Pet Scoop: Pit Bull Carries Pal to Safety, Baby Orangutan Bonds With New Surrogate

July 23, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Joanie, a white Pit Bull mix, was found caring her injured Chihuahua friend, Chachi.
Joanie, a white Pit Bull mix, was found caring her injured Chihuahua friend, Chachi.

Pit Bull Cares for Chihuahua

Joanie, a white Lab-Pit Bull mix, was found in a Georgia neighborhood earlier this month carrying an appreciative Chihuahua in her mouth. The pair — named for teenage lovebirds Joanie and Chachi of "Happy Days" fame — were picked up by animal control officers who saw that Chachi was suffering from a severe eye infection. Veterinarians had to remove Chachi’s left eye, and he was reunited with Jonie last week, after few days of recuperation. "It's not every day we get to see such devotion between two special dogs like this," said Animal Control Officer Christina Sutherin. "They are both such sweet animals. But the relationship they share just sets them apart." Officials are now looking for someone to adopt the dedicated duo together. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Grizzly Bear “Highway” Found in Canada

The Heiltsuk, an aboriginal tribe in British Columbia, thought about a dozen grizzlies lived near them in the 69-square-mile Koeye watershed. But a study published in the journal Ecology and Society revealed there were actually 57 bears living there, which is a very high density of bears for such a small area. "It was a bit of a shock to me," said the study’s lead author, William Housty. Yellowstone National Park, for example, is about 3,472 square miles and hosts about 150 grizzly bears. The researchers used wire snares baited with enticing scents to attract the bears. When the grizzlies came to check out the scents, they rubbed up against the wire and left hair samples. The team analyzed the DNA from the samples to count the bears without subjecting them to any invasive procedures, in accordance with the laws of the Heiltsuk First Nation. — Read it at National Geographic

Elephants Are Better Sniffers Than Dogs

In a study of 13 mammals, African elephants were found to have the best sense of smell. They had the largest number of genes associated with smell, with five times as many as humans and twice as many as dogs. African elephants had 1,948 olfactory receptor genes, compared with just 396 in humans. The pachyderms use their strong sense of smell to search for food and identify family members. "It's extremely sensitive," said Bruce Schulte of Western Kentucky University, who was not involved in the study. "They really do follow their nose.” The study was published in the journal Genome Research.— Read it at Live Science

Six-month-old Bornean orangutan Kecil has a new surrogate mom at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.
Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society
Six-month-old Bornean orangutan Kecil has a new surrogate mom at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.

Orangutan Gets New Surrogate

Kecil has had a rough start to life. The Bornean orangutan was born at the Toledo Zoo in January, but officials there soon noticed that his mom, Yasmin, wasn’t showing interest in him. The newborn was moved to the Milwaukee County Zoo so that another adult female, M.J., could be his surrogate. But after a month, they realized that M.J. wasn’t the right fit for Kecil either. On June 20, he was moved to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago where he was introduced to 53-year-old Maggie, who’s an experienced surrogate mom. It looks like the third time is a charm for Kecil. “We’ve seen a lot of progress with both Kecil and his development, and we’ve seen a lot of progress with the relationship between Maggie and Kecil since he arrived at Brookfield Zoo,” said Jay Petersen, the zoo’s curator of carnivores and primates, in a video the zoo released Monday. — Read it at ABC News

Dirty Dogs Get a Makeover

Wahl, a company that makes pet grooming products, and are teaming up for their third annual Dirty Dogs Contest. They asked shelters to submit before and after photos of dogs they’re caring for. Celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky and award-winning photographer Seth Casteel chose the 25 best makeovers and now the public gets the chance to select the top three contestants. The dog with the most votes will get $5,000 for its shelter. You can vote once daily through July 31. — Choose your favorite at Wahl Pets Facebook and see more before and after photos


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