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Animals in the News

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Today, we have the first of this year's posts about the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include a locust swarm, a greyhound rescue, freeze-dried pets, a marten attacking an FC Zurich defender during a soccer match, and small aquatic animals in sealed plastic bags sold as good luck charms in China. 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, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [47 photos]

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Dogs run in the 3.7 km sprint dogsled race in Walgau Germany, on March 2, 2013. Around 100 participants compete in different distance between 3.7 and 40 kilometers. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
Dogs run in the 3.7 km sprint dogsled race in Walgau Germany, on March 2, 2013. Around 100 participants compete in different distance between 3.7 and 40 kilometers. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
A stuck mule deer buck struggles unsuccessfully to get off the ice of a frozen-over lake in Golden, Colorado, on January 10, 2013. According to the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, which was considering a rescue, the deer was most likely unable to get himself off the ice either due to injury, exhaustion, or the slipperiness of the ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #
A marten bites FC Zurich's Loris Benito as he attempts to remove the animal which was running on the pitch during the Swiss Super League soccer match against FC Thun, in Thun, on March 10, 2013. (Reuters/Pascal Lauener) #
A stork flies near Biebesheim am Rhein, Germany, on March 13, 2013. (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images) #
A man rides his horse through the flames during the "Luminarias" annual religious celebration on the night before Saint Anthony's, Patron of animals, in the village of San Bartolome de los Pinares, about 100 km (62 miles) north west of Madrid, Spain, on January 16, 2013. According to tradition that dates back 500 years, people ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of this small village to purify the animals with the smoke of the bonfires. (Reuters/Sergio Perez) #
A whale shark sucks in water, feeding next to a feeder boat off the beach of Tan-awan, Oslob, on the southern Philippines island of Cebu, on March 1, 2013. Tan-awan used to be a sleepy village that never saw tourists unless they were lost or in transit. Yet now they flock there by the hundreds to swim with whale sharks, the world's largest fish. Whale sharks are lured to the coastline by fishermen who hand-feed them small shrimp, drawing divers and snorkelers to see the highly sought-after animals. The practice has sparked fierce debate on the internet and among biologists, who decry it as unnatural. (Reuters/David Loh) #
Horses near an abandoned Israeli tank in a field along the border between Syria and Israel, in the Golan Heights, on March 8, 2013. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images) #
The eyes of a Husky dog, on February 23, 2013 during an international dog sled race in Todtmoos, Germany. (Patrick Seeger/AFP/Getty Images) #
Locusts fly near a car belonging to experts as they map the swarms of locusts near Kmehin in Israel's Negev desert, on March 5, 2013. The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Tuesday that the location of the locusts which crossed into Israel from neighboring Egypt had been mapped and and were to be fumigated. (Reuters/Amir Cohen) #
A prison guard holds a cat that has objects wrapped around his body with tape at a prison in Arapiraca, Brazil, in this photo obtained by Reuters on January 5, 2013. The cat carrying a saw and a mobile phone was "detained" as it entered a prison gate in northeast Brazil, media reported. Prison guards were surprised when they saw a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, its body wrapped with tape. A closer look showed the feline also carried drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger. (Reuters/Superintendent General of Prison Administration) #
Volunteers try to help rescued dogs at a storage yard near a highway in Chongqing Municipality, China, on March 5, 2013. According to the local media, more than 900 dogs, including pet dogs, were to be transported to restaurants in Guangdong before being rescued by local volunteers at a highway in Chongqing. The driver who was using a truck to transport the dogs testified to be the same person who was stopped for transporting dogs last year. The police released him after he provided animal quarantine certificates for the dogs. Volunteers later sent the dogs for health examinations and will put the dogs up for adoption. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A 15-day-old night monkey is fed by at a temporary shelter west of Bogota, Colombia, on February 18, 2013. The male night monkey arrived at the center on February 4, weighing a scant 100 grams, or about one-quarter of a pound. It was brought by a man who said he found it abandoned on the side of a highway in Colombia's eastern plains near Meta province, said Judith Cardenas, the center's chief biologist. The plan, according to Cardenas, is to let the baby monkey grow and then place him in a large cage in the center, next to another monkey of the same species. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) #
A flock of starlings fly over an agricultural field near the southern Israeli city of Netivot, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Amir Cohen) #
A cat watches passers-by from a pub window in central London, on February 27, 2013. "Ray Brown" is the resident cat at the seventeenth century public house, "The Seven Stars" in the legal district of London. (Reuters/Toby Melville) #
Azra, 68, looks at her dead pet bird in a cage at her home, which was burned by a mob two days earlier, in Badami Bagh, Lahore, on March 11, 2013. Hundreds of Pakistani Christians took to the streets across the country, demanding better protection after a Christian neighborhood was torched in the city of Lahore in connection with the country's controversial anti-blasphemy law. (Reuters/Mohsin Raza) #
Aluna, a baby Dik-dik, walks across a computer keyboard in the office of Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, in northern England, on March 12, 2013. The miniature antelope, which is only 8 inches tall (20 cm), is being hand reared by the zoo after failing to bond with its mother. (Reuters/Phil Noble) #
Two killer whales surface through a breathing hole in the ice of Hudson Bay near the community of Inukjuak, Quebec, on January 9, 2013. The whales are part of a pod of several that were trapped in the sea ice of the Hudson Bay. The whales were taking turns breathing through a hole in the ice about the size of a pickup truck. Soon after, they were able to escape, as winds shifted, opening a passageway nearby. (Reuters/Maggie Okituk) #
A dog named Pay de Limon (Lemon Pay) runs, fitted with two front prosthetic legs at Milagros Caninos rescue shelter in Mexico City, on August 29, 2012. Members of a drug gang in the Mexican state of Zacatecas chopped off Limon's paws to practice cutting fingers off kidnapped people, according to Milagros Caninos founder Patricia Ruiz. Fresnillo residents found Limon in a dumpster bleeding and legless. After administering first aid procedures, they managed to take him to Milagros Caninos, an association that rehabilitates dogs that have suffered extreme abuse. The prosthetic limbs were made at OrthoPets in Denver, Colorado, after the shelter was able to raise over $6,000. (Reuters/Tomas Bravo) #
A keeper weighs an adult Java Sparrow during the annual bird health check at Chester Zoo in Chester northern England, on March 6, 2013. (Reuters/Phil Noble) #
A male jungle nymph sits on a female jungle nymph during the annual stock take at London Zoo, on January 3, 2013. More than 17,500 animals including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are counted in the annual stock take at the zoo. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) #
Decorated elephants on the last day of the religious festival Nawam poya Perahera at Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on February 25, 2013. Over 50 elephants participated in the street parade for Gangaramaya temple's annual Perahera festival, along with a nightly procession of traditional dancers, fire twirlers and traditional musicians. (Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte) #
(1 of 2) Alice, an abandoned six year old greyhound who was found wandering the busy Doncaster Road, stands in her kennel at Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, on July 29, 2011. Alice was found infested with fleas and at about half her normal bodyweight. (Reuters/Chris Helgren) #
(2 of 2) Alice, a racing dog who was left to fend for herself on the Doncaster Road, is embraced by her new owner Wendy Jones while out for a walk near their home in Barnsley, on September 29, 2012. Living with Wendy and Gary Jones, a dog-loving couple in the former mining town of Barnsely, south Yorkshire, Alice enjoys going for daily walks on the rolling green hills near their home. (Reuters/Chris Helgren) #
Workers prepare guinea pigs before distribution of the animals to the community of Karete, DR Congo, as part of a food security program by Action Against Hunger International (ACF) in Karete, on February 18, 2013. Over 500 guinea pigs were distributed to the locals by the non-profit organization that focuses their programs and activities in the field mainly on nutrition and prevention of malnutrition. (Reuters/Jana Asenbrennerova) #
Cleaning workers retrieve carcasses of pigs from a branch of Huangpu River in Shanghai, on March 10, 2013. Over 2,200 pigs were found dead, floating in one of Shanghai's main water sources, official media reported on March 11, 2013, triggering a public outcry in China where concerns over food safety and environmental pollution run high. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A Tibetan mastiff is displayed for sale at a mastiff show in Baoding, Hebei province, south of Beijing, on March 9, 2013. Fetching prices up to around $750,000 USD, mastiffs have become a prized status-symbol amongst China's wealthy, with rich buyers across the country sending prices skyrocketing. Owners say the mastiffs, descendents of dogs used for hunting by nomadic tribes in central Asia and Tibet are fiercely loyal and protective. Breeders still travel to the Himalayan plateau to collect young puppies, although many are unable to adjust to the low altitudes and die during the journey. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images) #
A handicapped member of the "Sin Limites" (Without limits) Charreria team is helped by volunteers during a practice at Lienzo Charro in Guadalajara, Mexico, on February 22, 2013. The team was founded two years ago as part of a charreria school (charreria is a competitive event similar to rodeo.) The school aims to combine the tradition of the national sport with the social integration of people with different disabilities that they acquired through accidents, according to organizers. A group of 10 cowboys and skirmishers will try to maneuver on horseback as they are aided by volunteer guides. (Reuters/Alejandro Acosta) #
Small plastic bags holding fish, turtles and salamanders are displayed for sale at a shopping district in Beijing, on March 7, 2013. According to the vendor, each bag, filled with oxygen and nutritional liquid, can keep the animal it holds alive for two months and is sold for 10 RMB ($1.6). The Chinese believe such charms can bring good luck. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #
Zefi, 12, holds a pillow while his sister Marsela, 9, takes care of their cow inside their house in the village of Bardhaj, north of the Albanian capital Tirana, on January 25, 2013. (Reuters/Arben Celi) #
Over ten thousand shark fins are dried on the rooftop of a factory building in Hong Kong, on January 2, 2013. Local sales of the luxurious gourmet food have fallen in recent years due to its controversial nature, but activists demand a total shark fin ban in the city, labelled by some as the shark fin capital of the world. The fins were shipped from an unknown location and unloaded at a nearby pier to be dried on the rooftop. (Reuters/Bobby Yip) #
Receptionist Lessie Calvert sits behind her desk surrounded by freeze-dried animals at Anthony Eddy's Wildlife Studio in Slater, Missouri, on February 12, 2013. Animal lovers from across the country call on Anthony Eddy and his team to faithfully preserve their beloved departed pets for posterity through a freeze-drying process that can take up to a year before they are painstakingly preserved and returned to their owners. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #
A U.S. marine drinks the blood of a cobra during a jungle survival exercise with the Thai Navy as part of the "Cobra Gold 2013" joint military exercise, at a military base in Chon Buri province, Thailand, on February 20, 2013. About 13,000 soldiers from seven countries, Thailand, U.S., Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia participated in the 11-day military exercise. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
An alpaca looks into a camera at the Alpaca Park in Arendsee, Germany, on February 11, 2013. (Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images) #
A raccoon in its enclosure at the Schwarze Berge wildlife park in Hamburg, Germany, on February 28, 2013. (Sven Hoppe/AFP/Getty Images) #
His hide mounted on a synthetic body with glass eyes, late polar bear Knut is displayed at the Natural History Museum in Berlin, Germany, on February 15, 2013. Still attracting admirers in death, the Natural History Museum on Friday unveiled the statue prepared by taxidermists featuring the famous Berlin Zoo bear's fur and claws. Knut was hand-raised after his mother rejected him. He rose to stardom in 2007 as a cuddly cub, appearing on magazine covers, in a film and on mountains of merchandise. He died in 2011 after suffering from encephalitis. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #
A Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) vet takes a blood sample from a tranquilized wild elephant in Amboseli national park, Kenya, on March 14, 2013. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) School of Field Studies (SFS) and KWS partnered to fit tracking collars to elephants in and around Amboseli national park. The exercise has cost $100,000 USD and will monitor 6 elephants for 20 months in order ascertain migratory routes and other data. There are currently 60 collared elephants in Kenya of a total national elephant population of around 37,000. (Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images) #
Paws of cats locked in cases without food and water, on the back of a truck, after a traffic accident on a street of Changsha, Hunan province, China, on January 14, 2013. A truck carrying more than 1,000 cats to Guangdong to sell them to diners was pulled over by the roadside during a traffic accident. Around 50 animal protection group members and volunteers rescued the cats after they heard the news and later sent the cats to a pet clinic for treatment. (Reuters/China Daily) #
A reveller walks with a boar's head during the "O Entroido" festival in Spain's northwestern village of Laza, on February 11, 2013. (Reuters/Miguel Vidal) #
Bison in a forest in Nalibokskaya Forest Reserve near the village of Rum, some 80 km (50 miles) west of Minsk, Belarus, on January 11, 2013. Several dozens bison live in this reserve, which has the largest forest in Belarus. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko) #
An Indian forestry worker walks past the body of a tusker elephant after it was struck by a train at the Buxa Tiger Reserve, some 12 km from Alipurduar, on March 5, 2013. The adult tusker was killed by the speeding Guwahati-bound Somporkkranti Express inside the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal. (AFP/Getty Images) #
A runner passes a penguin as he takes part in the Antarctic Marathon, held for the first time on the frozen continent, on March 1, 2013. Fifty-two competitors from different countries took part in the race. (Joel Estay/AFP/Getty Images) #
Members of the Free Syrian Army, wearing yellow bandanas to help them tell friend from foe in battle, play with a cat in the old city of Aleppo, on March 2, 2013. (Reuters/Saad Abobrahim) #
A dog rests on a buffalo near Ravi River in Lahore, Pakistan, on Febuary 4, 2013. (Reuters/Mohsin Raza) #
A municipal worker captures a stray dog in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on February 5, 2013. Local authorities believe that up to 100,000 stray dogs prowl the streets of Ciudad Juarez, many of them abandoned by the estimated 200,000 residents who fled the city at the height of the drug-related violence in 2010 and 2011. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez) #
The remains of dead stray dogs in the municipal dump in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on January 18, 2013. Recently, local workers have been picking up the remains of between 40-60 dogs daily, with 4,970 dead animals retrieved in 2012, according to the city's head of clean-up efforts. Authorities believe the dogs died due to starvation, extreme temperatures, from being struck by vehicles, or died near their owner's former homes while waiting in vain for them to return. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez) #
Residents watch horses fight in Rongshui Miao autonomous county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, China, on February 20, 2013. Horse fighting is a traditional custom with a 500-year history among the Miao ethnic minority. (Reuters/China Daily) #
Alexander Ivanov (right), head of a traveling circus troupe based in Moscow, walks behind 11-year-old bear Masha after rehearsals in the Circus on Fontanka in St. Petersburg, on February 1, 2013. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk) #

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