From a lost penguin to a soothsayer sheep, the animal kingdom has provided a series of eye-catching headlines in 2011.
Below you'll find some of our favourites, but feel free to tell us yours in the comments below.
1. HAPPY FEET
The most closely followed animal story of the year had to be Happy Feet, who veered off course and was found in June on Peka Peka beach, near Wellington, 1000km from his normal habitat. The confused emperor penguin started eating sand and eventually had to be treated at Wellington Zoo. The nation watched his recovery anxiously and rejoiced when he was released back into the ocean. But when the satellite transmitter he had been fitted with stopped sending signals, rumours of his demise started to circulate. Happy Feet's fate is still unknown.
2. THE TSUNAMI DOG
This brave dog spent three weeks alone, floating on the wreckage of a house that was washed out to sea during Japan's March 11 deadly earthquake and tsunami before eventually being spotted and whisked to safety.
3. MANUKURA THE WHITE KIWI
Manukura was born on May 1 at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. She was the only white kiwi in her litter, and is believed to be the first of her kind born in captivity. In October, Manukura underwent surgery after swallowing a stone and is now back home in the Wairarapa.
4. SAUSAGE THE RIOT DOG
When Greece's economic crisis led to violent protests in Athens, Sausage could often be spotted joining in. Sausage, who wears tags like many Greek strays, was lauded as a "symbol of freedom" in a volatile time.
5. BABY LA PLATA DOLPHIN
When this dolphin was found alone on a Uruguayan beach with its umbilical cord still attached, wildlife rescuer Richard Tesore took on the task of mothering it. Photos of Tesore bottle-feeding and playing in the waves with his young charge drew a collective "Awww" across the world.
6. CHRISTCHURCH SEARCH AND RESCUE DOGS
After the devastating February 22 earthquake in Christchurch, search and rescue dogs combed the rubble searching for survivors. In April, the dogs were honoured for their bravery at the National Dog Show.
7. THE MILKY BAR SNAIL
This albino snail was discovered by a group of trampers in Kahurangi National Park in the South Island. Albino snails are extremely rare - this is only the second time one has been spotted.
8. PHOENIX THE TURTLE
When a fire destroyed Touch the Sea Aquarium in Mapua, near Nelson, Phoenix was the sole survivor. She was completely unharmed in the blaze, and is now living at Nelson's Natureland Zoo. Police are investigating the arson.
9. OILY FEET
More than 2000 birds died after the Rena container ship ran aground off the coast of Tauranga in October. Oily Feet and his fellow little blue penguins provided a spark of hope when they were released back into the sea.
10. SONNY WOOL
Sonny Wool the "psychic" sheep echoed the hopes of every New Zealander when he picked the All Blacks to win the Rugby World Cup. Sonny made his predictions by choosing between food containers marked with the competing countries' flags. His optimism paid off on October 23 when New Zealand side beat France and to win the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time since 1987.