You wouldn't like me when I'm angry
In a contender for best photo of the year, photographer Christophe Courteau grabbed a shot of an angry, drunk gorilla (above) mere moments before the ape punched him in the face. The gorilla became intoxicated after consuming large amounts of bamboo, which ferments in the animal’s stomach. Courteau was remarkably unharmed apart from a small scrape.
This year, conservationists attempted to artificially inseminate the last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle—the most endangered turtle in the world; only four are known to exist—in hopes of saving the species. The turtle has been unable to conceive naturally with her 100-year-old mate due to his mangled penis. In May, a team of scientists were able to harvest viable sperm from the male; however, a clutch of 89 eggs laid in July were all infertile.
Smarter than your average sea lion
A life-sized replica of an orca was deployed in Astoria, Oregon, in hopes of scaring hundreds of sea lions away from a local dock. However, the attempt failed after the 32-foot fiberglass creature was swamped by the wake of a passing ship.
The cat didn't come back
On December 21, B.C. conservation officers called off a search for a rogue cheetah near Crawford Bay in the Kootenays. The exotic animal was spotted along Highway 3 on December 17 but has not been seen since. The RCMP are questioning a person of interest in the case.
Man versus beast versus man
In July, a man named Bear exacted revenge on an alligator that killed his friend. Bear’s dumb friend Tommie Woodward was eaten by the 11-foot animal after jumping into a bayou that was clearly marked with signs warning that the area was filled with alligators while screaming “Fuck that alligator!”. Days later, Bear killed the alligator in retaliation. "He [the alligator] had to go," Bear said in an interview. "That's what happens when you kill someone."
This year, scientists announced that they had discovered the first truly warm-blooded species of fish. In an article published in Science in May, researchers showed that the deepwater opah (also known as the moonfish) generates its own heat by flapping its fins, keeping its body 4 to 5 ° C warmer than the water around it.