Pet Scoop: Rare Clouded Leopard Born, Duchess Kate Pins Shamrocks on Irish Dog

March 18, 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 male clouded leopard cub is being hand-reared at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
Dave Parkinson, Lowry Park Zoo docent
A male clouded leopard cub is being hand-reared at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

Zoo Hand-Rears Clouded Leopard

A clouded leopard cub was born to mom Malee and dad Yim on March 7 at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. The little guy is getting around-the-clock care. It’s protocol for his endangered species to be hand-reared to facilitate introductions to potential mates at 6 months of age. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says this early socialization has reduced fatal attacks by aggressive males. His keepers say the kitten is feeding well and is starting to open his eyes. They expect him to be strong enough to walk in the coming weeks. After he’s weaned in about three months, the AZA will decide on his permanent home. — Read it at Florida’s WFLA and see photos of more cute zoo babies

Study: Chimps Travel for Favorite Foods

Many humans will go the distance to get to their favorite restaurant. New research shows that chimps in captivity will travel a farther distance to reach the treats they prefer, too. Over the course of 15 months, researchers worked with the chimps at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. The chimps would collect tokens from one location and could exchange them for carrots at a close location or for their favorite treat, grapes, at a location that was farther away. The chimps showed that like their wild counterparts, they will go the distance to get the better food reward. The study was published in the journal PeerJ. — Read it at Science Daily

Mexican Circuses Search for Homes for Wild Animals

Come July, at least 2,000 tigers, elephants, giraffes and other wild animals will be banned from Mexico’s circuses. While the move aims to protect the animals, government and zoo officials are now grappling with the difficulties of trying to relocate them. The circuses say they can’t afford to feed and care for the animals when they’re not performing. Zoo officials say the transition to a new life will be challenging for the animals. They’re struggling to find the space for them, and know very little about their health. — Read it at Reuters

Duchess Kate tries to pin a sprig of shamrock on Irish Guards mascot Domhnall.
Duchess Kate tries to pin a sprig of shamrock on Irish Guards mascot Domhnall.

Duchess Struggles to Pin Shamrocks on Pooch

In an annual tradition, the Duchess of Cambridge presented sprigs of shamrocks to soldiers from the Irish Guards in celebration St. Patrick’s Day Tuesday. Kate had trouble getting the shamrocks to stay on one guy: 3-year-old Irish Wolfhound Domhnall. The patient pooch wasn’t bothered by the incident. Maybe he remembers the sweet greeting he got from the Duchess at last year’s ceremony. After Kate struggled with the sprig, the Quartermaster, Major Paul Fagin, tied it to Domhnall’s collar — but it fell off as soon as the dog marched off. "It didn't stay on very long," the Duchess laughed afterwards. It was among the last scheduled public events for Kate before her second child is due to arrive next month. — See photos at the U.K.’s Telegraph

Lost Cat Found as Stowaway After 2 Years

When a truck driver was asked to open her trailer during an inspection on the Arizona-California state border, she got quite a surprise: Inside was a stowaway cat. The dehydrated feline was taken to Riverside County Animal Services’ Blythe shelter. That’s where the staff discovered the cat had a microchip. It turned out Kevin hails from South Carolina, and disappeared a few months after he was adopted by Cheryl Walls in 2013. "I assumed someone must have picked him up," Walls said. "Now he has seen more of the country than me." With the help of donations, the shelter is coordinating a flight home to South Carolina so that Kevin can be reunited with his owner. — Read it at NBC Los Angeles

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