Pet Scoop: Oldest Living Male Gorilla Turns 52, Happy Ending for a Homeless Koala

April 25, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Ozzie, a western lowland gorilla at Zoo Atlanta, turned 52 this week.
Zoo Atlanta
Ozzie, a western lowland gorilla at Zoo Atlanta, turned 52 this week.

Zoo Celebrates Gorilla’s Birthday

Zoo Atlanta’s beloved patriarch, Ozzie, turned 52 on Wednesday, making him the world’s oldest living gorilla. The zoo estimates that Ozzie was born in the wild in Africa in 1961, and arrived in Atlanta with a group of western lowland gorillas in the late 1980s. Since then, the critically endangered ape has sired 12 offspring, and has nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Ozzie made headlines in 2009, when he became the first gorilla to ever voluntarily take part in a blood pressure test using an arm cuff. Zoo Atlanta plans to roll out the red carpet at a birthday party for the silverback on Friday. — Read it at Zoo Atlanta

Mallard Hatches Record-Breaking 24 Ducklings

After sitting on her eggs through some of England’s worst winter weather, a mother duck now has something to show for it: 24 little ducklings, breaking a record of 22 ducklings born to one mama. The babies stay close to their mom at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's reserve in Arundel, West Sussex — but not for long. Ducklings are on their own within 60 days. The previous record for the mallard with the biggest known brood belonged to a duck in Oklahoma. — Read it at Paw Nation

Firefighters Save Dog Trapped in Storm Drain

It took two Good Samaritans and a group of firefighters to help one little dog who found himself frightened and stuck in a storm drain in Elk Grove, Calif. It was about 4 a.m. on Wednesday when a passerby first saw the dog and tried to help him. But she put him down when he scared her, and the dog ran and fell into a drain. Another resident tried to help unsuccessfully, so the fire department was called in. At the end of the 4-hour ordeal, crews were able to pull the dog, who wasn’t wearing tags, to safety. He’s being cared for by the Sacramento SPCA and will be put up for adoption if an owner isn’t found in 10 days. — Watch it at CBS Sacramento

Authorities in Australia rescued this koala, who was confused when forest where he lived was cleared.
Authorities in Australia rescued this koala, who was confused when forest where he lived was cleared.

Lost Koala Gets a New Home

In a series of photos shared on her Facebook page, Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon told the story of one koala who lost his forest home. She said the young marsupial’s habitat was destroyed when the forest he lived in was cleared. His rescue and relocation was taken care of by Australia’s Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) about two weeks ago, and two local landowners agreed to make sure he had a safe new home on their property. Rhiannon said that while the koalas are protected by law, the forests where they reside are not. WIRES is keeping an eye out for other confused and displaced koalas in the area and is prepared to help them, too. — See more photos at Buzzfeed

Thousands of Ladybugs Released Inside Mall

Some 72,000 ladybugs have a new home at the massive Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. The mall features more than 30,000 live plants, and aphids thrive on them. Instead of using pesticides, the mall’s managers turned to ladybugs, which feed on the insects. "Ladybugs are what I like to call sort of a biological defense system," Lydell Newby, the mall’s senior manager of environmental services, told Minnesota’s KARE 11. — Read it at Discovery News


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