Pet Scoop: Three Rare Tiger Cubs Born in Tampa, Dog Alerts Owner to House Fire

May 3, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

One of the three Malayan tiger cubs is weighed at Busch Gardens Tampa.
Busch Gardens Tampa
One of the three Malayan tiger cubs is weighed at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Endangered Cubs Doing Well

The trio of critically endangered cubs born atBusch Gardens Tampais now just over a month old, and being monitored around the clock by caretakers. The two males and one female each weigh between 6 and 7 pounds. There are only an estimated 500 Malayan tigers left in the wild, and these cubs are the first to be born at Busch Gardens — as well as the first offspring for both mom Bzui and dad Mata. One of the male cubs is currently suffering from anemia and a rare, benign skin condition, but their keepers are hopeful that they’ll be able to start introducing the felines to their Jungala habitat in about a month. — Read it at the Busch Gardens Tampa Blog

Dwarf Lemurs Hibernate in Madagascar

Scientists have discovered that two species of the primates — the Crossley's dwarf lemur and Sibree's dwarf lemur — hibernate for 7 months out of the year. Previously, the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur was believed to be the only hibernating primate. Researchers from the Duke Lemur Center found that dwarf lemurs on the eastern side of Madagascar burrow into the soft rainforest floor to snooze, while the ones on the western side of the island hide in tree holes. They said seeing the behavior in a tropical rainforest was especially unusual, as most mammals who hibernate live in frigid arctic areas. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Live Science

Cat Adopted After Surviving Two Weeks in Tree

For two weeks, a black tuxedo cat made his home in a tree at a soccer field in Pennsylvania. Susan Raikowski, who often visits the park to watch her grandson’s soccer games, said she started going to the field each morning before work to try to lure the kitty to the ground, to no avail. Even police and rescue groups couldn’t do it. Meanwhile, her grandson’s soccer team, the Broncos, became inspired by the resident cat. "When we looked up in the tree, he gave us confidence to play our best," said Raikowski's grandson Luigi Malo, 11. Finally, firefighters rescued the cat this week, and the Raikowski family quickly adopted him. They’ve named him Bronco, and Malo hopes he’ll be a mascot for his team. — Read it at NBC Philadelphia

Oz, a Cocker Spaniel, is credited with saving his owner from a house fire.
Oz, a Cocker Spaniel, is credited with saving his owner from a house fire.

Hero Dog Saves Owner

Randy Merlo of Mount Carmel, Pa., says he was fast asleep early Wednesday when his 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Oz, woke him up to alert him to a fire in the other side of the two-family home where he lives. The fire, which started in the basement of the side of the house that’s vacant, eventually spread to Merlo’s own home. "He was nudging me, and I smelled smoke and we left," Merlo said. "Saved my life, yes, he probably did." — Watch it at Pennsylvania’s WNEP

Chihuahuas Ready to Run

Cinco de Mayo has gone to the dogs. Nearly 100 Chihuahuas will celebrate their Mexican ties on Saturday at the 2nd annual Running of the Chihuahuas at a stadium in Washington, D.C. The top dog will get a $150 prize, and the event is a fundraiser for PAWS of Southwest to build a new dog park. In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, other dog breeds can take part in the festivities, too. There will be contests for the best dressed dog and best doggie trick. — Read it at the Huffington Post


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