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The 50 Best Animal Photos Of 2011

Here's a collection of the best animal photojournalism of the year. It was a sad, funny, but overall cute year for animal photos.

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A macaque monkey in Indonesia took a camera from a wildlife photographer before snapping himself in a variety of poses.

The macaque monkey is extremely rare and critically endangered making these pictures all the more special.


Researchers dressed in panda costumes put a panda cub into a basket before transferring it to a new living environment at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center on February 20.

The panda costumes are part of a new plan to reintroduce captive giant pandas back into the wild. (Reuters)



WWF / Reuters

A black rhino is transported by helicopter in South Africa. This was all part of a relocation plan for black rhinos, meant to move the endangered species to less populated areas so that they have a better shot at survival.



A kitten is given oxygen after being saved in a house fire in Missoula, Montana.

"He wasn't breathing too well," said Firefighter Brett Cunniff, who scooped up the tiny body and gently carried it outside into the fresh, cool air. "So I put some oxygen on him."

Minutes later, the kitten was in the back of an ambulance, cradled in the arms of emergency medical technician Paige Ostanhowski, who held an oxygen mask to a button nose turning a healthy shade of pink. He survived and is doing well.

(TOM BAUER/Missoulian Missoula)



Peter Andrews / Reuters

Ciuchcia, a four-month-old dog, chases a cat in a courtyard at a shelter for homeless animals in Poland. Ciuchcia's rear legs were paralyzed after he was physically abused and abandoned with his two siblings on a train track. The dog survived despite being run over by a number of trains.


David Niles / Reuters

"Frank and Louie" is the world's longest surviving "janus" feline. He's 12-years-old. The cat, who's name is "Frank and Louie", has two mouths, two noses and three eyes. Frank and Louie have one brain, so the faces react in unison.



Carrie Clark and Ted Garver remove her cat Tucker from her destroyed apartment in Joplin, Missouri. Clark said she last saw him moments before Sunday's deadly tornado and had found him only minutes before under a bed frame.




From the photographer Mrs. Wai Chun:

"Taken in June this year during a game drive at Nakuru National Park in Kenya. Rounding a bend on the track I came upon not one but seven of these magnificent young lions draped across the branches of an acacia tree. Some are dozing and some are looking disdainfully at me. I was transfixed by these superb, regal creatures. What a privilege for me to have witnessed this amazing moment."



A little girl saves a baby lamb from a farm near the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur in Iceland. People living next to the glacier where the Grimsvotn volcano burst into life were most affected. Ash shut out daylight and smothered buildings and vehicles.


From photographer Amy Sly:

"Amid the crowds of protestors and media in Zuccotti Park, this little guy was just hanging out on Danielle's shoulder. She found the squirrel a few months ago under a tree near her house after a heavy storm. Its legs were broken and a veterinarian told her it likely wouldn't recover. Instead of putting the squirrel down, Danielle adopted it and nursed it back to health. Now they go everywhere together. The squirrel's name is Hazelnut, she likes peanut butter, and her leash is made of braided hemp."


Harper the Pitbull puppy was given away in a trash bag. She was so afflicted by a rigor-mortis-like condition that she could barely move. Today, she's walking almost like a normal dog.

“The whole world was against her, but she’s such a fighter,” said Erica Daniel, Harper’s foster mom. “She’s a blessing. She’s awesome.”



An Oklahoma woman suffering from depression has found solace in the company of a kangaroo, but local city officials worry that the therapy pet — a partially paralyzed kangaroo — could become a public safety risk.

In the end, the two have been allowed to live together. Happily ever after.



A baby dolphin with its umbilical cord still attached was found beached near Montevideo city, Uruguay. Luckily, a rescue organization got involved and and nursed the little guy back to health.




This little orange seal has been ostracized by his fellows for being ginger. Also, unfortunately, he is almost blind.

He was found waiting for his mother under a log on Tyuleniy Island in Russia. He was picked up and taken by staff at a dolphinarium to keep him from anymore emotional stress.

Good news though, the seal is doing much better. Now named Nafanya - after a lookalike Soviet cartoon character - the seal was given VIP treatment and has now moved into a plush new home at the country's leading aquarium.



A veterinarian and an animal shelter owner in Sao Paulo, Brazil take care of a paralyzed lion. The lion, who's name is Ariel, was born with a degenerative disease that has left him unable to use his four legs for the past year. (AP)