Pet Scoop: Elephant Rushes to Save Human Pal, Puppy Found After Ex-NFL Player’s Wreck

Oct. 18, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Kham Lha came to the rescue of her BFF, Save the Elephants founder Darrick Thomson.
Kham Lha came to the rescue of her BFF, Save the Elephants founder Darrick Thomson.

Baby Elephant to the Rescue

Ever since he saved her life last year, Darrick Thomson has been one of Kham Lha’s favorite people. So, when the baby Asian elephant thought her pal was struggling in the river at the Save the Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, she raced into the water, sheltered him with her body and gave him her trunk to hold on to. Luckily, Thomson wasn’t really in trouble. He was calling to Kham Lha from the water, and she interpreted his calls as distress cries. Her sweet save was caught on a video that’s now gone viral. “Since [Thomson] rescued Kham La, he spent time to heal her from the mental [anguish] and has shown love to her,” said the staff at Save the Elephant. “It's not long after that, she [made a] strong bond with him, and accepted him to be part of her herd.” — Watch it at CNN

Study: Female Chimps Wait to Climb Social Ladder

A new study finds that while male chimps move up the social ladder by directly challenging higher-ranking members, females wait until a higher-ranking female dies for their chance to move up. The researchers from Duke University say that’s likely because females have so much at stake. “You may get injured. Your offspring may be killed, if you have a little baby. Finding that females actually do not fight for rank tells us how costly these challenges must be for them,” says study co-author Anne Pusey. The study of 100 chimps in Tanzania's Gombe National Park was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Seeker

Cat Poop Debate Rages in Hawaii

Two groups of animal advocates in Hawaii are at odds in an intense debate over contaminated cat poop from feral cats. Government researchers believe the feces from the many feral felines roaming around Hawaii is spreading a disease that’s killing the state’s endangered monk seals. A parasite common in cats that can cause toxoplasmosis is believed to have killed eight Hawaiian monk seals since 2001 — a large number relative to the species’ population, which is only about 1,300. Some conservationists have advocated for euthanizing stray cats, which outraged feral cat advocates. The matter remains unresolved in Hawaii. — Read it from the AP via CBS News

Willow will soon be reunited with the Byrd family after a tragic car wreck.
Willow will soon be reunited with the Byrd family after a tragic car wreck.

Puppy Involved in Wreck Found

Former NFL player Dennis Byrd was bringing a 10-week-old black Labrador Retriever puppy to his daughter’s home in Oklahoma on Saturday when he was struck and killed in a head-on collision. Byrd’s daughter, Ashton, was planning to give the puppy to her husband for their wedding anniversary. Willow disappeared after the crash, and members of the community searched for her throughout the night. On Sunday, she showed up at a nearby home, and the resident contacted the family. A family friend said finding Willow will give the Byrd family a glimmer of hope after the tragic accident. The family has been in Oklahoma City while Byrd’s 12-year-old son, who was injured in the crash, recovers from surgery, and they’ll soon be reunited with the little Lab. — Read it at Oklahoma’s KJRH

More Puppies Star in Wedding Photos

If using puppies in wedding photos instead of bouquets of flowers is becoming a hot new trend, we’re all for it! Last month, we shared some viral photos from a wedding in Pennsylvania where a couple featured adoptable pups in their formal photos, and now a Minnesota couple is making headlines by doing the same. Bride Kathryn and her groom, Brad, both support the Secondhand Hounds rescue in Eden Prairie, and featured adorable puppies from the group in their professional photos. — Watch it at South Carolina’s WSPA

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