It doesn’t take much for an animal to look adorable, but this bunch of creatures managed to turn up the cuteness dial to another level. Some of these pets and wild animals were in the middle of the year’s most harrowing natural disasters.
Ryo Taira lifts a porpoise out of a flooded rice field after it was swept by the tsunami and earthquake in Sendai, Japan.
A cat sits on top of a Kosovo Serb man’s hat in front of German soliders at a village in Jagnjenica, Serbia.
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.
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.
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.”
An African spurred tortoise with two heads and five legs is displayed in Slovakia.
A kitten is given oxygen after being saved in a house fire in Missoula, Montana.
Medo the bear plays with the Logar family dog in Podvrh village in central Slovenia,
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.
Iris licks her 7-week-old cub during one of their first walks in an open-air cage at the Royev Ruchey zoo in Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
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.”
A Kamchatka Brown Bear and one of her two three-month-old cubs share a kiss in Hamburg, Germany.
A dog wanders around the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan.
Zukhro, an employee of a Russian city zoo, walks with Vadik, an 18-month-old male lion.
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.
A boy plays with a cat while his father works on their shack at the slum of Las Mayas in Caracas, Venezuela on May 31.
Jonna Baquillas holds her pet, a rescued cat named Rue, for an event to benefit the Philippine Animal Welfare Society in Manilla, Philippines.
Jess, a seven-year-old female cat, looks on as a mouse runs by in a back yard in Gosport, England.
A Slovenian soldier pets a puppy on the road in the village of Rudare near Mitrovica.
A flood-affected resident stands with her dogs at her flooded house in Thailand.