Pet Scoop: Rescued Sea Otter Gets a Home, Curious Cub Poses for Camera Trap

March 27, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A female sea otter pup has a new home at the Vancouver Aquarium.
A female sea otter pup has a new home at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Name Needed for New Otter

In October, there were multiple sightings of a sea otter pup on a road near Homer, Alaska. When efforts to find the 8-week-old pup’s mom failed, she was rescued by the Alaska SeaLife Center, where she got around-the-clock care from both the team there and a rotating group of specialists from the Vancouver Aquarium. The pup is unable to be released, so now she has a new permanent home at the Vancouver Aquarium, where she’s adjusting well, in part because of the special bond she developed with her caregivers during her rehabilitation. And, she’s getting along well with her new companion, Tanu, a female sea otter who was rescued by the SeaLife Center in 2004. Now, all the pup needs is a name. Her rescuers have come up with three options, all related to her home state: Katmai, Susitna or Glacier. — Find out how to vote from the Vancouver Aquarium

High Court Limits Drug-Sniffing Dogs

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police need to obtain a search warrant before drug-sniffing dogs can enter a private property. The court ruled on Tuesday that when police brought a drug dog to the front door of a Florida house that they suspected was being used to grow marijuana, they violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the homeowner. Police used the dog’s alert that he smelled narcotics, combined with other evidence, to obtain a search warrant in the case. But in a 5-4 decision, the majority of justices said that the officers needed a warrant before bringing their dog, Franky, onto the property. — Read it at The Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo

Two New Lemur Species Identified

Scientists have found two new teacup-sized species of mouse lemur in Madagascar. That brings the number of mouse lemur species to 20, making them the most diverse group of lemurs. But the grey-brown primates look so much alike that their differences can only be identified with genetic sequencing. The tiny new lemurs weigh just 2.5 to 3 ounces, and were first captured in 2003 and 2007. The study was published online in the International Journal of Primatology. — Read it at Science Daily

A tiger cub checks out a camera trap at an Indian park.
Ullas Karanth / WCS
A tiger cub checks out a camera trap at an Indian park.

Wild Tiger Cub Investigates Camera

A cub estimated to be 4 or 5 months old walked right up to a remote camera set up in India's Bhadra Tiger Reserve, giving the Wildlife Conservation Society this beautiful image. The WCS, which helped place the cameras, says their surveys show that the park is an example of tiger conversation success and that tiger numbers are rising. Using the cameras, WCS is able to identify the tigers by their stripes, which are unique to each of them. — Read it at Live Science

Plus: In other conservation news, a new paper published in the journal Ecology Letters by top lion experts argues that the best way to save African lions is to fence them in, away from people and livestock. — Read it at The New York Times

Two Giant Pandas Arrive in Canada

A special delivery arrived at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Monday: a FedEx plane carrying a pair of pandas from China. Their arrival marks the start of a 10-year loan of the bears to two Canadian zoos. Er Shun, a 5-year-old female panda, and her potential mate, 4-year-old Da Mao, will spend the first five years at the Metro Toronto Zoo before moving to Calgary for the second half of their stay. The two got VIP (Very Important Panda) treatment upon their arrival, when they were welcomed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, as well as the Chinese ambassador to Canada. The country hasn’t had pandas in its zoos in more than 20 years. — See photos at Yahoo News


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