Pet Scoop: U.K. Shelter Gives Kittens Royal Baby Names, Owlets Rescued From Wildfire

July 22, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

These kittens at the U.K.'s Battersea shelter will get names that were betters' favorite for the royal baby.
These kittens at the U.K.'s Battersea shelter will get names that were betters' favorite for the royal baby.

Royal Baby Fever Hits Shelter

With the world waiting anxiously for the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first child, the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in England decided to get in on the excitement. They’ve given 15 of their kittens names that are betting favorites for the royal heir, including Alexandra, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Victoria, Grace, James and George, according to Perez Hilton. The shelter is hoping this prestigious start will get the kittens adopted quickly. All 15 of the kittens will be officially introduced to mark the birth of the royal baby. Battersea will also “embrace the royal baby boom” and give its resident moms a “kitten shower” on Saturday. — Read it from Battersea

Climate Change Could Eradicate Lynx

The world’s most endangered cat, the Iberian lynx, could be entirely wiped out because warming temperatures and an increasingly dry climate could kill off rabbits, their staple food, new research finds. There are only about 300 of the cats left in the wild, living in isolated populations in Spain and Portugal. "If you do what you're currently doing, you'd end up with an extinct animal in the wild by the end of the century,” says Miguel Bustos Araújo, co-author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. He suggests that reintroducing the lynx further north could help it rebound.  — Read it at Live Science

Chimps Can Remember Events From Years Ago

A new study published in the journal Current Biology finds that much like humans, chimpanzees and orangutans could recall events that happened three years before. Those memories were triggered with a flavor or scent, when the animals were not expecting to have to recall them. "This is a crucial finding since it implies that our subjects were able to bind the different elements of very similar events — including task, tool, experimenter,” says Gema Martin-Ordas of Aarhus University in Denmark. “This idea of 'binding' has been considered to be a crucial component of autobiographical memories."— Read it at Science Daily

A pair of Western screech owlets was saved from a tree downed during a forest fire.
A pair of Western screech owlets was saved from a tree downed during a forest fire.

Baby Owls Saved From Wildfire

In their efforts to stop a forest fire in California’s Sierra National Forest, firefighters cut down trees to build a fire control line on June 19. Then, firefighter Nick Gauthier noticed that two Western screech owlets had tumbled out onto a roadway when one of the trees came down. Firefighters placed the babies back in the hollow of the tree for safety while they called for help. Wildlife biologist Anae Otto arrived 2 ½ hours later. With mom nowhere to be found, Otto wrapped the owlets in towels and put them in a box to bring them back home, where she stayed up all night to rehydrate them and get them eating again. Named Puff and Fluff, the babies are now staying with a local wildlife rehabilitator until they’re ready to fly. Then, they’ll be released into an unburned area near where they were found.— Read it at Today

Good Samaritan Returns Soldier’s Dog

Missy, a Boxer who belonged to the Georgia family of Staff Sgt. Chris O’Neal, ran off before the soldier even got a chance to meet her in person. The soldier had fallen in love with the dog through photos and videos, and his family was devastated when Missy disappeared. Then, O’Neal’s wife got a call saying that someone had found the pup — and had adopted her. When the man who’d taken Missy in heard that the dog belonged to a soldier returning from Afghanistan, though, he gave her back to her family. The grateful family plans to help the man find another Boxer to call his own. — Watch it at USA Today

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