Pet Scoop: Study Finds Puppies Like Baby Talk, Garbagemen Save Kitten From Snow Bank

Jan. 13, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

"Who's a good boy?" A study finds puppies respond to your baby talk.
"Who's a good boy?" A study finds puppies respond to your baby talk.

“Who’s a Good Boy?”

If you have a tendency to talk to puppies like they’re babies, in a high-pitched, slow voice, there’s good news: they like it! Researchers had 30 women look at pictures of dogs and puppies while recording the cheerful things you might say to them, “Hi! Hello cutie! Who's a good boy? Come here! Good boy! Yes! Come here sweetie pie! What a good boy!” They then played the recording over the loudspeaker at a Manhattan animal shelter while dogs were playing, and found that puppies were most responsive to doggy speech. “[N]ine out of the 10 tested puppies responded more to puppy-directed speech than to human-directed speech, by reacting more quickly, looking more often at the loudspeaker and approaching it closer and for longer periods,” the researchers wrote in their study. For older dogs, the dog-directed speech didn’t seem to have any more of an effect than a more normal, human-directed tone. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. — Read it at Fox News

Sunny Obama Injures Family Guest

With a week left to go before she moves out of the White House along with her family, the Obama’s younger Portuguese Water Dog had a bad day on Monday. Sunny, apparently bit an 18-year-old girl who was a guest of the first family, when she tried to pet the dog. The president’s physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, thought it was necessary to close the wound with a few stitches. The girl’s name hadn’t been released, but she posted photos of the gash above her cheekbone on social media. The unfortunate incident comes as the beloved first dogs have been celebrated before their departure from the spotlight at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. — Read it from AFP via Yahoo

New Primate Gets a Star Wars Name

The scientists who discovered a new species of primate in Asia named it the skywalker hoolock gibbon, in part because the Chinese characters for its scientific name translate to “heaven’s movement” — and because they’re big “Star Wars” fans. Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker in the films, was quick to respond to the homage, Tweeting “So proud of this! First the Pez dispenser, then the Underoos & U.S. postage stamp... now this! #GorillaMyDreams #SimianSkywalker #JungleJedi.” The new gibbon species is an average of 32 inches tall with no tail and weighing about 13 to 15 pounds. The skywalker hoolock gibbon is described in the American Journal of Primatology. — Read it at National Geographic

Ajax was rescued from a snow bank in Canada by two garbage collectors.
Ajax was rescued from a snow bank in Canada by two garbage collectors.

Frozen Kitten Rescued From Snow

Two garbage collectors in New Brunswick, Canada, saved the life of a kitten they found stuck on top of a snow bank as they were making their rounds on Tuesday. One of the workers dug the kitten out and put him in his jacket to warm him up. “The kitten really responded to him, wanted the loving,” said Sue Knight, of CARMA Cat Rescue. They went to a nearby store for food, and heard about CARMA. A volunteer rushed the kitten, who’s been named Ajax, to the shelter for treatment. The little guy has been making a great recovery. “He’s a gorgeous little kitten, just adores being loved and hugged and purrs,” Knight said. He got a visit from his rescuers on Wednesday, and already has a forever home lined up once he’s healthy. — Read it at The Toronto Star

Orangutan “Kisses” Pregnant Visitor’s Stomach

Morgain Cole Abbott, 27, was moved to tears at the Colchester Zoo in Essex, England, last month, when Rajang the orangutan noticed her pregnant belly and sweetly gave it a kiss from the other side of her glass enclosure. Abbott, who’s expecting her second child in March, had heard that Rajang likes baby bumps, and stopped to visit him on a trip to the zoo. The tender exchange was caught on video. “The moment was absolutely amazing,” Abbott said. “I felt like we had a real connection.” Rajang has kissed at least three other pregnant women’s bellies at the zoo. — Watch it at Today


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