Pet Scoop: Elephant Brings New Baby to Meet Her Rescuers, Dog Saved From Mineshaft

Oct. 15, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Wendi, who was saved as an orphaned baby, brought her own newborn to meet her rescuers in Kenya.
Wendi, who was saved as an orphaned baby, brought her own newborn to meet her rescuers in Kenya.

Orphaned Elephant Shows Off Baby

Wendi was only days old when her mother was killed by poachers in Kenya in 2002. The newborn orphaned elephant was rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. She was bottle fed by her caretakers and eventually went back to living in the wild. Her keepers considered her survival a miracle — and another little miracle arrived Tuesday. Hours after Wendi gave birth to her own baby girl, she brought her to the Trust to meet her human family and the other elephants living there. Her keepers were overjoyed for Wendi, and said the baby’s birth shows the importance of saving the life of a single orphaned elephant. “When grown and reintegrated back into the wild, [orphaned elephants] go on to enjoy the life they deserve and even to have their own babies and to bring new life into the world,” the Trust said in a Facebook post. — See photos and video at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust via Facebook

Study: Pets and Owners May Share MRSA Bacteria

New research suggests that people can pass the superbug methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to their pets — and that the bacteria might be able to hide on pets and be passed back to their owners.  Pets "may serve as a reservoir for ongoing transmission [of MRSA] in the household," said study co-author Dr. Stephanie Fritz, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers visited the homes of 49 children who had “community-associated MRSA,” which affects people outside of a hospital. They tested several surfaces in their homes, as well as their families’ dogs and cats. Of the 89 animals tested, 15 of the pets had the bacteria living on them but didn’t have symptoms of illness. Their strains often matched the strains of their owners. The findings were presented at the IDWeek2015 conference. — Read it at Live Science

Oxytocin Helps Marmosets Get Attention From Mates, Study Finds

Marmosets who were given a drop of oxytocin in their noses attracted more social interaction from their long-term mates, said researchers at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Males that received oxytocin attracted more physical proximity from their female partners, while females treated with the hormone attracted more grooming from their male partners ­— and both happened without the partner who’d received the oxytocin soliciting more attention. The study was published in Frontiers. — Read it at

Corona was pulled from a mineshaft by Michael Shoepf and his friends, after they found her while off-roading.
Corona was pulled from a mineshaft by Michael Shoepf and his friends, after they found her while off-roading.

Dog Rescued From Mineshaft

Rescuers are searching for the owner of a sweet 1-year-old Pit Bull who was found trapped in a mineshaft in Corona, California. Michael Shoepf and his friends were off-roading Friday night when they took a turn and saw two eyes looking up at them. The dog, who they named Corona, had fallen into a deep mineshaft. “Just instantly I was like dude, we can’t leave,” said Schoepf. They gathered any rope they could find from their trucks and lowered Schoepf into the narrow space, then pulled him back up with the dog. The group then brought the dog to a veterinarian for help. She suffered a few scratches and an injury to her eye that the vet says will heal. Although Corona does have a microchip, there wasn’t much identifying information associated with it. She clearly loves Schoepf, but he already has two dogs. He’s hopeful her owner will come forward, and if not, he’ll be looking for a good home for his new buddy. — Watch it at Alabama’s WIAT

Snow Leopard Cubs Make Their Debut

Two beautiful sisters met the public last week at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Four-month-old endangered snow leopard cubs Malaya and Daania explored their outdoor exhibit with their 5-year-old mom, Sarani. Until now, the adorable girls have been behind the scenes bonding with their mom. This is Sarani’s second litter of cubs with her mate, Sabu. Snow leopards are native to the rugged mountains of central Asia. — See photos at Zooborns


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