Pet Scoop: Dog Saves Trapped Man’s Life, Scientists Breed Tiny Endangered Frog Species

March 26, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Mole, a 1-year-old dog, is being credited with saving the life of a trapped man.
Mole, a 1-year-old dog, is being credited with saving the life of a trapped man.

Dog Finds California Hiker

When Ramon Llamas was out hiking in Riverside, Calif., on Monday, his dog, Mole, stopped in his tracks on one of their usual trails. "He kept on tugging at my pant and whining, pulling me,” Llamas said. The dog led him to a hole the size of a plate, where Llamas saw “big eyes,” and thought Mole had found a trapped animal. But he and nearby hikers quickly realized it was a man, who was quietly begging for water. They called 911 and while they waited for help, the man told them he’d fallen through the hole when he was looking for shade and had been trapped for days. "He'd be dead if it wasn't for that dog," said one of the rescuers of the 1-year-old mixed breed. “It hasn't really hit me yet, although he is a tough, good dog," Llamas said. The 44-year-old man who Mole found is expected to make a full recovery. — Watch it at My Fox LA

Cat Found in Home’s Wall After Plane Crash

Nearly a week after a private plane crashed into Patricia Kobalski’s Indiana home, her missing cat was found. On Saturday, as a construction worker was starting to knock down a wall in the home, which was being demolished, when Zuul the cat jumped out, says a neighbor. The worker grabbed the kitty and ran him over to a neighbor’s house to save him from the wrecking ball that was being used on the house. The neighbor, Denise Sult, rushed Zuul to an emergency clinic, where she met up with Kobalski. “It survived a plane crash, it survived … six days out in sometimes 4 degree wind chill with ice rain, and then it survived the house being demolished into tiny bits around it and wrecking balls,” Sult said. “If that cat didn’t spend 8 of its lives, then I don’t know what other cat has.” The cat is recovering at the clinic and is expected to return home this weekend.— Watch it at Indiana’s WNDU

Rare Rothschild Giraffe Born in Connecticut

The 6-foot female calf was born to mom Petal at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn., on Friday. She’s one of a subspecies of giraffes that is very rare, with only 670 of them left in the wild. When she’s full-grown, the not-yet-named calf could be 18 feet tall, and will spend her days with the zoo’s herd of five giraffes. For now, the zoo says she’s been bonding “extremely well” with her mom, and that the calf was standing and nursing within 30 minutes of her birth. — See photos and video at PawNation

The endangered limosa harlequin frog has been bred in captivity for the first time.
Brian Gratwicke, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
The endangered limosa harlequin frog has been bred in captivity for the first time.

Threatened Frogs Bred in Captivity

Researchers are successfully breeding the chevron-patterned form of the limosa harlequin frog in captivity for the first time. They are raising nine healthy frogs from one mating pair and hundreds of tadpoles from a second pair of the frogs, which are native to Panama. "These frogs represent the last hope for their species," said Brian Gratwicke, international coordinator for the project and a research biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The SCBI is one of six partners in the Panama Amphibian Research and Conservation Project. Close to one-third of the amphibian species in the world are at risk of extinction. — Read more from the Smithsonian National Zoo

Orphaned Cub Reunited With Siblings

Two weeks after three black bear cubs were found abandoned on the side of a road in South Carolina, they are all back together at the Appalachian Bear Rescue in Tennessee. Brothers Bennie and Jerry were taken in by the rescue just after they were found, but their sister, Carrie Bear, was sent to a facility at Charles Towne Landing in Charleston, S.C., to be stabilized. Now that she’s doing better, the three bears are all together at the ABR facility. Found when they were about a month old, the cubs now weigh about 4.5 pounds each. “Our curators are bottle feeding the cubs right now, but as the cubs get bigger and are able to stand and walk on their own, human contact will be diminished until there’s no direct contact at all,” said ABR spokeswoman Heather Ripley. That way, they stand the best chance at being returned to the wild.— Read it at Today

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