Pet Scoop: Obese Dachshund Drops 40 Pounds, D.C. Zoo's Sloth Bear Cub Needs a Name

May 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.

Obie the Dachshund is getting around a lot better after shedding 40 pounds.
Obie is getting around a lot better after shedding 40 pounds.

Obie Gets a Tummy Tuck

He’s a picture of weight loss success. Obie, a Dachshund from Portland, Ore., tipped the scales at 77 pounds when his elderly owners gave him up last year. In the 8 months that he’s been living with Nora Vanatta, a veterinary technician, the pup has dropped 40 pounds, thanks to a strict diet. On Tuesday, Obie underwent surgery to remove more than 2 pounds of excess skin. Now he’s back home, and his veterinarian, Dr. Alon Kramer, DVM, says he’s recovering faster than expected. Vanatta, who won a legal battle for custody of Obie, said he’s not done dieting just yet. Obie’s ideal weight is 28 to 30 pounds, so he has about another five pounds to go. But for now, he’s getting lots of TLC and laying low. — Watch it at CNN

Number of Fat Cats Soars

Dogs aren’t the only ones fighting obesity. A new study finds the number of overweight cats is at an all-time high. Conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, the National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey found that 58 percent of cats were reported to be overweight or obese by their veterinarians. That’s up 5 percent from the group’s 2010 survey. The research also found that 53 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. — Read it at DVM 360

Shark Embryos Attack Each Other in Utero

Researchers at Stony Brook University of New York say they’ve figured out why sand tiger shark embryos gobble up all but one of their littermates in the womb. They said it’s part of a paternity struggle because babies with different fathers are competing to be born. They analyzed shark embryos at different stages during their mom’s near yearlong pregnancy. They found that at later periods of gestation, the remaining embryos were more likely to have the same father. While there may be 12 embryos at the start of a pregnancy, sand tiger sharks typically give birth to two babies. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Live Science

The National Zoo is asking the public to help name its sloth bear cub.
Mindy Babitz, Smithsonian's National Zoo
Does he look like a Ravi, Bandar or Hank?

Vote for Sloth Cub's Name

The National Zoo is looking for help in naming its adventurous 4-month-old sloth bear cub. Known for trying to balance himself on top of enrichment toys like logs and balls — and for climbing his enclosure’s mesh walls — the baby bear’s keepers have come up with three names that they think fit his personality, and they’re asking the public to choose their favorite in a Facebook poll. The choices are Ravi (Hindi for sun, as he was born just before the winter solstice), Bandar (the Hindi word for monkey, because of his penchant for climbing) and Hank (a combination of his mom and dad’s names, Hana and Frank). The little guy is still in his den with his mom for now, but will make his public debut sometime this summer. — Read it from the National Zoo

Unlikely Trio Become BFFs in China

A lion, a tiger and a monkey — oh my! According to, a baby monkey and lion cub are each being bottle fed at the Guaipo Manchurian Tiger Park in Shenyang, China, because neither of their moms had enough milk to feed them. The two reportedly met a tiger cub at a kindergarten class at the zoo, and these babies of different species have seen past their differences to enjoy a good snuggle together. — See photo at People Pets


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