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  • Slideshow Photos

    Stefan Simonsen / dapd

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    Animal Tracks

    A patriotic prancer, an adorable owlet, the ugliest dog and a wild goose chase are all part of this week's awesome collection of animal photos.

  • Image: Patriotic Horse

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    Patriotic prancer -

    A horse sports a red-white-and-blue hat while participating in a Fourth of July parade in Alameda, California.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Niva, a Siberian tiger, carries a cub at the Budapest Zoo

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    Tiger, tiger -

    Niva, a Siberian tiger, carries one of her three cubs at the Budapest Zoo. Niva gave birth to them in May.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    Giving a hoot -

    A snowy owl fledgling, one month old, sits in his enclosure in the zoo of Hanover, northern Germany.

    AP / AP
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    Dubious achievement -

    Yoda reaches out for her victory trophy after winning the 2011 World's Ugliest Dog Contest, in Petaluma, Calif. A 14-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, Yoda took home $1000 and a plethora of pet perks during the event at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

    AP / AP
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    Owls on the prowl -

    Two owls perch in a field near the area where Ecuador's national soccer team is training in Santa Fe, Argentina.

    AP / AP
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    Slow going -

    A snail crawls over a leaf in a garden in Frankfurt/Oder, eastern Germany. Summer is taking a break in wide parts of the country, bringing rain and fresh temperatures.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Feeding time -

    An Iraqi vendor feeds birds for sale at an open-air market in Baghdad.

    AP / AP
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    She didn't forget his birthday -

    Luk Chai (left) and his mother, Thong Dee, arrive for Luk Chai's second birthday celebration at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. The 1,800-lb. infant was the first Asian elephant to be born in Australia and is considered a milestone in the zoo's Asian Elephant Conservation Program.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: Wild Horses Are Tamed At Rapa Das Bestas

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    Running wild -

    Wild horses are herded down from the mountains for the annual Rapa das Bestas (shearing of the beasts) festival in Sabucedo, Spain. Hundreds of wild horses are directed into an outdoor pen to be trimmed and marked.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Sam

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    Fly like an eagle -

    A Cincinnati Zoo handler prepares to catch Sam, the zoo's 11-year-old bald eagle, during a ceremonial flight from center field to second base before a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians in Cincinnati.

    AP / AP
  • Image: SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK DEBUTS ITS FASTEST FEATURE

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    Cheetahs sometimes prosper -

    Shiley, a 2-year-old male cheetah, chases a lure down a 330-foot track at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Shileys Cheetah Run, a new attraction, shows visitors the cheetah's astounding speed: 0 to 70 mph in just 4 seconds.

    San Diego Zoo via AFP - Getty Images / San Diego Zoo via AFP - Getty Images
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    Wild and woolly -

    Brock Jungles hangs on with both hands as he takes a wild ride on a sheep during the PBR bull riding event in Binford, N.D.

    The Forum via AP / The Forum via AP
  • Image: File handout shows polar bear cub Qannik

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    Bearing up -

    Qannik, a 5-month-old polar bear cub whose name means "snowflake", adjusts to her new zoo home after being found as an orphan on Alaska's North Slope.

    Alaska Zoo via Reuters / Alaska Zoo via Reuters
  • Image: Las Conchas fires burn near Los Alamos, New Mexico and the Los Alamos National Laboratory

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    Near and deer -

    Deer interact with each other while smoke from the Las Conchas fires still hovers above the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: A jaguar named Daniela plays with her six week old baby at the Parque de Las Leyendas zoo in Lima

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    A snazzy new jag -

    A jaguar named Daniela plays with her 6-week-old baby at the Parque de Las Leyendas zoo in Lima, Peru. Two twin melanic jaguar babies were introduced to the press at the zoo.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Glider and geese

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    Wild goose chase -

    Geese fly with a yellow hang-glider at the Grand Park of Puy-du-Fou, in the west coast city of Les Epesses, France.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Rare sight -

    A rare white buffalo runs into a corral after a Native American naming ceremony in Greenville, Texas. The buffalo, named Lightning Medicine Cloud, was born to the Texas herd last month and holds a special place in Native American culture.

    AP / AP
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    Better than one? -

    A python regius with two heads is displayed in Villingen-Schwenningen, southern Germany. The animal is a year old and is about 20 inches long.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Holy cow -

    A cow passes Hindu pilgrim women drying their sarees, traditional Indian drapes, after a ritual bath in the Ganges in Allahabad, India.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Owner of the zoo of Saint-Martin-la-Plaine Pierre Thivillon kisses female gorilla Digit

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    Simian smooch -

    Zoo owner Pierre Thivillon kisses female gorilla Digit in Saint-Martin-la-Plaine, southeastern France.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    Greek bearing dog -

    A man drives with his dog past riot police blocking access to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Madonna and monkey -

    Melbourne Zoo's newest primate baby, a 3-week-old Colobus monkey, is held in the arms of her mother Clover, in Melbourne, Australia.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: A herd of bison graze in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 20, 2011. On average over 3,000 bison live in the park.

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    Making themselves herd -

    A herd of bison graze in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. On average over 3,000 bison live in the park.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Koala joey named 'Boonda' clings to his mother 'Elle' as they sit in their enclosure at Wildlife World in Sydney

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    Feeling clingy -

    A Koala joey named Boonda clings to his mother, Elle, as they sit in their enclosure at Wildlife World in Sydney. The iconic Australian marsupial faces threats from habitat reduction and disease.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Daisy Days

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    Fly away home -

    A ladybug climbs on a daisy blooming along Highway 138 near Sutherlin, Oregon.Thousands of wild daisies grow along the roadside in the area.

    Robin Loznak for msnbc.com / Robin Loznak for msnbc.com
  • Image: Labrador puppies "Hoey" and "Hatton" are photographed at the Pentagon near Washington

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    Canine counterterror -

    Labrador puppies Hoey (left) and Hatton, named in honor of September 11, 2001 attack victims Patrick Hoey and Lenny Hatton, are pictured on the grounds of the Pentagon near Washington. The dogs are part of the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA)'s Puppy Program where young dogs are raised to be used as future bomb sniffers at air cargo facilities nationwide.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: A two-toed sloth is seen at a zoological park in Managua

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    Hanging out -

    A Linnaeus two-toed sloth is seen at a zoological park in Managua. Nicaragua is hosting the first regional workshop of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

    Reuters / Reuters