Pet Scoop: Emotional Reunions for Tornado Survivors and Pets, Tiny Dik-Dik Is Big Sister

Nov. 20, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Kris Lancaster finds his cat, Titi, in the rubble of his Illinois home.
Kris Lancaster finds his cat, Titi, in the rubble of his Illinois home.

Pets Found After Hours in Rubble

Rare and powerful tornadoes tore through Illinois on Sunday, killing several people and leveling hundreds of homes. Some of the most heartwarming scenes to come from the devastation have been those of unexpected reunions between pet owners and the beloved animals they thought were gone. Kris Lancaster shot iconic video of the storm that destroyed his Washington, Ill., home. Then, while on a tour of what was left of his property with a reporter on Monday, Lancaster found his missing cat. “Titi! Daddy got you, baby!” he exclaimed through tears while hugging the white cat. On Tuesday, Jon Byler Dann, another Washington resident, had a photographer with him looking at the rubble of his home when he heard a faint barking. Byler Dann and his friends started digging through the debris, and found his missing 11-year-old dog, Maggie, wrapped in a piece of carpet. The shivering, cold dog was treated for a broken hip at the veterinarian’s office. But she’s expected to recover despite spending 30 hours trapped under the remains of her home. "I'm very thankful and blessed to have my wife and my children. And finding my dog today was just unreal," Byler Dann told — Find resources for lost and found pets from Chicago Now

Mystery Bug Found in Suriname

During an expedition of field biologists to southeast Suriname in 2012, Trond Larsen of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program photographed a tiny and fascinating insect with a showy tuft of hair before it quickly jumped away. Because it moves so fast, Larsen couldn’t collect a specimen of the unusual bug, so it’s unclear whether the insect is a new species. The insect was in the nymph stage of development, which means it can look quite different than it would as an adult. Scientists say the planthopper’s crazy-looking hair might protect it from predators. — See photo at National Geographic

India to Put Monkeys on Birth Control

As forested areas of India are developed, nearby cities have faced a growing problem with red-bottomed rhesus monkeys aggressively looking for food. "People can't come out of their houses, they're taking clothes, biting people," professor P.C. Tyagi of the Wildlife Institute of India told the Telegraph. So, government officials are looking into putting the monkeys on the pill to control the population. "One of the main advantages [of oral contraception] is that it is non-surgical. We'll look at how it works in other countries, carry out a trial, then we'll go ahead. If there are problems with the dosage, we'd need to work that out."— Read it at the Huffington Post

Neo, a 1-month-old mini dik-dik, bonds with his big sister, Aluna.
Neo, a 1-month-old mini dik-dik, bonds with his big sister, Aluna.

Mini Dik-Dik Bonds With Brother

Earlier this year, Aluna, a Kirk’s dik-dik antelope born at the U.K.’s Chester Zoo, stole hearts with her adorable pictures and her story of being hand-reared after she was rejected by her mom. Just eight months later, the tiny animal is a big sister to little Neo. "Dik-dik mothers do not always take to their young and unfortunately Neo and his mum didn’t quite hit it off,” said keeper Claire McPhee. “But happily his not-so-big sister Aluna — who herself didn’t manage to bond with her mum — is drawing on her own experiences and is being a real calming influence on him.” Native to Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia, the dik-dik is named for the sound it makes when it’s fleeing in danger. Neo, who was born on Oct. 10, is 7 inches tall and weighs less than 3 pounds. — Read it and see more photos from the Chester Zoo

Beagle Makes His Polar Bear Pregnancy Predictions

Recently, we told you about Elvis, the Beagle who’s been specially trained to sniff out pregnancies in the fecal samples of female polar bears. Now, Elvis has checked 14 samples, and has indicated that the number of cubs born in U.S. this year will be similar to last year, when there were three cubs born in U.S. zoos. Elvis thinks that Szenja, an 18-year-old bear at SeaWorld San Diego who made a breeding trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo this year is expecting — and her keepers think he’s right. She’s showing signs of maternity such as weight gain, finicky eating and nest building. Any cubs born this year would arrive in the next several weeks.— Read it from the AP via Yahoo


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