Most delightful animals of 2009

Last post was August, huh? A little behind here, I guess. Have a few trips to blog about including Berlin (best zoo ever!), Zurich, and Curacao, but in honor of the end of the year, I’m going to write about my other favorite topic: animals. In 2009, my entree into Twitter and social media brought me a wealth of animal videos.

Every time I worry I’m spending too much time on Twitter posting animal photos and videos rather than serious travel stuff, I get a message from a media friend telling me to keep up the good work, so I guess I’m doing something right!

Here are a few of my favorite animals this year, some of them are older than 2009, but all have been watched and officially endorsed by me this year.

Special thanks to my fellow animal lovers and travelers Alexander Basek, Mike Barish, Jodi Ettenberg, and Rachel Kelly.

7. Unusual animal friends were undoubtedly the best trend of 2009, exemplified by the lovely story of the orangutan and the hound. Gives me hope for humanity:

6. Another early animal fascination was the walrus. Ungainly and awkward, you say? Check out this gal:

Bonus: walrus tribute to Michael Jackson.

5. Whether they are brown, polar, or pandas, bears are just awesome. Especially when waving, sneezing, or hammocking. I was already a big fan of her Monkey Portraits, but I was really disappointed to miss the gallery show of photographer Jill Greenberg’s Bears recently in New York. I’m consoled by this charming fellow who greets me daily on my cell phone and desktop:

4. Monkeys and apes are probably my favorite animals and the internet never fails to yield something great. Highlights including ice-skating chimps, victims of Japanese gameshows and the tickled loris. The saddest/funniest video has to be this fat boy, which I have watched ad nauseum.

3. Dogs can do no wrong for me, and I was especially charmed by festive dogs decorating a Christmas tree, the French Bulldog who couldn’t roll over, and Stains the hypnotizing dog. But I never get tired of this dancing queen:

2. Allergies and general personality differences have kept me from being a cat person but I have to give it up to cats and kittens this year. You probably know about surprised kitty and Keyboard Cat, but how about this Roomba bully or fat cat with very ominous music? I’ll leave it to this little girl to further sing the praises of felines:

1. While not as talented as some of the other animals, for me this year was all about the pig. I wanted to swim with them in the Bahamas, tuck them into their bunkbeds, and move to a state where teacup piglets are not illegal. Even Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid agrees. Could you resist this face?!


Bonus: more animals in teacups.

I could go on, but there are only a few hours left in 2009 and Husband is worrying I’m turning into a crazy animal lady (too late). Happy New Year and more to come in 2010!

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