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(Courtesy of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

We peek behind the scenes at an exotic butterfly sanctuary in Chicago, and learn how volunteers help scientists track butterfly populations.

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(Courtesy Chicago Botanic Garden)

Remember Spike the corpse flower? The plant made famous in 2015 for being the first of its kind to (nearly) bloom in Chicago is on the comeback trail – and climbing to new heights.

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(Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

Hoping to identify the source of an infection, veterinarians performed what is thought to be the first ever CT scan on a rhinoceros.

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(Phil Torres and Geoff Wheat / The Field Museum)

A team of scientists was exploring a rocky patch of ocean floor when they found something that shouldn’t have been there: octopuses – lots of them.

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(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Dan Nedrelo)

Spring serves as mating season for all sorts of animals found in Illinois, but no creature goes about it quite like the wood frog.

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A common musk turtle (Colin Osborn / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

We meet some rare and remarkable critters that are part of this weekend’s annual Reptile Fest.

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(Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

The 50-year-old gorilla was the zoo’s oldest animal. “Knowing it’s the right decision doesn’t make it hurt any less,” said Amy Roberts, curator of mammals for the Chicago Zoological Society.

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An African penguin chick hatched Feb. 10 at Lincoln Park Zoo, pictured here at 21 days old. (Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

On Feb. 10, Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed a new baby bird, the first African penguin chick hatched and reared at the zoo's new penguin habitat. 

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A warbling vireo photographed at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary by Rob Curtis.

Here’s something that might surprise you: The best place in the entire state of Illinois to see birds during their spring migration is in the city of Chicago. 

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Conservationists have installed five bat houses in Cook County since 2016 to provide safe maternity colonies where female bats can give birth and nurse their pups. (Courtesy Friends of the Chicago River)

Three years after they began installing bat houses along waterways in Cook County, conservationists are hoping the bats will start moving in this year.

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(Courtesy Forest Preserves of Cook County)

Despite the early April snow showers, a recent bird sighting in Cook County is a strong sign that warmer spring weather is just around the corner.

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Acanthoscelides calvus (Photo by Laura Rericha)

There are 3,149 different types of plants in the Chicago region. A massive new book details every single one.

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(Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

One year after welcoming its first baby reindeer in nearly four decades, Brookfield Zoo added another newborn fawn this week.

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(Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

For the first time, Shedd Aquarium will host a full week of events leading up to Earth Day on April 22. 

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(Urban Wildlife Institute / Chicago Park District)

A camera set up near Rosehill Cemetery captured an unusual photo of a flying squirrel last fall, but the image was only recently discovered.

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(Humane Society of the United States / Creative Commons)

The grocery store chain released more details this week about its plans to phase out a practice that animal welfare advocates consider inhumane. 

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