Pet Scoop: Dog Who Got Last Wagon Ride Dies, Villagers Knit Giant Elephant Sweaters

Jan. 26, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Four months after making headlines with his final wagon ride, Maverick passed away peacefully.
Four months after making headlines with his final wagon ride, Maverick passed away peacefully.

Beloved Golden Dies Peacefully

A Golden Retriever in Florida stole hearts around the globe when his people took him on a final wagon ride through town to be “loved on” back in October, when they learned he was losing his third bout with cancer. Workers at Lowe’s had helped them make the wagon so Maverick would be comfortable on what they expected to be one last special day. But Maverick held on for another four months, and thousands followed his progress on Facebook. His owner, Joey Maxwell, said that when he and his wife returned home from the theater on Saturday, the smiley dog “ate a big meal and playfully barked for more.” They left him in the living room to finish his second helping while they got ready for bed, and returned to find that the dog they’d adopted from a shelter eight years ago had passed away. “He had waited until we got home so he could enjoy one last meal with us and tell us goodbye. It was as peaceful and painless as could be,” Maxwell said. — Read it at CBS News

Study: Cats May Be as Smart as Dogs

Japanese researchers say cats performed just as well as dogs on certain memory tests. The study of 49 cats suggests they have episodic memory, recalling specific pleasant experiences such as eating a favorite snack. Dogs also show this type of memory. “Episodic memory is viewed as being related to introspective function of the mind; our study may imply a type of consciousness in cats,” said Saho Takagi, a psychologist at Kyoto University. “An interesting speculation is that they may enjoy actively recalling memories of their experience like humans.” The study was published in the journal Behavioral Processes. — Read it from the U.K.’s BBC News

Red Panda Disappears From Virginia Zoo

The Virginia Zoo is asking for the public’s help to find Sunny, a 19-month-old red panda. Sunny was in her habitat on Monday night, but couldn’t be found when her keepers arrived on Tuesday morning. They are hopeful she’s still on the zoo’s grounds, but they’ve been scouring neighborhoods around the zoo, and they’re asking those who live within a mile to check the trees in their backyards for Sunny. They’re asking anyone who spots her to take a photo and text it to their hotline, but not to approach her. — Read it at Yahoo News

Elephants at a northern India sanctuary are staying warm with giant hand-knit sweaters.
Elephants at a northern India sanctuary are staying warm with giant hand-knit sweaters.

Cold Elephants Get Huge Sweaters

With extremely cold weather hitting their home in northern India, the 20 elephants who live at the Wildlife SOS are keeping warm with Jumbo Jackets knit by animal lovers in the area. The pachyderms who live at the center are blind, disabled or recovering from abuse, and their rescuers want to ensure they don’t have to endure any more discomfort. “It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse,”said Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS, in a statement. Thanks to the kindness of the villagers, they’ll stay warm and cozy during the cold spell. — Read it at People Pets

Adorable Gray Seal Pup Born in Washington

At 33 years old, Kara became the oldest gray seal to give birth in a zoo when she had a baby girl just after midnight on Jan. 21. Keepers at the National Zoo are keeping a close eye on the pup, but said she appears to be nursing, moving and bonding well with her mom. This is the third pup for mom Kara and dad Gunther, who’s 26. On Tuesday, the pup weighed in at 37 pounds. Once she’s weaned, the pup will be introduced to other members of the colony. — See photos from the National Zoo

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