Pet Scoop: Vet Carries 100-Pound Foal to Safety, Dog Sniffs Out Giant African Snails

Sept. 4, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Dr. John Tracey carried this filly to safety after she was found in a gully.
Dr. John Tracey carried this filly to safety after she was found in a gully.

Vet Saves Foal From Ravine

Last month, Dr. John Tracey, a large animal veterinarian in Wisconsin, got an early morning call from Sue Ann Krause. She said her horse had given birth overnight — but she couldn’t find the foal. Tracey soon arrived at Krause’s property to help her search for the missing filly. They followed an area where the grass was matted down into a valley, where Tracey spotted the rare cremello horse laying on the ground. It had been storming overnight, and they didn’t know what time the foal had been born, but Tracey knew he had to act quickly to save her. "We carried it back up to the pasture uphill. Made me realize how bad of shape I'm in," Tracey laughed. Krause and her husband took the filly to an intensive care facility in Madison, where she got the nutrition and monitoring she needed. Now, the healthy horse — who’s been named Tracey after her hero — is back home and doing well. — Read it at Wisconsin’s WKBT

Mayor Stubbs Injured in Dogfight

Stubbs, the long-serving honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, who usually holds court at the local general store, is recovering at a veterinarian’s office in Wasilla after being injured in a dog attack. The 16-year-old cat suffered a broken sternum and a punctured lung on Saturday night, and has undergone three hours of surgery. "All I can say right now is he's holding his own,” said owner Lauri Stec. The cat has been a popular tourist attraction at the small town outside Denali State Park. — Read it at Alaska’s KTUU

Cheetahs Use Race Car Tactics

They may be the world’s fastest land animals, but cheetahs aren’t all about speed. They're also making sharp, stealthy turns to catch their prey. “Predator and prey thus pit a fine balance of speed against maneuvering capability in a race for survival,” according to John Wilson and his colleagues at North Carolina State University. They monitored the speed, position and acceleration of six free-ranging cheetahs at southern Africa’s Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, using GPS devices and movement monitors to track them. They found that the animals usually have an initial burst of speed to allow them to catch up with their prey, followed by a slowed-down period where they make sharp, calculated turns to close the gap between predator and prey. The researchers compared the tactic to NASCAR drivers, who negotiate sharp turns before quickly accelerating. — Read it at Discovery News

Bear, a Labrador Retriever, sniffs out invasive giant African land snails in Florida.
Bear, a Labrador Retriever, sniffs out invasive giant African land snails in Florida.

Dog Helps Battle Huge Snails

Officials in Florida say some of the credit for hunting down 128,000 giant African land snails over the last two years should go to canine detector teams, who sniff out the invasive species. Bear, a Labrador Retriever who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been tracking down hundreds of snails each week. The snails can spread a parasite that causes a form of meningitis. They’ve also been known to eat 500 different types of plants and cause structural damage to buildings. — Read it at NPR and watch it at Miami’s WLRN

Bald Eagle Mascot Returns to Boston College

For the first time in 47 years, a live bald eagle will be serving as the mascot for the Boston College Eagles. Thanks to a partnership with Zoo New England, a live eagle will be on campus for each of the football team’s home games this fall. The school is asking fans to come up with a name for the 9-year-old bird, who resides at Zoo New England’s Stone Zoo in Massachusetts when it’s not a game day. "We are fortunate to have a majestic and imposing mascot, and showcasing an eagle in ways that are inspiring and educational will provide an exceptional opportunity for our fans while connecting with our history,” said Boston College athletic director Brad Bates. — Read it at Today

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