Pet Scoop: Students Rescue Trapped Koala, Blond Sea Turtles Show Up in Florida

Sept. 19, 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 group of students in Australia helped this koala climb out of a mine shaft.
A group of students in Australia helped this koala climb out of a mine shaft.

Aussie Students Save a Koala Stuck in a Mine Shaft

A group of 16 outdoor education students from the University of Ballarat in Australia got a hands-on lesson when they found a koala trapped more than 16 feet down a mine shaft during a visit to the Lal Lal State Forest. The quick-thinking students lowered a fallen tree into the hole for the koala to climb up. Just as he was reaching the top, he fell back into the hole — but he quickly recovered, climbed out and then scurried off. "We were so relieved that he made it out, then also really excited and proud of what we had accomplished," said student Luke Parker. — Watch it at Australia’s Herald Sun

FDA Issues Another Chicken Jerky Warning for Pets

Since 2007, the FDA has received 2,200 reports of pet illnesses that may be related to eating chicken jerky sold as treats, tenders and strips, among other varieties. In the last 18 months, the reports have contained information on 360 dog deaths and one cat death. Although the FDA has been investigating the reports, which have come from all 50 states and Canada, the agency has found no definitive cause.

The FDA warns owners to watch for the following signs of illness if a pet consumes chicken jerky: “decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination.” The agency has not issued a recall, but it reminds owners that “jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets.” — Read the FDA’s complete warning

It’s "Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week"

Petfinder is spotlighting the need to find homes for pets who are harder to place, including senior animals, pets with disabilities and illnesses, Pit Bulls, black cats and dogs and animals with other issues that have made it more difficult than usual to locate a home for them. — Find out more about this special week at Petfinder

Kitten Rescued From a Storm Drain Is Named Drano

Thanks to the streets department and the police in Jamestown, N.D., a 1-month-old kitten was rescued from a storm drain. “The kitten was so tiny that there would be no way for him to figure out how to get out or get back with his group of kittens,” said animal control officer Rebecca Johnson. The kitty was dubbed Drano following his adventure. — Watch it at Today

Cream-Colored Turtle Hatchlings Spotted in Florida

Two leucistic sea turtle hatchlings have been found in recent weeks on Florida’s shores. "It's a lack of pigment, so it's not exactly like albinism," said Melissa Ranly, the director of sea turtle rehabilitation at the Volusia Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet. One of the rare hatchlings was strong enough to go out to sea, and Ranly’s group nursed the second one back to health before releasing the turtle into the ocean. "The biggest concern is that they don't have UV protection, so they can end up with sunburns and cancers and . . . they're pretty obvious to their predators," said Ranly. — See the photo at ABC News via Yahoo

Veteran’s Beloved Missing Service Dog Is Found

U.S. Army veteran Josh Merrell has had many sleepless nights since his 3-year-old Labrador Retriever, Raven, took off from his car following an accident in Farmington, N.Y., on Sept. 9. The service dog helps Merrell to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. An employee of a local business found Raven on Tuesday, and contacted Merrell. “I’m really excited to have her back home,” said Merrell. “She looks great — she looks like she’s in great shape.” — Read it at WHEC

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