Pet Scoop: Llamas on the Run Captured in Arizona, Wildlife Suffering in Boston’s Weather

Feb. 27, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Two llamas who escaped in Arizona Thursday led police on a nearly 3-hour chase.
Two llamas who escaped in Arizona Thursday led police on a nearly 3-hour chase.

Internet Goes Wild for Llama Chase

A rather unusual police chase in Sun City, Arizona, captivated the nation Thursday. A mother and baby llama who were brought to visit an assisted living facility got spooked and took off into the streets, evading capture for nearly three hours. Viewers were glued to live streams of the situation — and the puns came fast and furious on Twitter. “LLAMA 1: We're escaping this afternoon. LLAMA 2: Alpaca bag,” Tweeted @MatthewBaldwin. Big names got in on the act, too. “The ‪#AZCardinals have agreed to one-year deals with the ‪#llamasontheloose. Each llama will earn 2,340 lbs of hay,” Tweeted the team, and Disney Tweeted a cartoon llama with “Llama drama.” The animals were eventually safely corralled with lassos. — Watch it at ABC News

Wild Animals Suffer in Boston’s Extreme Winter

With record snowfall and frigid temperatures this winter, animal shelters in Boston have been inundated with wild animals suffering from weather-related ailments. “This is the worst winter that we’ve seen in terms of straight-up starving animals coming in,” said veterinarian Maureen Murray of the Tufts University Wildlife Clinic. “With this historic amount of snow and extremely low temperatures, animals need more energy to stay warm, but they’re not able to find food sources for that energy, so it’s a really big strain on them.” The staff at animal shelters is working overtime, trying to help animals that have been frozen, frostbitten and are malnourished. — Read it at the Boston Globe

Study: Cats Enjoy Custom-Made Music

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, say felines prefer music that was made just for them. The researchers worked with a composer to create cat-specific music that included purring and suckling noises in their frequency. The furry audience seemed to enjoy it. "Here we found that cats showed orientation and approach behavior toward the speaker with the cat music, often rubbing against the speaker while the music was on," said lead author Charles Snowdon. In comparison, the 47 domestic cats in the study ignored the “human music” that was played for them. The researchers think the cat music could be beneficial for shelter cats who’ve been accustomed to human companionship. The study has been accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science. — Read it at Discovery News

Fraggle, a Pit Bull mix who was found in a suitcase, is slowly recovering.
Fraggle, a Pit Bull mix who was found in a suitcase, is slowly recovering.

Dog Left in Suitcase Recovering

A month after he was rescued by the ASPCA in New York, a dog who was found abused and extremely malnourished is showing signs of recovery. Now named Fraggle, the 3-year-old Pit Bull mix was found in a suitcase behind a housing complex in the Bronx by the NYPD in January. He’s made progress, slowly, with the life-saving treatment he’s been getting from the ASPCA. He’s now eating on his own and walking short distances without help. Thanks to a benefactor, the ASPCA is still offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the cruelty case. There’s also a $2,000 reward being offered by NYPD Crime Stoppers. — Read it at the ASPCA

Applications Pour in for Penguin Post Office Jobs

Apparently there are lots of people willing to work in rather difficult conditions, as long as there are plenty of penguins around. The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust says more than 1,000 people have applied to live and work on an Antarctic island during the November to March summer months, when temperatures average 41 degrees Fahrenheit. The trust is hiring just four people to look after the Port Lockroy post office and welcome passengers from two cruise ships a day. The island is known for being home to 2,000 Gentoo penguins, who often surround the post office. The trust is clear that it’s not exactly a glamorous job. "Can you carry a big heavy box over slippery rocks and slushy snow whilst dodging penguins?” reads the description. Last year, there were only 200 applicants, but there’s tough competition this year. — Read it at the U.K.’s BBC News


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