Pet Scoop: Rare Twin Horses Defy Odds, Endangered Florida Panther Released Into Wild

April 4, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rare twin horses were born on Easter in Georgia.
Rare twin horses were born on Easter in Georgia.

Georgia Horse Gives Birth to Twins

Betty Girl, a horse in Tifton, Ga., got a double blessing on Easter Sunday. She delivered two healthy fillies — something that’s extremely rare for horses. Only about 1 in 10,000 horses have twins, and it’s even more unusual for them to survive birth. But so far, owner Lori Tucker says the duo is doing well. "To come out, the sun was up and they were running around and nursing with mama. And the neighbors were so excited ... it was just ... It was just the most amazing feeling, like I didn't give birth, but I felt like they were mine," Tucker said. Still, Tucker knows that the next few weeks are critical for the fillies, who are learning to bucket feed to supplement mom’s milk. “She's a great mama. She has really taken care of them,” Tucker said. — Watch it at Today

Sheep Hired as Landscapers in Paris

Forget noisy lawn mowers — and their noxious fumes. In an effort to be environmentally friendly, the City of Paris has hired four sheep to take care of a field of grass beside its municipal archives building — and trained the archivists to care for them. The sheep, who are just two feet tall, are a rare diminutive breed, called Ouessant. They’ll pasture in the space from now until October as part of the city’s eco-grazing program. — Read it at The New York Times

Dog Survives 9 Days on Mountain Pass

After her 4-year-old Shar-Pei disappeared during a walk on Independence Pass in Aspen, Colo., Judy Dunn did everything she could to find her. She searched day and night, posted signs and even arranged a helicopter ride to look for Sophie from the above. On Monday morning, nine days after the dog wandered off, her efforts paid off. Dunn got a phone call from Andre Mpitsos, an Aspen resident who had been on the lookout for Sophie after seeing her picture posted along the trail where she was lost. He was walking several dogs when he saw her peering out from behind a tree. “I said, ‘You want a treat?' and she came barreling out,” Mpitsos said. Sophie suffered from some frostbite and had lost weight, but is otherwise recovering well, says her grateful owner. — Read it at the Aspen Times

A panther who was rescued in 2011 is released in Florida.
Florida Fish and Wildlife
A panther who was rescued in 2011 is released in Florida.

Puma Freed in Florida Everglades

The endangered cat, who was rescued as a kitten in 2011 and raised in captivity, bolted from his crate as he was released into a wildlife management area in the Florida Everglades on Wednesday. With only about 100 to 160 panthers left in Florida, “every individual can make a difference,” said Dave Onorato of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “It’s quite a great feeling when you see that animal running free … in the end, he belongs in the wild.” Officials hope that the panther could sire several litters of kittens in his lifetime, helping to add to the state’s puma population. — Watch it at USA Today

Tortoise Goes Missing From Museum

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Iowa says someone has stolen its 18-pound African leopard tortoise named Cashew. Officials say the only way Cashew could get out of the enclosure was if someone climbed over a 4-foot glass wall and took the animal.The staff is reviewing security tapes in the hopes of identifying a suspect. — Read it at AP via ABC News


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