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LONDON - A "girlie" gorilla with a fondness for pink celebrated its 40th birthday at London Zoo on Thursday with a colourful gourmet parsnip, potato and carrot cake. Credit: Twitter/zsllondonzoo Zaire, who weighs in at 231 pounds (105 kilos), could be seen in a video from the zoo slowly picking at the pyramid-shaped cake in her enclosure before lying on her side, scooping it up in handfuls and waving a piece of pinkish jelly in the air. The treat was made by Richard Burr, a star baker on a popular television show, who said the cake presented particular challenges as he could not use eggs, flour, butter or sugar. "I've made essentially a vegan cake," he said. Her keeper, Glynn Hennessy,...

LONDON - Britain's Houses of Parliament desperately need some feline protection to tackle the growing mouse population -- but the job would require an impractical number of cats prowling the corridors of power. Parliament looking for resident cat similar to Downing Street Cat. Credit: Getty Editorial A study found that due to the size of Parliament, one or two cats would not be enough, while a "herd of cats" running wild would be unmanageable, lawmaker John Thurso reported to the lower House of Commons on Thursday. The cat plan has been given "full and proper consideration" by the authorities, he announced, but there were "very clear practical and technical difficulties" with the...

KUALA LUMPUR - Islamic authorities in Malaysia are conducting a probe into a controversial "dog patting" event aimed at removing the stigma regarding men's best friend in the multi-ethnic Muslim-majority country. Credit: Getty Editorial The event, titled "I want to touch a dog" and held in a park on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur Sunday, encouraged patting dogs -- seen as unclean in Islam -- and reportedly drew hundreds of Muslims, raising the ire of religious leaders. Islamic authorities said they would investigate the event, while a Muslim leader, Nooh Gadut, said the event was an attempt to insult clerics. "Don't try to create a culture that is opposite to Islam," he was...

Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot. When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat. South American Goliath birdeater. Credit: Associated Press "When I turned on the light, I couldn't quite understand what I was seeing," said Naskrecki, an entomologist and photographer at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. A moment later, he realized he was looking not at a brown, furry mammal, but an enormous, puppy-size spider. PHOTOS: Fish-Eating Spiders Found Around the World Known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa...

PRAGUE - One of the last northern white rhinos on the planet has died in a reserve in Kenya, leaving the sub-species on the verge of extinction, experts said Saturday. Credit: Getty Creative The male, called Suni, "was probably the last male capable of breeding," according to Dvur Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic, where the rhino was born in 1980. There are only six of the very rare rhinos left, having been hunted by poachers in central and east Africa for their horns, which are highly prized for traditional Chinese medicine. The Czech zoo is the only one in the world to have succeeded in breeding the sub-species in captivity. Suni -- who is thought to have died from natural causes in...

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - A UN conference on preserving the earth's dwindling resources wrapped up Friday with governments making a firm commitment to double biodiversity aid to developing countries by 2015. Credit: Getty Creative The funding target had already been agreed in principle at the last Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Hyderabad, India, in 2012, but there had been disagreement on how to calculate the increase. The gathering in Pyeongchang, South Korea, agreed to use average annual biodiversity funding for the years 2006-2010 as a baseline to be doubled by 2015, and then maintained through 2020. Governments also agreed to increase domestic financing for...