The best animal pictures of 2013

By Francis Whittaker AP
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From Grumpy Cat to two-headed turtles, 2013 has been another vintage year for lovers of animal photography.

Here's our pick of the best nature and wildlife photos of the year so far

Click or swipe through the gallery to see more images

Reuters/Fabian Bimmer
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Hodenhagen, Lower-Saxony, Germany, January 2013

One of four eight-week old lion cubs to be unveiled at a safari park in Hodenhagen, Germany, roars at the camera during his first medical-check up.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
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Chengelsy Gorge, Kazakhstan, February 2013

A tamed golden eagle attacks a fox during an annual hunting competition in Kazakhstan's Chengelsy Gorge.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images
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Singapore Zoo, Singapore, March 2013

A keeper feeds a Southeast Asian Binturong during a media tour of River Safari at the Singapore Zoo.

Rex/Megan Lorenz
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Cape Coral, Florida, USA, April 2013

A soggy burrowing owl looks disgruntled during a rain shower in Cape Coral, Florida.

Jack Perks/Rex Features
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Devon, UK, April 2013

After his boisterous antics went a step too far, 3-month-old Jack Russell puppy Jackie is disciplined by his mother Morha in Devon, UK.

Steve Benjamin / Solent News / Rex Features
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Duiker Island, Cape Town, South Africa, May 2013

A Cape fur seal bears its fangs to a photographer in the waters off Hout Bay, South Africa.

REUTERS/Oscar Martinez
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Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, June 2013

A cat named Morris is pictured in his home city of Xalapa in Veracruz, Mexico, where he ran for mayor in June on an anti-corruption ticket with the slogan "Tired of voting for rats?".

Will Nicholls/Rex Features
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Northumberland, UK, June 2013

A red squirrel takes a look down the viewfinder of photographer Will Nicholls' camera in Northumberland, northern England.

Kyle McBurnie/Rex Features
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San Diego, California, USA, June 2013

A seal floats through a kelp forest near San Diego, USA in an award-winning picture by photographer Kyle McBurnie.

AP Images
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San Antonio Zoo, Texas, USA, June 2013

Two heads pop out of a newborn cooter turtle's shell at San Antonio Zoo, Texas, USA. The amazing creature became so popular she got her own Facebook page.

Paul Souders/Corbis
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Nunavut Territory, Canada, July 2013

A polar bear is seen semi-submerged in the waters of Hudson Bay off Nunvut Territory, Canada.

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
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Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, July 2013

Hang-glider Dan McManus and his service dog and co-pilot Shadow fly together in the Utah skies. McManus suffers from anxiety, and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage his symptoms.

Pete Souza / AP
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Washington DC, USA, August 2013

A Portuguese Water Dog called Sunny (right) poses with companion Bo (left) in the grounds of the White House after becoming the latest addition to President Obama's family in August.

Rex Features
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Dunlap, California, USA, August 2013

An 11-week-old blue-eyed snow leopard cub called Jackson poses for photographers at California's Cat Haven park.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Somerville, Massachusetts, USA, August 2013

Horse rider Elise Verdoncq performs during a preview performance of Cavalia's Odysseo show - which features 63 horses alongside 47 human performers - in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA.

AP Photo/Smithsonian Institution, Mark Gurney
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Ecuador / Colombia, August 2013

The first new species of carnivore to be identified in the Western hemisphere in 35 years is pictured in the cloud forests around Ecuador and Colombia. The discovery of the olinguito was announced by the Smithsonian Institution in August this year.

Rex / Australia Zoo
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Beerwah, Queensland, Australia, September 2013

A 30-day-old echidna baby, known as a 'puggle', is pictured at Australia Zoo in Queensland. Born in August, it's one of only 24 puggles ever to be bred in captivity.

Rex / Li Peng
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Ocean Park, Hong Kong, September 2013

A pygmy marmoset - the smallest species of monkey in the world - is seen carrying its baby on its back in the rainforest zone of the Ocean Park attraction in Hong Kong.

REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh
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Bodony, Hungary, September 2013

At a dog show just north of Budapest, a traditional Hungarian guard dog called a Komondor shows off its spectacular mop-like coat.

REX/Eiko Jones/Solent News
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Cedar Lake, Canada, October 2013

A cloud of tadpoles swims through the lily stems of Cedar Lake in Canada.

Rex Features/Dan Callister
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New York, New York, USA, October 2013

Internet celebrity Tardar Sauce, otherwise known as 'Grumpy Cat', arrives in a limousine ahead of picking up a lifetime achievement award at the annual Friskies Awards in New York.

AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara
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Mardingding, North Sumatra, Indonesia, November 2013

A ginger kitten sits on the roof of a house covered in volcanic ash following the eruption of Mount Sinabung in Mardingding, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce
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Washington DC, USA, November 2013

A three-month-old Sumatran tiger cub called Bandar shows his displeasure after his handler dunks him in water for a swim reliability test at the National Zoo, Washington DC, USA.

Reuters/Jim Young
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Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 2013

A two-day-old female western lowland baby gorilla sleeps in the her mother Koola's arms at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois, USA.