Animal Weird News 

CNN, reporting from the London Zoo in August, described the excitement surrounding news that the zoo would soon acquire a 12-year-old male gorilla from a preserve in France. Zoo officials were pleased, but its three older female gorillas were almost ecstatic. Shown posters of "Yeboah," the male, female "Zaire" "shrieked in delight"; "Effie" wedged the poster into a tree and stared at it; and "Mjukuu" held the photo close to her chest, "then ate it."

Gay Vulture Tricks: The births of two chicks on the same day at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo in April was unusual enough but especially noteworthy because of the birds' lineage. Their fathers were a gay vulture couple about 10 years ago, according to a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz, and zoo caretakers provided them an artificial egg to "incubate" until they could replace the egg with a just-hatched vulture, as if the male-male couple had birthed it. In "an insane coincidence," said a zoo official, the two males eventually separated and paired with females, and those females hatched eggs on the same day last April. Two weeks ago, according to Haaretz, the two chicks achieved independence on the same day and were moved to the zoo's aviary.

Among the species discovered recently in Papua New Guinea were tiny bear-like creatures, frogs with fangs, fish that grunt, kangaroos that live in trees, and what is probably the world's largest rat (with no fear of humans). Scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea announced the findings in September, among more than 40 new species from a jungle habitat a half-mile deep inside the centuries-dormant Mount Bosavi volcano crater. [The Guardian (London), 9-7-09]

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