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Paper Monitor

12:52 UK time, Thursday, 11 August 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Away from the serious stories about the rioting and global financial panic, editors are still persisting with normal August fayre.

Animals are on many editors' lips. The papers are falling back on that August silly season staple - the animal story - to offer an alternative.

The Sun leads the way with six separate stories featuring creatures great and small. It begins with a tortoise who escaped almost certain death on the M26 motorway after being rescued by a pet shop owner.

Dogs are afforded two stories - a greyhound given Viagra by its owner
and a boxer called Bruno with "an uncanny resemblance" to the Phantom of the Opera.

There are some "glittering fish" caught by an underwater photographer, a pony that likes to put its head in a tyre and, under the headline "Violence of the Lambs", news that sheep rustling is on the rise

Not to be outdone is Metro, which never knowingly undersells an animal story. The rollcall of beasts includes a fossilised fly, a goat that has learnt to paint
and a horse that swam half a mile out to sea which is now in a "stable condition".

There are also sheep dogs, Bruno the Phantom of the Opera again - look-alike pets are Metro's staple (not stable) after all - and a picture of some Pixar fish.

The posh papers prefer their animal stories to be, well, a bit more upmarket. So the Independent and the Times both feature pieces about grouse ahead of tomorrow's start to the shooting season.

With weak puns of course.

"Conditions for Glorious 12th may bring a few grouses" is the Times's offering.

Away from animals, sexy footballers are another silly season standby. But pity poor Peter Crouch. The Daily Star reports how Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's Fernando Torres have battled it out for the title of most fanciable footballer in a poll of gay men.

But the gangly Spurs striker came bottom of the list with a measly 2%. Paper Monitor suspects that little and large duet with Kylie down at G-A-Y may now never happen.

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