Pet Scoop: Trooper Rescues Cat From Boston Tunnel, Cute Rare Gorilla Baby Born

Sept. 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.

A cat who was found injured in the Callahan Tunnell in Boston is recovering thanks to a hero state trooper.
A cat who was found injured in the Callahan Tunnell in Boston is recovering thanks to a state trooper.

Injured Cat Saved by Police

A black cat is expected to survive after being hit by a car in Boston’s Callahan Tunnel last Tuesday. Massachusetts State Trooper James Richardson spotted the injured cat lying by the side of the road and stopped to rescue him. Richardson brought the cat to MSPCA-Angell, where they discovered he’d suffered head trauma and a broken pelvis, but he’s now recovering with several weeks of “cage rest.” “We all love and root for animals and there was no way I was going to leave him — I’m really glad he’s now in safe hands,” Richardson said. The cat is now named Callahan, for the tunnel, and he’s believed to be a stray. He will be available for adoption when he’s better, in about six weeks. — Read it at the Boston Globe

Study: Pigeons Can Learn to Distinguish Real Words

The birds were on par with baboons in a complex task that involved determining the difference between four-letter English words and four-letter non-words. In an experiment, pigeons were trained to peck four-letter words as they came up on a screen, or to instead peck a symbol when a non-word came up. The four pigeons in the study eventually built vocabularies of 26 to 58 words and more than 800 non-words. The researchers said the pigeons were even able to distinguish words they’d never seen before at a rate significantly above chance. "We may have to seriously re-think the use of the term ' bird brain' as a put down," said study author Professor Michael Colombo of the University of Otago in New Zealand. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at Phys.org

Hero Saves Dog From Muddy Hole

Grouse shooting has been a summer pastime for centuries for people in Scotland. In the sport, Spaniels scare the birds out of the grass. But last week, one of those dogs found herself trapped in a hole in the muddy moors of an estate. After an extensive search, the estate’s head gamekeeper found Jazz, and his fellow keeper dove into the muddy pipe hole to get her. “Once she was located it was a massive relief to everyone,” said Jonny Stevenson, who dug through 6 feet of wet peat to reach Jazz. She was “very happy to see us all,” he said. Jazz was reunited with her grateful owner. — See photos at Buzzfeed

A female baby Western lowland gorilla was born at Zoo Atlanta on Sunday.
A female baby Western lowland gorilla was born at Zoo Atlanta on Sunday.

Rare Gorilla Born at Zoo Atlanta

A critically endangered female Western lowland gorilla was born Sunday at Zoo Atlanta to mom Kudzoo, 22, and dad Taz, a 27-year-old silverback. The sweet little girl is the granddaughter of the famed Willie B., a gorilla who was named for the former mayor of Atlanta, and lived at the zoo for 39 years before his death in 2000. She’s the third baby girl for Kudzoo, following big sisters Macy and Merry Leigh. The Western lowland gorilla is among the most endangered species in the world due to threats including poaching, habitat loss and emerging diseases. — Read it at Zoo Atlanta 

Beloved Polar Bear Settles in at New Home

Nora captured attention from around the world when she was hand-reared at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio after her mom started leaving her unattended for long periods of time. Now 10 months old, the cub has started a new adventure: last week, she moved across the country to the Oregon Zoo. Her Columbus keepers, who she’s very close to, have been helping with her transition. They traveled with Nora to her new home, and one of them has been spending the first week there while she adjusts to her new care team. Nora is in quarantine for 30 days, following normal protocol, and her new keepers expect the zoo’s good-natured, 31-year-old female polar bear Tasul to befriend Nora and become a mentor to her once they’re able to introduce the pair. — Read it at the Oregon Zoo and see video via Facebook


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