Pet Scoop: Police Shut Down Highway to Save Pup, Sea Turtle Gets Artificial Flippers

Feb. 13, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Tiny Terrier Rescued From Traffic

Close up of Cujo who was rescued from traffic
Cujo was rescued from a busy highway when a police officer blocked traffic to save the tiny Rat Terrier.

While the country's top dogs strutted their stuff at Westminster, thousands of miles away a rat terrier in Texas was taking a stroll of his own — and wound up on a dangerous busy freeway. Kyle Jones, a La Porte police officer happened to spot tiny Cujo while on patrol and quickly spun his car around to block traffic and save the terrified pooch. "When I saw the size of it, I immediately hit my lights and shut all lanes off," he said. Cujo, wet and shivering but otherwise fine, was reunited with his family (who had been searching for him all day) and a photo of Jones saving the dog has gone viral. — Read it at KHOU

Plus: Heroic police officers aren't just in Texas. In Michigan yesterday, cops also rescued a dog that fell through an icy lake while out on a walk with his owner. First responders managed to keep the dog swimming until two policeman were able to pull it ashore with a hook attached to a stick. — Read it at Ann Arbor News

To Get Lucky, Fish Hang With Ugly Friends

When it comes to scoring chicks, male fish have a pretty good strategy, according to researchers. A study from the University of Western Australia found that guy guppies are likely to surround themselves with friends that are less attractive than they are so they will be noticed by females — which makes them more likely to get picked as a mate. "We believe we have showed how drab males can still be chosen by females — if they are able to exploit the right social context," said researcher Clelia Gasparini, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Western Australia. In other words, even ugly fish can find love. — Read it at Live Science

First Elephant Born at Prague Zoo

An Indian elephant made history on Monday as the first pachyderm to be born at the Prague Zoo in its 82-year history. The birth is also special in that it helps expand the genetic base of European breeding of Indian elephants, said the zoo's deputy director. The zoo's elephant herd lives in the newly completed large mammal pavillion and habitat created especially for them, which will open to the public on March 30 — the same day zoo guests will be able to see the baby for the first time. — Read it at Zooborns

Turtle Test-Drives New Front Legs

When Yu the Turtle
Toshifumi Kitamura, AFP / Getty Images
When Yu, a 25-year-old loggerhead turtle, just got her 27th pair of artificial limbs.

When Yu, a 25-year-old loggerhead turtle, was pulled out of a fisherman's net in 2008, she was missing 1/3 of her front right flipper and 1/2 of her left, most likely due to a shark attack. Researchers at her new home aquarium in Japan immediately began developing artifical limbs for her. The latest design — her 27th pair — might just be the winner. The rubber limbs are attached to a vest slipped over her head. "We have worked hard to design the vest in a way that prevents the turtle from taking it off unwittingly," aquarium curator Naoki Kamezaki said. "It can flutter the limbs as the vest is soft." — Read it at Discovery News

Pig in Wheelchair Goes Viral

Speaking of incredibly cute animals that need a little help getting around: Chris P. Bacon, a month-old piglet born without the use of his hind legs, has become an Internet sensation after his owner, veterinarian Dr. Len Lucero, built him a wheelchair from a toy-building set and posted a video of the pig and his chair on YouTube. The precious porker, whose video now has more than 470,000 views, has been invited to stop by Anderson Cooper's 360 on Thursday and Lucero thinks his rising star will continue to skyrocket from there. "Chris P. Bacon is going to live a plush lifestyle," he said. — Read it at the Orlando Sentinel

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