Pet Scoop: Professor Adopts Kitten Rescued From Engine, Tasmanian Devils Test Vaccine

Sept. 29, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A 6-week-old kitten was adopted by a professor after she survived a 45-minute commute in his SUV's engine.
A 6-week-old kitten was adopted by a professor after she survived a 45-minute commute in his SUV's engine.

Kitten Survives Ride in Engine

While he was making his 45-minute commute to work Monday, including a stretch on the turnpike at 70-mph, Steven Collins thought he heard a tiny meow when he stopped at a red light. "I thought, 'I know I'm a cat person, but am I losing my mind?'" he told the Orlando Sentinel. "I heard this sort of mewing sound." But the sound quickly stopped. Then, after he parked and walked to his office at the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communications, a student passing by his Honda CRV heard the meowing and determined it was coming from under the vehicle’s hood. The student notified campus police, who got in touch with Collins. "I had already decided that, if we got her out alive, she's my cat," Collins said. A police officer finally found the 6-week-old kitten curled up in a wheel well and pulled her to safety. Collins said the kitten, who he named Honda, was immediately taken to a vet and got a clean bill of health. She’s now settling in at home with Collins and his 12-year-old cat, Cocoa. — Read it at Central Florida Future

Students Create 3D-Printed Wheelchair for Kitten

Another kitten is getting a second chance at life thanks to some high school seniors in British Columbia. Cassidy was a feral kitten found in the woods who was rescued by the volunteer group TinyKittens Society. Now 11 weeks old, he is recovering from an injury that resulted in the loss of his hind legs. The lively kitten was getting around by dragging his back legs, until students Josh Messmer and Isaiah Walker heard about his plight. In just six hours, they were able to design and create a 3D-printed wheelchair to help Cassidy get around. “Having a wheelchair is going to give him independence and be great for his spirit,” says TinyKittens volunteer Shelly Roche. The students plan to make new parts for Cassidy as he grows. — Read it at People Pets

Scientists Find First “Glowing” Sea Turtle

A new video shows what scientists believe is the first evidence of a reptile exhibiting biofluorescence. That’s the ability to reflect blue light and re-emit it as a different color — in this case, bright green and red. It was during a dive one night in July in the Solomon Islands that marine biologist David Gruber of City University of New York captured footage of the glow of a critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. He said it looked like a big spaceship. He followed the rare turtle with his camera system for a while but left it alone as it dove down deep because he “didn’t want to harass it.” Gruber said it’s too early to determine why the turtles fluoresce. — Watch it at National Geographic

Twenty Tasmanian devils treated with a new vaccine were released into the wild Saturday.
Twenty Tasmanian devils treated with a new vaccine were released into the wild Saturday.

20 Tasmanian Devils Released

Officials released 20 Tasmanian devils inoculated with a new vaccine into Narawntapu National Park in northern Tasmania on Saturday. They’re hoping the vaccine will save the endangered species from the facial tumor disease that has decimated their population. The disease is a rare contagious cancer that is spread by bites among the animals or by sharing food. It’s caused the devils’ populations to decline by more than 60 percent in just the last decade. The 11 males and 9 females join devils already living in the park. Researchers will monitor them over time to gauge how effective the vaccine is. The release is part of the Wild Devil Recovery Project, which aims to bring the species back from the brink of extinction. — Read it at Discovery News

Missing Dog Found After 4 Months

Max the Husky is back with his family in California thanks to his microchip. The dog was missing for four months before he was brought to a shelter more than 120 miles from home, where his chip was scanned. He was reunited with his family Saturday at Ventura County Animal Services. The shelter used his story as a reminder to microchip your pet — and to bring lost pets in to have them scanned to see if their owner can be found. — Watch it from Ventura County, California, Animal Services


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