Pet Scoop: Rescued Bobcat Prepares for Wild, Author Offers Unique Reward for Lost Dog

Dec. 28, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Chips, a bobcat kitten, is too nice for the wild.
AP
Chips, a bobcat kitten, is too nice for the wild.

Trainers Show Bobcat Tough Love

She’s sweet as pie and has a penchant for buddying up to humans. While those are good qualities in most kittens, they’re not traits that will help Chips, an orphaned bobcat kitten who was found burned by a wildfire and rescued by firefighters in August, if she is returned to the wild. So, her trainers at the Sierra Wildlife Rescue in northern California are trying to “wild her up” with some tough love. They’ve introduced her to some snarling male bobcats, and squirt her with water if she tries to get near a human. "If you have a friendly bobcat in the wild, that's not going to work," said volunteer Jill Tripoli. Now, Chips hides when humans approach — but she’ll still stick her head out to take a peek. — Read it at The Sacramento Bee

Dragonflies Show Human-Like Concentration

A new study of dragonflies is the first to find brain cells devoted to selective attention, or the ability to screen out other visual information to focus on a target, in an invertebrate animal. "Once the dragonfly has selected a target, its neuron activity filters out all other potential prey. The dragonfly then swoops in on its prey — they get it right 97 percent of the time,” said Steven Wiederman, of the University of Adelaide in Australia. The study was published in the journal Current Biology.— Read it at Live Science

Baby Loggerhead Arrives in Monterey

One of nine late loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings rescued from a nest on North Carolina beaches is making its home across the country at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium. The 4-month-old turtle is on loan from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. It will spend about two years living at Monterey, where the aquarium will highlight the dangers facing sea turtles, before returning to North Carolina to be released into its natural habitat. Experts will take a “hands-off” approach to caring for the turtle, to prepare for its release. It arrived at the aquarium on Dec. 20 and will soon make its public debut. — See photos at Zooborns

Xiao Liwu plays during his 19th exam at the San Diego Zoo.
Xiao Liwu plays during his latest exam at the San Diego Zoo.

It’s Panda Playtime!

Here’s a “little gift” for you: video of the San Diego Zoo’s latest exam of its increasingly adorable panda cub. Five-month-old Xiao Liwu, whose name means little gift, eats bamboo and plays with new toys while hamming it up for the cameras at his 19th exam on Thursday. — Watch it on YouTube and see photos on Flickr

Dennis Lehane Offers to Name Character as Lost Dog Reward

The best-selling novelist, who’s known for writing Mystic River, which became an Oscar-winning movie, made a plea for help in finding his lost Beagle on his Facebook page. Tessa jumped the fence of his suburban Boston home on Christmas Eve. “Naming of character in the next book for anyone who gets her back to us! (No, really!),” he posted on Facebook. There’s been an outpouring of support from Lehane’s fans, but as of Friday, Tessa hadn’t been found yet. — Read it at ABC News

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