Pet Scoop: John Kerry Brings His Dog to Work, Two Rare Gorillas Born at Bronx Zoo

April 25, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Ben jumps on Secretary of State John Kerry during an event for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday.
Ben jumps on Secretary of State John Kerry during an event for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday.

“Diplomutt” Visits State Department

With his children grown, Secretary of State John Kerry decided to bring his dog to the office for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday. Two days after Ben, who’s named for founding father Ben Franklin, celebrated his first birthday, he demonstrated that his job is still being a puppy! The yellow Labrador Retriever jumped up on his statesman dad while he was addressing a crowd, then headed for the sign language interpreter and jumped up on her, too. All the attention seemed to help Ben gain a following on Twitter. @Diplomutt has only Tweeted twice, but he now has more than 1,000 followers. — Read it and watch it at the Washington Post

Study: Dolphins Use Sponges to Catch Food

Researchers found that some Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Australia carry sponges on their snouts while foraging in deep-water channels. The finding is the first direct evidence that the intelligent marine animals use tools to get food they couldn’t otherwise grab. The sponges may help protect their beaks from injuries from sharp rocks or stingrays as they probe the ocean floor for snacks. The scientists found that dolphins that use sponges have completely different diets from those who don’t, even though they live in the same habitat. They’re able to catch bottom-dwelling fish that are hard to find using the echolocation that dolphins usually use to find prey. The study by researchers from the University of Zurich was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Live Science

Biologists See Hopeful Signs for Fish After Mudslide

A month after the massive mudslide demolished a neighborhood in Oso, Wash., search crews are still looking for two missing people. Meanwhile, biologists from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife are starting to look for signs of how the slide is affecting federally endangered fish runs, including Chinook salmon and steelhead. While it’s too early to know the long-term affects of the slide, scientists were encouraged to find adult steelhead spawning in the waters above the slide area, and normal numbers of baby fish migrating downstream. "They're resilient enough that they're coming back as they have for thousands of years," said fish biologist Jason Griffith. — Read it from the AP via the Huffington Post

One of the Bronx Zoo's newborn western lowland gorillas cuddles with its mom.
Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
One of the Bronx Zoo's newborn western lowland gorillas cuddles with its mom.

Two Baby Gorillas Born in N.Y.

A pair of critically endangered western lowland gorilla babies was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in the last six weeks. Gorilla mom Julia, who’s 33, gave birth on March 10, and Tuti, 19, had her baby on April 17. Both are experienced moms, but the babies share the same first-time dad, 31-year-old Ernie. The newborns — their gender not yet known — will spend their first four months being carried around by their moms. They’re the first baby gorillas to be born at the zoo in eight years, which has the largest group of gorillas in North America, with 20 of the primates. — Read it from Today and see cute zoo baby photos

4th Time’s a Charm for Giraffe Mom

Jessie, a 13-year-old reticulated giraffe at the Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia, is finally willing to be a mom to her 6-foot, 175-pound baby boy. Keepers are relieved to see Jessie taking care of the calf she gave birth to on Monday, allowing him to nurse and creating a maternal bond. Her previous calves had to be bottle-fed after Jessie rejected them. "The first baby that she delivered [at age 5], she didn't know what was going on, she was actually scared of it," said Jim Andeli, the zoo’s director. "It was a maturation process for her." — Read it at ABC News

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