Monthly Archives: January 2017

Friar Dog at Monastery Gets His Own Robe

Carmelo, whose official name is Friar Bigoton (Friar Moustache), is an adorable Schnauzer who lives at a Roman Catholic monastery in Bolivia. The little guy has quickly gained fame this week, as photos of him dressed in the traditional brown robes like the monks he lives with have gone viral. Several news stories have reported Carmelo was adopted as a stray and wears the robes regularly, but the monk who shared his cute photos clarified the pup’s story this morning. In a new Facebook post, Kasper Mariusz Kapron Ofm (Order of Friars Minor) wrote that the dog wasn’t actually a stray and doesn’t always wear his robes. Instead, he was given to the monks as a Christmas gift when he was a puppy — and he sported his custom robe as a “prank” on their seminarians for Carnival this year. Still, it’s clear that the little guy is loved and adorable. — Read it from Kasper Mariusz Kapron Ofm via Facebook


Rare Whale Caught on Video for First Time

Two True’s beaked whales were caught on camera by students during an expedition in Portugal’s Azores Islands. Live sightings of the elusive whale species is extremely rare, and the video is the first recording of them in the wild. A study published Tuesday in the journal PeerJ includes the video, rare photos of a whale calf and further data collected from strandings and sightings of the True’s beaked whales. — Read it at Yahoo


Study: Warming Climate Creates Risks for Songbirds

A new report finds that rising temperatures and heat waves with a greater duration and intensity are posing a grave danger to songbirds in the Southwest. Songbirds that are common in the region, including the lesser goldfinch, house finch, cactus wren, Abert’s towhee and the curve-billed thrasher, are facing a greater risk for death by dehydration and mass die-offs under projected conditions where temperatures increase by 7 degrees Fahrenheit during summer by the end of the century. “When it’s really hot, they simply can’t evaporate enough water to stay cool, so they overheat and die of heat stroke,” said co-author Blair Wolf of the University of New Mexico. “In other cases, the high rates of evaporative water loss needed to stay cool deplete their body water pools to lethal levels.” The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Find the best and most compelling animal stories

Two years ago, Quinn Scharn lost his leg and hip to bone cancer. When he woke up from surgery, he had decided on one thing: he wanted a dog who had three legs. After a two year search, his mom, Teresa Howell, spotted the perfect companion for her son on the Front Street Animal Shelter’s Facebook page. She picked Scharn, who’s now 12 and cancer free, up early from school and drove to the Sacramento shelter. When they got there, they found out that Logan was on hold for another family. But after visiting with him, they learned that the family had just called and changed their mind — and Logan was available. The boy and dog had made a connection, and Scharn was thrilled to bring Logan home that day. A video of their sweet story posted on Facebook by the shelter on Thursday has already been viewed more than 1 million times. — Read it at People Pets


Surgeons Remove 915 Coins From Sea Turtle

A 25-year-old sea turtle named Bank had life-saving surgery Monday to remove 11 pounds of coins that she’d eaten. Many Thais believe that throwing coins on turtles brings longevity, but it wasn’t good luck for Bank. The 915 coins that she’d consumed after they’d been thrown into her pool had cracked her shell, causing a life-threatening infection. It took five surgeons more than four hours to safely remove the coins while the turtle was under general anesthesia. “I felt angry that humans, whether or not they meant to do it or if they did it without thinking, had caused harm to this turtle,” said surgery team leader Nantarika Chansue. — Read it at Fox News


Soldier Drapes Flag Over Late K9’s Body

U.S. Air Force soldier Kyle Smith took his beloved retired military working dog, Bodza, to the veterinarian last week because the 11-year-old German Shepherd was struggling to walk. When he was told the dog was suffering from an incurable disease that affected his spinal cord, he knew he had to say goodbye. He tried to hide his heartbreak from his superiors, but they arrived at the clinic out of respect for Smith and Bodza — and his boss asked for an American flag to be placed over the dog’s body in recognition of his service. “I’ve never cried that much my entire life,” Smith said of the experience. “All of us have that dog that is so special to us … he was the nicest dog in the world.”

Blind Lab Survives a Week in Mountains

A 12-year-old blind yellow Labrador Retriever is back home recovering after spending seven long nights lost in the Santa Cruz Mountains in northern California. Sage’s heartbroken family and their friends had been searching for her since she wandered away from her Boulder Creek home on Feb. 24. The Lab had lost both of her eyes due to health problems. The Coles’ neighbor, firefighter Dan Estrada, had helped in the search and was keeping an eye out for her while he took an out-of-town friend for a hike in the woods on Saturday. “I look over and see Sage laying on the ground right with her head in the stream,” Estrada said. He was afraid it was too late — but then she lifted her head. “I jumped in the stream, I was super happy,” he said. “I put my arms around her and hugged her and threw her over my shoulders and carried her up the mountain.” He then brought Sage home to her ecstatic and grateful family. Estrada refused the $1,000 reward the Coles had offered for help finding Sage, so it will be donated to charity. — Read it at San Francisco’s ABC 7 News


Beloved Polar Bear Cub Dies at German Zoo

Fritz, an adorable 4-month-old polar bear cub at Berlin’s Tierpark Zoo, had made international headlines and was seen as the next Knut, the polar bear who’d been abandoned by his mom and was hand-reared at the Berlin Zoo. But “stunned” zoo officials announced Tuesday that the cub who’d stolen their hearts had died from liver inflammation. The baby bear’s illness came on quickly. He was found lying next to his mom on Monday morning, and despite the team’s efforts to treat him with antibiotics and painkillers, he passed away that night. — Read it at Yahoo News


Brother and Sister Otters Born at Oregon Zoo

In much happier news, a North American river otter named Tilly is raising two tiny pups at the Oregon Zoo. The male and female weighed 4 ounces each when they were born on Feb. 26, and they’re already twice that thanks to their mom’s diligent care. “This will be the first time Tilly has raised more than one pup at a time,” said curator Amy Cutting. “It’s exciting that they’ll be growing up together and have the opportunity to play and wrestle with each other. Tilly’s always been an extremely attentive mother, so it will be interesting to see what happens when her pups go in two different directions.” Tilly herself was taken in by the zoo when she was found orphaned and wounded in 2009. The pups haven’t yet been named, but they will likely be named after local rivers and waterways like the other otters at the zoo. — Read it from the Oregon Zoo and see photo on Facebook