Newsmakers: Animal edition

The creatures who captured headlines in 2013


1) Fashion:

Lupo, the cocker spaniel owned by the duke and duchess of Cambridge, broke the royal tyranny of corgis. He also spawned a craze for his breed, and his inclusion in the first official photo of Prince George signalled that canines are now one of the family.

2) Twits:

The British tabloids tapped into arachnophobia with horror stories about an invasion of ‘flesh-eating’ false widow spiders. But the tabs were spinning a yarn. Experts say they pose no threat.

3) Feud:

Darwin the Ikea monkey’s owner waged a failed court battle for his return against the primate sanctuary where he’d been placed by authorities. Hopefully he still gets to wear that shearling coat.

4) Winner:

Momo the cat survived a dunk in Calgary’s flood waters. After using up more than a few of her lives swimming to safety, she provided inspiration for her non-feline counterparts.

5) Villain:

Damned beavers! A wave of rodent attacks on humans in Belarus culminated with a fatal bite wound to a fisherman.

6) Arrival:

A 63-cm-long alligator was mysteriously left in the baggage claim area at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Apprehended by police, it was sent to live at a reptile park.

7) Exit:

Captured after wandering into an Indian zoo from a nearby forest, a six-year-old male tiger escaped just one month later by jumping a six-metre-high fence. Easy come, easy go.

8) YouTube Star:

Entering stage left, a young bear ran into a motorcyclist, who was videotaping his speeding adventures. The cyclist was injured, but the bear ambled off. The video, released by the B.C. RCMP, became a global hit.

9) The end:

Quanto, 5, a German shepherd police dog, was fatally stabbed while on duty in Edmonton. He is survived by his handler, Const. Matt Williamson.