Pet Scoop: Endangered Seal Rescued in Hawaii, Dog Walks 400 Miles to World Cup

June 12, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Officials saved Luana, a 1-year-old Hawaiian monk seal, after she was accidentally hooked by a fisherman.
Officials saved Luana, a 1-year-old Hawaiian monk seal, after she was accidentally hooked by a fisherman.

Rare Seal Swallows Huge Hook

A 1-year-old Hawaiian monk seal was rescued Wednesday in Oahu, four days after she swallowed a 4-inch fishing hook. Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) staked out the beach at Kaena Point in an attempt to find Luana after getting a call Saturday from a fisherman who’d accidentally hooked the endangered animal. "It was a much larger hook than normal ones that we deal with. So she was truly in a life-threatening situation," said Charles Littman, lead scientist at NOAA's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. "It's always a highlight to save a seal. But to save a young female who is the future of the species and hopefully in three years or so [will] be having babies of her own ... it makes it all the more special." There are only 150 to 200 Hawaiian monk seals left in the main Hawaiian Islands. — Watch it at Hawaii’s KFVE

Human Language Linked to Birds and Primates

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hypothesize in a new paper that the melodic part of human speech comes from birds, while the pragmatic, content-carrying parts of our speech were derived from primates. They say that sometime within the last 100,000 years, those parts fused to become the current form of human language. Their findings were published in Frontiers in Psychology. — Read it at Science Daily

Study: Climate Change Happening Too Fast for Penguins

A new study finds that although some Antarctic penguin species prefer ice-free waters to look for food, the “warming climate has gone too far for most penguins," said study co-author Tom Hart, a researcher in the department of zoology at the University of Oxford in the U.K. The acceleration of climate change is now hurting some penguin populations, the study finds. One of the penguins’ main food sources is krill, which eat algae that grow on the bottom of sea ice. Sea ice loss in the region has been accelerating over the past 50 years. That’s resulted in a decline in the amount of krill, which has impacted Adelie and chinstrap penguins. Gentoo penguins, who have more diverse types of prey, are maintaining stable populations. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Live Science

Negro was reunited with his owner, Ignacio (Nacho) Etchetchury, in Brazil last weekend.
Negro was reunited with his owner, Ignacio (Nacho) Etchetchury, in Brazil last weekend.

Dog Reunited With Owner in Brazil

Four British soccer fans walking from Argentina to Brazil for the World Cup games thought that the black dog who joined them in Uruguay was homeless. They befriended him, fed him and called him Jefferson. But the dog did have an owner, and when he heard about the Brits and their canine traveling companion, he contacted the group through Facebook. They made plans to meet up in Porto Alegre, Brazil, so Ignacio (Nacho) Etchetchury could be reunited with his pet, who he calls Negro. After walking an estimated 463 miles over the course of two months, the dog’s emotional reunion with Etchetchury Sunday was captured on video. Etchetchury said he was grateful to the soccer fans for taking care of his dog. — Watch it at Life With Dogs

Abused N.Y. Cat Gets a New Home

Last month, animal lovers were outraged when a video showed a stray cat being kicked across an apartment complex in Brooklyn, New York. The man in the video, which quickly went viral, was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, police said. King, the 1-year-old cat was found by the ASPCA and given veterinary care. Now, the ASPCA says there’s a happy ending for King. He was adopted within hours after he became available Sunday by a family with "extensive cat-owning experience." “We are pleased to have found a wonderful home so quickly for King,” said ASPCA Adoption Center's senior vice president Gail Buchwald, in a statement. — Read it at the Huffington Post


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