Pet Scoop: New Monkey Species Discovered in Africa, San Diego Panda Cub Opens His Eyes

Sept. 13, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

The Lesula monkey was discovered in the Dominican Republic of Congo.
Researchers recently discovered Lesula monkeys living in a dense rain forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lesula Monkey Found in the Congo

A veteran researcher in the Democratic Republic of Congo was surprised to uncover a new species of monkey living in a dense rain forest in the central African nation. The skittish Lesula is brightly colored, with a blond mane and upper chest — and the males have blue bottoms. "When I first saw it, I immediately knew it was something new and different — I just didn't know how significant it was," said John Hart, scientific director for the Congo-based Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation, who published his findings in the online journal PLOS One. Hart and his wife are now working to set up a national park in the monkeys’ territory to help protect the species. — Read it at NBC News

Plus: According to a report from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia’s Madidi National Park, which is home to 200 mammal species, may be the most biologically diverse place on earth. — Read it at NBC News

Breeder’s Choice Recalls Dog Food Due to Salmonella

One batch of Breeder's Choice AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula has been recalled for potential salmonella contamination. The food was sold in California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia and Washington. The Food and Drug Administration warns that people who’ve handled the food should wash their hands, as well as clean surfaces exposed to the food. If your pet consumed this food, and starts to show symptoms of illness — lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting and fever — contact your veterinarian immediately. — Get more details at DVM 360

Scientists Uncover Snake Species Capable of Virgin Births

A new study published in the journal Royal Society Biology Letters sheds light on several cases of births by female snakes who've had no help from males, making this the first time that virgin births have been documented in the wild. Researchers looked at two species of snakes whose eggs had multiple yolks — and litters that only included one male. Genetic analysis later confirmed that paternal DNA was missing. What triggers these births remains a mystery, but scientists speculate that males overlook some smaller females, so the females produce a male offspring who they can breed with later. — Read it at Discovery News

Panda cub at the San Diego Zoo
Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo’s Panda Cub Opens His Eyes

During an exam this week, the panda team at the San Diego Zoo noticed that the 45-day-old cub was beginning to open his eyes — it will take another 20 days for them to fully open. Starting on Sept. 17, the public can submit name suggestions for the little guy on the zoo’s web site, but they must be in Chinese pinyin, which transcribes Chinese characters into Latin script. — Read it at the San Diego Zoo, and watch a video of the exam on YouTube

Epic Hermit Crab Migration Caught on Viral Video

Millions of hermit crabs took over a beach on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and a veteran videographer was lucky enough to capture the amazing scene. "Crabs were crawling over my feet, arms, cameras. They crawled right into the lens hood," said Steve Simonsen, who was tipped off by a friend who could hear the crustaceans the night before. — Watch it at ABC News

Olate Dogs Perform in America’s Got Talent Finals

The Olate canines gave it their best shot at the finals of the hit show on Wednesday night: One of the dogs drove out on stage in a little car, and another pup jumped hurdles. "This is pure love on this stage," said judge Sharon Osbourne. The winner will be announced tonight in the show’s finale on NBC. — Read it at USA Today, and watch the video from NBC

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!