Pet Scoop: Orphaned Puma Kittens Get a New Home, Obama Makes Last Turkey Pardon

Nov. 23, 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 brother and sister pair of orphaned puma kittens has moved in at the Minnesota Zoo.
A brother and sister pair of orphaned puma kittens has moved in at the Minnesota Zoo.

Cougar Kittens Head to Minnesota

A pair of puma kittens was found late last month outside Port Angeles, Washington, by a local resident. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife rescued the brother and sister after determining that their mom was not returning to take care of them. The male was 13 pounds and his sister was 11 pounds at the time. While the orphaned kittens have grown considerably since their rescue, they cannot be released. So, now they have a new home at the Minnesota Zoo. They arrived at the zoo last week and are settling in behind the scenes in quarantine before they make their public debut. — Read it at Zooborns

Study: Porpoises Adjust Heart Rate to Length of Dive

A new study finds that porpoises — and likely all cetaceans — consciously adjust their heart rate to match the length of their planned dive. “Until now, we knew that the heart rates of porpoises and cetaceans in general correlate with different dive factors, such as dive duration, depth and exercise,” said study leader Siri Elmegaard of Aarhus University in Denmark. “Now we can conclude that harbour porpoises have cognitive control of their heart rate.” Researchers said that if the animals’ concentration is disrupted by a sudden loud noise, such as shipping or sonar, it could prompt them to resurface too quickly, which can trigger potentially fatal decompression sickness and lead to stranding. The study was published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at New Scientist

Linemen Save Cat From Power Pole

For nine days, Fat Boy, a black and white cat, sat on a 45-foot power pole in Fresno, California, without food and water. Finally, linemen with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. turned off the power to the pole — and 250 homes — and climbed up with a carrier to bring Fat Boy down to safety. “Sometimes we wait out cats on poles … 99 percent of the time, cats come down on their own,” said company spokesman Denny Boyles. “In this case, it’s been up there that long, we just made the decision to go ahead and go up there.” The cat was reunited with his 14-year-old owner, Andrew Perez, and immediately began eating. — Read it at California’s Sacramento Bee

Tater and Tot made a visit to Virginia Tech ahead of their official pardon from the president.
Tater and Tot made a visit to Virginia Tech ahead of their official pardon from the president.

Obama Makes Final Turkey Pardon

For the last time in his eight years in office, President Obama will pardon two turkeys at the White House today: Tater and Tot. President George H.W. Bush was the first to officially pardon a turkey in 1989, and at least one turkey gifted to the White House by the National Turkey Federation has been spared each year since then. While the White House asked followers on Twitter to vote on whether they thought it would be Tater or Tot who would be pardoned in the ceremony, reports say that both birds will be safe. After the 4-month-old turkeys officially get their presidential reprieve, they’ll head to a new life at Virginia Tech’s Animal and Poultry Sciences Department. — Read it at the Miami Herald

Firefighters Rescue Kitten From Car

Margate-Coconut Creek, Florida, firefighters worked to find a skittish kitten twice on Tuesday. A woman dropped by a fire station in the morning, concerned that a kitten was stuck somewhere in her car. The crew found the kitten hiding in the undercarriage near a rear wheel. But once he was safely removed, it ran inside the station to hide, so firefighters had to find him once again. They’ve now turned the little guy over to animal control. — Read it at Florida’s Local 10


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