Pet Scoop: Man Raises Orphaned Lamb, Oskar the Blind Cat Wins Video Contest

Nov. 16, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A hobby shepherd in Germany is raising an orphaned lamb.
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A hobby shepherd in Germany is raising an orphaned lamb.

Lamb Becomes One of the Dogs 

Meet Wally. After the 6-week-old lamb’s mother died, Wolfgang Grensens, a hobby shepherd in northern Germany, decided to raise the East-Prussian Skudde lamb himself. The fluffy white lamb sits on Grensens’ lap in his living room to bottle feed, and goes for walks through town with the shepherd’s three Australian Cattle dogs. — See photos at the Huffington Post

Legendary Giant Tortoise May Not Have Been Alone

A new study suggests that Lonesome George, who died in June, may not have been the last of his giant tortoise subspecies after all. Genetic samples taken from 1,600 giant tortoises on the northern tip of Isabella Island, the largest of the Galápagos Islands, found that 17 of them were hybrids who had a parent like Lonesome George. Five of the hybrids were juveniles, which suggests that purebred Chelonoidis abingdoni tortoises may still be living in a remote part of the island, reported Yale University researchers in their study, which was published in the journal Biological Conservation. "We hope that with a selective breeding program, we can reintroduce this tortoise species to its native home," said Yale ecology researcher Gisella Caccone. — Read it at Live Science

Animals Get Bored, Too, Study Finds

Is that look in your hamster's eyes boredom? Maybe, say researchers from the University of Guelph, Canada, who worked with 29 captive mink in an effort to determine whether caged animals get bored. One group was given nothing to do, while the other group had plenty of things to stimulate them, like climbing structures and toys. The researchers found that when they were introduced to new things, the animals who lived in the boring cages showed more interest. Those animals also showed other possible signs of boredom, including snacking when they weren’t hungry and lying around awake. The scientists’ report was published in the online journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Discovery News

Blind Cat Wins Best Video

It’s only fitting that a cat named Oskar would win top honors at an awards show that set out to be the Oscars of cat videos. On Wednesday, the heartwarming viral video of the blind kitten playing with his first toys — several balls with bells inside — was given the gold-plated Catuette trophy and a grand prize of $15,000 at “The Friskies,” an awards show by the cat-food maker. “With the right environment, special needs animals can thrive,” said director Mick Szydlowski, encouraging people to adopt blind cats. — Read it at Time

Dog Who Lived in Carport for Years Finds Loving Home

For three years, Chin refused to believe that his family had abandoned him. He stayed in the carport of their empty house in Atlanta, surviving on scraps of food that he found in the garbage nearby. Finally, a woman who heard his story was able to earn his trust and take him home to foster him while she found him a permanent home. A man in Ohio quickly fell in love with Chin’s picture online and booked a private jet to Georgia, to bring Chin home. — Watch it at USA Today

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