Pet Scoop: Tiny Polar Bear Cub Hand Raised, Veteran Gets Service Dog at Giants Game

Nov. 16, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Keepers are hand-raising a tiny polar bear cub at the Columbus Zoo after her mom failed to care for her.
Keepers are hand-raising a tiny polar bear cub at the Columbus Zoo after her mom failed to care for her.

Newborn Polar Bear Gets 24/7 Care

At just over a week old, a tiny polar bear cub born at Ohio’s Columbus Zoo is being bottle fed by keepers after being rejected by her mom. Aurora cared for her cub for nearly a week before the animal care team noticed her taking breaks that became longer and longer. They decided to hand-rear the cub on Friday. The cub is healthy and is bottle feeding regularly, and will continue to get around-the-clock care. In a cute video released by the zoo, the 1.5-pound cub can be heard squawking loudly before snuggling with a white stuffed animal and getting some TLC from a keeper. Much like pandas, polar bears give birth to very small babies, which makes them very fragile in their first year. — Read it from the Columbus Zoo and watch it on YouTube

Rare White Deer Roam at Former Weapons Site

Hundreds of unusual white deer live on a 7,000-acre former Army weapons depot in New York. The genetic quirk that makes them snowy white happened naturally, and they’ve lived on the fenced-in land since the middle of the last century. But as local officials plan to put the former depot up for bids next month, there is concern about the deer, who likely wouldn’t survive outside of the fenced-in area because they’d be easy targets for predators and hunters. Some groups are hoping to buy a portion of the property to create a wildlife preserve for at least some of the 200 white deer who live there now. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo

Monarch Butterfly Population Could Quadruple in Mexico

After years of sharp declines in their numbers, authorities say actions taken by the U.S., Canada and Mexico could result in the population of monarch butterflies nearly quadrupling this year. They are hopeful that the wintering butterflies will occupy between 3 and 4 hectares in a Mexican preserve this winter. The butterflies occupied 1.13 hectares of forest in last season, better than in 2013-2014, when the population hit an all-time low of 0.67 hectares. The monarchs are arriving in Mexico to nest at this time of year after traveling 2,500 miles from Canada. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Discovery News

An Iraq war veteran was surprised with Scarlet, a service dog, at a Giants game Sunday.
An Iraq war veteran was surprised with Scarlet, a service dog, at a Giants game Sunday.

Marine Surprised With Service Dog

Former Marine Frank Giarmida, an Iraq war veteran, is getting some help from a new best friend. The veteran was being honored on the field at MetLife Stadium during a Giants game Sunday when he was surprised with a 7-month-old German Shepherd named Scarlet. Giarmida had been waiting for a service dog to help him cope with the struggles he’s faced since returning from Iraq. Scarlet was saved from a shelter and trained by the nonprofit Paws of War. “I see the dog come out and I’m looking at the screen, and I see a dog and I’m looking around and I didn’t even hear what the commentator said anymore,” Giarmida said. “This service dog is going to do a lot for me.” — Watch it at CBS New York

Three-Eared Stray Cat Rescued

Rescuers in the U.K. set out to capture a stray cat who’d been setting off alarms overnight for weeks at a tire garage business. When they finally caught the 11-year-old cat, they were surprised to discover that the special feline had an extra ear. "I've seen all sorts of cats with missing or extra parts — cats with three legs, cats with a missing eye, cats with missing toes — but never an extra ear!" said Molly Farrar, the manager of Feline Care Cat Rescue who helped catch Brian. A veterinarian said Brian’s third ear was made only of cartilage and didn’t have the inner workings of an ear. Farrar said the friendly cat will stay at the rescue’s sanctuary while they look for a forever home for him. — Read it at ABC News


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