Pet Scoop: Last Cat at Sandy Shelter Finds a Home, Rare Ape Born at San Diego Zoo

Nov. 12, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Joy, the last stray cat at the ASPCA's temporary shelter after Hurricane Sandy, finally has a new home.
AP
Joy, the last stray cat at the ASPCA's temporary shelter after Hurricane Sandy, finally has a new home.

Survivor: Adoption "Perfect Circle"

Two weeks ago, with the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, this shelter cat made a splash in the headlines. Of the 300-plus animals who were cared for at the ASPCA’s temporary storm shelter, Joy was the only one who still needed a home. The attention got her an owner who had a lot in common with her — he’s also a storm survivor. Robert Curran, who’d been forced from his home in Queens after the superstorm, adopted Joy after hearing the ASPCA’s special plea. Joy was about 6 months old when she was found on the streets of Brooklyn after the hurricane. And it turned out that Curran’s sister, a Florida veterinarian, had helped out at the same facility where Joy was staying during the time that she was there. “Every cat deserves a home,” Curran said. “This is the perfect circle for me and her.” — Read it at the New York Daily News

Bacteria Helps Hyenas Communicate

A new study finds that spotted and striped hyenas have bacteria in their scent glands that they use to communicate their age, sex and reproductive status, as well as for social interactions and group cohesion. “Hyenas use scent to demarcate and defend their territories,” said study co-author Kevin Theis of Michigan State University. “Males seem to be using it to maintain their dominance hierarchies without having to resort to aggression.” The study was published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at National Geographic

Snakes Control Blood Flow for Better Vision

New research finds that when the coachwhip snake feels threatened, it can control the blood flow to its eyes to give it visual clarity in case it needs to defend itself or flee to safety. Snakes are generally known to have very poor vision, instead using their tongues to get a sense for their surroundings. The coachwhip snake is a nonvenomous snake that’s found across the U.S and Mexico. Study researcher Kevin van Doorn of the University of Waterloo in Canada said he noticed a network of blood vessels in a see-through layer of skin that covered the snakes’ eyes, and these would constrict for up to several minutes when the animal faced a threat. The findings were published in the journal Experimental Biology.— Read it at Live Science

Indah, a Sumatran orangutan, snuggles with her 2-week-old baby girl at the San Diego Zoo.
Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo
Indah, a Sumatran orangutan, snuggles with her 2-week-old baby girl at the San Diego Zoo.

Baby Orangutan Makes Debut

A 2-week-old female Sumatran orangutan was on exhibit for the first time with her mom at the San Diego Zoo last week. With arms longer than her body, the infant instinctually knew to hold on tight to mom Indah. Visitors watched as the doting mom inspected her baby’s hands and fingers. Indah gave birth in her off-exhibit bedroom on Oct. 25. Her keepers say the newborn is healthy and nursing well. She’s Indah’s second offspring with dad Satu. The Sumatran orangutan is critically endangered, with less than 7,000 of them living in the wild. — Read it at the San Diego Zoo

Abused Dog Gets a Second Chance

Chance, a German Shepherd, was rescued from abusive owners in the U.K. Even after behavior experts worked with him at the RSPCA, he could still be nervous and aggressive because of what he’d gone through, making it difficult to find him the right home. Then, police dog handler Mick Kilburn visited the shelter, and agreed to assess Chance for the police force. It was a perfect fit. On Friday, Chance graduated from an intensive 10-week training course, and will work with Kilburn. “I couldn’t be more proud of how well Chance has done,” Kilburn said. “I was delighted to be able to give him the chance he deserved." — Read it at Life With Dogs

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