The cutest animals of 2019 in case you had a bad year

2019-12-10 04:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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Caracal cubs spotted in the Addo Elephant National

We have reached the end of the decade, and while there have been some dark days this year, you could always count on the animal kingdom to shine a light of adorableness on a sad news feed. 

While babies tend to dominate this field, we had a few adult animals showing off their cute side and even families coming together to make humans go 'aww'.

READ: Shameless Passengers 2019: From a slap to bare feet scrolling the entertainment system 

But before the decade comes to a complete close, we have one more happy animal video to take you into the 20s with a smile. 

This fabulous baby rhino really likes a good brushing - and judging by the other videos on this account this is one sassy little critter.

ALSO SEE: SA desert, one of the darkest spots on the planet, named a Nat Geo top trip for 2020 

There, now that you're full of happiness, fill that cup up with our favourite cute animals of 2019.

iSimangaliso welcomes 60 ridiculously cute, sharp-toothed baby Nile crocodiles

Who knew that baby crocodiles could look so cute?!

About 60 one-year-old Nile crocodiles were released into the Nkazama Stream in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site.

See more pics here. 

Baby crocodiles
(Photo: iSimangaliso Wetland Park)

A King Penguin has waddled onto the beaches of Cape Point - all the way from Antarctica 

In October SANParks rangers discovered something very interesting on Buffels Bay in Cape Point on Wednesday - a rare King Penguin. 

What makes the sighting so exciting is that this type of penguin is not normally found in South Africa - the massive penguin hails from the islands of Antarctica and the Falklands.  

See more pics here. 

This cute Shanghai café will win you over with their fluffy Corgi waiters and 'butt'-iful offers

Floofy doggos inhabit the Hello Corgi Café restaurant clad in t-shirts ready to comfort you and take your order.

You can also order some scrumptious menu options all shaped like the social-media-obsessed shape of the cushy corgi butt. 

Watch it here. 

This 9-day-old giraffe cuddling with his BFF Hunter the dog is adorable

These two were the real winners of the year when it comes to peak cuteness, but unfortunately it had a sad ending.

Jazz succumbed to a genetic issue, while Hunter stayed by his side until his last moments.

Watch them cuddling here. 

Baboon drops in for a burger at Groot Constantia's famous cafe

A Chacma Baboon stopped in for lunch at the famous vineyard, causing guests to look on in bewilderment.

He first tucked into a spagbowl, before proceeding to finish off the garlic bread, perfectly at home among the restaurant patrons. 

See more here.

baboon sitting at a restaurant table

(Photo: Groot Constantia) 

Grab life by the... the adorable winner of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019

This year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards' winner was announced on Wednesday - Sarah Skinner - for her lucky shot of a lion cub about to grab the testicles of an adult male lion.

One can only imagine what the reaction in the second after the photo was taken would have been on part of the big lion.

See more pics here. 

Spotted in Kenya! This polka-dotted baby zebra was born without stripes

The Dalmatian of horses! Meet Tira, a baby zebra born with a dark coat and spots instead of stripes.

According to National Geographic, the fowl has a genetic mutation called, pseudomelanism which is a kind of melanism - a development of dark-coloured pigment melanin in the skin or its appendages. 

See more pics here. 

Baby hippo takes on crocodile and buffalo in cutest riverside squabble

Babies, whether human or part of the animal kingdom, all tend to think they can take on the world - with little fear for the consequences of their actions. As a result this cute altercation was captured by Rainer Mauthe, during a day trip to Kruger in Mpumalanga.  

Watch the video here. 

A cheeky baby hippo takes on crocodiles and buffal
(Photo: Rainer Mauthe/Latest Sightings)

Sleeping wild dogs on a plane from SA to Mozambique is a sight to behold

Wild dogs always have a soft spot in Africans' hearts, but seeing a whole pack snugly sleeping together on a plane might just break your heart.

Aviation company The Bateleurs and the Endangered Wildlife Trust undertook a translocation mission last week that saw 15 wild dogs transported from the Kalahari to Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park. The organisation provides free-of-charge aerial services to conservation organisations with the use of volunteer pilots. 

See more pics here. 

This family of sleepy elephants waking up will make your day

A baby elephant and its relatives are taking their sweet time getting up after being awakened by the matriarch of the family. 

This is one of the most tender moments in nature you will ever see.

Watch the video here. 

family of sleepy elephants
(Photo: Conrad Cramer/Latest Sightings)

Adorable gay penguin couple adopts an abandoned egg - fulfilling parenthood dream

This devoted gay couple finally got a shot at parenthood after adopting an egg at Berlin Zoo, Germany.

The pair have a history of trying to hatch stones and sometimes even their food. After a female king penguin with a history of not hatching her previous eggs laid an egg, staff thought it would be a great idea to gift it to the couple since they were already in the habit of trying to hatch fish and other objects.

While the egg unfortunately ended up not being fertilised, they remain an iconic couple in the LGBTI world.

Watch the video here.

Caracals come out to play in Addo. These baby caracal pics are so adorable!

The Addo Elephant Park, situated close to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, is fast gaining some welcomed attention thanks to its resident caracals.

One lucky visitor managed to capture two darling babies on camera, a usually elusive animal.

See the pics here. 

Caracal cubs spotted in the Addo Elephant National

(Photo: Malcolm Benson)

Ever seen a wild dog puppy? They are even cuter than you could ever imagine

The ears, the snout, the spotted paws - everything about a wild dog puppy is cuteness wrapped up in a bow.

This litter with their devoted mother was spotted by Bushbaby River Lodge and shared on their Facebook page, captured in photos on the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate.  

See the pics here.

Kruger elephant picks up trash and puts it in the bin. Unbelievable!

We could all learn a thing or two from this helpful litter-picking elephant!" says South African Tourism after sharing this unbelievable clip. The remarkable footage was captured on CCTV at Greater Kruger National Park and has been shared via twitter. It shows a wild elephant picking up litter and putting it in the bin. 

Read more here. 

Incredible! See a premature baby stingray learning to swim

A premature baby ray that was kept in a plastic bag for its safety has been successfully released at a north-east aquarium.

The baby thornback was born in December, roughly a month early.

Watch more here. 

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