Pet Scoop: Orphaned Koala Finds Comfort in Toy, Cat Found Alive 32 Days After Quake

Sept. 27, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Shayne, an orphaned koala joey, snuggles with a stuffed animal koala for comfort.
Shayne, an orphaned koala joey, snuggles with a stuffed animal koala for comfort.

Joey Cuddles With Stuffed Animal

Shayne, a koala joey who was rescued in Australia after his mom was fatally struck by a car, is finding some comfort in a stuffed animal koala who’s just his size. He’s being cared for at the Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital, where he’s been wrapped in cozy blankets as he clings to the toy as a coping mechanism while he learns to live without his mom. “He wouldn’t have lasted even a day in the wild by himself at this young age,” said the hospital’s director, Dr. Rosie Booth. The staff is giving him around-the-clock car and helping Shayne learn social and survival skills. They hope to release him back into the wild when he’s ready. — Read it at Today

Study: Horses Use Symbols to Show They Want Blankets

New research shows horses have the ability to read symbols on a sign and convey their desire — in this case, whether they want a blanket. The researchers spent two weeks training the horses to read three signs. One was pure white, one was white with a horizontal black bar and the third was white with a vertical black bar. The scientists said that after just 11 days, the horses had caught on and were using the signs to report whether they wanted a blanket. They said the horses also appeared excited at being able to communicate with their trainers in this way, sometimes responding without being asked. The study was published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. — Read it at Phys.org

Police Officer Adopts Puppy Abandoned in Chase

At the end of a car chase in New Zealand in August, a police officer reached under the seat of the vehicle abandoned in the pursuit and found a “tiny, fat and scared” 5-week-old puppy. The police thought she might have been stolen in a burglary with the property that was found in the car. They brought her to a local shelter but no one ever came forward to claim her, so one of the officers involved, Marisha Allen, and her husband adopted the pup. They named her Chase, and she’s “thriving as a much loved family dog,” the New Zealand Police wrote in a Facebook post Monday. — Read it at New Zealand’s Stuff

Rocco was rescued from the rubble of an Italian earthquake after being trapped for 32 days.
Rocco was rescued from the rubble of an Italian earthquake after being trapped for 32 days.

Cat Found 32 Days After Quake

Amazingly, another animal has been pulled alive from the rubble of the devastating earthquake in Amatrice, Italy — 32 days after it struck. The gray and white cat named Rocco was found trapped beneath the ruins and reunited with his “happy owners,” the fire service shared on Twitter Sunday night. Another cat, Pietro, was found alive 16 days after the earthquake. Before that, a cat named Joy was found after five days and a Golden Retriever named Romeo was found alive after nine days. — Read it at Italy’s The Local

U.K.’s “Loneliest Dog” Co-Stars With Anthony Hopkins

There’s good news for Freya, a pooch with epilepsy dubbed the “world’s loneliest dog” by a U.K. newspaper in June after she’d spent her entire 6 years in a shelter. Three months later, Freya has a happy home with her adopter — and she’s been working alongside legendary actor Sir Anthony Hopkins in the upcoming movie Transformers: The Last Knight. Director Michael Bay offered Freya a role after he heard about her plight in the paper, and said, “she’s done an amazing job.” The movie debuts in June. — Read it at People Pets


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