Pet Scoop: Hunger Games Star Gets a Rescue Puppy, Otters Will Soon Debut at D.C. Zoo

April 20, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

The Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson with his new puppy, Driver.
Josh Hutcherson with his new puppy, Driver.

Star of The Hunger Games Adopts a Pit Bull Puppy

Actor Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta in The Hunger Games, rescued a 3-month-old Pit Bull puppy named Driver. The dog, who had a broken leg and was missing two toes, had been dropped off at a Los Angeles shelter as a stray. Adopting a rescue dog was important to the star: “That was a priority,” said Hands Paws Hearts representative Sasha Rose. “He now has a full stomach, warm bed and a loving owner!” said Hutcherson’s Facebook fan page. — Read it at People Pets

Did Polar Bears Descend From Brown Bears?

A research team used DNA samples to debunk a long-held theory that polar bears had descended from brown bears, and then adapted to life on Arctic Sea ice over the last 150,000 years. Scientists found that polar bears, brown bears and black bears have a common ancestor, and split off about 600,000 years ago. According to researchers, polar bears “are older and much more genetically unique” than previously believed. — Read it at The New York Times

Ravens Remember Everything

A new study has found that ravens have quite the memory: The birds will vary their calls, depending on your past interactions with them — and they can even change the characteristics of their calls, making lower and “rougher” calls when listening to a foe. — Read it at Discovery News

Asian small-clawed Otters at the National Zoo
Courtesy Smithsonian National Zoo

Otters Arrive Just in Time for Spring at Washington D.C. Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo welcomed a litter of Asian small-clawed otters this month who will make their public debut in May. Georgetown Cupcake — the Washington, D.C., shop that’s featured on a TLC TV show — has created “Otterly Delicious” cupcakes to celebrate their arrival and will donate the proceeds to the zoo. — Read it at the National Zoo

American Idol Contestant Gets Emotional About Dog

Elise Testone, one of the last seven finalists on American Idol, got choked up during her performance of Alicia Keys’ “No One,” telling host Ryan Seacrest that she just found out her dog is “really, really sick and might not make it." — Read it at People Pets

Tornado Kitten Inspires Children’s Book

After a twister swept through western Massachusetts last June, a 6-ounce kitten was found clinging to a tree. Despite his critical injuries, Toto survived — and the woman who adopted him has now written a book about the fearless feline, The Story of Toto, the Tornado Kitten. All of the proceeds will go to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which helped save Toto’s life. — Read it at the Huffington Post

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