Pet Scoop: Two Endangered Jaguar Cubs Born, Tortoises Rescued From Construction Site

May 30, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Two jaguar cubs were born last month at the Living Desert zoo in California.
Two jaguar cubs were born last month at the Living Desert zoo in California.

Twin Jaguar Cubs Arrive

Keepers say they’re being “very cautious” with first-time mother, Magia, a 4-year-old jaguar, who gave birth to two cubs at the  Living Desert  zoo in southern California on April 26. They're giving her time and space to bond with her new babies in their den. “It’s extremely important that Magia feel safe,” said the zoo’s president, Allen Monroe. “If she feels threatened, she may abandon or harm her cubs.” The endangered animals are the largest cats in the Americas. The zoo is planning to move Magia out of her den temporarily sometime in the next few weeks so it can quickly and safely assess the health of her cubs. — Watch video at YouTube

Endangered Species Disappearing Faster

In what’s being called a landmark study by experts, biologists have found that species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived. The study, which was published in the journal Science, also says that the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction. "Whether we avoid it or not will depend on our actions,” said study lead author Stuart Pimm of Duke University. There are many factors contributing to the death rate, but the biggest issue is habitat loss, researchers said. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo

Are Cat People Smarter Than Dog People?

A new study finds that “cat people” and “dog people” have different personalities. In findings presented at the annual Association for Psychological Science meeting, researchers said that dog people were more likely to be energetic and outgoing, while cat people tended to be more introverted and sensitive. They also found that cat people scored higher on an intelligence test than their dog-loving counterparts. The study by researcher Denise Guastello of Carroll University in Wisconsin is based on a survey of 600 college students who answered questions about their own personalities, as well as the qualities they found most attractive in their pets. — Read it at The Huffington Post

Workers from the Humane Society saved gopher tortoises from a construction site in Florida.
Workers from the Humane Society saved gopher tortoises from a construction site in Florida.

Tortoises Saved From Construction

The Humane Society of the United States stepped in to rescue a population of burrowing gopher tortoises from a construction site in Apopka, Florida. Humane Society workers surveyed the site, found potential tortoise burrows and safely removed them from the area. “The reason we come in here is to get these tortoises out of here before they clear the area, and they would be buried alive,” said the Humane Society’s Carissa Kent. The tortoises were moved five and a half hours away, to a plantation where they will be released. — Watch it at Live Science

Kids Help Find Homes for Shelter Animals

Tiffani Murphy, a fourth-grade teacher in Maryland, came up with a creative assignment for her students, and it’s been a win for everyone. For their core requirement “persuasive writing” lesson, each student chose a dog or cat who was up for adoption at the  Baltimore Humane Society and wrote a letter from that animal’s perspective, telling potential adopters why they’d make a great addition to their family. Murphy then sent the letters to the shelter, where they were posted on each animal’s cage. “There are usually some giggles and people think they are so cute,” said Wendy Goldband, marketing and PR director at the BHS. The kids have been excited to see that some of “their” animals have been adopted, and they got the chance to meet the ones who were still there on a recent field trip to the shelter. — Read it at Crayons and Collars


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