Pet Scoop: Rescue Dog Saved From Frigid Lake, NIH to Retire Last 50 Research Chimps

Nov. 20, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, firefighters saved shelter dog Mister from a marsh by a frigid lake.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, firefighters saved shelter dog Mister from a marsh by a frigid lake.

Firefighters Rescue Shelter Dog

A 7-year-old Shiba Inu named Mister had a dramatic rescue this week, after escaping from a shelter worker. The pooch, who hadn’t been staying with Secondhand Hounds Animal Rescue for long, was out for a walk when he slipped out of his collar — and took off for a frigid Minnesota lake. “He wasn't the kind of dog at that point that would come back to us really easily,” said the group’s Shannon Bixby-Pankretz. He came back toward the shore, but wasn’t able to get through the deep marsh at the water’s edge, so the rescue called the Eden Prairie Fire Department. Wearing cold water rescue suits, they walked through the marsh and found Mister unable to move in the mud and brought him safely back to his caretakers. “He seemed pretty happy so that was enough to know that he was thankful,” said Bixby-Pankretz. Mister is staying with Secondhand Hounds and is available for adoption through Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue. — Watch it at Minnesota’s Fox 9

Study: Colorful Birds Have Invisible Tap Dance Courting Ritual

Using high-speed video recordings, researchers have found that colorful East African cordon-bleu songbirds perform tap dances during their courting rituals that are so fast, humans can’t see them. Both males and females dance, bob and sing while courting, all while holding a piece of nesting material in their beaks. The males tended to dance more often and bob more quickly. The study by researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Live Science

Panda Cub to Debut in January

The National Zoo’s 12.5-pound bouncing baby boy is getting ready to meet an adoring public in early 2016. The zoo announced panda cub Bei Bei will make his debut on Jan. 16. Meanwhile, he’s busy nursing and working on his walking skills. He recently took his first steps on a rock formation in his exhibit, but getting traction on the slippery floor of the panda house has been more of a challenge. His keepers said that when he’s held by his mom, Mei Xiang, he makes a happy grunting noise to indicate he feels secure. The Washington zoo also announced this week that its panda breeding agreement has been extended to the year 2020. — Read it at the National Zoo and see photos via Flickr


NIH Ends Chimp Research Program

The U.S. National Institutes of Health said this week that the last 50 chimpanzees it has held in reserve will be sent to sanctuaries to retire, as it ceases its chimp program altogether. Two years ago, the NIH retired 310 chimps, but had kept this colony of 50 who could be used in a public health emergency. “I think this is the natural next step of what has been a very thoughtful five-year process of trying to come to terms with the benefits and risks of trying to perform research with these very special animals,” said NIH director Francis Collins. “We reached a point where in that five years the need for research has essentially shrunk to zero.” Animal rights activists were thrilled with the decision. Some of the chimps will go to live at Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Louisiana. — Read it at Nature

Injured Plover Hand-Raised by Zoo

A fluffy plover was only a week old when she was found by the side of a busy road in Australia and brought to the Wildlife Hospital at Taronga Zoo in Sydney for help. The baby was named Grover and has been nursed back to health and hand-raised by a bird keeper at the zoo. Whenever possible, animals treated by the zoo’s Wildlife Hospital are released back into the wild. — See photos at Zooborns


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