Pet Scoop: New Baby Elephant Needs a Name, Calf Means Success for Reintroduced Orca

July 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.

A female Asian elephant calf was born on July 7 at the Fort Worth Zoo.
Fort Worth Zoo
A female Asian elephant calf was born on July 7 at the Fort Worth Zoo.

Endangered Elephant Born in Texas

It’s a girl for the Fort Worth Zoo! An Asian elephant calf was born to 40-year-old mom Rasha in the early morning hours of Sun., July 7. The newborn, who is Rasha’s second offspring, is 330 pounds and 38 inches tall and has quickly bonded with her mom. She’s spending some time out on exhibit as she gets used to her surroundings. And now, she needs a name. You can cast your vote on the zoo’s Facebook page. The current frontrunner is Belle, short for Texas’ famous bluebells, and the other choices include Maggie (short for magnolia), Rose (for the iconic song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”), Ruby (for July’s birthstone), Sage (for a shrub native to Texas) and Tujuh (meaning seven in Indonesian). Voting ends on July 25.

Could Dolphins Detect Human Pregnancy?

Scientists say it’s likely that dolphins could detect a developing fetus in a woman. That’s because they use echolocation (emitting sounds and listening to the echoes that return) to help them identify shapes and locations of objects. That involves ultrasound, which is the same technique a doctor would use to get an image of a developing baby. According to anecdotal reports, dolphins take special interest in pregnant women, making buzzing sounds near their tummies. But, there has not yet been a definitive study on the matter. — Read it at Live Science

Woman Fired After Confronting Customer About Dog

Carla Cheney says she was fired from her job at an Ontario, Canada, Walmart on Wednesday after confronting a customer who left his Newfoundland in his truck in the heat while he went into the store. She says when the man was leaving the store, he approached her and a group of other employees, and she told him he shouldn’t leave his dog in the car. When he told her it wasn’t her business, she said she’d call the police if she saw him do it again. Cheney says she was later called into her manager’s office and fired. "[The manager said I was fired] because I was rude to a customer,” Cheney said. "I thought I was doing the right thing." On its Facebook page, Walmart Canada said it can’t provide specifics about an employee’s dismissal for privacy reasons but said the company is a “major supporter and advocate for animal rights.” — Read it at Canada’s CBC News

Springer the killer whale was spotted with her calf in Canadian waters last week.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Springer the killer whale was spotted with her calf in Canadian waters last week.

Reintroduced Orca Has a Baby

In 2002, Springer the killer whale made headlines when she became the first of her species to be rehabilitated and reintroduced to her pod in northern Vancouver Island, Canada. The young whale had been found alone about 300 miles away, in Puget Sound. Nicknamed Little Orca Annie, the orphan was in poor health and was trying to socialize with bits of driftwood and boats. Researchers used her vocalizations to identify her pod in British Columbia. She was nursed back to health and released back to her pod, but no one was sure about her chances of reintegrating with the clan. Last week, though, Graeme Ellis, a researcher with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, spotted the 13-year-old with a healthy calf. "It's a confirmation of everything that the [research] community believed about the possibility of her coming back and resuming a normal life," said Paul Spong, who works with OrcaLab. — Read it at National Geographic

Dog Tries to Set Scooter-Riding Record

Norman the 3-year-old French sheepdog will attempt to set a Guinness World Record by riding his scooter 98 feet in less than 30 seconds, all by himself on Friday morning. The stunt is taking place at a park in Marietta, Ga., to help raise funds for a Georgia group that rescues dogs from kill shelters, Road Trip Home. Norman, whose talents also include bike riding and skateboarding, already has plenty of star power. He’s made appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman, Good Morning America and on the Cartoon Network. — Read it at People Pets


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