Pet Scoop: Dog Survives After Eating 16 Rocks, Endangered Black Rhino Born at Zoo Atlanta

August 19, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

These rocks were retrieved from Gordon's stomach during surgery.
Dani Akenson, BluePearl
These rocks were retrieved from Gordon's stomach during surgery.
Dog Devours 2 Pounds of Rocks

Dogs eat plenty of strange things, but in this case, “just the sheer amount is what made this one different,’’ said James Judge, spokesman for the BluePearl veterinary center in Minnesota. That’s where Gordon, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever, underwent surgery when doctors discovered he’d swallowed nearly 2 pounds of rocks from his owners’ backyard garden. On Tuesday night, his owners, who would like to remain anonymous, noticed that Gordon’s stomach looked big. Then, after he passed a rock when he went to the bathroom, they headed to an emergency veterinary hospital on Wednesday morning. He was referred to BluePearl, where the rocks were removed and where he spent Thursday recovering. “Gordon is doing great and is now back at home with his family,’’ Judge said. “I talked to his owners, and they said I would have to ask Gordon why he would eat that when there’s plenty of great food served every day.” Judge said he believes the owners have hidden the rest of the rocks to help Gordon avoid any further temptation. — Read it at Today

Bear Attacks Raise Concerns

At least six people have been injured in bear attacks in five states in the last week. The attacks have raised questions, with few answers, about why there have been so many incidents this year. Some of the attacks have happened deep in the wilderness, in Alaska and Idaho. But there have also been 64 percent more attacks in Yellowstone National Park so far this year compared to last year. On Thursday, a grizzly cub got too close to a group of four hikers in the park, and the mother bear charged the group. Two of the hikers were attacked by the bear, and the other two used bear spray to scare off the mother and her cubs. Another incident occurred in Michigan, where a 12-year-old girl was jogging on a trail in her neighborhood when she was attacked by a black bear. She screamed for help and then played dead, and the bear ran off. Despite the recent spate of incidents, bear attacks are highly unusual and mainly happen when a mother bear feels her cubs are threatened, according to the Department of Natural Resources. — Read it from ABC News

Middle School Students Take Part in Elephant Study

Hoping to see elephants through the fresh eyes of young kids — and inspire a new generation of conservationists — animal behavior specialist Joshua Plotnik decided to include 13 students from New York’s East Side Middle School in his research team for a study on whether elephants understood human hand gestures. “A 12-year-old kid is inquisitive, motivated, enthusiastic and extremely impressionable,” said Plotnik, who’s a lecturer at Mahidol University in Thailand. “They can think about it from simple but important ways.” It was one of the first times that teenagers had coauthored a study alongside researchers with advanced degrees. The paper was published in April in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at The New York Times

A critically endangered eastern black rhino was born at Zoo Atlanta on Saturday night.
Zoo Atlanta
A critically endangered eastern black rhino was born at Zoo Atlanta on Saturday night.

Rare Black Rhino Born in Atlanta

A critically endangered eastern black rhinoceros calf was born late Saturday night to 7-year-old Andazi at Zoo Atlanta. Officials there say the baby — the first of its kind to be born at the 124-year-old zoo — appears healthy and is bonding well with its first-time mom. The zoo hasn’t yet determined the newborn’s gender. Dad is Andazi’s 9-year-old mate, Utenzi. “This is a critically endangered species that absolutely deserves the spotlight right now," Raymond King, the zoo's president, said in a statement. Rhinos have gestation periods of 14 to 18 months. Calves are usually weaned within two years, but might stay with their mothers for up to four years. — Read it from Reuters via Yahoo

Sea Turtle — And Eggs — Returned to Beach

Just as a 360-pound green sea turtle was being moved to the SeaWorld rescue vehicle for a return trip to Cocoa Beach, Fla., she surprised the animal care team when she started releasing eggs. The team quickly gathered the four eggs and transported them in wet sand to the release site. When they reached Lori Wilson Park, the eggs were buried in a marked nest site by an environmental consultant who has a permit to handle sea turtle eggs. The site was only yards away from where the adult sea turtle was released. The endangered turtle had been brought to SeaWorld Orlando last week by the by the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group, which spotted the lethargic turtle struggling and thought medical attention was needed. The turtle was released after test results came back normal and she regained her strength. SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 51 and returned 43 sea turtles so far this year.

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