Pet Scoop: Firefighters Give Guinea Pig Oxygen Mask, Octopus Escapes From Aquarium

April 14, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rodney the guinea pig was saved from his burning home by Polk County firefighters.
Rodney the guinea pig was saved from his burning home by Polk County firefighters.

Guinea Pig Rescued From Fire

We’ve often covered stories of firefighters saving cats and dogs from burning homes — but a guinea pig is a little less common. Polk County, Florida, firefighter John William was doing a sweep of a home after extinguishing the flames from a grease fire in the kitchen on Friday when he spotted Rodney the guinea pig in his cage. "He did not hesitate. He grabbed the cage and took it outside into the fresh air, where rescue workers assessed that Rodney had inhaled a lot of smoke and gave him oxygen and water,” Kevin Watler, a representative from Polk County Fire Rescue told Today. Resident Kristi Waller was at a doctor’s appointment with one of her daughters when the fire broke out. It started when her boyfriend was at home cooking French fries. When Waller arrived at home, she saw the firefighters with Rodney and rushed to hold him while they gave him oxygen. "I want to, personally, thank you for saving my Rodney (the guinea pig) and what you could of my house,” she said in a comment to Polk County Fire Rescue on Facebook. “He is the coolest little guinea pig I have ever met,” she told Today. — Read it at Today

Inky the Octopus Makes Daring Escape

An octopus in New Zealand has proved just how clever the species can be. Inky, who’s about the size of a soccer ball, apparently broke out through a small gap at the top of his tank at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, made it eight feet across the floor and slid down a 164-foot drainpipe to freedom in the North Island’s Hawke’s Bay. He executed his plan overnight, when no staff members were around to see him. Although it happened several months ago, the story has only recently been shared, and Inky’s tale has made headlines around the world. “He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean, and off he went,” said Rob Yarrall, the aquarium’s manager. “Didn’t even leave us a message.” — Read it at The New York Times

Prince William and Kate Feed Baby Rhinos

In one of the latest stops on their royal tour of India, Prince William and Kate looked like they were delighted to get the chance to bottle feed and visit with baby elephants and rhinos at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Kaziranga national park. “They were absolutely thrilled and loved being with the animals. The duke said if he could he would have spent the whole day there,” said Vivek Menon, chief executive office of the Wildlife Trust of India, who joined them on their tour. Prince William has been active in the fight against ivory poaching, which has decimated populations of rhinos and elephants. — See photos at the U.K.’s Guardian

Ann Rodgers was airlifted to safety after she and her dog were found lost in Arizona desert.
Ann Rodgers was airlifted to safety after she and her dog were found lost in Arizona desert.

Woman and Dog Survive 9 Days Lost in Wilderness

Ann Rodgers, 72, and her 2-year-old rescue dog managed to survive for nine long days lost in an Arizona desert after she took a wrong turn and ran out of gas on the way to visit her daughter in Phoenix. Rodgers and Queenie eventually abandoned their car to go in search of water, bringing with them a red satchel filled with supplies to make campfires. “Queenie became my pathfinder,” Rodgers said. “She was the one who would range ahead of me to find the game trail, or cowpath or place to cross a river safely.” Rodgers knew how to survive in the wild and formed a large sign that read “HELP” using the bones she’d found from an elk. Rescuers eventually spotted it, and narrowed down their search area. They found Queenie first, and 15 minutes later, they found Rodgers. She was airlifted out for medical attention. The tough senior citizen was found to be dehydrated and suffering from exposure but amazingly, she was otherwise OK. — Read it at the Washington Post

Tiger Is Not Happy to Be Disturbed

This tiger is all of us when we’re rudely interrupted during a good nap. The reaction is just a little scarier. Footage of one tiger at the Dublin Zoo in Ireland disturbing its lounging friend was caught on video by a mom named Linzi, who was visiting the Dublin Zoo with her husband, Ger, and their 2-year-old daughter. She can be heard telling her terrified toddler that it was OK after the sleeping tiger lashed out at its friend. The friend didn’t seem to care, and helped itself to some water while the rudely awakened tiger glared at it. We’ve all been there, tiger. — Watch it at Time


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