Top 10 Animal Stories of 2010

Prognosticating octopus! Cat in a trash can! A look back a year full of captivating moments

01 of 10

SMILING BIRTHDAY DOG

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Maureen Ravelo/Rex USA

He looked like he was smiling. He looked like he might have been enjoying a little extra something along with his cookie. He was wearing a birthday hat. Everybody exploded.

02 of 10

PAUL THE OCTOPUS

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Kirsten Neumann/Landov

He was the prognosticating cephalopod that could, and did. From his cushy tank at the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium in Germany, the one they called Paul the Psychic Octopus correctly called a fitting eight games in this year’s World Cup, including the championship, which was won by Spain. He retired after his perfect run, and then, just before what would have been his third birthday, he died.

03 of 10

CINNABUN

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Before Jesse James and his reputation took a turn for derided, he was the stoic, macho guy behind West Coast Choppers who had Sandra Bullock’s back. When his pit bull CinnaBun went missing in late January, James embarked on a dedicated search for his pooch, offering up a large reward. Cinny came back, 15 lbs. lighter, and then James’s life turned upside down – for different reasons.

04 of 10

DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL

DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL

After a drilling rig exploded in April, more than 200 million gallons of oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico during the ensuing three months. The unwitting victims of the enormous spill were the thousands of animals living in the region, including wildlife, fish and even pets. People from all over the country mobilized to help, including one 11-year-old girl from New York who drew pictures of birds in an effort to send money to the Audubon Society.

05 of 10

SEAWORLD TRAINER DIES IN KILLER WHALE ATTACK

SEAWORLD TRAINER DIES IN KILLER WHALE ATTACK
AP

Tilikum, a 12,000-lb. male whale at SeaWorld Orlando, attacked trainer Dawn Brancheau in February. Two-dozen witnesses saw Tilikum thrash Brancheau about, and she eventually drowned in his tank.

06 of 10

WOMAN THROWS CAT INTO TRASH CAN

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One of the year’s most vilified humans was Mary Bale, a bank worker in England who was caught on camera walking past a neighborhood cat and tossing the creature into a trash can. Following a major uproar, Bale apologized and pleaded guilty to animal-cruelty charges.

07 of 10

SALMA HAYEK IS AFRAID OF SNAKES

SALMA HAYEK IS AFRAID OF SNAKES

The actress, who has enjoyed a decades-long international career, completely fell apart during a TV interview in June … at the sight of a snake. Climbing all over her co-stars and screaming, “No! Somebody do something! Noooo,” Hayek gave us a totally unscripted glimpse of her fear of snakes.

08 of 10

VANESSA CARLTON GETS BITTEN BY A DOG

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Courtesy Maria McKenna, inset: Mark Davis/Getty

The she-said, dog-said that ensued after Vanessa Carlton met a pit bull in Pennsylvania was never resolved. The singer said she was attacked and bitten by the young pooch, who was almost put down, but the dog’s owners and temporary custodians said the pup was “exuberant,” not aggressive.

09 of 10

DELTA LOSES DOG

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Paco almost had a new life with two Canadians who rescued him after they found him wandering around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The duo adopted the dog, boarded a Delta flight headed for home, but the airline lost the dog –who never returned.

10 of 10

CARRIE UNDERWOOD GETS MARRIED WITH ACE

CARRIE UNDERWOOD GETS MARRIED WITH ACE
Simone & Martin Photography

The country star’s August nuptials were an all-out affair that included her bestie of all besties: Ace, the Chihuahua that never leaves her side. He wore a pink tux with a blinged-out collar, and objected when it came time for the newlyweds to kiss.

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