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2020 Year in Review: Amazing Animal Stories

To recap 2020, is taking a look back at some of the most interesting stories we’ve covered this year. Today we’re looking at some amazing stories from the world of animals.

Selfless Parrots Seem Happy to Help Others

An African grey parrot shares a token in order to help another parrot get a reward.
People have long known that African grey parrots are clever. Now, new research shows that they are also selfless, and willing to help a partner get ahead, even if doing so doesn’t help them at all.

Albatrosses Help Locate Illegal Fishing Boats

Wandering albatross in flight with Centurion transmitter.
Scientists have turned albatrosses into ocean spies by placing special radar tracking devices on them. The seabirds, which spend weeks at a time over the open ocean, collected information on boats fishing illegally.

Penguins at Aquarium Allowed to Wander

Edward and Annie at the information booth.
Like many public spaces around the world, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is now closed because of the coronavirus, COVID-19. That’s given some of the animals at the Shedd the rare chance to see the aquarium as visitors.

With Humans on Lockdown, Animals Enjoy Life

Kashmiri goats in Llandudno, Wales have come into town as people have stayed in their houses during the lockdown.
With billions of people on lockdown worldwide because of the coronavirus pandemic, the natural world has been given a taste of life with fewer people around. Many animals seem to be making the most of this human-free time.

Long Distance Bird Flights Surprise Scientists

Onon is a common cuckoo. He's one of 5 cuckoos who were tagged last summer in Mongolia, far to the north of China.
Scientists have been surprised and impressed with the long-distance travel of two birds recently, a common cuckoo who flew from southern Africa to Mongolia, and an eastern curlew, who flew from Australia to China.

Andean Condors Fly With Almost No Flapping

Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) at Cruz del Cóndor in Colca Canyon, Colca Valley, Peru.
Scientists have recently discovered that Andean condors – some of the world’s largest birds – barely flap their wings at all while flying. Instead, they use rising air currents to remain in the air for hours.

Belugas Return to the Sea for First Time in Years

The holding pools at the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary.
Last year, a group working to protect sea animals rescued two beluga whales from an aquarium in China and flew them to Iceland. The belugas have now been moved into a protected ocean area off the coast of Iceland.

Hold the Male! Snake Lays Eggs By Herself

Ball python eggs 7-23-2020
A 62-year-old snake at the Saint Louis Zoo laid seven eggs in July. Though that’s old for a snake to lay eggs, the strangest part of the story is that the snake hadn’t been near a male snake for over 15 years.

Hero Rat Wins Award for Saving Lives

Magawa, the Hero Rat winner of the PDSA Gold Medal.
Last Friday, the British charity PDSA gave out its gold medal award for bravery – to a rat named Magawa. Magawa, and other rats like him, are saving countless lives by sniffing out deadly mines that have remained hidden for years.

World’s Loneliest Elephant Now Has Friends

Kaavan in the Islamabad Zoo, 2017.
Kaavan the elephant has been described as “the world’s loneliest elephant”. After spending years alone in a zoo in Pakistan, on Tuesday, Kaavan arrived in Cambodia, where he will have plenty of elephants for company.



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