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PHOTO: Pope Francis Grins Big While a Lamb Rests on His Shoulders

UpdatePosted 01/08/2014 05:00PM

The Daily Treat: Pope Francis Grins Big While a Lamb Rests on His Shoulders

Originally posted 01/08/2014 03:30PM

Is it time to start calling him His Happiness?

During his visit to St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church just outside Rome on Monday, Pope Francis found himself up close and personal with an "actor" from the church's living nativity scene – a lamb! The young animal was carefully placed around the Pope's shoulders, eliciting a massive grin from the religious leader. The lamb is an important part of Biblical imagery, with Jesus sometimes referred to as the "Lamb of God."

Pope Francis was in attendance to celebrate Epiphany, but he also managed to kick off 2014 in a rather big way. Considering the past year he had, during which he was named Time's Person of the Year, we're sure it will be difficult for him to beat his 2013 achievements – but a cute photo with a lamb is a nice way to start.

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Credit: Courtesy Hellabrun Zoo
These Twin Polar Bear Cubs Can't Stop Snuggling

UpdatePosted 01/04/2014 12:00PM

Twin Polar Bear Cubs Can't Stop Snuggling

Originally posted 01/03/2014 03:10PM

Hey, sleepy heads!

Looks like nothing can wake these adorable twin polar bear cubs from their slumber – even when one tries to nestle closer to the other. And, really, who can blame them? Their mama's fur looks pretty darn cozy!

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Credit: Zuma
This Orangutan Is Seriously Stressed About Its New Year's Outfit

The Daily Treat: This Orangutan Is Seriously Stressed About Its New Year's Outfit

Originally posted 12/30/2013 02:00PM

With New Year's Eve just a day away, you've probably got your evening ensemble and countdown cupcake ready to go.

Unless you're this orangutan.

And judging by the look on his face, you can tell being unprepared is starting to weigh on him. In addition to what to wear and what to serve, there's also decorating to be done. Plus, and we don't want to rub salt into the wound, but someone's going to need to find time to head to the salon.

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VIDEO: Newborn Elephant Will Turn Your Bad Day Right Around

UpdatePosted 12/11/2013 11:20AM

The Daily Treat: Newborn Elephant Will Turn Your Bad Day Right Around

Originally posted 12/10/2013 03:00PM

He's a pachyderm with a purpose: to cheer people up!

This happy and healthy male elephant was born when the staff of the Melbourne Zoo really needed a pick-me-up, arriving just days after an 11-month-old elephant died at the zoo in a freak accident.

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UpdatePosted 12/06/2013 06:00PM

VIDEO: Baby Leopards Run Amok at PEOPLE.com

Originally posted 12/05/2013 12:35PM

So, a lion, a tiger and two leopards walk into a New York City office building ...

Okay, it didn't quite go down like that – there were cat carriers, baby bottles full of milk and several animal wranglers involved when four spirited big cats came to the PEOPLE studios last week in honor of Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD (running through Dec. 6).

After cat wrangler Boone Smith gave us the lowdown on these amazing felines, including a rare white tiger and African lion cub, we thought: Wouldn't it be fun if we got the 3-month-old African leopards to play with Christmas ornaments? Well, it turns out Ogre and Betty had other ideas. Click play above to watch what happens when you try and choreograph wild animals in a big fancy studio space.

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WATCH: Big Kittens Take Over the PEOPLE Office

Originally posted 12/03/2013 03:00PM

Lions roam the lush landscape of the Serengeti, while their domestic counterparts roam the dusty crawl space under your bed. But we've got video evidence that proves that these felines have more in common than you think, even if only one of them will reach a weight of 400 lbs. in their lifetime.

Our friends at Nat Geo WILD brought three different types of big kittens – a baby tiger, a lion and two leopards cubs – to our New York City offices to promote their fourth annual Big Cat Week (running through Dec. 6). We are pleased to bestow the following morsels of knowledge upon those who are just as fascinated by felines as we are:

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Three White Tiger Cubs Are Better Than One

The Daily Treat: Three White Tiger Cubs Are Better Than One

Originally posted 11/25/2013 07:15AM

Talk about sibling revelry!

Three newborn tiger cubs born earlier this month at Georgia's Tbilisi Zoo look to be getting along swimmingly.

The trio, born Nov. 7, can be seen in this aww-dorable footage huddled together in a corner of their enclosure – while Mom watches over them from nearby.

Names for the cubs have not yet been released, but if we had to guess, we'd definitely go with Cute, Cuter and Cutest.

Also: When can we expect a playdate with the white tiger cubs from Japan's Tobu Zoo Park?

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UpdatePosted 11/20/2013 05:00PM

The Daily Treat: Three Glorious Minutes of Puppies Learning How to Howl

Originally posted 11/20/2013 03:35PM

If you learn just one thing today, it should be this: howling is an art.

As demonstrated in this new compilation we found on YouTube, it requires practice, patience and persistence. It is, indeed, a learned skill (taught often by silly humans who think they're good at it).

There are high-pitched howls, more baritone ones, howls that sounds like a 2-month-old screaming, others that sounds like an impression of Daffy Duck and – the most rare form – howls that sounds like a sweet singing bird.

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UpdatePosted 11/09/2013 09:30AM

The Daily Treat: It's Sink or Swim for the National Zoo's Tiger Cubs

Originally posted 11/08/2013 01:15PM

At 3 months old, most human babies are just building the muscle strength to hold up their necks. For baby tigers, it's a different story.

On Wednesday, two tiger cubs born at the Smithsonian National Zoo on Aug. 5 were brought out for their swim reliability test, a rite of passage they must complete before being put on display. With photographers and keepers Dell Guglielmo and Marie Magnuson looking on, each cub was individually tossed into a pool of water 2½-ft. deep. Bandar, the male cub, successfully swam back up to the surface within minutes, though he later leapt from the moat and scurried away. No photos, please!

Shortly after, it was female cub Sukacita's turn, but she was less inclined to swim than her brother. After having to be pushed back into the water – which elicited a growl! – she too successfully passed the swimming test.

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UpdatePosted 11/08/2013 01:20PM

The Daily Treat: Sorry Tiger Cub, But That's a Boy You're Trying to Play With

Originally posted 11/07/2013 01:00PM

Well that's awkward. Who's going to break the bad news to Kali?

The newest Sumatran tiger cub to be born at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium thought she'd made a new friend when 2-year-old Marshall stopped by to visit earlier this year. But, little did she know, things are not always what they seem.

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