Pet Scoop: Panda Cub Twins Born in Canada, Dog Survives Rush Through Drain Pipe

Oct. 14, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Twin panda cubs were born to mom Er Shun at the Toronto Zoo early Tuesday.
Twin panda cubs were born to mom Er Shun at the Toronto Zoo early Tuesday. 

First Pandas Born in Canada

Panda Er Shun gave birth to two tiny, pink cubs early Tuesday morning at the Toronto Zoo — marking the country’s first giant panda births. The first cub, who weighed 6.6 ounces, was born at 3:31 a.m. Its twin followed 13 minutes later and weighed 4 ounces. The zoo’s staff, working with two panda experts from China, quickly started following twin-rearing protocol, where one cub bonds with its mom while the other goes to the nursery, and then they’re switched. While the zoo is thrilled with the births, they’ve cautioned that this is a critical time for the cubs’ survival. Twin pandas were born at the National Zoo in Washington in August, but sadly, one of the babies died after four days. Toronto Zoo officials said they don’t yet know if the cubs’ dad is her partner at the zoo, Da Mao, or if they were conceived using frozen sperm from two giant pandas living at the Chengdu Research Base in China. — Read it at Live Science

In Rare Act, Pregnant Chimp Adopts Orphan

Little Boon’s mom, Soona, died shortly after he was born at the Monarto Zoo in Australia last week. In a surprising twist, the newborn chimp was immediately adopted by Zombi, who is expecting her own baby later this month. "I'm humbled by what we've seen from the chimpanzee troop over the last few days — it's unheard of to see a heavily pregnant chimpanzee adopt an orphaned newborn infant," said primate keeper Laura Hanley. "From the minute she first cradled the newborn, she's been amazing — grooming, supporting and nursing the little man as though he was her own.” Hanley said she’s optimistic Zombi will continue to care for Boon after her own infant arrives. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo

Study: Social Group Affects Birds’ Divorce

Researchers from Oxford University have found that whether a pair of birds stays together after they first breed is influenced by the social environment where they formed their relationship. Birds tend to be monogamous, but they often cheat on their partners or separate, especially when the social partnership isn’t optimal. “Humans find it easier to find a suitable partner if they've got lots of friends and live in a big city,” said study leader Dr. Antica Culina. “It's similar for birds.” After studying the habits of thousands of individual great tits, researchers found that male birds with a high proportion of female acquaintances are less likely to divorce their partner between breeding seasons. “Our results seems to suggest that males use divorce to correct for non-preferred partnership,” Culina said. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at

Black Lab Brees was back to playing this week after a scary trip through a drainage pipe in her South Carolina yard Saturday.
Black Lab Brees was back to playing this week after a scary trip through a drainage pipe in her South Carolina yard Saturday.

Dog Pulled Into Drainage Pipe

Brees, a Labrador Retriever, was playing in what remained of the floodwater in her South Carolina yard with Tyler Bates, 14, Saturday, when she was suddenly sucked into a drainage pipe. “She was swimming, started going around and around, and was gone," Tyler said. The teen ran inside to get his mom, Delynn Morgan, and his stepdad, Steve Morgan. After trying to feel around for Brees in the drain, they ran to the other end of the 200-foot pipe at the back of their yard, but they couldn’t find her. While the drain was “totally under water,” they were hopeful that Brees didn’t get stuck and was able to swim once she emerged from the rushing water. Thankfully, that’s what happened. Steve Morgan and a neighbor found Brees at the end of the neighborhood, hanging on to the side of a bank in the creek. “Brees is a very lucky dog," said Dr. David Sachs, who examined her. "I think the fact that Brees is a really well conditioned and a young Labrador, not overweight, really aided in her ability to come out of this virtually unscathed.” She’s now back home recovering. — Watch it at South Carolina’s ABC News 4

Puppy’s Growth Spurt Captured on Camera

Puppies grow fast — and German Shepherd owner Ashley Lewis is reminding us exactly how fast in a series of photos. The pictures show Lewis holding her adorable puppy in the same position in arms over the course of 6 months, from the time the pup was 8 week old until she was almost as big as her owner. "She's a big puppy but doesn't know it," Lewis told The Dodo. "She still loves to be picked up for a cuddle and squeeze onto the couch with us as well. To be honest, we didn't really notice her growing as quickly as everyone else did since we see her everyday, not until we looked back through photos anyway!" — See photos at Discovery


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