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Visitors can get up close and personal with cownose rays at Shedd Aquarium's seasonal exhibit "Stingray Touch." (Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

A first-of-its-kind study involving nearly 60 stingrays at Shedd Aquarium indicates that the animals do not suffer from their interactions with humans – and might even enjoy it. 

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Nora, a 4-year-old western lowland gorilla, eats a heart-shaped treat at Brookfield Zoo. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Date or no date, single or taken, animals at Brookfield Zoo experienced Valentine’s Day with the best kind of gift: food.

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Chicago Zoological Society’s veterinary staff perform an emergency appendectomy on Ben, a 40-year-old orangutan at Brookfield Zoo. (Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society)

Ben, a 40-year-old orangutan at Brookfield Zoo, underwent an emergency appendectomy last month after veterinary staff discovered a ruptured appendix. 

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Brookfield Zoo veterinary staff monitor Zana, a 5-year-old Mexican wolf, during an artifical insemination procedure Feb. 4. (Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

Nearly 30 years ago, scientists began collecting semen samples from Mexican wolves. On Sunday, Brookfield Zoo artificially inseminated one wolf as part of an effort to boost the genetic health of the endangered species. 

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(Pixabay)

How feasible is raising livestock in the city? An urban agriculture advocate weighs in.

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 Hog confinement facilities, like this one in the Canadian province of Manitoba, often use gestation crates that prevent pigs from being able to turn around. (Mercy For Animals Canada / Flickr)

The grocery store chain says it is evaluating its supply chain “to see where additional change is needed” in response to public concerns over pork suppliers who confine pigs to tight metal crates.

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(R4vi / Flickr)

The Chicago-based fast food chain agreed last year to work toward phasing out antibiotics from its beef and pork products. An Illinois nonprofit now wants McDonald’s to commit to a timeline to meet that goal.

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(Humane Society of the United States / Creative Commons)

The group Crate Free Illinois is calling on Trader Joe’s to stop purchasing pork from suppliers that use gestation crates, tight metal stalls that keep pigs in one position for the majority of their lives.

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Ramar, a 50-year-old western lowland gorilla, is the oldest animal at Brookfield Zoo. (Courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society)

Ramar, one of the oldest gorillas in the country, celebrated a milestone birthday this month with a frozen “cake” filled with fruit and raisins. 

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A male gray seal was born at Brookfield Zoo on Dec. 26. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Brookfield Zoo welcomed a newborn gray seal on Dec. 26. The male pup weighed 36 pounds at birth and is expected to weigh more than 120 pounds by the time he is weaned at three weeks. 

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(Alvaro del Campo / The Field Museum)

A team led by Field Museum conservation ecologist Corine Vriesendorp has worked for 15 years to protect one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. This week, it was designated as a national park.

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Four specially-designed suction cups are used to attach a bio-logging device to the backs of bottlenose dolphins at Brookfield Zoo. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

Brookfield Zoo is leading a first-of-its-kind study to collect data from dolphins and other aquatic mammals using a Fitbit-like device that figures to revolutionize human understanding of the animals’ behavior.

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(Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

If scuba diving with whale sharks or kayaking past glaciers sounds like you’re kind of thing, Shedd Aquarium has a trip for you this year.

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Noodle, an 18-year-old Hyacinth macaw, sits on the shoulder of Celeste Troon, director of living collections at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

A trio of tropical birds has landed in Chicago this winter to show off their vibrantly colored feathers and occasional dance moves – but they won’t be here for long.

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The coyote population in the area has about doubled since 2005, according to research by Stanley Gehrt, who’s been studying coyotes for nearly 20 years. 

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(Jerry Goldner)

An owl loving Chicago photographer takes us along as he shoots a majestic snowy owl during the last “invasion” in 2014.