Pet Scoop: Stray Dog Helps Save 3-Year-Old Girl, Walrus Found 2,000 Miles From Home

March 5, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A stray dog in Poland is credited with saving a lost girl's life by keeping her warm overnight.
A stray dog in Poland is credited with saving a lost girl's life by keeping her warm overnight.
“Hero” Dog Keeps Lost Girl Warm

Rescuers in Poland are crediting a small black dog with saving the life of a missing 3-year-old girl. Julia’s family members say the girl was last seen playing with the stray dog, Czarue, in her backyard before the two disappeared into a nearby forest on Friday. When rescuers found her the next morning, she was crying and hugging the small black dog while lying in a moist marsh. Overnight temperatures had dropped to 23 degrees, and officials say the dog kept Julia alive by keeping her warm, and alerting them to her location. "This dog is the most important part of this story," firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski told Reuters. "He is a hero. It is thanks to this dog that the girl survived the night." Julia suffered from light frostbite in her ordeal. — Read it at the Global Post

Police Dog Accidentally Fires Handgun

Ivan, a K-9 search dog in Massachusetts, found a handgun that had been ditched in a snow bank on Saturday morning — and then fired it with his paw as he indicated its location to his handler.  The dog is trained “to paw” if he finds something, and he apparently discharged a bullet when he did that. "Everyone on the scene was startled, including Ivan," laughed Lawrence Police Chief John Romero. No one was injured in the incident. — Watch it at CNN

Camera Traps Snap First Pictures of Baby Giant Armadillo

Researchers in Brazil managed to capture the first images ever of a baby giant armadillo by using camera traps to photograph a burrow. The animals are found throughout South America, and they are so elusive that very little is known about them. "Documenting the birth of a giant armadillo is an exciting step forward [in] helping us better understand the biology and reproduction of this cryptic species," said Arnaud Desbiez, coordinator of the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project. — See photo at National Geographic

A walrus was found 2,000 miles from the North Pole, on a Scottish island.
A walrus was found 2,000 miles from the North Pole, on a Scottish island.

Walrus Found Snoozing on Island

A very tired, young male walrus was found sleeping on a Scottish island, some 2,000 miles from his home in the North Pole. He slumbered away while a crowd of onlookers gathered around him. “Just the size of it, we could not quite comprehend,” said one local. “Quite a bit bigger than the average seal!” No one is sure exactly how the walrus wound up on the island. — Watch it at NBC News

A Panda-Themed Hotel?

Claiming to be the world’s first panda-themed hotel, the establishment at the foot of Emei Mountain in China’s Sichuan province officially opens its doors in May. No, you won’t get to see the cuddly creatures themselves. Instead, you’ll find plenty of panda décor, stuffed pandas everywhere you look  — and staff members dressed in black and white panda suits. — See photos at Yahoo

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