Pet Scoop: Surfer Escapes Shark Attack on Live TV, Dog and Owners Rescued From Cliff

July 20, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Australia pro surfer Mick Fanning fought off a shark attack at a competition in South Africa Sunday.
Australia pro surfer Mick Fanning fought off a shark attack at a competition in South Africa Sunday.

Close Call for Pro Surfer

Australian surfer Mick Fanning was waiting in the water during a competition in South Africa Sunday when a shark came up from behind him and attacked. Amazingly, Fanning was able to escape the attack unscathed, and he and another surfer who was in the water at the time were quickly picked up by safety boats. "Before I knew it, the boat was there, the jet skis were there ... I just can’t believe it," Fanning said. "To walk away from that, I'm just so stoked.” The chilling moments were captured on live TV, and the video of the incident went viral Sunday. The remainder of the J-Bay Open was cancelled. "Mick's composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable — they are truly world class at what they do," the World Surfing League said in a statement. — Watch it at ABC News

Study: Polar Bears Don’t Go Into “Walking Hibernation”

A new multiyear study found no evidence that polar bears go into a hibernation-like state during the summer when food on land is scarce — a theory that scientists had long considered a possibility. “We didn’t find anything that looks like hibernation,” said researcher John P. Whiteman, a biologist at the University of Wyoming. Walking hibernation would be a defense to help the bears get through summers that are becoming increasingly long due to climate change. A report on the research was published in the journal Science. — Read it at The New York Times

Rehabilitated Sea Turtle Released

Several hundred fans cheered as Aaron, a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, was returned to the ocean in the Florida Keys Friday. The turtle was found in March in a boat basin in Key Largo. He was treated at the Turtle Hospital in the Keys for an intestinal impaction and parasites in his digestive system and was fitted with a satellite-tracking transmitter before his release. He’s going to be one of 12 turtles to be part of the Tour de Turtles contest, which will track the reptiles for three months starting in August. The turtle to go the furthest distance in three months wins the competition. — Read it from the AP via Tampa’s WTSP

Duke, a young Bloodhound, and his owners were rescued after sliding down a cliff in Oregon.
Duke, a young Bloodhound, and his owners were rescued after sliding down a cliff in Oregon.

Bloodhound and Owners Rescued

Duke, a 22-month-old Bloodhound, and his owners were rescued in the wee hours of the morning Saturday after sliding 150 feet down a cliff while they were out hiking near the Clackamas River in northwestern Oregon. Local police and firefighters and several rescue groups including the Oregon Humane Society’s Technical Animal Rescue Team, worked together to save the huge dog and his humans. “Great teamwork, and best wishes for Duke and his family!” the Oregon Humane Society posted on Facebook, along with several photos from the scene. — See photos from the Oregon Humane Society via Facebook

Kitten Survives 24 Hours in Car Engine

Firefighters in Maryland performed a delicate operation to free a kitten from behind a car radiator Saturday morning. The car’s owner walked into the firehouse at about 10 a.m., after seeing something dangling from his Honda. Firefighters found the kitten behind a radiator fan, among air conditioning tubing. “We think she was in the car for about 24 hours,” said Chillum-Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department deputy chief John Guyton, reported the Washington Post. “He had been driving around with the cat in the engine … She was very cranky when we finally got her out.” Although she suffered scrapes and a burn, veterinarians said the kitten would be OK. — Read it from the AP via Washington’s WUSA 9


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