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Animals in the News

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It's time once more for a look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today's photos include a fiery Spanish festival, a frightening encounter with a leopard in India, a flamingo undergoing laser treatment, a new species named in honor of entertainer Beyonce, and the plight of Ukraine's "vodka bears". These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [42 photos]

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A man rides a horse through a bonfire on January 16, 2012 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of San Anton, the patron saint of animals, horses are ridden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
A man rides a horse through a bonfire on January 16, 2012 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of San Anton, the patron saint of animals, horses are ridden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
A veterinarian places a monkey on the table for sterilization inside an operation theatre at a monkey rescue center run by forest and wildlife department Tutikandi in the northern Indian hill town of Shimla November 14, 2011. The Himachal Pradesh state government is offering a reward of 500 Indian Rupees ($9.50) for every monkey caught by a member of the public in an effort to control their numbers. Monkeys are increasingly seen as a nuisance in places like the capital Shimla, where they harass people and other animals on the roads and rifle through garbage bins looking for food. Monkeys caught are taken to one of four sterilization centres, where they are neutered before being released back into the same area where they were trapped. (Reuters/Mukesh Gupta) #
A leopard (Panthera pardus) attacks and wounds Pintu Dey, an Indian laborer in a residential neighborhood of Silphukhuri area in Guwahati, India, on January 7, 2012. Three people were seriously injured in the leopard attack before the cat was tranquilized and taken to Assam state zoo. Pintu Dey, in his 40s, is recovering in a hospital in India's northeastern state of Assam after being badly mauled outside his house. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Dew drops gather on a spider as it rests on its web during the early morning in Lalitpur, India, on October 11, 2011. (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar) #
Horses rear on a frosted field in Quorn, England, on January 16, 2012. (Reuters/Darren Staples) #
The reflection of fish farmer Aurelien Bergeron, standing in front of silver bream in a tank at the Frioul fish farm near the southern French city of Marseille, on January 12, 2012. 60 tons of organic fish are raised each year in this aquaculture facility, with 50% of the production being sold to local supermarkets, 25% sent to Switzerland, 20% sent to Parisian restaurants and 5% for local restaurants. (Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images) #
A reveler runs from a bull with flaming horns during a festival in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals, in the streets of Gilet, a town near Valencia, Spain, in the early hours of Sunday, January 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) #
From left, Busch Gardens senior veterinarian Alex Cole and zoo educators Missy Brazle and Anthony Augello prepare to perform a laser treatment on the feet of a flamingo named Brownie at Busch Garden's new animal care center Thursday, January 12, 2011 in Tampa, Florida, (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times, Edmund D. Fountain) #
Mushers and their dogs wait for the mass start of the eighth stage of the La Grande Odyssee sled dogs race in Bessans, France, on January 16, 2012. The race crosses the French Alps, covering over 1000 km (621 miles) over 11 days. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) #
A bullfrog hops on the field as Carlos Costly #13 of Honduras brings the ball up in the rain against the USA at Sun Life Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Marc Serota/Getty Images) #
A horse fly species found in northern Australia named "Scaptia (Plinthina) beyoncea" due to its golden lower abdomen is shown in this handout image in Canberra made available January 13, 2012. The previously un-named species has been named in honor of American entertainer Beyonce by Australian scientist Bryan Lessard according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's (CSIRO) blog. (Reuters/CSIRO/Bryan Lessard) #
Deer carcases hang from a swingset after being cleaned in Ladora, Iowa, on December 27, 2011. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) #
Rats for sale wait to be slaughtered in Canh Nau village, 40 km (25 miles) west of Hanoi, Vietnam, on December 25, 2011. Canh Nau is known as rat meat village where people eat rats as well as other kinds of meat from animals such as pigs, cows, chickens. One kilogram of slaughtered rats costs 80,000 dong ($3.80). (Reuters/Kham) #
A boy and his pony make their way to church to be blessed by priests on St. Stephens day in Srednja Vas, Slovenia, on December 26, 2011. (Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic) #
Ozark hellbenders, just after hatching at the St. Louis Zoo, on November 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The rare Ozark hellbender, an endangered amphibian found only in a few Missouri and Arkansas counties, has been successfully bred in captivity for the first time, offering new hope for the animal's survival, scientists involved in the breeding effort said Wednesday, November 30, 2011. (AP Photo/St Louis Zoo, Mark Wanner) #
Mahouts ride an elephant after collecting food from Chitwan National Park at Sauraha in Chitwan, about 170 km (106 miles) south of Kathmandu, on December 27, 2011. (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar) #
Daniel, a cat with two extra toes on each of his feet, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 17, 2011. The genetic mutation is called polydactylism and even though Daniel is two toes shy of a Guinness World Record, he's helping Milwaukee shelter officials raise money to buy a new home after they learned their rent was being doubled. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger) #
Adrian Walls, Team Leader of Birds poses in the Penguin Beach area as he participates in the annual stock take at London Zoo in central London January 4, 2012. The annual number count of over 16,000 mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, invertebrates and amphibians is a compulsory part of the zoo license renewal. (Reuters/Toby Melville) #
Animals rights activists carry dead animals in a demonstration to protest the treatment of animals, in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square December 10, 2011. The activists, holding up some 400 animal carcases, were marking International Animal Rights Day, according to animal rights organization Animal Equality. (Reuters/Juan Medina) #
A swan swims on the Strelasund arm of the Baltic Sea near Stralsund and the island of Ruegen, Germany, as dark clouds hang on the horizon on January 9, 2012. (Stefan Sauer/AFP/Getty Images) #
The sun shining through a fabric barrier gives a rippled effect on a horses coat at Plumpton racecourse in Plumpton, England, on January 02, 2012. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) #
A firefighter rescues a dog from a fire in the shantytown Favela do Moinho in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on December 22, 2011. The fire started in a vacant building and spread to the shantytown where about 200 homes were destroyed and one person was found dead, according to local media reports. (AP Photo/Andre Penner) #
A monkey plays with a discarded piece of plastic in New Delhi, India, on January 10, 2012. Discarded plastics kill thousands of animals worldwide, some suffocating, and others ingesting them mistakenly as food. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das) #
Volunteers give treatment to dogs after rescuing them at a disused pig farm in Chongqing municipality, China, on January 17, 2012. The dogs, among which some are pet dogs, were to be transported to Guangdong to be slaughtered before being rescued by local volunteers at the highway in Chongqing on Monday. Volunteers estimate that the total sum of the dogs has reached 1,000, local media reported. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A zookeeper poses with a Jungle Nymph stick insect during a media event for the annual stocktake at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, England, on January 10, 2012. (Reuters/Olivia Harris) #
A moose calf stands next to its mother after she had been hit by a vehicle in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on December 16, 2011. The mother moose, whose right rear leg was shattered, was shot by wildlife officials to put it out of its misery. The incident comes as Jackson Hole's moose population continues to plummet due to a combination of vehicle accidents, disease, predators and loss of habitat. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Wyoming Game and Fish Department via the Jackson Hole News and Guide, Jerry Longobardi) #
A panda cub looks at a toy dragon, a New Year gift, in a nursery room at China's Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Ya'an, southwest China's Sichuan province December 31, 2011. (Reuters/China Daily) #
A black rhino is transported by helicopter in South Africa. The seventh black rhino population established by the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project was released after an epic trip across the country. Nineteen of the critically endangered animals were moved from the Eastern Cape to a new location in Limpopo province. (AP Photo/Green Renaissance-World Wildlife Fund) #
Two wrestling camels fight at the Pamucak arena during the Selcuk-Efes Camel Wrestling Festival in the town of Selcuk, near the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir, on January 15, 2012. Hundreds of wrestling camels competed in the annual event watched by thousands of enthusiasts in western Turkey. (Reuters/Murad Sezer) #
An Asian short-clawed otter eats a fish in its enclosure at Chester Zoo in Chester, England, on January 5, 2012. The smallest of the world's otter species are part of a breeding programm at the zoo as they are classed as being vulnerable in the wild. (Reuters/Phil Noble) #
Triston Katic, 12, of Houston, spends some time with a kitten in its cage during the SPCA's winter "Critter Camp", on December 19, 2011, in Houston, Texas. The camp gives kids hands-on time with shelter dogs, cats and farm animals. Kids get a chance to learn fun and new facts about the animals and do animal-themed crafts, activities and games. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle/Nick de la Torre) #
A man is thrown by a bull during a traditional "Corraleja" or bullfight in Turbaco, Bolivar, Colombia, on January 1, 2012. (Blas Cervantes/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giraffe licks its lips at the Houston Zoo, on December 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson) #
Rosa, a 5-year-old female bear, lives in a cage near a gas station in Lityn, 400 km (245 mi) away from Kiev, Ukraine, seen on December 15, 2011. The Vier Pfoten (Four Paws) Animal Welfare Foundation started a bear rescue project together with the Ukrainian Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and the Rehabilitation Bears Center in Synvyr, Ukraine. According to the Vier Pfoten, unofficial statistics count more than 100 bears kept in captivity by private owners in restaurants, hotels and gas stations as tourist attractions. They are known as vodka bears as customers give them alcohol drinks for fun. (Reuters/Mihai Vasile/Vier Pfoten/Handout) #
A cat plays with a mouse on December 8, 2011 in Arnsberg, Germany. (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Belarussian hunter carries a beaver he caught in a trap in a canal, near the village of Khatenchitsy, some 60 km (37 miles) north of Minsk, on December 7, 2011. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko) #
Dogs wait to be slaughtered in a cage for sale as food in Duong Noi village, outside Hanoi, Vietnam, on December 16, 2011. While animal rights activists have condemned eating dog meat as cruel treatment of the animals, it is still an accepted popular delicacy for some Vietnamese, as well in some other Asian countries. (Reuters/Kham) #
The hand of a mahout rests on his elephant as he prepares for a beauty contest during the Elephant Race event at Sauraha in Chitwan, about 170 km (106 mi) south of Kathmandu, on December 28, 2011. (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar) #
Siberian tigers approach a keeper's car as they wait to be fed at the Siberian Tiger Forest Park in Harbin, China, on December 27, 2011. More than 800 Siberian tigers are currently living in the park, which is also a breeding center for this endangered species, local media reported. (Reuters/Sheng Li) #
Hadley is pictured inside Sarah Uzarski's apartment in Michigan, on December 1, 2011. Hadley was brought back to health by the Humane Society of West Michigan after it was doused with gasoline and set on fire in 2009. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse) #
A stag's breath is visible in the morning light in Richmond Park, London, on January 14, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Watson, a 5-year-old American bald eagle, takes flight in Long Branch State Park in Macon, Missouri, on January 8, 2012. Near center, in red, is 82 year old Ruth Payton, terminally ill with hemolytic anemia. Payton said she had always wanted to see a bald eagle. Her hospice worker, Randi Petre, contacted the University of Missouri's Raptor Rehabilitation Project, which arranged for Payton to come see Watson be released back into the wild. The eagle was brought to to the Raptor Rehabilitation Project last month after being found in Randolph County with severe lead poisoning, likely the result of ingesting contaminated fish or deer. (AP Photo/Columbia Daily Tribune, Matthew Cavanah) #

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