Pet Scoop: Russia Takes Big Step to Save Big Cats, State Could Ban Pets From Drivers’ Laps

April 11, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

WWF International
Russia hopes to save the endangered Amur leopard by creating a new national park in the country.

Russia Plans New National Park to Save Leopards

With only about 40 Amur leopards left in the wild, the Russian government announced that it would spend $16.6 million to create the Land of the Leopard National Park in the country’s Far East region, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The 650,000-acre park includes 60 percent of the species’ habitat, along with breeding areas. — Read it at CNN

Plus: The world’s rarest ducks hatch at a breeding center in Madagascar. — See the photos at the Huffington Post

Should a Dog Be Allowed to Ride on a Driver’s Lap?

Legislation introduced in Rhode Island would prohibit people from driving with a pet in their lap, a distraction that proponents say is similar to texting or talking on a phone while driving. If the bill passes, anyone caught with a pet at the wheel would be fined $85 for the first offense, and $100 for a second transgression. Similar legislation in other states, including California and Tennessee, hasn’t passed. — Read it at the LA Times

A 400-pound bear in California, dubbed "Glen Bearian," is back where he belongs: the woods.

Neighborhood-Roaming Bear Returns to the Forest

A 400-pound black bear who has frequented the Glendale, Calif., neighborhood in search of food for the last month was captured on Tuesday. The bear, who even had a Twitter feed called the “Glen Bearian,” had one last tweet before he was brought back home: "We got to stop at In-N-Out on the way to the woods!" — Read it at the LA Times and watch it at KABC

Pet Hospital Chain Offers Genetic Test for Mixed-Breed Dogs

Although it may be fun to wonder exactly which breeds make up your beloved mutt, the information can be invaluable to their health, too. Banfield Pet Hospital locations are now offering a genetic test that can identify a mixed-breed dog’s genetic traits. — Read it at Petside

Band Backs Out of Show After Singer Sustains a Cat Bite

Cold Chisel guitarist and singer Ian Moss said that his band was forced to cancel a show in Melbourne, Australia, this week because his own kitty bit his finger. "Sorry to be a pussy," he told fans from his hospital bed. — Read it at The Sydney Morning Herald

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