Pet Scoop: Rare C-Section Saves Baby Gorilla, Off-Duty Cops Rescue Huge Sea Turtle

Feb. 24, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Keepers at the Bristol Zoo in the U.K. are hand-rearing a newborn gorilla.
Keepers at the Bristol Zoo in the U.K. are hand-rearing a newborn gorilla.

Quick Actions Save Newborn Gorilla

An emergency C-section was needed to save the life of a baby gorilla whose mom, Kera, was showing signs of the life-threatening condition that humans also get, pre-eclampsia. The 2-pound baby girl also had to be resuscitated after she was born on Feb. 12, but she’s now doing well. It’s believed to be the first instance in the U.K. of a baby gorilla surviving a C-section birth — and it was also a first for the doctor who delivered her at Bristol Zoo. When veterinarians determined the surgery might be needed, they called local gynecologist and professor Dr. David Cahill. “Along with having my own children, this is probably one of the biggest achievements of my life and something I will certainly never forget,” he said. “I have since been back to visit Kera and the baby gorilla, it was wonderful to see them both doing so well.” The newborn is being hand-reared by her keepers. — Read it from the Bristol Zoo and watch it at BBC News

Study Finds Kids and Apes Solve Problems the Same Way

A new study of toddlers shows that without help from adults, they were able to complete almost all of the 12 tasks researchers created based on wild great ape behaviors. For example, toddlers used a wet stick to collect polystyrene beads, and then wipe them into a box. Chimps do something similar when they collect and eat ants. The only task most kids were not able to do was cracking open a plastic sphere that served as a nut with a hammer made of clay. Only one child was able to complete that task. "We do not fully rely on our cultures to be smart," said senior author Claudio Tennie. "These behaviors instead derive from a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors.” The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Discovery News

Trapped Cat Rescued From Subway Station

NYPD transit officers saved an “unauthorized animal” from a subway tunnel area in the Bronx on Monday night. The animal was a cat who neighbors said they’d heard meowing for days from beneath a grate in the sidewalk outside the subway station. They’d been throwing him food to help him survive. Crews tried unsuccessfully to help the cat on Sunday night, but he ran deeper into a tunnel. He was finally caught safely in a trap baited with tuna on Monday with the help of cat rescue groups. Luckily, the cat is now doing well, the NYPD’s transit bureau chief Tweeted on Tuesday. "He's in shockingly good shape, but really dirty," said Magnificat volunteer John Sibley. — Read it at UPI

Two off-duty officers saved an entangled leatherback sea turtle in the Atlantic.
Two off-duty officers saved an entangled leatherback sea turtle in the Atlantic.

Huge Sea Turtle Freed by Officers

Leaning over the side of a boat off the coast of Florida, Steve Mullen cut a crab trap weighing 25 pounds away from a critically endangered leatherback sea turtle. Mullen, an off-duty patrol lieutenant for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and his fellow officer, Brad Smith, were out on Mullen’s boat in the Atlantic when they found the massive turtle in distress. They were afraid it wasn’t even alive. They got close enough to help and Mullen cut the rope from around the turtle’s neck and flipper. Smith took the helm of the boat and caught the rescue on video. Once it was freed, "he was the fastest turtle I've ever seen," Mullen said. — Watch it at ABC News

Guide Dog Returned to Blind Man in China

A missing dog who got a lot of police and media attention has been returned to his blind owner in Beijing. The black Labrador Retriever, Qiaoqiao, has helped guide his owner, Tian Fengbo, for six years. An assistant to Tian was walking Qiaoqiao on Monday morning when they were approached by men in a gray van who stole the dog. Just as Tian and his family members were going back out to search for her, Qiaoqiao came running up to her owner. She was wearing a note that read, “Please forgive us.” She’s now doing well back at home. “Last night she was a bit low spirited, but now she’s fine,” Tian said. “She’s right beside me, bouncing and vivacious.” — Read it at The New York Times


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