Pet Scoop: Camilla Cuddles a Kangaroo, Rare Whale Found in New Zealand

Nov. 6, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, cuddles a kangaroo joey.
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, cuddles a kangaroo joey.
The Duchess Meets Ruby Blue

Traveling with her husband, Prince Charles, on a Diamond Jubilee Tour, Camilla got the ultimate welcome to Australia when she was handed a bouncing baby kangaroo. The duchess met Ruby Blue while visiting the Cattle Rancher’s Hall of Fame in Longreach on Monday, where she learned that the 1-year-old orphaned joey was rescued from her mom’s pouch after she was hit by a car, reported BBC News. Camilla only held the kangaroo for a few moments before the baby gave her a little scare — and she handed her right back to her caretaker. — Read it and see more photos at Today

Rare Whale Spotted for the First Time in New Zealand

When two spade-toothed beaked whales became stranded on a beach on the North Island of New Zealand in December 2010, it was the first time the rare species had ever been seen by humans. “It is remarkable that we know almost nothing about such a large mammal," said Rochelle Constantine, a marine biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. A study describing the elusive whales and their DNA analysis was published today in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Horses Help War Veterans Cope

Dogs aren't the only animals that can help servicemen and women handle the stress they face after returning home from the battlefield. Now a Colorado program called “Combat Veterans Cowboy Up” shows that horses can help, too. The equine-assisted therapy is free of charge to soldiers helping them deal with issues like PTSD, and ultimately rebuilding their lives. — Watch it at USA Today

Lab puppy with a toy
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Researchers used Labrador Retrievers in their study.

Study Reveals What Toys Dogs Love

We’ve all done it. You’re so excited to give your dog a new toy you think he’ll love, only to find him completely disinterested in it. Why is that? Turns out, there could be a scientific answer to why dogs love some toys and not others. "Because we think that dogs perceive toys in the same way that wolves perceive prey, they prefer toys that either taste like food or can be torn apart," said co-author John Bradshaw, a researcher in the University of Bristol's Veterinary School. His co-author, Anne Pullen, added, "Dogs quickly lose interest in toys with hard unyielding surfaces, and those that don't make a noise when manipulated." The study was published in the journal Animal Cognition.  — Read it at Discovery News

Presidential Pets of the Past

While the electorate heads to the polls, Live Science takes a look back at the history of presidential pets, from George Washington’s curiously named dogs to Teddy Roosevelt’s zoo and the last cow to live at the White House. — Read it at Live Science and check out Vetstreet’s history of animals at the White House

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