Pet Scoop: Yorkie Reunited With Owner After 6 Years, Gorilla Baby Gets Human Surrogates

Sept. 29, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Grisel Jaramillo was reunited with her Yorkie, Bailey, in Texas Thursday.
Grisel Jaramillo was reunited with her Yorkie, Bailey, in Texas Thursday.

Texas Dog Found in Indiana

Little Bailey, a Yorkshire Terrier, was like a child to owner Grisel Jaramillo. She got him when she was in college at the University of Texas at El Paso, and he was even the ring bearer in her wedding. Then, one day six years ago, a jogger saw someone scoop him up in Jaramillo’s Texas front yard and drive off. He was finally found Sept. 16 — in Indiana. The dog was dirty, covered in fleas and walking down a street alone with a bone in his month. A microchip traced him back to Jaramillo in Texas. "Bailey was found," said Jaramillo. "And here I am. I feel my body shaking … and I start crying." A volunteer who was headed to Austin, Texas, from Indiana for business offered to bring Bailey with her. She was reunited with an emotional Jaramillo at the airport Thursday. — Watch it at Austin’s KVUE

DNA From Cat Hair Helps Convict Suspect

Mitochondrial DNA from a single light-orange cat hair has helped convict a suspect of murder. The acceptance of the evidence in court — a first in the U.S. — could set a new precedent where pet hair is concerned. The hair was found in the suspect’s jean pockets. The victim owned cats, and the suspect had 11 cats at home. Forensic scientists were able to exclude that the hair originated from the victim’s cats but it couldn’t be excluded from the suspect’s cats. The suspect was found guilty of first-degree murder, due in part to the cat hair, as well as other evidence. The case will be outlined in the November issue of the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. — Read it at Discovery News

Rare White-Sided Dolphins Spotted

Whale-watching boats in the Northwest have seen a boom in sightings of pods of 150 or more Pacific white-sided dolphins off the coast of Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands. The dolphins aren’t endangered but haven’t been seen frequently in the area for decades, experts say. "When these guys turn up, they really put on a show. The entire ocean seems to explode with life," said Michael Harris, executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. — Watch it at the Huffington Post

Staff at the Cincinnati Zoo are playing surrogates to baby gorilla Kamina.
Cincinnati Zoo
Staff at the Cincinnati Zoo are playing surrogates to baby gorilla Kamina.

Cincinnati Zoo Takes in Baby Gorilla

A team of 10 to 15 surrogate moms at the Cincinnati Zoo will take turns donning gorilla suits to care for Kamina, the 1-month-old western lowland gorilla whose mom turned her back on her shortly after she was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The staff there jumped in to hand-raise her, but they didn’t have an adult female gorilla who’d be a good choice to eventually adopt the endangered gorilla as her own. Officials decided that the Cincinnati Zoo would be the best place for Kamina to grow up. Last year, staff there played around-the-clock surrogates to Gladys, an infant gorilla who was born at a Texas zoo and was rejected by her mom. Gladys is now thriving. The surrogates wear a felt vest that resembles the chest of a gorilla mom while holding Kamina and walk on their hands and knees while making grunting sounds. They’ll do this for about three months while they determine which of the adult females in the troop shows affection for Kamina and might make a good mom for her. — Read it at USA Today

Taylor Swift Speaks Out on Carrying Her Cat

The singer Taylor Swift is answering questions about her adorable accessory: her fluffy white cat. "The kitten freaks out about being put in the cat carrier," Swift says. "So I was like, 'OK, alright, we're just going to do this!' It was like a 10-foot walk from my door to the car." Photos of Swift carrying her cat, Olivia Benson, quickly went viral. "What I thought was funny about those pictures is the cat is looking straight at the cameras," she says. The cat, who joined Swift’s Scottish Fold Meredith in June, was named for Mariska Hargitay’s character on “Law and Order: SVU.” — Read it at People Pets


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