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Grannyglee- you are an inspiration! I wish I could share the joys and laughters of my WOW pets experience with my 84-yr old grandmother like your family could with you. Your passion and love truly warm up my heart. Thanks so much for sharing.
Indeed, those spawns inside trees that normally trigger the "Pet Battle Area Obstructed" message can be brought into battle by first /tar Stunt, and then spamming the key bound to "Interact with Target" while moving about to reposition your character. To bind "Interact with Target" to a key, hit Esc to bring up the Options menu, go to Key Bindings, scroll down to Targeting Functions, and then asign a key to "Interact with target".
Pet levels in Hinterlands are 11-12 vs in 18-20 in Blade's Edge; to save a little bit of leveling effort I went with the latter. These seem to appear regularly as secondaries to Scalded Basilisk Hatchlings in Blade's Edge, just north east of Gruul's. Scalded Basilisk Hatchlings there respawn quickly you should be able to chain hunt.
While Wowhead is showing a dautingly low drop rate for this guy off of the gift package, don't be discouraged. That number is off of all the loots from the package ever, so as new ones are opened and new drops are accounted for, the ratio is steadily rising (several days ago 0.02%, now 0.07%. I don't know what the true drop rate of this guy though!).
I can confirm Taluka's comment that these Baby Apes despawn immediately when it stops raining. But if you are in a battle with one when the rain ends, you will get to finish the battle. I saw three Apes, got into a battle with one and by the time I won, the rain had stopped, and the other two spanws had been replaced by Shore Crabs :P
Also spawns as a secondary to fire beetles.
I don't own MoP expansion and wondered for a long while if this pet was obtainable without it (and not through the auction house I mean). It is, since the Pandaren starting area is technically an instance and doesn't require MoP to level a panda up to 12 or so. At that point you pick a faction for your panda and be transported to the respective capitol city, where you can visit the pet trainer to learn this. (Sorry if this is obvious; it wasn't to me.)
You have to be lvl85+ to save her. Once you've completed the lvl24ish quest line in Northern Stranglethorn, do lvl85 heroic ZG, you'll find the lashtail hatchling by Bloodlord Mandokir, all chained up and enslaved. She will have the quest "An Old Friend" for you after you defeat Mandokir. Accept it, talk to her again to complete it, and she comes as the reward.
Wowhead is noting a little less than 8% drop rate for this little guy.
I named mine AlmostFerocious. He's trying his best.
This pet being the only flier that does mechanical damage at the moment (5.3), I planned his future to be my beast counter, but his only source of mechanical damage is Call Lightning, which has the best synergy with mechanical abilities. Call Lightning itself has a 3 round CD and he has no other mechanical damage, so his kit feels like a little missed opportunity to me.
Still, I've gotten a couple of tells asking about the pet and how he flies over you is priceless.