Pet Scoop: Hugging Pit Bulls Need a Home, Taipei Panda Celebrates 1st Birthday

July 7, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
 

Kyra and Delaware have become inseparable at Fulton Animal Services in Atlanta.
Kyra and Delaware have become inseparable at Fulton Animal Services in Atlanta.

Homeless Dogs Bond at Shelter

Pit Bull mixes Kyra and Delaware didn’t know each other before they were picked up as strays and brought to Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta — and now they’re inseparable. “They like to cuddle together, sleep together,” says the shelter’s adoption screener, Kim Meek. Although the shelter has had a lot of calls and emails about the dogs since this sweet photo of them curled up together hit social media, they haven’t yet been adopted. The shelter is encouraging people to consider adopting this pair or one of the many other dogs in its care. — Watch it at HLNTV

Ewes’ Early Pain May Affect Offspring

Preliminary research from a new study of lambs and ewes finds that early pain and trauma, or even stress in utero, reverberate throughout the animal’s lifetime, even influencing offspring’s sensitivity to pain. The findings echo previous studies that have found early painful experiences in rats and humans were linked to pain sensitivity later in life. The researchers found that during labor, ewes with early traumatic experience changed positions more often, wagged their tails more (which can signal pain) and had more contractions than those who didn’t have a traumatic experience early in life. They also found that the offspring of ewes who had an early-life infection had more sensitivity to discomfort. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Live Science

Study Creates Chimpanzee “Dictionary”

A new study published in the journal Current Biology deciphers the sophisticated hand signals chimps use to communicate with each other. Researchers decoded 66 gestures that the animals use in isolation or that they sometimes string together for a more complex exchange. The researchers, from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, discovered the apes made gestures that meant “climb on me,” “scratch me,” “stop that,” or “take this,” among others. They ranged from "simple requests associated with just a few gestures to broader social negotiation associated with a wider range of gesture types," said the authors. — Read it at Discovery News

Panda cub Yuan Zian celebrates her first birthday at the Taipei Zoo.
Panda cub Yuan Zian celebrates her first birthday at the Taipei Zoo.

Taipei Panda Cub Turns 1

Thousands of visitors turned out Sunday to celebrate panda cub Yuan Zai’s first birthday at the Taipei Zoo. The cub was given a birthday cake made of apples, pineapples, carrots and buns. The cub grabbed different cards in a traditional crawling game for 1-year-old babies in China called "Zhua Zhou.” The first card or object that the little one picks up is supposed to indicate a future career or interest. Yuan Zai picked up a card with an image of a painter on it. Last summer, a video of the cub being reunited with her mom, Yuan Yuan, stole hearts across the Internet. They had spent a month apart while Yuan Zai was hand raised. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo

Hotel Guests Get Puppy Love

Some hotels are helping both guests and shelter pups cure their loneliness by pairing them together. At the Red Mountain Resort in Utah, the Pound Puppy Hike is a complimentary amenity that matches guests with a dog from a local shelter for scenic hikes in the area. And The Little Nell and  Mountain House Lodge in Aspen, Colorado, will waive their pet fees for guests who invite local shelter dogs to spend the night in luxury. They both provide a shuttle service to and from the shelter. "The outings provide exercise and socialization for the dogs and often lead to successful adoptions," said Aspen Animal Shelter director Seth Sachson. — Read it at Today


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