Two-year-old polar bear Wolodja walks in his enclosure at Tiergarten Berlin Zoo on Aug. 23, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The zoo recently acquired Wolodja from a zoo in Moscow, and biologists are hoping he will pair with a female polar bear and help bring a new cub into the world.
Eastern hellbenders -- also known as devil dogs, Allegheny alligators and snot otters -- are among the world's largest salamanders. They've just been re-introduced to streams in western New York State, the Wildlife Conservation Society recently reported. Thirty-eight of the animals were placed under rocks in streams. Eastern hellbenders can grow to around 2 feet in length. (The world's two largest salamanders, the Japanese giant salamander and the Chinese hellbender, can both grow up to 6 feet long).
The velvet worm makes rain forest bugs nervous. It spits a paralyzing "glue" substance onto its prey before moving in for the kill, and meal. A new species of the worm, Eoperipatus totoros, has been discovered in Vietnam, the first velvet worm to be described there.
The White House has a new occupant. Here First Dog Bo, left, hangs out with his new sister, Sunny. Both are Portuguese Water Dogs and are hypoallergenic.
Amos is not a presidential dog -- he has more important things on his mind than federal spending. He's too busy using an iPad, after being trained at schoolforthedogs.com. The New York City trainers teach dogs that they can touch something with their nose -- as opposed to barking, say -- and something good will happen for them, such as hearing a click sound that tells them a tasty treat is at hand.
A warbler is recovered from a mist net on a private reserve in East Sussex in Rye, U.K. The reserve is one of the world's largest ringing stations, where birds can be "ringed" with a small band around one of their legs. Volunteers capture the birds using long mist nets. The birds are then ringed, their details recorded, before being released the following morning to continue their journey. The information gathered includes age, weight and sex, and it allows the British Trust for Ornithology to monitor long-term population and global migration patterns which is important for conservation.
A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology took a look at REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep in young barn owls. It turns out that barn owlets exhibit REM activity that is similar to that of baby mammals, including humans.
Forty python snakes were recovered from a Canadian hotel room recently. Held in plastic storage containers, they were found in poor health. The reptiles were taken in by the Canadian Society for the Protection of Animals.
How do you measure a tiger? Very carefully! Here, a Sumatran tiger is measured at the London Zoo. The zoo conducts an annual weighing and measuring of the entire animal population under its care. The information is then shared with other zoos around the world so that data can be compared on thousands of endangered species.
Here's another creature, a royal python, getting a weigh-in at the London Zoo.
No more zoo for these great-winged flyers. Chile's Agriculture Ministry released 18 condors that had been held for treatment for 11 days at the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo. They were under care at the zoo after having been found poisoned by what may have been agricultural insecticides. Andean condors have a wing span of up to 10 feet.