Pet Scoop: Eagle Steals Camera and Takes Selfies, Dog Comforted After Ice Rescue

Dec. 3, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A sea eagle in Australia snapped this picture of itself with a motion sensitive camera it took off with.
A sea eagle in Australia snapped this picture of itself with a motion sensitive camera it took off with.

Eagle Videos Its Own Flight

When a motion sensor camera disappeared from a riverbank in Western Australia in May, where it had been set up to record crocodiles, park rangers assumed it had fallen into the water. But when it turned up recently near the river about 70 miles away, camera footage revealed the culprit: an eagle. "A juvenile sea eagle came and took-off with it and made three [recordings of] 30 second footage," Roneil Skeen, one of the Gooniyandi Indigenous Rangers who set up the cameras, told the Australian Broadcasting Company. The recordings show the bird snagging the camera and flying off with it, then later posing for selfies as it tries to figure out what it has found. “It was pretty cool,” Skeen said, adding that the rangers will be securing the cameras to the ground from now on. — Read it and watch it from the AP via Fox News

Rights Group Wants “Legal Person” Status for Chimp

The Nonhuman Rights Project filed papers in New York’s State Supreme Court on Monday, asking the court to recognize Tommy, a chimp in Gloversville, N.Y., as a legal person with a right to liberty. The group said it planned to file suit later this week on behalf of three more chimps in New York. The petition for Tommy asks for him to be removed from his owners and placed in a sanctuary. Tommy’s owner is Patrick C. Lavery, the owner of Circle L Trailer Sales, where Tommy lives. He said he’s been trying to place Tommy in a sanctuary but hasn’t been able to find one with room for the chimp. He says he rescued Tommy from a home where he’d been badly treated. “If they were to see where this chimp lived for the first 30 years of his life, they would jump up and down for joy about where he is now,” Lavery said of the Nonhuman Rights Project. Animal activists have had a lot of success this year with chimps being retired from the federal government and a proposal to classify them as endangered that would give them more protection, but those actions addressed animal welfare rather than animal rights. — Read it at The New York Times

Unique Organ Changes Pitch of Koala’s Voice

Researchers from the U.K. have found that the koala has an organ that’s never before been seen in a land-dwelling mammal that causes the male’s mating calls to be about 20 times lower than they should be, given the animal’s small size. The bellowing sound has been described as being similar to belching, a donkey braying or even “frogs vomiting.” The low-pitched sound is more typical of an animal the size of an elephant, researchers said. "We have discovered that koalas possess an extra pair of vocal folds that are located outside the larynx, where the oral and nasal cavities connect," says Benjamin Charlton of the University of Sussex. "We also demonstrated that koalas use these additional vocal folds to produce their extremely low-pitched mating calls." The findings were published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at Science Daily

Rescue workers in Michigan saved this dog from an icy pond and warmed him with a thermal blanket.
Rescue workers in Michigan saved this dog from an icy pond and warmed him with a thermal blanket.

Dog Rescued From Icy Pond

Emergency workers wearing ice water rescue suits came to the aid of a large dog who was struggling in a Michigan pond about 150 feet from shore after falling through the ice on Sunday morning. The pup could be heard “crying out to rescuers,” when the team from South Haven Emergency Services got to the scene. They wrapped him in a thermal blanket to warm him up after he was back on land. He was then taken in by Van Buren County Animal Control, which returned the lucky dog to his owner. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Puppy Saved From Storm Drain Gets a Home

There’s good news for the adorable Lab mix puppy who was rescued last week after spending about 9 days in a Dallas storm drain: he’s heading to a new home. Named Stormy, he will go to a Fort Worth, Texas, couple who won a drawing to adopt him from Dallas Animal Services. Stormy was rescued after an elementary school teacher called rescuers for help, and cared for him until they could save him. The puppy’s two littermates, Sadie and Sampson were also adopted — along with 57 other dogs from the shelter. Dallas Animal Services is still working on finding the right home for Stormy’s mom and dad, who have lived on the street for a long time. — Read it at the New York Daily News

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