: He’s found the owner of Boo, the “World’s Cutest Dog.” Mike Isaac claims that two tipsters have told him that Irene Ahn, a Facebook employee with a position in the company’s finance department, owns the popular Pomeranian — and he wonders if her inside knowledge of the social media site helped Boo go viral. (The pup has nearly 5 million Facebook fans.) Ahn wouldn’t return Isaac’s calls, and he believes that Ahn stays out of the limelight to keep the attention focused on Boo. — Read it at AllThingsD

African Elephants May Be Knocking Over One Too Many Trees

An aerial survey conducted in South Africa shows that regions where elephants live have six times more tree loss than regions without the pachyderms. Elephants can topple a tree in seconds, enabling their calves to eat the vegetation. The survey's data could help inform conservationists about the elephants’ needs — and how to balance them with the impact that tree loss has on the ecosystem. — Read it at Discovery News

Rare But Fatal Disease Has a Genetic Link in a Brazilian Dog Breed

Researchers have traced the bone disorder mucopolysaccharidoses, which occurs in a rare canine breed known as the Brazilian terrier or Fox Paulistinhas, to a single gene mutation. Scientists are hopeful that the fatal skeletal condition can be eliminated through breeding — and that developing a cure for dogs could someday help humans who suffer from a similar condition. — Read it at NBC News

Kavna, believed to be the oldest Beluga whale in captivity in North America, died at age 46.
Kavna, who was believed to be the oldest Beluga whale in captivity in North America, has died.

Vancouver Aquarium’s Beloved Beluga Whale Passes Away

Kavna — the oldest beluga whale in captivity in North America, and the inspiration for a popular children’s song by Raffi — died this week. Officials at the Vancouver Aquarium, where the whale had lived since 1976, believe that the 46-year-old beluga was battling cancer. “Kavna will be missed by all who knew her,” Raffi posted on Twitter. “Loved meeting her in '79, the magnificent whale who inspired Baby Beluga.” Kavna was known for hand picking the trainers she liked to work with at the aquarium. "She was definitely in charge,” said one of her keepers. — Read it at CBC News

Arnold Schwarzenegger Poses With a Kangaroo

The actor and former governor of California tweeted a photo of himself lifting a kangaroo at a party held at a Hollywood talent agent's home. “Am I doing it right?” he asked in the post. — See the photo at People Pets

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