Pet Scoop: Newborn Sea Otter Reunited With Mom, Firestorm Over Gorilla Shot at Zoo

May 31, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A newborn otter pup is reunited with her mom in Morro Bay.
A newborn otter pup is reunited with her mom in Morro Bay.

Sweet Reunion Captured on Video

A 2-day-old sea otter pup was spotted floating on her own inside Morro Bay in California over the weekend. The Marine Mammal Center said in a Facebook post that the tides had been stronger than usual, so the pup likely floated away when her mom took her eyes off her for a second. Experts from the center and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife picked her up in their boat and drifted around the bay, holding her up to allow adult otters to hear her cries. They knew if they could find her mom, she would recognize her baby’s call. Finally, they saw a mother otter swimming frantically when she heard the cries, and knew it had to be her baby. A sea otter biologist on board gently tossed the pup away from the boat so the mom would feel safe to approach it — and she did. Seconds after the pup was floating in the water, the mom raced up and grabbed her and swam away. “There are very few successful reunites so this is something to celebrate,” the MMC posted on Facebook. — Watch it from The Marine Mammal Center via Facebook

Zoo’s Killing of Gorilla Holding Boy Starts Firestorm

The Cincinnati Zoo is defending its actions after a 4-year-old boy breached the barrier of a 17-year-old silverback western lowland gorilla’s enclosure. The boy fell into the 420-pound gorilla’s moat, and Harambe started to drag the boy through the water. The zoo’s response team decided that the only way to save the child was to shoot and kill the critically endangered gorilla, and said a tranquilizer would have taken too long to take effect and would have agitated the gorilla. The boy was rushed to the hospital and expected to recover, but the situation has prompted outrage from animal rights advocates and others who blame the mother for negligence. Zoo director Thane Maynard said that although the zoo is heartbroken over the loss of Harambe, they had no choice but to shoot him to save the boy. — Read it at The New York Times

Baby Elephant Rescued From Storm Drain

Good Samaritans and a wildlife rescue team worked together to free a trapped elephant calf from an open storm drain it had fallen into in Sri Lanka. Port workers quickly broken open the other side of the narrow, shallow drain to save the elephant. The group then used ropes to pull the calf to safety. Once the animal was freed, they brought it to an animal hospital, where it was treated for a broken leg, but is expected to recover. — Watch it at ABC News

A fox cub was reunited with his mom after being saved from a drainpipe.
A fox cub was reunited with his mom after being saved from a drainpipe.

Mama Fox Watches Baby’s Rescue

We have another wildlife rescue and reunion to tell you about. A mother fox came by to watch anxiously as rescuers worked to free her cub from a drainpipe in England last month. The baby was so far down in the pipe that the workers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue could hear it but not see it. The rescuer laid on the ground with his arm in the drain until he could feel the cub touching his hand, and he managed to gently pull it out. After cleaning the cub, he placed him in a pet carrier. “As soon as the cub realized mum was there he was so excited and desperately wanted to get out the carrier,” said Chris Riddington, the group’s rescue manager. “With some help from mum he managed to climb out and mum escorted him back home again. It was unbelievably emotional for all of us.” — Watch it from the Huffington Post

Woman Reunited With Childhood Pup

Lauren Johnson was in 7th grade in California when she saved up enough to get an adorable Pomeranian. They were best friends for 10 years, until Johnson was forced to find a home for Tessie with a friend’s family while she was in college. The family then decided to move to Florida, and Johnson made the difficult decision to let Tessie go with them because she knew her pup would have a more stable life than she could provide. So, she was shocked to get a call from a shelter in Tampa saying Tessie had been found wandering on a highway, and her microchip was still registered to her original owner. Johnson couldn’t get ahold of the family who’d cared for Tessie, so she went to Florida to be reunited with her 11-year-old dog. Now, the two are headed back home to California. — Read from Inside Edition via Yahoo


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