Pet Scoop: Rare Twin Gorillas Surprise Zookeepers, Dog in Lake Photo Turns 20

June 17, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Gorilla mom N'Gayla gave birth to twins at the Burgers' Zoo in The Netherlands last week.
Gorilla mom N'Gayla gave birth to twins at the Burgers' Zoo in The Netherlands last week.

Gorilla Births Shock Keepers

Keepers at the Burgers’ Zoo in the Netherlands knew their 20-year-old gorilla, N’Gayla, was pregnant. But when they arrived at her enclosure on Thursday, they found two surprises. First, she’d delivered much earlier than they’d expected. And second, she’d had twins! “I was watching N’Gayla lick her baby clean, and suddenly she grabbed something from within the straw bedding — another baby gorilla!” said keeper Wilco Limpers. “I really did not know what I saw. Gorilla twins are seen only once or twice every 10 years in European zoos.” The babies’ dad, 23-year-old Bauwi, will play only a small role in their care. But N’Gayla, who’s raised three offspring already, seems to know just what to do. — See more photos at Zooborns

U.S. Family Adopts Photo-Bombing Chilean Dog

Kaylan O’Connor from Seattle, Wash., has quite the souvenir from her cruise’s stop in Valparaíso, Chile. While she and her family were in the city for just 8 hours in February, a stray dog hopped into their family photo, and proceeded to spend the day as their tour guide. O’Connor and her family fell in love with the pooch they named Chili Dog, but had to say goodbye when their ship was departing. After she returned home, O’Connor started searching for someone in Chile to help her find Chili Dog and get him to Seattle. The director of an animal rescue in Chile’s capital agreed to help, and scoured Valparaíso’s large population of homeless dogs to find Chili Dog. It took more than a month find him. The group then had him vaccinated, neutered and prepared to travel. Three months and $2,000 later, the former stray was on a plane to start a new life with the O’Connors in Seattle.  Now, three weeks after his arrival, he’s living comfortably with his new family. — Read it at Life With Dogs

Endangered Frogs Released in California

Researchers reintroduced about 100 mountain yellow-legged froglets into a creek at the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve last week. The small, endangered frogs were born and raised for a year before being released into the wild, said Frank Santana, a researcher with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. This is the first time this species has been reintroduced. "Right away, they were exhibiting natural behaviors," said Santana. “I think they're well positioned to survive." Some of the frogs were outfitted with radio telemetry backpacks so that scientists will be able to track their location and wellbeing. — Read it at Live Science

The dog from a famous photo with his owner in Lake Superior turns 20 years old.
The dog from a famous photo with his owner in Lake Superior turns 20 years old.

Dog From Viral Lake Photo Turns 20

Last summer, Schoep the dog and his owner, John Unger, quickly became famous when this sweet photo of them taking a therapeutic evening swim in Lake Superior went viral. The photo was taken by Unger’s friend, photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, who wanted to capture their special relationship. Unger, a Wisconsin resident, explained at the time that Schoep has arthritis, and the water helps ease his pain and lull him to sleep. They would make trips there every night during the summer months. On Saturday, the dog, who Unger rescued as a puppy, celebrated his 20th birthday with a visit to the lake, lots of sleep and time spent reading the birthday cards that have poured in from all over the country. — Find out more on Facebook

“The Friskies” Seeks Best Cat Videos

Does your cat deserve to win the Oscars of cat videos? Cat food maker Friskies is bringing you “The Friskies” awards for a second year. The winner in each of four categories — cat comedy, “catventure,” rescue cat and pursuit of food — as well as a fan favorite from 12 finalists, will win a $5,000 cash prize. Last year’s winner was the much-loved Oskar the Blind Cat. This year’s awards show will be hosted by comedian and cat lover Michael Ian Black, on Oct. 15 in New York City. Get your entries in by July 15 to be considered for the awards. — Enter at


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