Pet Scoop: Tour de France Cyclists Just Miss Hitting Dog, Rare Birth for Stellar Sea Lion

July 1, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A small dog barely managed to run out of the way of cyclists on the Tour de France course.
A small dog barely managed to run out of the way of cyclists on the Tour de France course.

Dog Runs Into Tour de France Course

A small white dog narrowly avoided a catastrophe at the Tour de France on Sunday. With the peloton careening toward a corner in Corsica on the 96-mile second stage of the course at speeds of almost 50 mph, the pup got away from its owner and ran into the middle of the street. Knowing the cyclists were seconds away, the owner tried to catch get the dog, but the dog ran back into the street. With that, the 100 riders came around the corner, and the owner and dog ran to opposite sides of the street — just missing what could have been a disastrous crash. “Fortunately the dog ran off the road in front of the riders,” said an announcer. “Thank heavens the dog got out of the way, that was a terrible few heartbeats there.” With no barriers along the route of the 21-stage course, it’s not the first time a dog has gotten into the course — sometimes with worse results. — Watch it at NBC Sports

Social Lemurs Have Street Smarts

A new study finds that lemurs who come from large tribes and live with big groups show more “social smarts” than those who live in smaller groups. Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina tested 60 lemurs from six different species and found that those who lived in groups of 15 to 20 were more responsive to social cues — in this case, judging when humans could not see them. Those who lived in groups with just two or three individuals were less perceptive in their social abilities. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Live Science

How Did Rusty Do It?

The National Zoo says Rusty, the 1-year-old red panda who escaped last Monday and was found in a nearby neighborhood, likely made his way out of his exhibit by "climbing across a 'bridge' created by rain-laden trees and bamboo.” They think that he was going after some nearby bamboo when he left his home. The vegetation around Rusty’s home is being “significantly trimmed back” while he spends some time in the zoo’s animal hospital. He’s doing well and is expected to be back in his exhibit by July 4th. — Read it at NBC Washington

Mom Eden is bonding with her pup at the Alaska SeaLife Center.
Alaska SeaLife Center
Mom Eden is bonding with her pup at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Stellar Sea Lion Born in Captivity

For the first time since the 1980s, a Stellar sea lion has been born in captivity. Thirteen-year-old mom Eden gave birth to the pup at the Alaska SeaLife Center on June 20. Now just over a week old, the pup is nursing and bonding well with her mom, who is on a breeding loan to the center from the Vancouver Aquarium. The newborn’s dad is Woody, the center’s iconic sea lion, who will turn 20 this summer. It will be a few months before the pup is out on exhibit and given a name. — Read it from AP via Yahoo News

Fireworks Moved for Baby Bald Eagles

A suburban Seattle town is putting protection of a national symbol before its annual fireworks display. Eastside Audubon recently asked officials in Kirkland, Wash., to move its traditional fireworks launching pad because it was too close to a pair of 6- to 8-week-old bald eaglets nesting in a Douglas fir on the shore of Lake Washington. Mary Brisson, a spokeswoman for the group, said they were concerned that the babies could be so frightened by the noise of the fireworks that they might jump out of their nest and fall to the ground. The babies won’t start to fly until early August. The organizers agreed to move the launch site 350 yards farther away from the nest, and promised to use less explosive noise in the show to avoid scaring the raptor family. — Read it at Reuters


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