Pet Scoop: Owl and Duck Become Best Pals, Lawn Chemicals Linked to Cancer in Dogs

May 9, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Larch, a long-eared owl, and Chop-suey, a white-crested runner duck, have become the best of pals.
Larch, a long-eared owl, and Chop-suey, a white-crested runner duck, have become the best of pals.

3-Week-Old Baby Birds Are BFFs

Chop-suey, a white-crested runner duckling at the Kirkleatham Owl Center in England, didn’t like being left alone. So, last week, the staff decided to try pairing him with Larch, a long-eared owlet who was also 3 weeks old — and a friendship was hatched. The pair quickly curled up and took a nap together. Although they won’t be able to stay together for long because of their different developmental needs, “while they are still very small we are more than happy for them to enjoy their time together," said a center spokesperson.— Read it at Zooborns

Chicago’s O’Hare Hires Team of Goats

In an environmentally friendly attempt to control weeds at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago’s Department of Aviation said Wednesday that it’s hired a company to bring in 25 goats to graze in hard-to-mow parts of the airport’s grounds. The $100,000 contract went to Central Commissary Holdings, LLC, which says it will bring the herd in later this spring, after more weeds have grown. The animals are expected to clear about 250 square feet of vegetation a day. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Google’s “Half-Cat” Goes Viral

An image of a strange looking “half-cat” took the Web by storm this week. The photo was purportedly from Google Street View. Many believed the theory that the image was the result of a glitch with the Street View camera that made a normal cat look strange. Fewer bought the idea that there really was a cat out there who looked like this. But it turns out that the image first appeared on Imgur, and was a photo of a Canadian cat named Thumbelina that was Photoshopped. — See photo at Paw Nation

Beagle in the grass

Lawn Chemicals Pose Cancer Risk

A new study due to be published in July in the journal Science of the Total Environment finds that dogs are ingesting, inhaling and otherwise being exposed to garden and lawn chemicals that have been associated with bladder cancer. Dogs “could directly ingest the chemicals from the plant, or they could lick their paws or fur and ingest chemicals that have been picked up on their feet, legs or body," said lead author Deborah Knapp of Purdue University's Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. The dogs could also transfer the chemicals to their owners, researchers said. They suggested that Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Beagles and Wire Fox Terriers are at more risk because they already have a high genetic tendency to get bladder cancer. — Read it at Discovery News

Lynx Captured in Lithuanian Neighborhood

A man on his way to work spotted a lynx in his residential neighborhood in Lithuania, and quickly called authorities. The animal, who’d escaped from a nearby home, was captured while nervous neighbors watched from their homes. The lynx’s owners said they’d received the feline as a gift from some relatives living in Siberia. Authorities are investigating and the owners may face a fine for keeping the animal. It’s now going to live in a special enclosure, where it will be prepared to live in the wild. — Watch it at Today


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