Animals | KUNC


Parrots can perform impressive feats of intelligence, and a new study suggests that some of these "feathered apes" may also practice acts of kindness.

African grey parrots voluntarily helped a partner get a food reward by giving the other bird a valuable metal token that could be exchanged for a walnut, according to a newly published report in the journal Current Biology.

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

Feral pigs cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damage each year, especially to crops. Now concern is mounting they could be at the doorstep in parts of the Mountain West.

The pigs — which an expert at the USDA has called "one of the most destructive and formidable invasive species in the United States" — could come across the Canadian border into Montana, or traipse into Colorado from the feral pig stronghold of Texas.

Hugging a dog is one life's greatest joys. Getting to see fur on four legs and a wagging tail is like experiencing a love drug — quite literally.

Dogs and humans that interact with one another get a jolt of oxytocin, the so-called "cuddle hormone." And, if you get to look at dogs and hug them every day, you just might live longer than people who don't have to clean animal hair off their clothes, according to a pair of studies out this month.

Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson / U.S. Air Force

A falcon that served as a mascot for the U.S. Air Force Academy for the past 23 years has died.

The academy announced Aurora's death Wednesday, saying she was the longest-serving live mascot in the school's 65-year history.

Amanda Manoa with magpies
Jackie Hai / KUNC

It's the busy season for wildlife rescuers, with the greatest number of injured or orphaned animals coming in during the summer months. But how do you stop baby birds from imprinting on their human caretakers before being released back into the wild?

One wildlife center in Longmont has a feathery solution.

Proposed legislation in the Senate aims to reduce conflict between humans and predatory wildlife, with a $100,000 cash prize.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso introduced the bill. The $100,000 Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize would be awarded to the winner of an annual competition. The goal is to develop new or better nonlethal methods of reducing human-predator conflicts.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

A giraffe herd at a Colorado Springs zoo has welcomed its 16th member following the birth of a calf.

The 10-year-old reticulated giraffe named Msitu gave birth Saturday at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Jackie Hai / KUNC

On a beautiful clear morning along the Cache la Poudre River, Rocky Mountain Adventures' David Terry wrapped up the rafting safety talk by introducing the group to some unusual guests.

"Anybody ever heard about the birds with Rocky Mountain Adventures?" Terry asked. "No? You're probably wondering why I got a cage of pigeons up here wearing these funny backpacks, right?"

Sitting at Terry's feet was a cage with three pigeons wearing teeny, tiny backpacks. The birds have been an integral part of the company's rafting business since the early 1990s.

Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary

A goat in east Boulder County is on the mend after being found wandering around Lafayette and drawing a lot of public attention.

Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary rescued the animal, which had serious injuries that required an amputation surgery. The community helped raise more than $2,500 when the goat's story went viral across local social media networks.

According to a study out of Colorado State University, more people believe that animals should be protected and given rights on par with humans than they did 15 years ago. Fewer people believe that wildlife exists for our gain.