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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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(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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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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(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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(Center for Biological Diversity / Lori Lieber and Shawn DiCriscio © 2015)

Lincoln Park Zoo will give away hundreds of condoms this week as part of a nationwide outreach program to draw attention to the link between human population and endangered species.

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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.

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Shedd Aquarium's Animal Response Team has been assisting with the rehabilitation of an orphaned sea otter pup in Seward, Alaska. (©Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

On a mission from Chicago, two Shedd Aquarium staffers have been providing around-the-clock care for a sea otter pup rescued in Alaska. 

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An okapi calf was born May 16 at Brookfield Zoo. (Chicago Zoological Society)

The striped “forest giraffe” is the 28th okapi to be born at the suburban zoo since 1959, when it became the first zoo in North America to have a birth of the species.

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For the first time, Brookfield Zoo is exhibiting a pangolin, a rare animal native to Africa and Asia. (Courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)

For the first time, Brookfield Zoo is exhibiting a pangolin, a rare animal native to Africa and Asia.

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(Forest Preserve District of DuPage County)

A west suburban forest preserve is dispatching an army of freshwater mussels to clean up contaminated waters. “They may be small, but they have enormous beneficial effects on the lives of other organisms,” said one staff member.

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(Tanya Martinez / Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources)

Experts in Chicago are working to save one of the world’s most endangered birds. 

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(Brookfield Zoo / Chicago Zoological Society)

The ethical debate over zoos – and whether animals belong in them – has resurfaced over the past year, and now Brookfield Zoo is joining the discussion.

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Western pond turtle (Courtesy of Yosemite National Park)

The tale of the Western pond turtle was one of several success stories shared with donors Monday evening at a Shedd Aquarium event focused on conservation efforts nationwide. 

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(Shedd Aquarium)

For the fifth year, members of Shedd Aquarium's Animal Response Team participated in a rescue mission of endangered penguin chicks in South Africa. Learn about their work.