2016 was a year of terrible events, including the death of some of the greatest animals. Some of these animals were just famous for being funny, but others were famous for shedding light on both animal abuse and hunting.
Harambe was the king of 2016. RIP. This Western Lowland gorilla lived at the Cincinnati Zoo until a child fell over the fence into his gorilla enclosure. The gorilla was shot down by the zoo to try to protect the child, but the internet went crazy. Harambe soon became part of the meme world, and gained millions of followers worldwide.
One of his most loyal fans is the big pharma naughty boy, Martin Shkreli, who went public with his love for the gorilla on CNN. During the 2016 election, over 11,000 people wrote in Harambe for president of the United States. Harambe also highlighted how horribly zoo animals are cared for and how there needs to be more focus on the health of animals in captive.
The Revenant Bear
The Revenant was one of the big winners at the 2016 Academy Awards. The movie brought Leonardo DiCaprio his first ever Academy Award for lead actor. But, the bear shed light on more than just DiCaprio’s acting. During DiCaprio’s speech, the actor discussed how hard filming the film was due to the fact it was incredibly hard to find snow anywhere on Earth to film some of the winter scenes.
The lack of snow for the movie proved that global warming is in need of political attention. DiCaprio also stated during his speech that the United States has to make energy and climate change the main focus of its political movement. DiCaprio urged voters to vote for someone who takes climate control seriously, which definitely did not happen. Donald Trump has been very vocal about how he thinks climate change is a hoax made up by the Chinese.
Zika mosquitoes were the talk of the town during the summer of 2016 due to the Rio Olympic Games. Zika is a disease spread by mosquito bites which cause birth defects in children and also causes limpness in the arms and legs. The Zika virus was a huge fear for women competing in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic games because the disease was rampant in that area.
During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, over 600,000 people were infected with the disease. The World Cup shined a light on the issue, even though Zika really became an epidemic in 2016. By June 2016, Zika had infected over 26,000 families in the Rio area alone and fear plagued women competing in the Olympics. But, everyone rested easy due to the fact that many of the mosquitoes died off during Brazil’s winter months, which coincided with the Olympics.
Nyquist was a rockstar horse in 2016, by winning the Kentucky Derby. Nyquist was the all-out favorite to win the Triple Crown, but pulled up short in both the Preakness and the Belmont. During the Preakness, Nyquist hurt his foot in the wet conditions and came in fourth because of his early sprint.
The horse also didn’t live up to explanations when it came to the Belmont either. Nyquist was taken out of the race completely due to a high leukocyte count, which might be an early sign of cancer. Even though he lost the Triple Crown, Nyquist’s early victory at the Kentucky Derby proved he was one of the best horses in the year of 2016.
Sudan the Rhino
Sudan the Rhino is one of the saddest stories on our list. Sudan the Rhino is a captive Northern White Rhino living in captivity in Laikipia, Kenya. The Northern Rhino is becoming so extinct, that Sudan is guarded at his conservancy 24 hours a day by over 10 trained guards. The Rhino is also watched by other animals, including guard dogs, and bird-like drones.
To this day, breeding attempts with Sudan have been unsuccessful, which is a problem for the future of the Northern White Rhino. Many scientists believe that Sudan has had trouble with procreating and breeding because of anxiety, mental illness, or the depression of being all alone. This story is just too sad.
Many people don’t know the horrific way that the elephants are treated in the circus. Elephants are beaten almost to death and starved because of the lack of money or resources in some circuses. But in May, 2016 Ringling Brothers decided to make a win for animal rights and retire the use of elephants in their performances.
The Ringling Circus company stated to the press that the elephants would head to a Florida conservation area by 2018 to live out the remainder of their days. The decision to retire their elephants has come after many animal rights activists criticized the company’s long history of animal abuse. PETA was one of the main animal rights groups to stand up for the Ringling elephants.
Doug The Pug
Doug the Pug is one of the coolest pugs out there and is famous for just that. Doug The Pug made internet history by recreating shows, and looks from popular culture. But, what makes these recreations great is Doug’s cute little Pug body.
In September, 2016, Doug was featured in the adorable book, Doug the Pug: The King of Pop Culture. This dog has over 2.3 million followers on Instagram and is a viral media sensation on Facebook. Even though the rest of the world is weeping from the 2016 election and the awful 2016 year, Doug the Pug was able to make us smile!
Justin Trudeau’s Pandas
There is nothing sexier than watching a powerful man play with adorable pandas. That is just what happened in March, 2016. The hotty feminist Prime Minister of Canada was photographed with the newly born and named pandas from the Toronto Zoo, Jia Pan Pan and Jia Yueyue. The pictures went viral on the internet and proved that everything was all smiles up in Canada.
Justin Trudeau is slowly taking over hearts with his far left views and his perfect face. Trudeau’s cabinet is filled with women and men, from all different nationalities, race, and religion. This Prime Minister is setting a great example for how a man can be a feminist and a great leader!
People are too obsessed with likes on social media to understand how their actions can hurt, or kill an animal. Animals are not props, they are living creatures. In February, 2016, a large mob of almost 50 people on the coast in Argentina passed around a live dolphin calf, while attempting to take selfies with the animal. But, dolphin calves are not meant to spend large amounts of time being passed around out of the water.
The animal died while many people passed it around trying to make the moment a photo opportunity. The cause of death for the dolphin was dehydration, due to its thick skin which is only meant to keep the animal warm in water. When it comes to animals, stop holding them to take pictures.
Bo and Sunny
The American people will definitely miss the Obama administration, including their precious dogs. Bo and Sunny are members of the first family, and American dog lovers have grown to love them running around on the White House’s front lawn. The Obamas are great politicians, and they are also just great people.
The Obama family raised two great girls, who liked Chance the Rapper and some green smokes. The family really transcended your typical political brood and were just a charismatic group of people. These two dogs represented another “Camelot” era in the White House and we will surely miss them.
A Streetcat Named Bob
Bob the cat is the main character of one of the greatest heat warming stories out of 2016. The film, A Street Cat Named Bob is the story of a homeless and recovering heroin addict who finds a ginger cat in his kitchen. Finding out that the cat is also infected, James Bowen the addict takes the cat with him during his journey.
This movie focuses on the idea that no matter how bad it gets, having a friend, even a ginger cat, can make all of the difference. Bob the cat has over 26,000 followers on Instagram and is a part of one of the greatest buddy stories of the year.
Zuzu the dog made headlines in 2016 when his family returned him to the pound they dropped him off at, only to adopt another dog right in front of him. This story proves that all too often, families do not consider dogs as part of the family, but just as temporary friends.
Dogs at the pound often go unadopted and are in the end killed off. But, it was a happy ending for Zuzu the forgotten pup. A rescue shelter agreed to take Zuzu after watching the heartbreaking video of her seeing her old family. The pound where Zuzu was saying also released a statement detailing that Zuzu’s story is not unique. The pound stated that dogs need to not be picked up and dropped off, but nurtured in your own family. We can’t help but be happy for Zuzu.
Grumpy Cat, born with the name Tardar Sauce, has been an animal phenomena for a while now, but shows no signs of slowing down in 2016 and beyond. Grumpy Cat, named for her permanently sour facial expression, became famous on Reddit. A condition called Feline Dwarfism gives Grumpy Cat/Tardar Sauce her unique appearance.
Now, the top feline has her own line of merchandise including books, clothing, and more. She makes media appearances around the country. She’s even been the subject of a documentary film and has been on many television shows and at conventions. Grumpy Cat is said to have earned her owner $100 million to date.
Bernie Sanders was the presidential candidate which we needed, and the one who got away. During a Portland, Oregon rally in early 2016, Bernie Sanders was given a heartfelt speech about love and acceptance, when suddenly out of nowhere a bird landed on his podium.
The act sent the crowd into roars and it almost seemed like a sign from the heavens that Sanders was the right choice for president. Even though Sanders lost the primary to Hillary Clinton, his legacy and his work today as a freedom fighter is paving the way for young Millennials. Never forget the Bernie bird!
Capybara Who Escaped The Zoo
Even though this animal is adorable, some people forgot that a capybara is still just a massive rat. In June, 2016, two capybaras, which are large rodents, escaped a zoo in Toronto and the city fell in love with them. Many news channels and internet websites began calling the two rodents, “Bonnie and Clyde,” hoping that no one would ever be able to catch these two.
But, after several sightings in the downtown core and in parks, the two capybaras were apprehended and captured. The two are now being kept in a park in Toronto, to ensure that both of the animals are happy, but safe to humans as well. The funniest part about this is that the animals are just glorified rats, even though people fell in love with them.
In late 2016, Montreal created a controversial pit bull ban after a woman in Montreal was brutally and fatally attacked by a French pit bull. The ban states that there can be no new pit bulls in the city, meaning all pit bulls in Montreal without owners would be killed. People stated that it was not the fault of the dog for the death of the woman, but the fault of the owner.
Owners need to be prepared to take care of their dogs. The dog that attacked the woman also was only said to be a pit bull, but officers are still waiting on the dog’s DNA test results. Animal rights activists also say that this ban is unethical because it is based on false facts, rather than real research. The entire ban is based on one incident, rather than the welfare of people or the entire dog breed.
Choupette Lagerfeld is the pet cat of Karl Lagerfeld, who is the head of design and creative director of Chanel. Even though this cat has been around for a while, Lagerfeld is again taking over the world of both mainstream and high fashion with one Kendall Jenner.
High fashion, seemed to slightly drop off the radar for a while after the early 90s. But people are again obsessed with high fashion because of the popularity of new top models such as Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid. Modeling is now just as famous as acting, breathing life back into the industry. Thanks Choupette!
The New Jenner Dogs
Kylie Jenner takes the crown for being the most famous Kardashian-Jenner child. But Kylie missed the 2016 American Music Awards because her puppy was giving birth. The internet usually breaks with any Jenner news, but this pregnancy announcement truly ruptured the internet.
The reality star’s dog, Bambi, went into labor and gave birth to two adorable babies. The actress posted the birth on Snapchat, which was viewed millions of times. Kyle stated that she knew of the pregnancy, but wasn’t prepared at all. The star told the press, “Yes I knew. But, I wasn’t planning on breeding my dogs. It only takes one time people, lol.” What a great PSA, Kylie!
2016 Obama Thanksgiving Turkey
Every year during Thanksgiving time, the President pardons a Thanksgiving turkey. This year, President Obama not only pardoned a turkey, but he sent it off in style. Obama tried to embarrass his children by telling “dad jokes,” but all it did was embarrass himself with his corniness. He is one funny guy.
President Obama cracked the joke, “When somebody at your table tells you that you’ve been hogging all the side dishes, you can’t have anymore, I hope you respond with a creed that sums of the spirit of the hungry people: Yes we cran.” These types of jokes went on for about twenty minutes before Obama finally pardoned the turkey. He is one of the coolest and corniest guys out there.
They might not be real animals, but Pokémon GO was one of the biggest two-week fads of 2016. Pokémon GO is an app which allows the user to catch different Pokémon based on their current location. The great part about this game, and why so many people love it, is because it blends together virtual and actual reality.
The game is also a great way to stretch your legs, because in order to find rare Pokémon, players need to walk or travel to different places. Pokémon GO was all everyone could talk about for about a month after it’s release in July 2016. The popularity of the game has slowly weaned off throughout the year, but this game will be popular for years to come.