Posts by Eliza Murphy
are not ready for public viewing yet, as the zoo is trying to allow plenty of family bonding time in a quieter environment.
"We've been monitoring them the last few weeks by video camera," Martin Ramirez, the zoo's mammal curator, told ABCNews.com. "By using the video, we've been able to tell the mother is taking great care of them. There was one cub early on that was making us very nervous, though.
"She's a first-time mom, and a typical litter size for a first-time mom is two. We were all really excited when she had the one, and then she had two, and then three came along, and we were like 'O.K., wow,' and then the fourth one came along and we were a little worried because that's a handful. That's when we made the decision that we're just going to watch and if we have to intervene, we will."
After season 15 of "Dancing with the Stars" came to a close last night with reality star Melissa Rycroft being crowned the winner, all the stars traveled from Los Angeles overnight to join " Good Morning America" in Times Square Wednesday morning for an All-Stars After Party. The all-female finalists and their partners, Melissa Rycroft, Tony Dovolani, Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson, Val Chmerkovskiy and Kelly Monaco gave "GMA" the inside scoop on everything that really went on behind the scenes as the ballroom battle heated up.
And as to be expected, first-time champ Rycroft was emotional while discussing her win, in what may have been the biggest "Dancing" upset ever.
"It's unreal," Rycroft said on "GMA" this morning. "This whole season, I think Tony and I underestimated ourselves and thought we were underdogs. It's totally unexpected and such a surprise."
It sounds as if it was plucked directly from the pages of a children's Christmas book, but in Gingertown, the streets really are paved in Cocoa Crispies, the lampposts are made of candy canes and the river bed has a beautiful topography of green and brown rock candy.
Since 2006, David M. Schwarz Architects has been creating a sweet spectacle called Gingertown, a whimsical land fashioned from gingerbread, licorice whips, gumdrops and icing.
"Our firm makes the master plan, which is different every year," Katie Garrett, also known as "The Mayor" of Gingertown, told ABCNews.com. "We build the foam core base, pave the streets and put up the light posts. But all the buildings are then built by our architects and their families, engineers and people from other firms. Really, it's all our friends in the industry."
This year's Gingertown is constructed like a university campus.
Steve Kaes decided he wouldn't just propose to his girlfriend this month, he would make the magical moment last as long as possible by sending her on an elaborate scavenger hunt around the Ohio State University campus where they first met. Kaes, 24, incorporated as many close friends and family members as possible in videos and meaningful spots around campus to help him profess his love to now-fiancée Nicole Frie, 23, of Columbus, Ohio.
"We met when we were freshman at Ohio State," Kaes said. "We lived in the same dorm on different floors. We ended up at the same parties and she let me take her out on a date and we kept going out until it got more and more serious. We've been dating for a little more than four and half years now.
"A big portion of our relationship was on campus and centered around the university. We had a lot of places that meant a lot to us. It just seemed like it made sense to retrace the steps of the places that meant so much to both of us."
Despite being in sunny California, two polar bears at the San Francisco Zoo celebrated their birthdays this month in true, really chilly style.
Pike, 30, and Ulu, 32, got a very special sub-zero treatment Nov. 15 when the zoo had 10 tons of fresh snow blown into their habitat.
The big celebration was the zoo's way of honoring the bears' old ages, because the average life span of their species is only half their ages. This makes Pike and Ulu among the oldest bears of their kind to live in an accredited zoo within the United States.
"As the worldwide symbol of climate change, the presence of polar bears both in the wild and in zoological educational programs is a vital tool in carrying the messages of conservation," the San Francisco Zoo said in a statement.
The zoo even got a little sports action involved in the celebration. San Francisco Bulls hockey players Hans Benson and Chris Frank partied with the polar bears by shooting fish pucks into the bears' enclosure. Pike and Ulu sure enjoyed the tasty birthday treat.
There is a cute new addition on display at the St. Louis Zoo's primate house.
Kivuli is a baby colobus monkey that was born on Halloween. Her name suits her well because it's Swahili for "ghost" or "shadow."
Colobus monkeys are born with white hair and a pink face, but become primarily black with white hair around their faces and tails by the time they are 6 months old.
Kivuli's parents are 13-year-old mother Cecilia and 6-year-old father Kima. This is the first baby Cecelia has ever had.
"Primates rely heavily on learning through experience," Joe Knobbe, St. Louis Zoo manager of primates, said. "Cecelia is being a great mother to her infant thanks to the wonderful example of parenting she's learned from Roberta."
The baby's birth is part of the Associate of Zoos and Aquariums' Colobus Species Survival Plan, which is a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black and white colobus monkeys in North American zoos, according to the zoo.
While camping in the Grand Canyon with her boyfriend earlier this month, Samantha Busch, 22, decided to pull a prank on her overprotective mom, Rebecca. Busch texted a photo of herself looking like she was falling off a cliff, when in reality, she was perfectly safe standing on a ledge below.
"For five days up to when we left, my mom had warned me about falling off the cliff or being blown off," Busch told ABCNews.com. "So when we were hiking around the corner, I found a good spot where I could stand on the ledge. He angled the camera just right and he took a great picture."
Her mom and all her co-workers, however, were not amused.
"I messaged it to her first and she works for a medical auditing company and there are women who have known me since day one, and they freaked out over it also. I emailed it to them, too, and they were all freaking out over it saying I gave them a heart attack," Busch said.
To take the prank one step further, Busch, of Westmont, Ill., turned off the GPS locator on her phone so her mom could not track her.
Photos released yesterday on the Royals' revamped website were intended to give the public a behind-the-scenes look at Prince William's daily routine as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot. However, upon closer look, the photos actually revealed much more.
Sensitive information, usernames and passwords could be seen on computer screens, documents on his desk and on a flier hanging behind his head while he was attending a briefing. The images were taken by a Ministry of Defense photographer at RAF Valley, in Anglesey, north Wales, where the prince is based. Originally intended to be used as a PR initiative highlighting his role as part of the RAF Search and Rescue squadron, they've now turned into an embarrassing and sticky situation.
Four of the 10 photographs included in the blog post called, "A day in the life of Flight Lieutenant Wales," had to be removed and replaced with new images where the sensitive information is blurred.
Honey Boo Boo has never looked so trashy. Mosaic portrait artist Jason Mecier , of San Francisco, has created an elaborate portrait of seven-year-old Alana Thompson using nothing but 25 pounds of trash.
The Honey Boo Boo portrait took Mecier more than 50 hours to complete, and according to the description on his Youtube video showing the creation process, the piece includes items such as two cans of hair spray, three tiaras, make-up, mascara, fake eyelashes, coupons, sketti, butter, 10 cheese balls, two Red Bulls, one Mountain Dew, a McDonald's chicken nugget, a pink Snuggy box, an empty toilet paper roll, one cabbage patch doll and a jar of pigs' feet.
"I just love the show," Mecier told ABCNews.com. "I'm obsessed with the show right now. It's like every time you watch an episode, I think there's no way it could get any better, and then it just does."
Mecier has been making mosaic portraits out of trash for 10 years. He has bins of trash stored in his studio to contribute to his colorful final products.
There's an adorable new addition at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. A three-week-old white rhino calf has arrived from Florida to his new home at the BioPark Zoo, but visitors will have to wait a few months before meeting him until he's accustomed to the staff and the three adult rhinos he's living with, Bertha, Lulu and Bernie.
"He's the hit of Albuquerque," Zoo Director Rick Janser told ABCNews.com. "The citizens unfortunately can't see him yet, but we're taking video of him and playing it on a monitor so they can see how rambunctious he is. We're getting the staff used to him. He's a very social animal."
When the baby rhino was born in Florida's White Oak Conservation Center on Oct. 30, he didn't establish a strong bond with his mom, so the next-of-kin, if you will, was BioPark.
"He is our animal. His dad belonged to us when we sent him out," Janser explained. "In the zoo world, you usually you do breeding loan agreements. The first offspring belongs to female, and the second belongs to the male.