Pet Scoop: National Zoo Mourns Loss of Its Panda Cub, 7-Foot Turtle Heads Back to Sea

Sept. 24, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Mei Xiang, here in a file photo, sadly lost her young cub on Sunday.
AP
The National Zoo's Mei Xiang lost her cub on Sunday.

Newborn Panda Dies at D.C. Zoo

Just a week after the celebrated arrival of a rare giant panda cub at the National Zoo, officials announced the devastating news that the baby died on Sunday. After hearing a distress call from mother Mei Xiang, keepers carefully removed the baby from the den for an examination, and found that the 4-ounce cub had passed away. Mei Xiang was “a fabulous mom, taking very good care of the cub,” said chief veterinarian Dr. Suzan Murray, DVM. “There are so many things that can go wrong in the first week of life.” The cause of death is not yet known, but there “was no outward sign of trauma or infection,” the zoo said on its Facebook page.

Mei Xiang’s cub was conceived in April via artificial insemination using sperm from her partner, Tian Tian, who also lives at the National Zoo. Mei Xiang had five false pregnancies, so the zoo and local community had been thrilled at the surprise arrival of the newborn. Keepers are closely monitoring Mei Xiang, and reported on Sunday night that she was resting comfortably. — Read it at the Washington Post

Dog Treats Recalled Due to Potential Salmonella Risk

Although there have been no reports of related illnesses in animals or humans thus far, Kasel Associated Industries is recalling its Boots & Barkley 5-inch American Beef Bully Sticks dog treats, which were sold at Target stores nationwide from April through September. According to the Denver-based company, pets with salmonella may become lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting; but some pets may only show signs of a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. — Read it at UPI

Massive Sea Turtle Released Off the Coast of Cape Cod

A 7-foot, 655-pound leatherback sea turtle that became stranded on Cape Cod last week is now back in the Atlantic Ocean. The turtle was released on Saturday after experts examined and tagged the impressive animal with a tracking device at the New England Aquarium. — Watch it at USA Today

French Honeybee Study Questioned By British Scientists

A new study by Britain's Food and Environment Agency and the University of Exeter has found no evidence that a pesticide banned by the French government is to blame for the collapse of whole colonies of bees. The French study, published in the journal Science in April, reported that bees that drank nectar laced with the pesticide had an increased death rate. But the British study, also published in Science, has found that the original study underestimated the rate at which colonies can recover from the loss of bees, although it doesn’t deny that the pesticide may be harmful to individual bees. — Read it at Reuters via Huffington Post

Jimmy Fallon Gushes About His New Puppy at the Emmys

The doting dad gave his Golden Retriever, Gary, a shout out from the red carpet before heading inside to attend the Emmys on Sunday. "It's like having a baby, except no diapers," the comedian told Ryan Seacrest. "It's amazing, it's a life changer . . . I love her so much. She's my best friend." — Read it at People Pets

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