Pet Scoop: Stranded Sea Lion Pups Overwhelm Rescue Shelter, Iditarod Winner Breaks Record

March 13, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Dozens of sea lions are being cared for at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Orange County, Calif.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center
Dozens of sea lions are being cared for at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Orange County, Calif.

Marine Center Nears Capacity

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., declared a state of emergency after rescuing 18 stranded sea lions over the weekend. The center is nearing capacity — and 84 of its 86 current patients are sea lions. Most of the sea lions coming ashore are malnourished and dehydrated pups who are 8 to 9 months old, the Laguna Beach center said. “The last time we had this many sea lions this early in the year was 15 years ago,” said Michele Hunter, the center’s director of animal care. “We are seriously concerned about the pace at which animals are stranding, and having the resources to keep up.” In Los Angeles County, the Marine Mammal Care Center is also seeing an influx, but it’s unclear why the surge is happening this year. Caretakers are working to help the animals recover enough to be returned home. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times

At 53, Musher Becomes Iditarod’s Oldest Champ

As he crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska, with his 10 dogs on Tuesday night, Mitch Seavey became the oldest winner of the 1,000-mile sled dog race. This is the second win for Seavey, who last took first in 2004. His son, Dallas, set a record last year when he became the youngest ever to win the Iditarod, at age 25. "Some of those 45-plussers are taking back the lead this year,” said race spokeswoman Erin McLarnon. “They are showing the young 'uns what they can really do out there on that trail." — Read it at USA Today

Cat Food Recalled in 25 States

Diamond Pet Foods is recalling several of its dry cat food formulas after the products tested low for thiamine or vitamin B1, an essential nutrient for cats. Early signs of thiamine deficiency include a lack of appetite, vomiting, weight loss and salivation. Details about the recalled products can be found at the web sites for Diamond Pet Foods and Premium Edge. Cat owners who have the recalled food are advised to discard it immediately. — Read it at PawNation

Wesa, a condor chick, is being raised with the help of a hand puppet.
Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Wesa, a condor chick, is being raised with the help of a hand puppet.

Season’s First Condor Chick Hatches in San Diego

The endangered chick hatched on Feb. 24 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the zoo announced this week. Because the California condor, named Wesa, will eventually be released into the wild, keepers are using a hand puppet when caring for the bird. “We do not want it imprinting on people or getting used to us when it goes out into the wild,” explains senior condor keeper Rob Webb. “We want it to be a nice, wild animal, not relying on people for food.” The Safari Park has released more than 80 condors into the wild since it began its breeding program in the 1980s. — Read it at Live Science

Corgi Actress Fired From London Play

For a Corgi, 7-year-old Lizzy had the role of a lifetime: playing one of Queen Elizabeth II’s famous dogs in a production called The Audience in London’s West End. But when the canine actress refused to obey the queen — played by actress Helen Mirren — in 16 preview performances, the play’s director thought a casting change was in order. Lizzy has been replaced by 5-year-old Coco, who runs to Mirren on stage when he’s called. "I think [Lizzy] decided she didn't want to be an actress any more," joked the play's director, Stephen Daldry. — Read it at People Pets


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