Pet Scoop: Firefighters Save Dog From Icy Lake, Wild Panda Numbers Jump in China

March 2, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Firefighters saved a 9-year-old Lab and Great Dane mix from an icy lake in Burke, Virginia, Thursday.
Firefighters saved a 9-year-old Lab and Great Dane mix from an icy lake in Burke, Virginia, Thursday.

Dog Pulled From Frigid Lake

Bodie, a 9-year-old Labrador and Great Dane mix, broke loose from a family member who was taking him for a walk in northern Virginia Thursday and fell through an icy lake. A 10-person crew from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene and suited up in survival gear. They pulled Bodie to safety within about 30 minutes and reunited him with his grateful owner. "He started wagging his tail and shaking himself off to try to get dry, and was just happy to walk off the ice," said Capt. Bill Betz. Bodie was warmed up and has recovered. “He’s the best. He’s my heart,” said Bodie’s owner, Susan Johnson. Officials reminded the public to stay off the ice. — Watch it at NBC Washington and read our ice safety tips

Missing Blind Lab Found After 2 Weeks in Cold

We have another happy ending for a Lab to tell you about. Ed Davis feared the worst when his 11-year-old dog, Madera, wandered away from her Ester, Alaska, home on Feb. 6, when temperatures dropped to 40 degrees below zero. But last week, a man riding a bike accompanied by his dog, who was wearing a bell, found the black Lab about a half-mile from her home. Madera whined when she heard the other dog’s bell. Although she’d lost about 14 pounds in the two weeks she was missing, Madera is otherwise healthy. Constantine Khrulev, who rescued her, asked that the $100 reward money go to the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund. Davis was so moved by the gesture that he increased the donation to $250. — Read it from the AP via ABC News

Controversy Brews Over Home for Seattle Elephants

After two years of debate over the best home for its two Asian elephants, the Woodland Park Zoo announced Friday that 48-year-old Bamboo and 36-year-old Chai would be moved to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The Oklahoma zoo is home to five other Asian elephants. But critics with Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants say the two females from Seattle won’t have much more space than they do now and would face bitter cold temperatures. The group argues Bamboo and Chai should be moved to one of the country’s two elephant sanctuaries, but Woodland Park Zoo’s CEO says the sanctuaries have problems including unstable management and tuberculosis infections. They’re moving ahead with plans to transfer the elephants to Oklahoma in late March or mid April, although the activists are hoping to block the move. — Read it at the Seattle Times

A new report from the Chinese government finds a jump in the wild giant panda population.
World Wildlife Fund
A new report from the Chinese government finds a jump in the wild giant panda population.

China’s Panda Population Jumps

An official Chinese government report finds that the country’s iconic population of endangered giant pandas has increased by 17 percent in the last decade. The report credits conservation measures for the increase. The State Forestry Administration found there were 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild by the end of 2013, an increase of 268 of the bears since 2003. The agency also found that the pandas’ habitat also increased 11.8 percent to 2.58 million hectares. "The rise in the population of wild giant pandas is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate," said Ginette Hemley of the World Wildlife Fund, in a statement. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo

Kitten Gets Around With Wheelchair

Rescuers are looking for a special home for a spunky special needs kitten. Tumbelina was born with cerebellar hypoplasia, a rare condition that makes it impossible for her to walk on her own. Her legs cross, so she trips after trying to take a step. She was saved from a kill shelter by Valley Cats Inc. in Los Angeles. Tumbelina now has a four-wheel buggy that helps her to get around without falling. “She is a brilliant mind trapped in her body. Equate it, almost, to being like a Stephen Hawking cat,” says rescuer Yvette in a Pet Collection video about Tumbelina. “We knew when we saw her we had to take her and give her the best shot at life she would have, for as long as she would have it.” The rescue is looking for a forever home for this “bundle of love and joy.” — Watch it at Seattle’s Q13 Fox


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