Pet Scoop: Two Rehabilitated Turtles Returned to Sea, Cat Finds Owner After 6-Mile Trek

July 18, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

SeaWorld Orlando's animal rescue team returns a sea turtle to its natural habitat in Florida.
SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando's animal rescue team returns a sea turtle to its natural habitat.

SeaWorld Orlando Releases Two Sea Turtles

The park’s animal rescue team returned the turtles to the Canaveral National Seashore near Titusville, Fla. One of the turtles was a 140-pound loggerhead who had suffered an injury to its shell that was likely caused by a boat strike. A portion of its shell was lost, but the rest of its wounds have healed. The second was a smaller green sea turtle who was found beached with wounds on its front flippers and neck from a fishing line. Both of the animals spent about five months getting treatment at SeaWorld Orlando before they were released to their natural environment.

Three Elephants Flying to California

After two years of planning, three 10,000-pound African elephants are scheduled to board a plane bound for a sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif., on Aug. 2, as they retire from the Toronto Zoo.  Iringa, 42, Toka, 41, and Thika, 31, will spend their retirement on the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s 2,300-acres. But elephants can’t just hop aboard a plane. They had to go through crate and noise training to prepare them for their flight on board a Russian cargo jet in custom-built crates, as well as the 125-mile road trip from the airport to their new home. Former game show host and animal activist Bob Barker is paying the bill, which is expected to total between $750,000 and $1 million. — Read it at AP via the Washington Post

Nile Monitor Lizard on the Loose in Colorado

Authorities are searching for an aggressive 6-foot lizard known as Dino, who went missing after breaking a mesh leash and crawling away in a tourist town northwest of Colorado Springs. Animal control officers are considering using a tracking dog to hunt down the 25-pound creature. — Read it at AP via the Huffington Post

Cat Walks 6 Miles to Get Home

When Barbara Oliphant’s husband suffered a stroke, she tearfully turned Wollie, a stray cat she’d rescued, over to a shelter in her New Hampshire town because she didn’t think she could give the kitty enough attention. As Olphiant’s husband improved, though, the couple’s daughter secretly went to the shelter to re-adopt Wollie because her mother missed him so much. But once she got the cat to the parking lot, he escaped. Three days later, Oliphant spotted her cat crossing the street to her home, tired and hungry after making the six-mile trek on foot. "This cat obviously knew where his home was and wanted to get back there as soon as he possibly could," said Laura Montenegro, of the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. — Watch it at WMUR

Plus: Ni Hao, a 3-month-old kitten who was severely dehydrated after stowing away on a ship from Shanghai to Los Angeles, is showing signs of improvement. He let out his first meow Tuesday morning, four days after he was rescued. — Read it at Animal Tracks

First Instagram Photo Was of a Puppy

Two years ago this week, the first Instagram photo was uploaded for testing. What was the vintage-looking photo of? A puppy, naturally! Since that first upload, the photo-sharing program has come a long way — with more than 1 billion photos being shared, and getting a $1 billion buyout from Facebook. — See the photo at MSNBC

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