Pet Scoop: Sea Lion Pup Found 100 Miles Inland, Chimps Use Strong Wood for Beds

April 17, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Hoppie is recovering from his inland adventure at The Marine Mammal Center in California.
Hoppie is recovering from his inland adventure at The Marine Mammal Center in California.

Lost Sea Lion Found on Farm

A sea lion pup nicknamed Hoppie was found 100 miles from the ocean near a massive farming operation in Modesto, Calif., last month. He’s now getting around-the-clock care at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. "When I found it, it was actively moving along the edge of a farm field road,” said Eric Hopson of the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, which is located near the farm. "The animal had already walked at least half a mile from the river and was obviously confused." The pup had hopped about a mile from the San Joaquin River before he was spotted by surprised ranch workers. A volunteer from the mammal center coaxed Hoppie, who’s less than a year old, into a wire cage. The 36-pound sea lion was brought back to Sausalito, where he’s getting treatment for his open sores and eating five pounds of fish a day. He needs to gain weight before he can be returned to the wild. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times

Study: Chimps Like a Firm Bed

A new study finds that much like humans, chimpanzees want a good night’s sleep. So, they build their nests in trees using the strongest, leafiest branches they can find. U.S. researchers examined 1,844 chimps’ nests in Uganda's Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, and found that the animals had selected Ugandan ironwood for nearly 74 percent of the nests even though that species accounted for only about 10 percent of the trees in the area. Researchers found that Ugandan ironwood branches had the highest rating of stiffness and bending strength of the seven most commonly used tree species. They’re suggesting that the chimps choose the ironwood because it has the lowest risk of breaking and causing a fall, and the branches are leafy enough to be comfortable. "This suggests that for apes there is something inherently attractive about a comfortable bed — down to what kind of wood you use to make it,” said the University of Nevada's David Samson. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at NBC News

Rehabbed Bobcat to Be Released

A young bobcat rescued after being hit by a car in San Jose, Calif., in November is ready to be released back into the wild following a breakthrough surgery. In an unusual procedure for a wild animal, a metal plate was placed into the bobcat’s damaged thigh to stabilize her two fractures. “This procedure is typically not done on wild animals that are going to be released,” said Janet Alexander of the Wildlife Center Silicon Valley, where the bobcat was rehabilitated. The feline was between 6 and 9 months old when she was injured, which is the age that bobcats tend to separate from their mothers and venture out on their own. “We really hope this cat will continue to thrive in her release environment and successfully live out her life where she belongs — in the wild,” Alexander said. The group plans to let the bobcat go on Tuesday night. — Read it at NBC Bay Area

Storm was rescued by firefighters after falling into an open storm drain.
Storm was rescued by firefighters after falling into an open storm drain.

Puppy Rescued From Storm Drain

It took firefighters in St. Louis, Mo., three hours on Wednesday to save a 2-month-old teacup Chihuahua from a storm drain. Cocoa Young was visiting her brother when the pup, aptly named Storm, tried to jump over the open drain and fell in. The firefighters tried to lure the puppy toward the hole using dog food and bacon, “but he was pretty obstinate,” said firefighter Adam Solomon. The crews called the humane society and the city’s sewer department for help, and decided to pump water to get the puppy out. Finally, they were able to capture him and pull him to safety. "Thank you, like, ten times thank you," Young told the rescuers. The pipe was covered after the incident, and Young was taking Storm to the vet to be checked out. — Watch it at My Fox Philly

Rare White Tigers Born in Argentina

Three white Bengal tigers were born to mom Cleo and dad Rhiano at the Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentina on Jan. 16. On Wednesday, the triplets were outside in their yard, showing off for photographers. While the two females are white with prominent black stripes, their brother has a coat that’s almost all white. All three have bright blue eyes. Kids who visit the zoo are now taking part in a naming contest for the trio of cubs. — See photos at Yahoo


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