Pet Scoop: Baboon Adopts Stray Kitten, Aquarium Fights to Import Belugas

Nov. 9, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A baboon has been caring for a stray kitten at an Israeli zoo.
A baboon has been caring for a stray kitten at an Israeli zoo.
Primate Plays Mom to Kitty at Zoo

A petting zoo in Israel is home to an unlikely pair — a baboon and her kitten. The stray feline wandered into the primate’s cage recently and refused to leave. The baboon started caring for the baby cat the way she would her own infant, even inspecting it for fleas. The twosome doesn’t always get along, though. While she plays mom for the most part, the baboon has also been spotted stealing the kitty’s food. Officials say if it continues, they’ll have to separate the duo. But for now, the odd couple will stay together. — Watch it at ABC News

Crocodiles Sport Highly Sensitive Bumps on Their Snouts

They make look leathery and tough, but a new study finds that crocodiles and alligators have snouts that are more sensitive to the touch than human fingertips. Vanderbilt University student Duncan Leitch, who co-authored the study with his advisor, believes the animals use thousands of tiny, raised black dots to feel for and snap up food — and that females also use them to help their offspring out of their shells. "They have all these little tactile areas that are so exquisitely sensitive — it seems really amazing," Leitch said. His findings appear in the Journal of Experimental Biology. — Read it at National Geographic News

Snake Births Surprise National Zoo

Tentacled snakes who hadn’t produced viable offspring in four years gave birth to eight babies, surprising zookeepers at the National Zoo late last month. The aquatic snakes, who have tentacles on their snouts that help them pick up vibrations from nearby fish, are ambush hunters, but not much else is known about them. "We're already learning so much just watching them grow," said the zoo's Reptile Discovery Center keeper, Matt Evans. They’ll remain at in Washington, D.C., for now, but will likely be moved to other zoos when they get older. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Aquarium’s Plan to Import Belugas Faces Opposition

The Georgia Aquarium has applied for a government permit to import 18 wild beluga whales from Russian waters. It would mark the first time in 20 years that belugas caught in the wild have been brought into the U.S. for display. The whales would be owned by the Georgia Aquarium but would take up residence at six U.S. facilities. The aquarium says the new whales would improve the genetic diversity of the captive beluga population in the U.S. Animal rights groups including PETA and the Humane Society, however, are fighting the move, arguing that the whales don’t belong in captivity. — Read it at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and watch it at Today, plus, read about how belugas live longer in captivity

Kristen Stewart Admits Dog Obsession

Just recently, Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were battling over custody of their rescue dog Bear. But, hitting the talk show circuit to promote the final film in the vampire romance saga, Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the reunited couple has been talking about the new addition to their home: Bernie. Asked on Live With Kelly and Michael whether she’d adopted Bernie as a playmate for Bear, the actress admitted, "I'm just sort of obsessed with rescuing the pooches.” — Read it at People Pets

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