20 Funniest Animal Stories of 2020
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The MVPs of this crazy year
It seems like good news is few and far between in 2020, but a few hilarious animals are here to save us with their headline-making antics. It’s true that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but now we have coronavirus-sniffing pups. Yes, we live in a world where natural disasters are next-level, but it’s also a world where a rat received a medal of honour for saving hundreds of humans. And let’s just take a moment to appreciate the dog who bailed his owner out of jail.
Loyal dog springs owner from jail
When someone is arrested, it’s not uncommon for a loved one to come down and pay bail or plead for their release. And such was the case when a Dominican man was taken into custody by police for violating curfew—except his loved one was of the canine variety. As seen on a police Facebook video, the dog strolls in confidently and begs for his owner’s release. It worked. “You know why I’m going to let him go? Because anyone can come here, and that dog came and told me [the man] was his. And that’s why I’m going to let him go,” said police colonel José Francisco de la Cruz Mercedes. “This is the first time I have handed over a prisoner to a dog.” The man, for his part, reportedly promised to behave going forward.
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Cat accidentally becomes a god, goes viral
Clyde, a fluffy white kitty, went viral on Twitter when his owner, Amanda Hyslop, posted a photo she’d taken of him. By chance, she’d managed to catch his reflection perfectly in the window while photographing clouds, making it appear that the cloud-like cat had ascended to his rightful throne in the sky. “Took a pic of the cat lookin’ out the window and accidentally turned him into some sort of god,” she tweeted. People loved Clyde’s regal pose. He hasn’t let the 1.5 million likes go to his head, though, as Hyslop showed in a second picture of him lounging on his back in the sun.
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Parrots put in time-out for cursing
Five African grey parrots—Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade, and Elsie—recently had to be separated for “encouraging each other to swear” at patrons at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Center in the U.K. “We are quite used to parrots swearing, but we’ve never had five at the same time, and for some reason these five relish it,” Steve Nichols, the zoo’s chief executive, told the AP. People were mainly entertained by the potty-mouthed parrots. “When a parrot tells you to ‘f— off,’ it amuses people very highly; it’s brought a big smile to a really hard year,” he said. But for the sake of children, the zoo decided it was best to put the birds in separate enclosures until they can behave.
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Spy pigeon exonerated, set free
A Pakistani pigeon was arrested by Indian law enforcement on suspicion of being a spy. The bird flew over the contentious border and was apprehended due to a suspicious ring around its ankle printed with numbers. The numbers were actually the cell phone number of the pigeon’s owner. After a thorough investigation, the pigeon was deemed not a threat to national security and was set free. “It was just an innocent bird,” police told Reuters. But before you laugh it off, you should know that this wasn’t the first case of avian espionage in the area: In 2016, a pigeon was taken into Indian custody after it was found with a note threatening Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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The cutest coronavirus rule enforcers ever
There’s not much that’s funny about the coronavirus pandemic and all the new rules surrounding it these days, but dogs in Finland are providing airline passengers with a dose of humour and entertainment—all while checking on their health. The dogs are trained to sniff out the coronavirus and alert their handler when a person has it. They’re remarkably accurate, and it only takes them a few seconds to smell the virus, said Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, a University of Helsinki professor of equine and small animal medicine. Hey, if we have to get screened everywhere we go, then we definitely vote for screening by pupper; it’s way more fun than a temperature gun.
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Cat vs. Monk: Who will break first?
A Thai Buddhist monk was just trying to say the (five-hour-long) prayer for New Year’s when one of the temple cats decided it needed attention right then. The orange kitty crawled all over the monk as he tried desperately not to lose concentration, delighting viewers all over the world watching this interaction stream on Facebook. The cat would not be ignored and climbed up the monk’s robe, kneaded his shoulder, and then blocked his scripture book so he would have no choice. Finally, the monk relented and gave it some pets and scritches. Respect for all living beings is a key tenet of Buddhism, and the monk later said he has a soft spot for the “fat and pampered” temple cats.
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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fattest bear of all?
Fat Bear Week, hosted every year by the Katmai Conservancy, allows the public to vote for which Alaskan bear will be the chunkiest before going into hibernation. After making a donation to a charity, people got to vote for one of the “Lardaceous Leviathan Levels Chunky Challengers.” On “Fat Bear Tuesday” (this year, it was October 6), the adipose award went to Bear 747, affectionately nicknamed Jumbo Jet. The brown bear weighs at least 1,400 pounds—something that will help him make it comfortably through the cold winter.
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Toad steals shoe, woman’s heart
Jabba the toad first claimed Sita Hood’s old running shoe as her home last year, catching flies by day and lounging in comfort by night. At first, Hood thought it was a fluke and assumed the toad would hop away over the next day or two. Jabba ended up staying the entire summer before going somewhere else to hibernate. It was a cute story, but Hood was in for a big surprise when Jabba returned the following spring and jumped back into her old shoe. Hood says it’s no longer her shoe anymore but Jabba’s home. She even made a sign for the amphibian so people wouldn’t accidentally dump her out. “Donating my shoe was no big deal,” Hood told the Dodo. “If it afforded her comfort or protection, why not?”
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Dog makes the most memorable moment at a wedding
Weddings are about love, sure, but after that, they’re all about commemorating the event through pictures that will encapsulate the couple’s special day. Freya decided to do just that when her human parents brought her to their wedding. She was an adorable usher, but then, in the middle of the ceremony, nature called and she did what dogs do: She pooped on the lawn. The photographer accidentally captured the event mid-squat, as Freya was framed by the bridal party. People thought it was hilarious and gave her a round of applause when she finished her business.
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