Pictures of the year: Animals

The most captivating animal pictures of 2016. [29 photos total]

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A rat's head rests as it is constricted in an opening in the bottom of a garbage can in Brooklyn, New York, October 18, 2016. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) #
A polar bear is seen at an aquarium in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, July 27, 2016. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
A giant panda cub falls from the stage while 23 giant pandas born in 2016 are seen on a display at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China September 29, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS #
A 23-day-old hamadryas baboon plays with a stuffed toy at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens after the baboon, according to a zoo doctor, was abandoned by its mother after its birth on April 4, in the southern city of Mysuru, India, April 28, 2016. (REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa) #
Riders and their horses of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna perform a dress rehearsal for the media at the SSE Arena in London, Britain November 10, 2016. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls) #
A cat with a �stegosaurus spine� design cut into its fur is seen next to a dog at a pet shop, in Tainan, Taiwan. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu) #
Bjorn, aged 5, smiles as he poses with a Owl butterfly during an event to launch the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, Britain. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez) #
An emu runs to escape an approaching wildfire as it burns near Potrero, California June 20, 2016. (REUTERS/Mike Blake) #
A displaced Iraqi boy leads his animals to safety after escaping from Islamic State controlled village of Abu Jarboa during clashes with IS militants near Mosul, Iraq November 1, 2016. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah) #
A sloth holds on to the post of a traffic barrier on a highway, in this handout photo provided by Ecuador's Transit Commission, in Quevedo, Ecuador. Transit police officers, who were patrolling the new highway found the sloth after it had apparently tried to cross the street and returned the animal to its natural habitat after a veterinarian found it to be in perfect condition, according to a press release. (REUTERS/Ecuador's Transit Commission/Handout via Reuters) #
Julian Assange's cat sits at the window of Ecuador's embassy as prosecutor Ingrid Isgren from Sweden interviews Assange in London, Britain November 14, 2016. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls) #
A carp swims in the Chidorigafuchi moat covered with petals of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Japan, April 8, 2016. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai) #
Thousands of starlings fly in a 'murmuration' as they return to roost at dusk near Charlton-on-Otmoor, southern England, February 11, 2016. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh) #
A golden pheasant is seen at Hangzhou Safari Park in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
Ostriches wear masks as they are transported by a truck for relocation in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, August 8, 2016. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
A man rides a horse through the flames during the "Luminarias" annual religious celebration on the eve of Saint Anthony's day, Spain's patron saint of animals, in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares, northwest of Madrid, Spain, January 16, 2016. According to tradition that dates back 500 years, people ride their horses through the narrow cobblestone streets of this small village to purify the animals with the smoke of the bonfires. (REUTERS/Susana Vera) #
(L-R) Maria Silva, Milena Cortes, Maria Arteaga, Jackeline Bastidas and Gissy Abello pose for a picture at the Famproa dogs shelter where they work, in Los Teques, Venezuela, August 25, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins) #
A seagull flies past the Houses of Parliament in central London, Britain November 2, 2016. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth) #
Long-tailed mayflies (Palingenia longicauda) mate on the surface of the Tisza river near Tiszakurt, Hungary June 14, 2016. Millions of these short-lived mayflies engage in a frantic rush to mate and reproduce before they perish in just a few hours during "Tiszaviragzas" or Tisza blooming season from late spring to early summer every year. (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh) #
Musafir, a pet monkey, eats a Jalebi sweet on a pavement in Kolkata, India, June 9, 2016. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #
A tomtit bird flies past a squirrel running on a fence after a snowfall in a park in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 12, 2016. (REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov) #
Hippopotamuses perform during a show at the circus in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia, July 7, 2016. (REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin) #
A banded mongoose plays with a Halloween pumpkin at a zoo in Chongqing, China, October 29, 2016. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
Horses look out a window of their stable near the village of Pontoiraklia, Greece, May 27, 2016. (REUTERS/Marko Djurica) #
A wolf looks into the camera at the 30 km (19 miles) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the abandoned village of Orevichi, Belarus, March 2, 2016. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko) #
Injured Egyptian fruit bats hang on a teddy bear at the home of Israeli woman, Nora Lifschitz, 28, in Tel Aviv February 21, 2016. Lifschitz says that she began caring for injured fruit bats from her home two years ago and now has some 70 of the flying mammals which she plans to release back into nature once they are healthy. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner) #
A polar bear cub snuggles up against her mother Valeska, in their enclosure at Bremerhaven's (Bremen's) Zoo by the Sea, Germany. (REUTERS/Carmen Jaspersen/Pool) #
A woman holds a hedgehog at the Harry hedgehog cafe in Tokyo, Japan, April 5, 2016. In a new animal-themed cafe, 20 to 30 hedgehogs of different breeds scrabble and snooze in glass tanks in Tokyo's Roppongi entertainment district. Customers have been queuing to play with the prickly mammals, which have long been sold in Japan as pets. The cafe's name Harry alludes to the Japanese word for hedgehog, harinezumi. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter) #
One of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus' performing elephants enters the arena for it's final show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2016. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly) #

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