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Monday, March 11, 2013

Pandas and Owls and Elephants… Oh My! By Andrea

The French poet Anatole France said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Watching animals’ behavior can not only entertain but sometimes give us a different perspective of our own behavior.

We have some fascinating books at the library that tell stories about some extraordinary animal friendships. “Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom” by Jennifer Holland presents a collection of stories about animals that have formed unlikely bonds with other animals of different species. A book for introducing these special friendships to your children is “Friends (True Stories of Extraordinary Friendships)” by Catherine Thimmesh. It offers a photo exploration of unlikely animal friendships which not only gives readers insight into animals but challenges preconceived notions about compatibility.

In addition to reading about animals’ activities, the Internet provides views of the lives of animals in their most personal moments. You can always bring the great outdoors directly to your desktop, thanks to all of the free webcams from around the world. You can watch a live feed of baby eagles hatching in their nest or pandas splashing in a pond. Here are two of my favorite live animal webcams.

The world-renowned San Diego Zoo ( offers streaming video of several animal exhibits: polar bears, pandas, elephants, and apes. Their newest panda cub, Xiao Liwu, “Little Gift,” is now old enough to be on public display. If you’re in the mood to watch an adorable baby, go check out “Mr. Wu” in California!

And right here in our own backyard is Alessondra’s Live OKC Great Horned Owl Cam ( A lucky family in Edmond have welcomed again this year a great horned owl that has made her nest in a planter box on their 2nd floor balcony! She is currently sitting on two eggs, so the fun is about to begin!

Whether you read about our animal friends, or take time to look closely at their lives, learn something about what animals offer us.

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