Pet Scoop: Snow-Covered Bald Eagle Eggs Hatch, Rush of Donations for Bruce Almighty

March 26, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Two bald eaglets have hatched in a closely-watched nest in Pennsylvania.
Two bald eaglets have hatched in a closely-watched nest in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Eaglets Arrive

Earlier this month, a pair of bald eagles made headlines as they sat in their snow-covered nest protecting their eggs in Pennsylvania State Park in Hanover. The eagles have gained a huge following online, including more than half a million regular viewers of their live web cam. The female laid two eggs in February, and in the last two days, both of the squirming gray eaglets have hatched. Their progress is being followed on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Facebook page, where followers caught a video of the first eaglet doing a “face-plant into a shell” in the nest as it got its bearings. But they said, “It's amazing how much coordination the first eaglet gained in one day!” The eaglets are expected to be able to fly and leave their nest by late June or early July. — Read it at Reuters

Study: “Attractive” Male Birds Don’t Pass on Best Genes

New research finds that good-looking male birds who mate with many females aren’t passing along their best genes to their offspring. The researchers found that the birds’ promiscuity leads to minor genetic flaws that may limit how well future generations can adapt to change in their environment. “A male may be attractive to a female and fight hard to mate with her but he doesn't deliver at the genetic level. As a result, his descendants will be less fit,” said study author Judith Mank of University College London. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at Science Daily

Police Dog’s Death Inspires New Law

It was nearly 17 years ago that a Tennessee police K9 was shot and killed during a bank robbery, saving the lives of fellow officers by distracting the culprit. Now his death may lead to a change in the state law. If the state legislature passes “Aron’s Law,” it would become a felony to intentionally kill a police, fire or search-and-rescue animal. "This bill is named Aron's Law, but this is for every dog that's ever been killed in the line of duty, injured in the line of duty, and it's for every K9 that's working out here now,” said Aron’s partner, Officer Terry Burnett. He said he hopes a stronger penalty might make a criminal think twice about harming a working dog. — Read it at USA Today

Bruce Almighty has gone through hours of surgery to save his legs after being rescued.
Bruce Almighty has gone through hours of surgery to save his legs after being rescued.

Bruce Almighty Shows His Strength

The Regina Humane Society in Canada says it’s been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support it’s received for an abused cat who was found last week with his paws and legs bound in electrical tape. His rescuers named him Bruce Almighty for “his fierce determination and will to live.” The cat endured hours of surgery in an attempt to save his legs, and had eight toes removed. His story has gone viral, and a GoFundMe page created with a goal of raising $5,000 for his care has now brought in nearly $20,000 from more than 650 people in just five days. “Given the state he was found in nearly a week ago, his progress is very encouraging,” said the Regina Humane Society in a Facebook update Wednesday. They said Bruce Almighty even showed his caretakers he could walk, despite the large bandages on three of his legs. “He continues to eat and drink well, enjoys interacting with us throughout the day and of course takes his cat naps quite seriously.” — Get the latest from the Regina, Canada, Humane Society via Facebook

Florida Officer Reunites Pit Bull With Owners

On Tuesday morning, the Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office got reports of a large Pit Bull on the loose and worrying neighbors. “Upon arrival, the deputy discovered that this wonderful dog was just out looking for friends to play with,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook, with a photo of the smiley dog. “After sufficient playtime and fun, deputies were able to reunite the dog with his owners. A gate was accidentally left open and this beautiful dog was able to be taken back to his loving home.” The post got thousands of “likes” and hundreds of comments, with many thanking the officer for “not assuming that all Pit Bulls are bad.” — See the photos at Facebook


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