Brookfield Zoo’s grey seal pup is just one week old and already a charmer. (Courtesy Brookfield Zoo)

The grey seal pup was born Feb. 17. He’ll stay behind the scenes for the next month and a half while bonding with his mom.

Sandhill cranes. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region)

Red-winged blackbirds, American robins, and sandhill cranes are among the species of birds Chicagoans have spotted in recent days on the leading edge of spring migration. But wait — according to the calendar, it’s still winter.

Shedd’s newest rescued sea otter pup explores the aquarium’s otter habitat. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

The still-unnamed pup arrived at Shedd Aquarium in November 2023 and recently made his public debut after acclimating behind the scenes.

Baby leatherback sea turtles head to the sea at sunset on Indonesia’s Lhoknga Beach in February 2023. (Chaideer Mahyuddin / AFP / Getty Images)

Of the 1,189 creatures listed by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, more than one in five are threatened. They include species from all sorts of animal groups — whales, sharks, elephants, wild cats, raptors, birds and insects, among others.

Tapeko, one of Brookfield Zoo’s bottlenose dolphins, gets a big welcome home from Melissa Zabojnik, a senior animal care specialist. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

The zoo’s seven bottlenose dolphins will spend the next six weeks getting used to their new and improved digs.

A volunteer pulls a freshwater mussel from the Chicago River, Dec. 12, 2023. (Patty Wetli / W

Freshwater mussels can be a river system’s best friend, but they’re missing from long stretches of the Chicago River. Here’s a look at one effort to reintroduce them.

(Courtesy of PAWS Tinley Park’s Facebook page)

Fourteen cats and two dogs showed signs of respiratory distress, according to PAWS Tinley Park. The shelter expects all the animals to make a full recovery.

Pup EL2306 is Shedd Aquarium’s newest charmer. The sea otter was rescued in Alaska at the end of October and arrived at Shedd in late November. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd is one of only 11 institutions in North America with the resources to give a rescued sea otter pup a home.

A dog in a kennel at Chicago Animal Care and Control on the Lower West Side on Nov. 8, 2023. Euthanasia is up 25% at the city animal shelter as it sees more stray animals come through its doors. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

“Any animal that walks through our door can be a candidate for euthanasia due to the population and everything that we go through here,” said acting executive director of the city of Chicago Department of Animal Care and Control Susan Cappello.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Technician James Stone works to remove a floating solar-powered telemetry receiver from the Mississippi River backwaters near La Crosse, Wis. on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. (AP Photo / Todd Richmond)

Over the last five years, agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have employed a new seek-and-destroy strategy that uses turncoat carp to lead them to the fish’s hotspot hideouts.

The crow-sized Cooper’s hawk has been called a “flying cross,” with its long tail and short wings. None of those traits is reflected in the bird’s eponymous name. (Courtesy of Walter Kitundu)

North America’s eponymous birds — those named for people — will all receive new names. The decision made by the American Ornithological Society has drawn praise from some quarters and provoked vehement opposition elsewhere.

This epaulette shark pup hatched Aug. 23, 2023, at Brookfield Zoo, born from what staff believe was an unfertilized egg. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

The epaulette shark pup hatched Aug. 23, born from what staff believe was an unfertilized egg. 

Barn owl. (Lubos Houska / Pixabay)

From carnivorous plants to blood-sucking sea creatures, nature serves up plenty of frights, lots of them found right here in Illinois.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completed restoration project was held on Oct. 23, 2023. (Nicole Cardos / WTTW News)

A major effort to restore nearly 200 acres of wetland habitat at Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve on the Chicago’s Southeast Side is now complete after more than three years.

(Credit: Rüdiger Bieler)

Named Cayo margarita as a nod to Buffett’s song “Margaritaville,” the bright yellow specimen is a worm snail, a type of mollusk that sticks to hard surfaces within the coral reef and forms a tubular shell around itself.

Trail maps are available at the forest preserve district's various nature centers. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

When people veer off designated trails, they damage vegetation, compact soil, contribute to erosion and also create pathways for new invasive plant species.