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Overly dramatic gorillas fleeing raindrops, a cannibalistic snake and a thieving seagull were some of the animals in videos and photos that went viral in 2019.
In a year consumed by the Russia investigation and President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, the animal hijinks offer a brief respite.
Here are some of the year’s most amusing animal moments:
Gorillas make hilarious attempts to avoid raindrops
The gorillas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia went viral in March when video showed the primates behaving just like humans as they tried to take shelter from the rain.
The group of gorillas was seen huddling beneath an overhang as rain pelted the outdoor enclosure. One gorilla, named Acacia, hugged the wall of the overhang in an effort to stay dry and shimmied around a corner out of the rain.
As the three remaining grim-faced gorillas followed, each made a human-like face to show its revulsion to getting wet.
“Gorillas are magnificent, majestic creatures full of grace and beauty… except when it rains,” zookeeper Brooke Hunsinger wrote in the Facebook video caption.
Some social media users wryly suggested sending the gorillas umbrellas. The next hit video?
Cannibalistic snake get stung mid-meal
Florida wildlife proved yet again just how wild it can be.
A woman shared video of a venomous coral snake eating another snake as it was being attacked by a wasp – all while the serpents were inexplicably stuck in the branches of a bush.
Evangeline Cummings, a University of Florida employee, shot the video in her Gainesville backyard in October and shared it on Twitter.
The video showed an eastern coral snake biting into what appeared to be a dead rat snake as the two serpents hung in a rose bush. A wasp then landed on the coral snake, and moments later the reptile began to thrash about wildly to shoo away the stinging insect.
“So we’ve now settled on our favorite theory: Rat snake was dropped by a hawk or similar and landed in the rosebush,” Cummings wrote at the time. “But the rat snake is somewhat twisted around the branches so I wonder if when it was dropped it was still partially alive and tried to free itself and could not.”
An epic battle ensued.
Sly seagull steals lobster roll
A woman visiting York, Maine in June was about to try her first-ever lobster roll when things quickly went awry.
A seagull swiped the delicacy right out of her hand — but not before she captured the brazen thievery in a photo.
A seagull takes a bit of Jessop’s lobster roll in York, Maine, in June. (Alicia Jessop/@rulingsports via AP)
Alicia Jessop, a 34-year-old Pepperdine University professor, intended to chronicle the first bite of her pricey sandwich. Finding a scenic spot with the Nubble Lighthouse in the background, she framed the shot.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the seagull photo-bombed the shoot.
Jessop was happy to share the viral photo to give people a good laugh – and even got some free lobster rolls for her troubles.
“There are a lot worse things I could be known for, and if that means I get free lobster rolls and bring a little bit of laughter into people’s lives, I think that’s a good thing,” she said.
Bear named ‘T-shirt’ stuck in a dumpster
Sheriff’s deputies in Northern California helped free a huge black bear named “T-shirt,” who found himself trapped inside a dumpster while pursuing a meal in November.
the Placer County deputies found the struggling bear, named for the white patch of fur on his chest, early one morning in Kings Beach at Lake Tahoe and recorded the encounter on a dashcam video.
The footage shared on Twitter showed the cops unlocking the lid and trying to coax the bear out. T-shirt can be seen popping his head out and giving the deputies a fright.
T-shirt, who had several previous run-ins with the law, was eventually able to free himself by pushing the lid up with his paws and climbing out.
Goat named ‘Big Boy’ breaks into home, naps in bathroom
An Ohio teenager came home from school in October to find a sliding glass door shattered, a vile stench in the air and a “baa”-zarre guest napping on the bathroom floor: a billy goat named “Big Boy.”
The goat named “Big Boy,” who had escaped from a farm several miles away, was found napping in the bathroom of an Ohio home after it broke through a sliding glass door. (Jenn Keathley via AP)
“There’re all these awful stories in the world — people need this,” Jennifer Keathley told The Associated Press after her 18-year-old son Logan called to tell her about the surprise guest.
Deputies eventually returned Big Boy safely to his farm several miles away, however, the stench of his urine lingered no matter how many times they applied carpet deodorant and urine neutralizer.
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“My house definitely smells like a goat farm,” Jennifer told the Ashland Times-Gazette. “But there’s nothing you can do but laugh.”
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