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April 30, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Ellie, a 42-year-old Asian elephant, gave birth to a baby girl late Friday night at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri. "The baby appears healthy and is already walking around well," said Martha Fischer, the zoo’s curator of mammals. "An experienced mother and grandmother, Ellie was, of course, very nurturing, caring for her newborn baby from the very beginning." The calf is 38 inches tall and weighs 251 pounds. The zoo had been on baby watch 24 hours a day for the last two months, awaiting the critically endangered calf’s arrival. Mom and baby are bonding off exhibit for now, but the zoo wants your help in naming the little one. Vote for your favorite in their online poll. — Read it at the St. Louis Zoo
A new study in the journal Nature Communications finds that the coral grouper uses a version of sign language to get the help of two other species, the giant moray eel and the Napoleon wrasse, to catch its hiding prey. The grouper will wait for up to 25 minutes for its prey to emerge from the coral reef, and will point to it and shake its body from side to side, sending a signal to the moray and wrasse that it’s time to strike, researchers said. “Now, while they’ve learned to cooperate, fish don’t share,” said study co-author Redouan Bshary. “Whoever gets the prey, swallows it whole.” — Read it at National Geographic
After three days of trying to get a kitten out from behind a wall in their home, a South Florida family called for help over the weekend. Fire crews cut a small hole in the wall and used a camera to locate the tiny feline. Finally, they were able to get her out and reunite her with her mom. "It took two agencies and approximately 10 firefighters to get this kitten from the wall," said Lauderhill Fire Lieutenant Jerry Gonzalez. The grateful family was relieved that the kitten was free and safe. — Watch it at Florida’s WSVN
Florida residents Laura and Rich Howard got an unexpected gift during a dive trip to Mexico for their 20th anniversary. They had just started a dive when they were told it was being cut short — and they could see why from the dorsal fins around them. They got back in their boat, and the pod of 20 killer whales decided to follow them, giving them a thrilling hour as they played in the boat’s wake. Using her flip camera, Laura captured stunning video of their encounter. “It was amazing to see them,” said her husband Rich. “Every time they came up for a breath of air they would spray you.” — Watch it at CNN
Thousands of miles away in Australia, another couple had their own up-close encounter with wildlife recently. When they were leaving an animal sanctuary, they discovered an otter rolling around in the driver’s seat of their truck. The animal was in no hurry to leave, exploring the passenger’s seat and the back of the cabin. They were finally able to shoo it out the door and back to its home. — Watch it at Paw Nation
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