Pet Scoop: Sheepdogs Save Endangered Penguins, Five Arctic Wolf Pups Born

June 4, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Two Maremma sheepdogs have helped keep foxes from endangered penguins on an Australian island.
Two Maremma sheepdogs have helped keep foxes from endangered penguins on an Australian island.

Dogs Guard Island’s Little Penguins

Seven years ago, a pair of Maremma sheepdogs got a new assignment: to keep invasive red foxes away from endangered Little Penguins on Australia’s Middle Island. And it’s working. Since 2006, the population of the world’s smallest penguin species has skyrocketed from 10 to 200. According to a report by the Nature Glenelg Trust, which monitors the project, no foxes have killed penguins during that time. The dogs, which were bred to guard against wolves in Italy, scared the baby penguins at first when they tried to herd them back to their nests — but that behavior was quickly changed. — Read it at Live Science

Study: Chimps Have Five Personality Dimensions

In a study published in the American Journal of Primatology, researchers say there are five universal personality dimensions in chimps: reactivity or undependability, dominance, openness, extraversion and agreeableness with a possible sixth factor, methodical, which needs more investigation. The research may help caretakers for chimpanzees to predict certain types of behavior and better tailor their care based on each animal’s personality. — Read it at Science Daily

Police Dog Bids Farewell to Partner

Just yesterday, we told you about how a touching photo of a police department saluting Kaiser the police dog in his final moments had gone viral. At the same time, another police dog was making headlines as he said goodbye to his handler at a funeral in Kentucky. Photographer Jonathan Palmer spoke out on Monday about capturing a moving photo of the loyal K9, Figo, putting his paw on the casket at the funeral service for Officer Jason Ellis, 33, who was killed in the line of duty. “I was teary-eyed. I couldn't see through a clear lens at that point,” Palmer said. “It seemed like the dog was aware of what was going on … His mannerisms, his posture. He went to the casket and put his paw on it. It was like he was inspecting it.” — See photo at Today

One of the five pups explores with its mom in Denmark.
One of the five pups explores with its mom in Denmark.

Arctic Wolf Pups Born in Denmark

For the second year in a row, a litter of five pups was born to the Knuthenborg Safari Park’s 4-year-old female wolf — catching her keepers by surprise. "This time we did not know she was pregnant when we never saw any mating,” said keeper Lisbeth Høgh. The thriving pups were born at the end of April and are just beginning to emerge from their den to play and nurse. Arctic Wolves are the only subspecies of Gray Wolf that is not threatened and can still be found in its original range, a harsh and remote habitat. — Read it at Zooborns

Karl Lagerfeld Professes Love for Cat, Again

In an interview with CNN, the fashion designer who’s spoiled his fluffy white cat, Choupette, with iPads, silver table settings and personal maids, said he’d marry his pet if he could. “There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals,” Lagerfeld said. “I never thought that I would fall in love like this with a cat.” The interview with Alina Cho airs on CNN tonight in an episode of Fashion Week: Backstage Pass. — Read it at Vanity Fair


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