8 Of The Best Animal Stories Of 2021 To Make You Smile

Even if this year was pants, these guys bought some joy.
HuffPost UK/PA

It’s been another difficult year, but we’re finally near the end of 2021. If you want to be distracted from the past (and current) bad news of the year, these animal stories are sure to lift your mood.

We’ve rounded up eight of our favourite tails tales from the animal kingdom, to remind you that there were some joyous moments in 2021.

Brits hiring chickens as pets

Brits were hiring hens and keeping them as pets. Our love affair with chickens really took off this year. The rehoming charity Fresh Start for Hens has received a whopping 52,000 requests for pet hens. Abby Johnson set up a scheme in July 2020, which encourages people to hire a pair of hens for a few weeks at a time. Don’t they look cute?

Abby Johnson surrounded by her HenPals hens
Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson surrounded by her HenPals hens

Annual sausage walk day

The Hyde Park Sausage Walk takes place every year. Dozens of dachshunds sporting reindeer ears and roasted turkey legs took to the streets of London.

One canine, named Biggie Smalls, showed off a turkey costume, accessorising with green baubles on his collar.

Dominic Lipinski via PA Wire/PA Images

Long Boi the duck

A photo of a duck that lives near University of York — and dubbed Long Boi by some adoring students — went viral after a tweet claimed that he was “the tallest mallard duck to have ever lived (since records began).”

According to the duck’s Instagram account, he is actually a cross between a mallard and an Indian Runner, which is a larger species of bird.

Rescued tiger celebrates 1st birthday

Your first birthday is a big deal especially if you’ve been rescued. The Tiger named Elsa after the Frozen character, was rescued from a backyard cage in February during Texas’s coldest spell.

Elsa was able to enjoy her first birthday in style at new sanctuary that includes an in-ground pool, a waterfall, multi-level platforms for climbing, and a big cat hammock, according to a release from the Humane Society of the United States.

Elsa the Tiger at her 1st birthday
Elsa the Tiger at her 1st birthday

Sea Turtles sharing a kiss

During the 36th annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix boat races in Florida, police caught two sea turtles “Kissing”. Talk about love at first sight!

Rare baby white rhino born

A rare baby white rhino born at a UK zoo earlier this month was hailed as a “little miracle”. Graeme Williamson, head of living collections at Africa Alive, said: “We are absolutely thrilled about our new arrival at Africa Alive.”

“This is the first time white rhinos have ever been bred at Africa Alive, so the birth of this calf truly is a little miracle.”

Baby white rhino born at UK zoo
PA/ Zoological Society of East Anglia
Baby white rhino born at UK zoo

Twin giant panda cubs take first steps

Twin giant panda cubs took their first steps in public at a French zoo. First it was a steady crawl, then a short clumsy slide across a slick stone floor, the female twins finally got moving at their home at Beauval Zoo near Paris.

The pair were born in August. Their mother, Huan Huan, and father, Yuan Zi, are at the zoo on a 10-year loan from China aimed at highlighting good ties with France.

Panda Cubs Taking First Steps
Panda Cubs Taking First Steps

Pet pigs visit owner in care home

Tony Eaglestone was more than happy to see Blanket the pig after staff at Francis Court care home in Crawley, West Sussex, arranged the unusual visit with his family.

“Blanket is much friendlier than many of the dogs I have had over the years,” he said.

Blanket spent an afternoon at the home, receiving cuddles and treats from the residents as well as taking a stroll around the garden.

Tony Eaglestone with pet pigs in care home
Tony Eaglestone with pet pigs in care home