Pet Scoop: New Officer Rescues Fawn From River, Atlanta’s Panda Cam Keeps Running

Oct. 2, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Officer Keith Baber holds a fawn he rescued from a Florida river.

Deer Saved From Drowning

Two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were on patrol on the Apalachicola River last week when they noticed a fawn who was distressed and exhausted, and swimming in circles. Officer Keith Baber, who just graduated from the law enforcement academy in August, was patrolling with his field training officer, Mike Guy. Baber was able to reach out into the water and grab the young deer, making his first rescue. Because one side of the river had a steep embankment, the officers assumed the mom must be on the other side, and brought the baby there to release it. — Read it from the FWC on Facebook

Banana Plantations Pose Risk to Caimans

New research has found that spectacled caimans who live near Costa Rica’s banana plantations were about 50 percent thinner than those who lived in more remote areas, and had higher concentrations of pesticides in their blood. Scientists are not sure whether the pesticides are toxic to the caimans, which are a crocodile relative, or whether they impact the animals indirectly by diminishing their food sources. The study was published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. — Read it at National Geographic

Jellyfish Shut Down Swedish Nuclear Reactor

A massive cluster of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to a nuclear plant in Sweden, forcing it to shut down on Sunday. The pipes had to be cleared of jellyfish before engineers could try to restart one of the world’s biggest reactors on Tuesday. Marine biologists say they wouldn’t be surprised if this happens again. "It's true that there seems to be more and more of these extreme cases of blooming jellyfish," said Lene Moller, a researcher at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment. "But it's very difficult to say if there are more jellyfish, because there is no historical data." — Read it from the AP via Yahoo

Mom Lun Lun cuddles with one of her cubs on Zoo Atlanta's panda cam.

Atlanta’s Panda Cam Is Still On

One of the flashiest headlines to come out of the federal government’s shutdown has been the temporary closure of the National Zoo and its Panda Cam. (The zoo has a 1-month-old panda cub.) Other zoos around the country have been getting questions about their status. Because they’re not affected by the federal government, many zoos are posting on Facebook to ensure customers that they are open for business. And Zoo Atlanta reminds you that you can still watch their adorable 2 ½-month-old panda cub twins on their cam. Meanwhile, the animals at the National Zoo are still being cared for — and they may even be enjoying the unusual peace and quiet.

Smokey Wins Top Firehouse Dog Contest

A Labrador Retriever mix from Illinois who was rescued from a burning home and revived by firefighters has been voted the nation’s top firehouse dog. Smokey was one of three finalists selected by the producers of the NBC show Chicago Fire after they sorted through hundreds of entries from across the country. Smokey became a firedog after her rescue, and she now helps teach kids how to stop, drop and roll. Her win means she’ll make a cameo appearance on an episode of Chicago Fire. — Read it at Today

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