Brazen sea lions and parrot theft -- an animal news roundup

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-- Thousands of pet owners whose dogs and cats died after eating pet food contaminated with melamine may be close to reaching a $32-million settlement.

-- Brazen sea lions are commandeering boat landings in Port San Luis near Avila Beach, Calif., piling onto boats, sinking them and even pooping on the vessels. The creature at right, however, was spotted staking a claim to a boat (fittingly named ‘Mi Casa’) in Newport Beach.

-- A man tried to steal an exotic parrot worth $1,300 from a Lake Forest, Calif., pet shop by stuffing it into his jacket. But he was caught when the brightly colored blacked-headed Caique emerged from his jacket, and customers pinned him down until sheriff’s deputies arrived.

-- A Virginia animal activist legally changed her name to a URL to protest animal dissections. Jennifer Thornburg now goes by Cutout, which refers to a website opposing dissections. Don’t believe it? Check out the court file, or her new driver’s license.


-- A new study suggests children are less likely to be obese if they own a dog.

-- Tony Barboza