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Baltimore's animal stars [Pictures]

Baltimore and its environs are home to plenty of animals that are at least as compelling as a months-old panda. Sure, there was plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth when Washington's National Zoo, blaming the government shutdown, was forced to turn off the camera it has trained on its resident giant pandas, Mei Xiang and her 2-month-old cub. Thank goodness the Panda Cam is back on. But Baltimoreans, for one, should have been able to take the shutdown in stride. Charm City has plenty of fascinating animals living within its borders and slightly beyond, critters that might not have a camera trained on them 24/7 but deserve to be media stars nonetheless. (Some already are.) Here are some area animals that shine in the spotlight. And here's a bonus: We've got some humans willing to speak for them. The Panda Cam, sadly, offers no narration. Keep in mind, everyone: There very well could be another shutdown in January, and the Panda Cam could go dark once again. Aren't you relieved to know Baltimore has so many potential replacements? -- Chris Kaltenbach
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