A flock of sheep walk in the haze in a Beijing suburb, China, Jan. 15, 2015.
A flock of sheep walk in the haze in a Beijing suburb, China, Jan. 15, 2015.Lintao Zhang—Getty Images
A flock of sheep walk in the haze in a Beijing suburb, China, Jan. 15, 2015.
Baby pandas born in 2015 are placed on grass for pictures during a photo opportunity at a giant panda breeding centre in Ya'an
Spencer, Alexandra and Victoria (from left) three of 10 corgis racing against each other, battle it out for first place in the Ladbrokes Barkingham Palace Gold Cup Royal Corgi Race in Bedford Square, London, in the hope of determining the name of the next royal baby, ahead of the Duchess of Cambridge's April due date. The baby was named Alexandra. March 19, 2015.
BABY HIPPO TOSSED IN THE AIR BY ADULT
China's Kazakh Minority Preserve Culture Through Eagle Hunting in Western China
The Queen And Duke Of Edinburgh Open The School Of Veterinary Medicine
Dairy cows nuzzle a barn cat as they wait to be milked at a farm in Granby Quebec
APTOPIX Brazil Polar Bears
Two young sloth bears play in the zoo in Leipzig, Germany, May 5, 2015.
Two endangered baby undulate rays were born at the Sea Life London Aquarium as part of the attraction's breeding and tracking programme. Aug. 11, 2015.
Nastia Pokolo lives in a remote village of Babinets
Cougar Victoria
A hippopotamus stands in the mud in front of a Swatch watch kiosk after it escaped from a flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia, , June 14, 2015.
A man holds a pig on a float to cross a flooded road amidst a strong current in Sta Rosa, Nueva Ecija
GEORGIA-FLOOD
FRANCE-AMIMAL-ZOO-MISTREATMENT-INVESTIGATION
Newborn Cubs Bolster Panda Population In Sichuan Province
JAPAN-ANIMAL-WEATHER-SUMMER-HEAT
US-AMINALS-SURF-DOGS
J-Bay Open Surfing
INDONESIA-ENVIRONMENT-WHALE-SHARK
DENMARK-ANIMALS-ZOO-LION-DISSECTION
SWITZERLAND-CLIMATE-WARMING-UN-COP21-DEMO
Owners holding their pets attend a religious and blessing ceremony outside the San Francisco church in Lima
Sheep are led by shepherds through Madrid city center, Spain, Oct. 25, 2015. The flock of around 2,000 sheep is guided through Madrid streets in defense of ancient grazing, droving and migration rights increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices.
A farmer paddles his boat as he herds a flock of geese on a wetland area in Jinhu county
A fisherman throws a fish during the traditional carp haul in the village of Smrzov
A grouse sits on Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's head as he visits a facility of the Forest and Water Management Ministry in Rize, Turkey
A macaw flies over buildings with the Avila mountain behind in Caracas
CRICKET-NZL-SRI
A pet dog is tied to a pole in an empty street as it waits for its owner outside of a shop in Tokyo
Aussie Bird Count
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a selfie with a baby elephant while touring the Sheldrick Center Elephant Orphanage at the Nairobi National Park
A man applies eye make up to his pet monkey before it performs tricks for money in Karachi, Pakistan
A reveler carries his dog during a Holi Festival in Madrid, Spain, April 26, 2015. The festival is based on the Hindu spring festival Holi, also known as the festival of colors where participants throw at each other dry powder and colored water.
Spanish matador David Galvan is tackled by a bull during a bullfight in Seville, southern Spain
A malnourished and traumatized Borneo orangutan and her baby were rescued by International Animal Rescue from an attack by angry villagers in the village of Kuala Satong in West Kalimantan province, Indonesia, as they were escaping rampant wildfires. Primates fleeing forest fires in Indonesia often head to villages in search of food, which leads to an increase in human-animal conflict. Photo taken on Oct. 14, 2015 and released on Nov. 10, 2015.
Two baby orangutans play with each other at the wildlife department in Kuala Lumpur
Cows watch birds fly past at Harris Cattle Ranch in Coalinga in the Central Valley
A goldfinch feeds its newly hatched chicks in their nest in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea, April 2, 2014.
A hawk flies over the swimming pool of the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez during the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, May 20, 2015.
Lazio's mascot, a white headed eagle called Olimpia, lands in the stands before the start of the Italian Serie A soccer match against Napoli at the Olympic stadium in Rome
Dog sits on its bed at My Second Home, a newly opened luxury pet resort and spa, in Dubai
Dogs are seen among faithfuls during a religious service ahead of a blessing ceremony for animals at the Basilica of St Peter and Paul in Saint-Hubert, Belgium
The head of a cow after slaughter is seen during celebrations of Eid al-Adha at Sunda Kelapa Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 24, 2015
A man rides a horse with a child through the flames during the "Luminarias" annual religious celebration in San Bartolome de los Pinares
Orangutans walk as haze shrouds Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation camp in Nyaru Menteng
Sumatran tiger cubs and their parents walk around their enclosure at London Zoo in London
A family of giraffes look out from their enclosure before taking part in a Christmas-themed feeding session at Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo, Australia, Dec. 9, 2014.
Cats crowd the harbor on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan, Feb. 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one.
A flock of sheep walk in the haze in a Beijing suburb, China, Jan. 15, 2015.
Lintao Zhang—Getty Images
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50 Astonishing Animal Photos of 2015

Dec 28, 2015

There are few things more enjoyable and humorously entertaining than cute animals and their offspring making amusing expressions, acting in surprising ways or awkwardly mocking human gestures.

Whether they’re fluffy, scaly or spiny, mighty or meek, quadruped, winged or finny, this year again the surprising world of animals doesn't disappoint. Some of these critters made headlines, such as the seemingly placid hippo that escaped the flooded zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia; others saddened, such as the traumatized orangutan rescued with her baby; and others endlessly astonished — who knew baby undulate rays had blissed-out smiles?

TIME presents a collection of unpredictable moments brought to you by the wild animal kingdom in the past 12 months.

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