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WebClawer: Penguin romance spurs debate, family tries to lure lost dog home with the scent of their own urine, pet goat gets stuck in tree

July 17, 2009 |  2:05 pm

Harry and Linda, two-thirds of the San Francisco Zoo's penguin love triangle

From debate over a penguin romance to a greased goat (don't try this at home), the Web is full of animal news today. A few stories that caught our attention:

-- Pundits from both sides of the LGBT-issues fence are weighing in on the San Francisco Zoo's penguin love triangle. We told you earlier this week that Harry, a male Magellanic penguin who's spent the last six years as half of a same-sex penguin couple, recently left his partner Pepper for a female penguin named Linda. The story has spurred a "nature-versus-nurture debate" about the nature of sexuality, says the zoo's curator of birds. One Christian website quotes a "pro-family advocate" who says Harry and Pepper's split shows that "nature prefers heterosexual relationships." An LGBT site ponders the question of whether Harry "is actually bi?" (L.A. Times)

-- A one-legged African gray parrot that requires "specialist care" and "swears a lot" was stolen during a house burglary in Newcastle, England. (No, it wasn't named Lucky.) Two other exotic birds were also stolen from owner and bird enthusiast Bobby Scollins, whose plea for the birds' safe return was covered by the BBC. Good news came for Scollins on Sunday, when two of the birds (including the one-legged, foul-mouthed one) were turned in at a police station. Two men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the burglary, but all have been released on bail.  (BBC)

-- Members of the Baltesz family of Bristol, England, have an unorthodox approach for finding their lost dog: They're trying to lure him home with their own urine. The family say they've tried just about every approach to finding the dog, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever named Simon. But so far nothing's worked -- so they've begun filling bottles with their own urine (diluted with water) and sprinkling it in areas where Simon has been sighted. They then leave a urine trail marking the route home from the spot. "I know it sounds bizarre and I'm embarrassed to mention it but it makes sense if you think about it," said Louise Baltesz.  (Telegraph)

-- Alysia Krafel of Contra Costa, Calif., returned home from vacation to a bizarre sight: her pet goat, King George, hanging by a hoof from an oak tree in her yard. Krafel thinks King George climbed into the tree to eat leaves on high branches -- and when he fell, his leg became stuck in a crevice.  (Apparently not all goats are adept at tree-climbing.) "I sprayed Pam all over everything to try and grease it, but he's a 215-pound animal," she said. Eventually, emergency services arrived and helped her cut the tree down. Note to self: never grease a goat. It's just not worth it.  (Contra Costa Times)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Harry, foreground, waddles around while new mate Linda lies in a burrow at the San Francisco Zoo. Credit: Amy Frankel / San Francisco Zoo

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