Pet Scoop: Harbor Seal Pup Rescued During Storm, Guinea Pigs May Help Autistic Kids

July 1, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Dusky, a harbor seal pup, was found injured and abandoned in Alaska last month.
Dusky, a harbor seal pup, was found injured and abandoned in Alaska last month.

Lost Seal Pup Saved in Alaska

A beautiful harbor seal pup named Dusky is recovering at the Alaska SeaLife Center after being abandoned by his mom. The injured pup was found June 9, while he was being tossed around in the surf during a storm. When the SeaLife Center’s wildlife response team saved him, he was suffering from extreme dehydration and a cut near his eye. In the three weeks since his arrival, Dusky has regained his strength and started swimming on his own. He just started fish school, where he’s learning to hunt and catch fish — and his teachers say he’s learning fast. — Read it from the Alaska SeaLife Center via Facebook

Red Wolf Releases Suspended in North Carolina

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it’s put the brakes on a program that reintroduced the once-extinct red wolf to the wild in North Carolina. The program will be reviewed and reassessed through the end of the year, under pressure from upset landowners who have wolves living on their private property. The program had been viewed as groundbreaking. An estimated 50 to 75 red wolves now live in five counties on the coast. The FWS first released wolves in the state in 1987. — Read it at North Carolina’s Charlotte Observer

Escaped Lion’s Adventure Ends

After three weeks on the lam, Sylvester the lion was captured in South Africa Monday. The lion had been feasting on sheep in the area after escaping from the Karoo National Park. He was sedated when he was found in the Nuweveld Mountains and was dramatically airlifted on a sling under a helicopter. “This was the most dangerous part of the operation as the helicopter blades were not more than two meters from the mountain edge," said South African National Parks in a statement. Sylvester was safely returned to his home at Karoo National Park. — Read it from Reuters via Yahoo

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Study: Playing With Guinea Pigs Helps Autistic Kids

A new study finds that when they get the chance to interact with guinea pigs at school, children on the autism spectrum are more eager to attend class, show more interactive social behavior and become less anxious. The children in the study wore wristbands that monitored their arousal levels, which helped researchers determine whether they were feeling anxious or excited. Autism is often associated with high levels of anxiety. Wristband measurements for kids with autism spectrum disorders suggested the animals had lowered the children’s stress. “[The children] found something about the animal itself that was helpful,” said Dr. Geraldine Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. The study was published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology. — Read it at The New York Times

Police K9 Honors Fallen Partner in Photos

The loved ones of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty are honoring his memory in a touching photo series. Lt. Eric Eslary of the Ligonier Township Police Department in Pennsylvania was struck and killed by a drunk driver who’d crossed over into the wrong lane in May. His K9 partner, Blek, was badly injured in the crash but refused to leave Eslary’s side until the officer’s wife, Mary Beth Taylor-Eslary, came to get him. Local photographer Christy Boyd volunteered to photograph Taylor-Eslary and Blek, who’s now almost recovered, in a series that highlights their bond and honors their loss. Blek, a German Shepherd, will likely retire soon, and will continue to stay with Taylor-Eslary. "It's an honor for me to be taking care of Blek," Taylor-Eslary said. — See photos at the Huffington Post


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