Pet Scoop: Pro Baseball Player Saves Stray Dog, Ringling Bros. to End Use of Elephants

March 6, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb rescued Oscar from a busy street Monday.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb rescued Oscar from a busy street Monday.

Pitcher Rescues Dog From Traffic

The Tampa Bay Rays’ starting pitcher Alex Cobb made a stellar play Monday when he chased down a stray dog who was running loose in traffic. The MLB player was driving home from a workout when he saw the dog on a busy street. He pulled over and had a 20-minute pursuit of the skittish 2-year-old dog on foot. "I went down some neighborhood streets and into some backyards. You could tell he was a little scared, eventually he just kind of finally cowered down and let me pick him up,” Cobb said. “He was very close to getting hit by a car.” A microchip found by the Humane Society revealed that the dog’s name is Oscar, but his original owner said she’d given the dog to someone else and would try to contact that person. Cobb’s team also put out a picture of the dog in the hopes of finding his owner. In the meantime, the pup is staying with Cobb and his Bulldog, Axel. "That's dangerous, though, because his personality is starting to grow on me,” Cobb said. — Read it at the Tampa Bay Times

Ringling Bros. to Drop Elephant Acts

In what animal rights activists considered a major victory, the 145-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it would stop using its iconic elephants in the “Greatest Show on Earth” by 2018. "We're not reacting to our critics; we're creating the greatest resource for the preservation of the Asian elephant," said Kenneth Feld, whose family owns the circus. He said the last 13 performing elephants will retire in three years to the company's 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, where they’ll join 29 other elephants. The circus has been under pressure for years to stop using elephants, and Feld said it’s become difficult to plan tours because so many jurisdictions have passed “anti-circus” or “anti-elephant” ordinances. PETA has accused the company of “extreme abuse” in training the elephants. The circus will continue to feature lions, tigers, camels, horses and dogs. — Read it from the AP

Study: Older Female Whales Help Pods Survive

A new study suggests the reason female killer whales live long after they’ve undergone menopause is because they have so much information that’s critical to their pod’s survival. Females stop having calves by the time the reach their 40s, but can live to be 90 years old. Males, however, only live to be around 50 years old. Researchers said evidence shows the older females direct their pods to where they can find food when fish are scarce. The study “offers a compelling hint that whales, especially sons, follow the matriarch to find food," said whale biologist Rob Williams, a Pew Fellow who was not involved in the research. The study was published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at National Geographic

Kobe is the latest rescue dog to be adopted by the Shedd Aquarium.
Brenna Hernandez, Shedd Aquarium
Kobe is the latest rescue dog to be adopted by the Shedd Aquarium.

Shedd Aquarium Rescues 5th Dog

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium has adopted an energetic 3-year-old Dogo Argentino mix named Kobe through its partner, Lucky Dog Rescue. He joins Dory, a female Shepherd mix and Marlin, a male Labrador mix, who are the two other rescue dogs currently living at the Shedd. The aquarium has rescued five dogs since 2013. Two of its previous dogs, Bruce and Coral, have gone on to be adopted into loving homes. Kobe’s rescuers thought he might have been a junkyard dog when he was found starving and dirty, with a rope tied around his collar. Now, he’s settling in at his new home and learning to trust his trainers. They’ll use positive reinforcement to train Kobe, and later this year, He’ll join the Shedd’s “One World” show, which highlights the human connection to animals. — Read it from Shedd

J.K. Rowling Tweets Gryffindor Puppy

The famed author is celebrating World Book Day with someone new in the role of Harry Potter: an adorable puppy. J.K. Rowling Tweeted a photo of a pup sporting a Gryffindor cape and scarf, with the caption, “And finally, because, you know, it's the internet... ‪#WorldBookDayForDogs.” We’re sure the Internet appreciates it. The author then went on to retweet photos of several fans’ pets in Harry Potter-themed costumes. — See it at Time


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