Raju the Elephant Meets His New Family

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Raju the elephant who stole the world’s heart when he was seen crying when shown freedom after 50 years of brutal treatment has been introduced to his new family in a truly magical moment.  This week footage of the male elephant went viral after he was released from the captivity in Uttar Pradesh in India and now it looks like the brave bull might get a happy ending.

http://tinyurl.com/pzc27oq

Africa Land Grabs Endanger Elephants

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Political and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa’s last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group’s report that examines government collusion in wildlife trafficking.  Zimbabwe has maintained robust elephant populations compared with other countries on the continent. But economic penalties imposed by the United States and Europe have led Zimbabweans with ties to President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party to find new methods of making money. The report, set for release Monday, says they may be turning to elephants’ highly valued ivory tusks.  Zimbabwe’s embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

http://tinyurl.com/lhycnrt

-Igor Purlantov

Animals With Pets Of Their Own

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From a gorilla who loves cats to an elephant with its own dog, check out these astonishing stories of interspecies affection.  For many of us, pets aren’t just casual companions. They are cherished members of the family. (Sometimes it even feels like we’re the pets, and our pets are the masters.) So it’s worth asking: Are humans the only animals that keep pets? Or do other animals also keep pets and form deep companionships with other species?

http://tinyurl.com/k6cosyp

Video: Youngest Elephant Calf In US To Stay In Oregon Zoo

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An Oregon zoo says it will retain possession of the country’s newest baby elephant, a 300-pound female that hasn’t yet been named, even though it won’t own the animal. A breeding contract gives ownership of the calf born Friday in Portland to a California for-profit elephant rental company, Have Trunk Will Travel. But the zoo said the elephant will live out her life within its walls.

http://tinyurl.com/d3kqac9

Video: Baby Elephant Plays On The Beach With A Rope

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Remember when things were fun? If you don’t, just watch this baby elephant playing with a rope on the beach and try to make your life a little more like this today.

http://tinyurl.com/b28fegb

Video: Baby Elephant Named Anchali Welcomed At Berlin Zoo

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The Berlin Zoo is celebrating the arrival of an elephant calf named Anchali, which means “greeting” in Thai. The 350-pound calf made her public debut on Wednesday, much to the delight of the big crowds who turned out to see her. Zoo staff members are doing everything they can to protect Anchali from a common elephant virus that has already led to the deaths of three elephant calves at the same zoo.

http://tinyurl.com/9qcylpb

Phuket Elephant Beach Day: Playful Pachyderm Frolics In Thailand Sand

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Scottish photographer John Lindie snapped these awesome photos of an elephant frolicking on the beach at Thalang, Phuket in Thailand in November 2009. While there’s no way to know exactly what the pachyderm is thinking, he sure looks pretty happy rolling around in the sand to dry himself after a swim.

http://tinyurl.com/cbq2fgf

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