Pet Scoop: Five Wolf Pups Saved From Alaska Wildfire, New York May Lift Ferret Ban

May 29, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A rescuer holds one of the wolf pups who was saved at the fire line at Alaska's Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
A rescuer holds one of the wolf pups who was saved at the fire line at Alaska's Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Abandoned Wolf Pups Rescued

Firefighters and wildlife workers found five wolf pups Tuesday in danger from the massive Funny River Fire in Alaska’s southern Kenai Peninsula. The fire has consumed more than 183,000 acres and is about 30 percent contained, reports the Alaska Dispatch. The puppies’ parents had abandoned their den due to the disturbance in the area. The pups were not injured by the blaze, but each of them had been stuck with porcupine quills, which were removed by medics working on the fire line. They were given water and glucose — and they gratefully licked their rescuers in return. They were transported to Anchorage by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where they’re being cared for until a permanent home can be found. — Read it from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge via Facebook

Study: Cats Eat More in Winter

After studying 38 cats over the course of four years, researchers with the University of Liverpool in England have found that cats eat approximately 15 percent less food during the summer than they do in the winter. "Cats, like many humans are more inclined to comfort eat when it's cold outside but, in their case, it's likely to be due to the extra energy they need to keep warm when out and about,” said veterinarian and study author Dr. Alex German. The added weight keeps cats warm in the winter, and they are more tempted to rest in the summer. — Read it at Science Daily

Asian Toad Could Wreak Havoc in Madagascar

The invasive Asian toad’s toxin poses a direct threat to the unique animal species that live on the island of Madagascar, said experts in a letter published in Nature. The island's animals, most of which live only in Madagascar, haven’t evolved to cope with a predator like the Asian toad, and disease and lack of defense are big concerns. The toad, which has been spotted in the country’s largest seaport, could spread deadly illnesses like the chytrid fungus and ranavirus. Jonathan Kolby, a conservationist at James Cook University in Australia, said it’s likely the toads entered Madagascar in shipping crates from Asia. He suggested starting an eradication program quickly, before the toads take hold there. He’s working with conservation groups to raise awareness of the problem. — Read it at National Geographic


New York May Lift Ferret Ban

New York City's mayor, Bill de Blasio, is backing a recommendation by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to overturn New York’s 15-year ban on ferrets, as long as they are spayed and vaccinated. The health department says the animals don’t pose any more risk to the public than other domesticated animals. The ban was put in place under the administration of Rudy Giuliani, who had a famous exchange with a ferret advocate during his weekly radio show while he was in office, in which he called the activist “deranged.” — Read it at The New York Times

Frostie the Snow Goat Walks on His Own

Just a week after Frostie the baby goat stole hearts around the world in a video where he takes his first steps with the help of a wheelchair, the sweet little guy is making big progress. In a Facebook update, the Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary in Australia says Frostie the snow goat is already off and running — without his chair. "Frostie is now able to not only stand on his own, but walk, skip and run on albeit wobbly little goatee legs," reads the Facebook post. The baby goat came to the sanctuary suffering from joint navel ill, an infection that left him unable to use his hind legs.— Read it at Today


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