Pet Scoop: Nina Pham Celebrates Bentley’s 2nd Birthday, Tortoises Prefer Keepers to Toys

Nov. 21, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Bentley, who made headlines last month when he was quarantined in Dallas, turned 2 Thursday.
Bentley, who made headlines last month when he was quarantined in Dallas, turned 2 Thursday.

Birthday Wishes Pour in for Bentley

Last month, Bentley, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, made headlines because he was in quarantine under the care of Dallas Animal Services after his owner was diagnosed with Ebola. This month, he’s having a lot more fun! He started off November with a sweet reunion with owner Nina Pham, after they were both declared healthy. (Pham was successfully treated for the virus and Bentley never contracted it.) On Thursday, Pham Tweeted a photo of the pooch with his birthday treats. The caption read, “Happy 2 nd Birthday to My Baby Boy!!” The staff at Dallas Animal Services, who fell for the pup while they were caring for him, also shared birthday wishes on Facebook, and fans from around the globe posted birthday greetings in response. — Read it at Today

Study: Giant Tortoises Prefer Human Touch

Researchers from the University of Florida who studied three male Galapagos tortoises found that they preferred spending time with their female zookeepers to engaging in enrichment activities such as playing with their favorite rubber ball. The endangered tortoises, named Larry, Curly and Moe, not only “prefer keeper interaction overall compared to the traditional forms of enrichment, but the individual tortoises had preferences for the kind of interaction they wanted," said study co-author Lindsay Mehrkam. "Larry and Curly like having their necks rubbed. Moe liked the shell scrubbing." When researchers gave them the option of enrichment activities in their enclosure, the tortoises repeatedly made their way directly to their keeper. The study was published in the journal Zoo Biology. — Read it at Discovery News

K9 Puppy Named for Fallen Police Officer

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is paying tribute to Officer Perry Renn, who was fatally shot on the job in July, with a service dog who will help someone with disabilities. On Wednesday, they introduced Renn, a 3-month-old Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever mix puppy who’s training with the Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN) to become a service dog. "Officer Renn was an avid dog lover, and the addition of this K9 will be a powerful reminder of the work that Officer Renn did throughout his career," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, "Everybody is missing him but he lives a little bit. His dog will make a big difference." ICAN director Jillian Miller said, "We want him to grow up and do good work for the community just like Officer Renn." — Read it at My Fox Philly

A grizzly bear investigated a wildlife photographer's equipment in British Columbia earlier this month.
A grizzly bear investigated a wildlife photographer's equipment in British Columbia earlier this month.

Bear Gets Behind the Camera

Earlier this month, wildlife photographer Jim Lawrence spotted a grizzly bear in a British Columbia river and set up his tripod and camera to snap his photo. But the curious bear had other ideas. He stepped out of the river, shook off and went to investigate the camera equipment, standing on his hind legs for a better view. A photo of the bear went viral, and another photographer who was with Lawrence at the time has posted a video of the whole scene. When the bear hit the camera with his paw, it tilted down and scared him off, and he ran off into the woods. (Just a reminder not to get close to bears.) — Read it at ABC News

White Rhino Born at Ohio Conservation Center

A male southern white rhino was born on Nov. 12 at The Wilds, a non-profit conservation center in Ohio that’s affiliated with the Columbus Zoo. The calf is the first of a fifth generation of white rhinos to be born outside of Africa, and was born to mom Anan and dad Fireball. Anan was the first of a fourth generation of white rhinos born outside Africa. “The calf appears to be doing well, but the first few weeks are always a critical time for any newborn,” said Dan Beetem, director of animal management. “They will spend the winter inside our Rhino Management Center and move into our open pastures in the spring.” — See photos at Zooborns


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