Pet Scoop: Tiger Cubs Pass Their Swim Test, Grumpy Cat Meets Disney’s Grumpy Dwarf

Nov. 7, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Sukacita, the female tiger cub, proves she can swim at the National Zoo.
Sukacita, the female tiger cub, proves she can swim at the National Zoo.

Tiger Cubs Take Their First Dip

Bandar and his sister, Sukacita, weren’t thrilled with the idea of going swimming at the National Zoo — but they showed they could do it. The 13-week-old Sumatran tiger cubs were placed in the water on Wednesday and quickly swam to the side and climbed right out. “Tigers are one of the few species of cats that enjoy taking a dip in water,” said the zoo’s curator of great cats, Craig Saffoe. “The moat exists for the safety of our visitors, but it could present an obstacle for young cats. Our job is to make sure that if the cubs venture into the moat, they know how and where to get out.”The cubs had to show they could do this before their public debut in the exhibit with their mom, Dubai, on Nov. 18. “These cubs represent hope for their critically endangered species’ future, so we need to take every precaution to ensure their survival,” Saffoe said. There are only an estimated 400 to 500 of the species left in the wild. — Read it at Today and watch video on YouTube

Rare Right Whale Spotted Off Canadian Coast

A highly endangered North Pacific right whale was seen off the coast of British Columbia on Oct. 25. This is the second time since June that one of the elusive whales has been spotted in the same area. But the last sighting before that was 61 years ago. Only about 50 of the whales are believed to live in the region, and a distinct population of about 200 is thought to migrate to the waters around Japan for the summer. — Read it at Live Science

Male Lizards Prefer More Feminine Lizards

A new study shows that male fence lizards are less attracted to “bearded ladies.” The males show off blue “badges” on their throats and abdomens that they use to court the females and in aggressive encounters with rival males. The blue coloring has been linked to testosterone. Bearded ladies, which make up a majority of the females in the species, have a similar blue color on their necks. Researchers have found that the guys seem far more interested in the ladies who have less blue coloring, and possibly less testosterone. “We found that, although males do not say ‘no’ to bearded ladies, they clearly discriminate against blue-ornamented females, opting more often to court females without coloring,” said researcher Lindsey Swierk in a statement. The study was published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at National Geographic

Grumpy the dwarf did his best to try to entertain Grumpy Cat.
Grumpy the dwarf did his best to try to entertain Grumpy Cat.

Grumpy Cat Visits Disney

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to Disneyland Grumpy Cat goes! The feline Internet sensation whose mug started a whole coffee line recently visited Disneyland in California, where she met Grumpy, one of the seven dwarfs from the classic Snow White. Not surprisingly, Grumpy Cat didn't exactly agree that Disney is the happiest place on earth — and Grumpy the dwarf was exasperated. The kitty, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, was among about two dozen Internet stars who visited the park as part of a promotion for the company’s new social media campaign, Disney Side. — Watch it at Time

Photos of Lioness’s Hug Go Viral

A series of photos shows the amazing bond between conservationist Mikkel Legarth and Sirga, the lioness he saved when she was an abandoned cub. The photos were taken in October 2012, but they went viral this week when they were picked up by several news outlets. Legarth and fellow conservationist Valentin Gruener, who started the Modisa Wildlife Project together, found Sirga on their land in Botswana in February 2012 and nursed her back to health. "We believe that she is probably the most spoiled and well-fed lion you can find in Botswana," Legarth wrote in a blog post last year. Legarth and Gruener were the only humans Sirga interacted with, and they said she was given lots of space to roam and hunt in her natural habitat. — See photos at the Huffington Post


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