Pet Scoop: Tiny Marsupial Gets 24/7 Care, Goat Dies Trying to Escape Crowds

July 20, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

An orphaned glider joey is getting 24/7 care at an Australian wildlife hospital.
An orphaned glider joey is getting 24/7 care at an Australian wildlife hospital.

Orphaned Baby Glider Gets TLC

Luckily, Boop the feathertail glider escaped injury when she fell from her mother’s pouch in Australia. Now, she’s one of the smallest patients at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Boop weighs less than 1 gram, and a team of specialized wildlife caretakers is feeding her a balanced milk formula through a very fine tube. “Two milliliters is plenty for this tiny patient!” the hospital explained in a Facebook comment. The feathertail glider is the world’s smallest gliding mammal. An adult will grow to be between 6.5 to 8 centimeters in size. The joey will be returned to the wild when she’s ready to survive on her own. — Read it from Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors via Facebook

Study: Traveling Broadens Chimps’ Horizons

A new study finds that chimpanzees who travel use tools more frequently. Chimps and the bonobo, a close relative, travel the same average distance as the chimps who were observed for the study, and they use a similar set of tools. Gorillas and most orangutans, however, spend significantly less time traveling per day and show limited or no feeding-related tool use. The team concluded that travel created an extra need for high-energy food, while the challenge of inaccessible honey created an opportunity for innovation in the chimps’ use of tools to get to it. The study was published in the journal eLife. — Read it at

Peanut Butter Vaccines May Help Save Ferrets

A new plan to save the black-footed ferret, which has been declared extinct twice, involves vaccinating the prairie dogs they prey on with an oral vaccine disguised as a peanut butter treat. The ferrets and the prairie dogs they prey on are threatened by the sylvatic plague, a devastating flea-borne illness. The ferrets can get the vaccine themselves through an injection, but that’s impossible to do with large populations of prairie dogs. This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to test a prototype of a treat dispenser on an all-terrain vehicle and spread the vaccine treats to prairie dog populations in northeastern Montana. — Read it at National Geographic 

A lost mountain goat wandered on rocks in Seward, Alaska, before heading into the ocean.
A lost mountain goat wandered on rocks in Seward, Alaska, before heading into the ocean.

Crowds Drive Goat to Tragic End

The drowning death of a lost mountain goat in Alaska is being blamed on a crush of people onshore who were trying to get its picture on Saturday. The goat’s presence in the city of Seward was unusual, as the animals usually stay above the timberline in remote areas. State troopers got calls saying the wayward animal was being harassed by people trying to photograph it. With nowhere to turn, the goat dove into the ocean, where it drowned. It’s the latest in a sad string of human encounters with wild animals that have ended badly for the animals. The most notable may have been the baby bison who died in Yellowstone National Park in May after tourists who thought it looked cold put the calf in the back of their vehicle. Officials are reminding people to give animals their space. — Read it at the Chicago Tribune

Firefighters Rescue Puppy From Vent

Loveland, Colorado, firefighters came to the rescue of three missing puppies on Monday. One of the puppies had fallen into an HVAC vent, and the firefighters were able to pull him out. At first, it was believed that all three puppies were stuck in the vent, but the other two missing puppies were found safely under a clothes dresser, the department Tweeted. — Read it at Colorado’s 9News


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