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(Albert Kok / Wikimedia Commons)

Jumping into ocean waters teeming with sharks doesn’t sound like much fun, but for researchers working on shark conservation, it’s a way to gather important and sometimes surprising information. Meet Steve Kessel, the Shedd Aquarium’s new director of marine research.

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(Humane Society of the United States / Creative Commons)

Illinois farmers and animal welfare experts say they will promote farms where animals are raised humanely, following a Chicago Tribune investigation last year on the state’s biggest pork companies.

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(Nazim Uddin / Flickr)

Illinois will become the first state to ban the use of elephants in circuses and other traveling exhibitions, putting an official end to a practice that animal rights activists have been protesting for decades.

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(Chris Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo)

The zoo’s newest residents are being hand-reared by keepers, and scientists will analyze their genetics as part of an international species survival plan.

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(Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Zingo, the first black-crested mangabey born at the zoo, has light-colored skin that will darken over time. 

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(Credit: Charlotte Adelman and Bernard Schwartz, Ohio University Press)

Why native trees and plants not only look good but are better for local wildlife and the environment. A discussion with author Charlotte Adelman.

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(Lincoln Park Zoo)

The young males belong to a highly social zebra species and will eventually share a habitat with the zoo’s giraffes. 

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(© Joanne Fraser)

Just in time for “Shark Week,” researchers published a study this month that highlights the unique recovery capabilities of sharks.

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(©Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

Stella the Seahorse is the first of 19 marine animal sculptures made from plastic debris on display at Shedd Aquarium. 

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Aje, a 2-year-old male penguin at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo)

For the first time, Lincoln Park Zoo is offering visitors a chance to get up close and personal with their African penguins. We meet three waddling, webbed-feet bachelors.

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(Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

After spending their first weeks learning to swim and bonding with their mothers, Lucy and Taylor make their public debut.

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(Lincoln Park Zoo)

Lincoln Park Zoo recently launched a web series to chronicle the latest crushes, power struggles and other dramatic twists and turns surrounding the lives of its 15 African penguins.

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(Lincoln Park Zoo)

Visitors can expect snow flurries on their next trip to the zoo, even in the middle of summer. Four snowy owl chicks hatched last month are already flapping their wings and will soon attempt to fly. 

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(Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Four webbed-feet members of a rare and endangered duck species have a new home in Chicago.

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(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Dan Nedrelo)

Life as an amphibian is no easy hop through the woods. Why Chicago scientists are measuring levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in Lake County frogs.

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Ramar, a 49-year-old western lowland gorilla, is the oldest animal at Brookfield Zoo. (Courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)

Like many humans approaching their elder years, a 49-year-old western lowland gorilla named Ramar has been dealing with knee pain.