Pet Scoop: Rare Owl Stolen From Washington Sanctuary, Cat Freed From Truck Hood

Feb. 6, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Sherman, a rare tawny owl, was taken from the Raptor House sanctuary in Washington.
Brian M. Christopher / Yakima County Sheriff's Office
Sherman, a rare tawny owl, was taken from the Raptor House sanctuary in Washington.

Cops Search For Missing Owl

Police are searching for a 14-year-old tawny owl who was taken from the Raptor House in Selah, Wash., on Friday. The bird, nicknamed Sherman for the Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, became a resident of the Washington sanctuary about five years ago, after arriving from a St. Louis, Mo., facility. Shannon Dalan, who runs the Raptor House with his wife, said someone took a lock off the building where Sherman lives, removed latches and unhooked leashes to remove him. "This bird is rare," Dalan said. "They knew what they were looking for. The person who stole it walked past other, native birds." Sherman is glove-trained and regularly appears in the sanctuary’s educational programs. Anyone with information on the missing owl is asked to contact the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.— Read it from the AP

Birds Give Competitors Evil Eye

In other bird news, a new study finds that jackdaws, a bird in the crow family that is native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, use their bright eyes to deter intruders from their nests. It’s the first time scientists have shown that animals other than primates use their eyes to communicate. Experiments with the birds that were recorded on video by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. found that the jackdaws use their eyes to send a warning message to other birds. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at Live Science

Jogger Helps Rescue Man, Dog From Harbor

Police in Chicago are crediting a passing jogger with saving the life of a dog owner and his Poodle. They said a man was walking his three Poodles near Montrose Harbor on Tuesday night when one of the dogs ran around a retaining wall and onto ice, then fell into the frigid water. Adam Dominik, who was jogging nearby, heard barking and saw the man struggling in the water with his dog. A woman who was out cross-country skiing also heard the commotion and called 911 for help. Meanwhile, Dominik found some rope and threw it to the man, whose name wasn’t released. Dominik was struggling to pull the man and dog to the shore in heavy snowfall when police and fire crews arrived. "He's responsible for a rescue here today," said Police Marine Unit Officer Kevin Kelly. "He did a great job. He was able to pull that victim close to the shoreline, and that allowed us to get our rescue sling down to him and work as a group to get that person up, and then it was a long trek from that shoreline up to the ambulance here." The man was taken to the hospital in serious condition and the dog was expected to survive. — Read it at the Chicago Tribune

Nicknamed "Little Houdini," rescuers worked for an hour to free this cat from under a truck's hood.
Nicknamed "Little Houdini," rescuers worked for an hour to free this cat from under a truck's hood.

“Little Houdini” Rescued From Truck

A man in Jonesville, S.C., was getting into his truck on a cold morning recently when he heard a strange noise coming from under the hood. He discovered that his neighbor’s cat had crawled into the engine compartment to warm up, and got stuck in between the defrost vent and the sidewall. The truck owner called Spartanburg Animal Services, who worked for an hour to gently free the kitty from the engine. The uninjured cat earned himself the nickname “Little Houdini,” and got a big hug from an animal control officer before going home with his owner. — Watch it at USA Today

Gray Seal Pup Thriving After Tough Start

Within two days of her birth on Jan. 21, the animal care team at the National Zoo knew that a gray seal pup wasn’t gaining weight quickly enough, and put a plan in place to supplement mom Kara’s nursing with six bottle feedings a day. And it seems to be working. Now, the 2-week-old pup has nearly doubled her birth weight. The pup’s keepers and veterinarians hope to be able start feeding her more fish and reduce the amount of formula she gets over the next few weeks. The baby is off and swimming happily with her mom. — Watch it at YouTube

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