Pet Scoop: Rare Manatee Twins Spotted in Florida, Ben Affleck Cradles Golden Puppy

July 21, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

twin newborn manatees swim with mom
Twin infant manatees were spotted swimming with their mom in Homosassa Springs, Florida.

Twin Manatees Swim With Mom

Experts say only about 2 percent of all manatee births result in twins — and it’s even more unlikely to see them in the open as infants. But sweet photos from Homosassa Springs in Florida show a pair of infant manatees swimming alongside their mom this week. “In the past 10 years, maybe I’ve spotted a dozen set of twins but never once have I seen them in the springs nor have I seen a mother and her calves quite so visible in Homosassa waters,” said Ivan Vicente of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Nursing mothers usually isolate themselves in low trafficked areas to keep the calves protected from mainly people, only this time they aren’t as isolated.” He expects the mom and her calves to stay in the protective springs for the next few weeks, until she feels confident enough to bring her babies into the coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico. — Read it from Citrus County, Florida’s Board of Commissioners

Baby Seal Stranded in Field of Cows

A herd of 30 curious cattle in England gathered around an unusual visitor — a 5-day-old lost seal pup. When Ian Ellis noticed the pup, he looked around for the mother, but couldn’t find her, so he called the nearby Natureland Seal Sanctuary. They told him how to move the pup to safety until they could come to get her. The pup was named Celebration in honor of the sanctuary’s 50th anniversary, and she’s been recovering well there. Her rescuers think she was separated from her mom and got caught in high tide, then became stranded when the tide went out again. She’s been rehydrated and is eating a high-fat diet to help her gain weight. “She will continue through the rehabilitation process until she is 60-70 pounds and is able to feed in the water by herself. We will then release her back to the wild," said Natureland director Richard Yeadon. — Read it at the U.K.’s Telegraph

Researchers Trick Monkeys With Sweet Treats

Because monkeys are so clever, scientists often have a hard time testing them for pathogens. Gathering samples from them is important to protect humans and monkeys from diseases that could become pandemics. But a team with the Predict Project found an easy way to collect oral samples from the monkeys. They give them ropes dipped in strawberry jam or banana baby food. The monkeys chew on them and then discard them — leaving behind a sample almost as effective as an oral swab for the scientists. The researchers described their method in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. — Read it at The New York Times

sloth bear cub
Remi, a sloth bear cub at the National Zoo, is learning about socializing with other bears from her dad.

Sloth Bear Cub Gets Hand-Reared

A baby sloth bear at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo has been getting around-the-clock care from her keepers, who quickly bonded with Remi and learned her vocalizations, movements and sleep patterns. But as Remi gets older, it’s important for her to learn how to live with other bears. Although male sloth bears don’t usually have any role in raising their offspring, Remi’s dad, Francois, has stepped up to the plate. He’s a very social guy who loves to play with other bears, and now he’s helping to socialize his cub. “He’s a good role model for her to help her learn about being a bear,” said keeper and sloth bear expert Mindy Babitz. — Read it from the National Zoo via Facebook

Ben Affleck Spotted Carrying Adorable Puppy

The actor, who’s going through a divorce with his wife of 10 years, Jennifer Garner, was photographed Monday cradling a fluffy Golden Retriever puppy as he arrived in Atlanta. Affleck was reportedly in Atlanta to visit his three children, who are staying with their mom while she’s filming a new movie there. The family adopted the puppy in May, shortly before Affleck and Garner announced their split. — Read it at Us Magazine


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