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(Chicago Botanic Garden / Facebook)

Blooming orchids, an outdoor beer fest and a massive bike ride usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

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Valentino, a small African antelope, was born Thursday at Brookfield Zoo. (Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society)

A tiny African antelope that belongs to one of the smallest species of its kind in the world received a name befitting his Feb. 14 birthday.

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An animal care specialist at Brookfield Zoo measures the girth of a dolphin. (Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

Unlike the industry serving health-conscious humans, there are no books, infomercials or 12-week programs to help dolphins optimize their diets. But there is an app for that, thanks to new research by animal welfare specialists.

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Apache, foreground, a 7-year-old old male Mexican wolf recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo to be paired with 2-year-old Ela. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Zoo officials say they’re hopeful that 2-year-old Ela and newcomer Apache, 7, will have a successful breeding season this winter and produce a litter of wolf pups in the spring.

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A group of Mexican wolves at Brookfield Zoo (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

They are one of the most successful packs within the nationwide Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, but nine of the 10 wolves will leave Chicago for new homes as part of a plan to help save the endangered species.

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Layla, an eastern black rhinoceros at Brookfield Zoo (Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

The 2,300-pound rhinoceros, Layla, logged an important milestone this week, celebrating her eighth birthday just months after overcoming a near-deadly infection.

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Immortan L-Boe (left) wrestles Winafight Sanderson at the Chicago League of Lady Arms Wrestlers’ CLLAW XXX match at Logan Square Auditorium. (Photo by Trainman Photography)

Strong women, architectural gems, immersive plays and Mexican folk art usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

The completely blind amphibians, found in Texas, are a translucent white color with bright red gills. Brookfield Zoo is one of just three North American institutions to host the rare creatures.

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David, a young male pangolin, is part of Brookfield Zoo’s “Habitat Africa! The Forest” exhibit. (Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

More than a million pangolins have been poached from the wild in the past 10-15 years, according to Brookfield Zoo. What conservationists are doing to change that.

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(Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

A porcupette, or baby porcupine, was born last month at Brookfield Zoo and is being hand-reared by the zoo’s animal care and veterinary staff. 

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Orangutans are one of humankind’s closest cousins. We meet a baby orangutan as she takes a trip to the doctor.

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(Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society)

Brookfield Zoo welcomed two newborn Amur leopards in April. The male cubs are scheduled to make their public debut in mid-July. 

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(Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Maxine, a bottlenose dolphin at Brookfield Zoo, died June 2 after suffering an acute bacterial infection, the zoo announced Tuesday. 

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(Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

A set of proteins long used to evaluate the well-being of humans can also serve as a marker for the welfare of animals in zoos and aquariums, according to a new study. 

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(Courtesy Chicago Zoological Society)

The latest member of Brookfield Zoo’s four-generation family of western lowland gorillas was born June 1, the third offspring of Koola, the newborn’s 23-year-old mother. 

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An African burrowing scorpion is among the highlights of Brookfield Zoo’s new “Amazing Arachnids” exhibit. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Get a close-up look at 100 live eight-legged critters – aka arachnids – including spiders, scorpions, tarantulas and more at Brookfield Zoo.