We know the last thing you want to hold is that black and white fiend called a raccoon that rummages through your trash at night. But what if we told you there's a cuter, cuddlier version of it?
Well, start spreading your arms.
Researchers have discovered a new species of mammal called the olinguito, a teddy bear-faced creature that's most similar to a dog, cat or bear, reports the Associated Press. Though new species are regularly discovered, this kind of find, a mammal, is far rarer and hasn't happened in about 35 years.
The raccoon-sized animals travel by jumping from tree to tree in the forests of Ecuador and Colombia at night – but that's not the reason why they haven't been identified earlier.
Talk about a happy homecoming! More than a month after her birth, panda cub Yuan Zai was reunited with her mother, Yuan Yuan, at Taiwan's Taipei Zoo on Tuesday.
Upon birth, Yuan Zai had been slightly injured and required round-the-clock care in an incubator. After 39 days, zookeepers decided she was ready to meet Mom – and it looks like Mom agreed.
This lemur may look cute and cuddly and otherwise harmless, but you've been warned: He's been practicing his t'ai chi.
Fur's going to fly if you get on his bad side, so we recommend you don't cancel any dinner plans at the last minute or forget to pay back that money you owe him.
No word on how long this Liverpool, England, resident has been practicing the martial art – or if he's actually just dancing around.
It's three's company for the Sumatran tigers at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo!
Two rare cubs were born to its resident female, Damai, on Monday, prompting delight from the zoo's keepers.
"All I can do is smile," said great cats curator Craig Saffoe on the zoo's website. "The team has realized our goal of producing critically endangered tiger cubs."
The Fort Worth Zoo's new baby elephant is already making a splash with children who visit the zoo.
Their youthful fascination was enhanced Tuesday when officials at the Texas zoo added a child's inflatable pool to the elephants' enclosure for Belle's enjoyment. Belle could be seen rolling in the pool in the video above. (That's one way to beat the heat!)
Bell was born July 7 and is just the second Asian elephant to be born at the Fort Worth Zoo in its 104-year history.
What do you get when you cross a zebra with a donkey? A zonkey!
Meet Ippo, the zonkey born Saturday at an animal reserve in Florence, Italy, a first for the country. (A zonkey was born in the United States in 2010, and a few more births have been reported in Germany and China).
The rare (and adorable!) offspring proves opposites do indeed attract: Ippo's parents, a male zebra and a rare female donkey, transcended all boundaries – literally! – with their mutual attraction, mating despite a fence the caretakers erected, according to ANSA.
Most 15-year-olds have a few friends over for their birthday parties, but when you're Bindi Irwin, nothing short of a zoo-wide birthday bash – animals included! – will do.
Irwin, who turned 15 on July 24, spent the day at Queensland's Australia Zoo (where she lives with mom Terri and brother Robert, 9½) feeding crocodiles and cuddling koalas. The teen – daughter of the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin – even received a zoo-shaped cake to mark her special day.
The royal baby's got a bilby! And no, this isn't just a tongue twister.
As part of a gift package put together by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, an enclosure for bilbies, Australian desert-dwelling marsupials, will be named in honor of the newborn prince at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. Oh, and Baby Cambridge will get some cuddly bilby toys to match!
"Taronga Zoo is incredibly proud to be part of the Australian Government's gift to the Royal Baby, supporting Bilby conservation," reads a post on the zoo's Facebook page.
Look who's having twins!
No, not Duchess Catherine, but this pair's arrival is a landmark in its own right. Giant panda Lun Lun and her partner, Yang Yang, both 15-years-old and residing at Georgia's Zoo Atlanta, welcomed a pair of tiny twins on Monday. The births are the first for panda twins in the U.S. since 1987.
Desperate times call for desperate measures!
While being chased by a pair of cheetahs, a quick-thinking impala took a leap of faith – literally! – and jumped into a tourist's waiting jeep.
The amazing moment was captured on film by a visitor to South Africa's Kruger National Park, who can be heard in the video shouting, "It's in the car! It's in the car!"
chickennugget in Dogs