Pet Scoop: Rabbits Race Over Obstacles in Prague, Keepers Help Cheer Depressed Panda

April 15, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A rabbit hops over a hurdle at a competition in Prague on Monday.
A rabbit hops over a hurdle at a competition in Prague on Monday.

Bunnies Compete in Annual Race

Hop to it! Just in time for Easter, dozens of rabbits cleared hurdles in an adorable obstacle course at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, on Monday. The annual Easter Rabbit Steeple Chase contest was presented by the Pelhrimov Museum of Records and Curiosities. The organizers say the fluffy bunnies in the competition can jump as far as three yards. Rabbit racing is a relatively new sport that is mainly popular in northern Europe. — See photos at the Baltimore Sun

Study: Sharks More Contaminated Than Polar Bears

A new study puts Greenland sharks on the list of the top Arctic predators that suffer from accumulated pollution in their bodies. A population of the sharks living near the Svalbard Islands, a Norwegian territory north of Scandanavia, could be among the most contaminated of their kind. Polar bears, killer whales and humans also build up dangerous levels of toxins from feeding at the top of the Arctic food chain. The sharks were found to have high levels of the pesticides DDT and chlordane and the industrial chemical PCB. These persistent organic pollutants build up as animals consume contaminated plant life, and then as one animal consumes another. In the case of Svalbard sharks, scientists thought that they were more contaminated because they eat more seals than other Greenland shark populations. The seals contained higher levels of the toxins than other prey. — Read it at Discovery News

FDA Warns of Easter Lily Dangers for Cats

The Food and Drug Administration is reminding cat owners that popular Easter lilies are toxic to felines, who might try to nibble on them. Tiger, Asiatic, day-, and Japanese Show lilies are also poisonous to cats. Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at FDA, said to seek help immediately from a veterinarian if you suspect your cat has consumed any part of a lily. Even licking a few pollen grains off their fur can cause kidney problems, she said. The first symptom of a problem is vomiting. Some lilies can also pose a danger to dogs. — Read it at Live Science and see Vetstreet’s list of 10 dangerous household plants

Keepers at a zoo in China built an amusement park within a panda's enclosure to cheer her up after her companion left the zoo.
Keepers at a zoo in China built an amusement park within a panda's enclosure to cheer her up after her companion left the zoo.

Zoo Tries to Cheer Sad Panda

Sijia spent six months with her companion Meixi at Yunnan Safari Park in China. But when Meixi was sent back to Sichuan, Sijia was "in a bad mood." So her keepers built the lonely bear an amusement park in her enclosure, complete with parallel bars, a climbing frame, a swing and even a television set. So far, their efforts seem to be paying off. Sijia looks quite content entertaining herself in her home. — Watch it at NBC News

NYPD Horses Get “High-End Accommodations”

This summer, the New York Police Department’s mounted unit will move 12 of its horses and 20 officers into a new home on the ground floor of Mercedes House, a luxury apartment building that’s also home to 1,000 humans. “They’re some of the nicest stables I’ve ever seen,” said Deputy Inspector Barry Gelbman, the unit’s commander. The new residence for the horses on Manhattan’s Far West Side includes special flooring to sooth the animals’ tired legs, a state-of-the-art hayloft that has room for a week’s worth of food — and a high-tech ventilation system. “We’re essentially building a barn, which is usually an open-air structure, inside a much larger building,” said Sebastian Touzet, principal at WASA Studio A, the firm that designed the stables. — Read it at The New York Times


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!