Pet Scoop: Police Save Kitten on Highway, Groundhog Dropped by New York Mayor Dies

Sept. 26, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Freeway the kitten was rescued by Fort Worth police officers.
Freeway the kitten was rescued by Fort Worth police officers.

Kitten Rescued in Fort Worth

A fluffy little kitten is ready for a new home in Texas thanks to the police officers who saved her. On Wednesday night, a Fort Worth police dispatcher spotted the 8-week-old stray stuck between concrete barriers on a highway exit ramp and called fellow officers for help. Two officers arrived at the scene and stopped traffic while coaxing the scared kitten out. They brought her to the Fort Worth Animal Shelter, and named her Freeway. The kitten will be available for adoption in a public lottery at the shelter Tuesday. — Read it at CBS Dallas-Fort Worth

Obama Creates World’s Largest Marine Reserve

President Obama signed a proclamation Thursday expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from 87,000 square miles to 490,000 square miles, which is three times the size of the state of California. Commercial fishing, mining and dumping will be banned in the protected area. Environmental groups are calling the proclamation a “historic” move that creates the largest protected area on earth. — Read it at ABC News

Tiny New Poison Dart Frog Discovered

A bright orange frog so small it can fit on a fingernail was found in a rain forest in Panama near the Caribbean coast, according to a new study. Researchers have been perplexed by the new species dubbed Andinobates geminisae, in part because it bears no resemblance to its closest relatives in the region. Little is known about the 12.7-millimeter frog’s behavior, but an adult found with a tadpole on its back suggests that it cares for its young. The frogs face threats from habitat loss, climate change and a deadly fungus. It’s described in the journal Zootaxa. — See photo at National Geographic

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio holds the Staten Island Zoo's groundhog Charlotte on Groundhog's Day.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio holds the Staten Island Zoo's groundhog Charlotte on Groundhog's Day.

Questions in Groundhog’s Death

On Groundhog’s Day in February, the famed Staten Island Chuck escaped the grasp of New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and tumbled to the ground. But it wasn’t until this week that the New York Post reported that the animal de Blasio was holding died a week later at the Staten Island Zoo — and that it was actually a groundhog named Charlotte who was standing in for Chuck. The revelation has caused quite a stir on social media, but the zoo isn’t blaming the mayor. Zoo officials say Charlotte was given a full examination after her fall on Feb. 2, and showed “no evidence of trauma or pain." She took part in several events in the week that followed and seemed fine, but on Feb. 9, she was found dead in her exhibit. A necropsy found that she died of internal injuries. "We don't know how the animal suffered the injuries but we don't think it was from the fall," said zoo spokesman Brian Morris. "We believe it happened sometime the night before she was found dead." The mayor’s office wasn’t informed of the animal’s death. "We were unaware that Staten Island Chuck had passed but are sorry to hear of the loss," mayoral spokesman Phil Walzak said. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo

Woman Finds Lost Dog at Shelter, by Accident

Kerstie Bush, 19, of Bangor, Maine, visited the Somerset Humane Society shelter to find a dog for her father — and ended up finding her own lost dog. Running Bear, her 4-year-old Australian Shepherd, had been missing for more than a month. He’d been brought in to the shelter as a stray. Both Bush and her dog were crying when they found each other. “She brought her grandfather in to look at another dog, and when I brought them out to the dog room, she looked and she said ‘Bear?’ and the dog cried. Have you ever seen a dog cry?” said the shelter’s Christine Coolidge. “He was whining and wagging his tail. It wasn’t a regular dog barking. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not a bark; it’s just a constant whine.” Coolidge brought her happy dog back home, and says she’ll be donating supplies to the shelter for helping her pet. — Read it at Maine’s Portland Press Herald


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