Pictures: The top animal stories of 2013

19 December 2013 Last updated at 15:59 GMT

2013's been a brilliant year for stories in the animal kingdom. Here's a selection of the best of the year.
Chimp
What a year it's been in the animal kingdom! We've seen record breakers, rare births, animals on the run and some extraordinary creatures showing off their talents! Check out just a few of our favourite animal stories from 2013: Remember Brent the 37 year-old chimpanzee? He created colourful works of art using his tongue, and managed to pick up a big art prize in America. He had some very tough competition though - all of them artistic chimpanzees!
A skateboarding goat
This year there was a new 'kid' in town. Happie skateboarded her way into the 2014 Guinness World Records book. This groovy goat managed to skateboarded 36m in 25 seconds... a new world record for goats at least!
A tiny chihuahua
Milly the Chihuahua also set a Guinness World Record and was crowned the world's smallest dog. The Puerto Rican pooch is just 9.6cm high and weighs half a kilogram. Due to her size, the cute canine had to be fed using an eyedropper as a puppy and was so small she could fit on a teaspoon.
Tiny turtle
From small to even smaller - in August two miniature turtles appeared in a tank at a sea life centre, much to the surprise of the staff! The species is one of the rarest in the world and the two turtles brought the total captive population to just 250 worldwide. They received special care and were fed a diet of bloodworm and shrimp and are now on display to the public.
Zorro the pig
In New Zealand an unusual surfing sensation was hogging the waves. Zorro the piglet has been showing off his surfing skills since he was just three weeks old. His owner Matthew Bell said the crossbred pig is a "phenomenal swimmer". The surfing mates have continued searching for the perfect wave and will do so until Zorro is too big for the board.
A tiny Kirk’s dik-dik antelope
Who could forget this adorable little antelope? Neo is a Kirk's dik-dik antelope, one of the smallest species of antelope in the world. He was born in October and was only 22cm tall. He is being raised by his sister Aluna at Chester Zoo because his mother rejected him. When Neo is fully grown he'll reach about 40cm.
Giraffe
This baby giraffe was also welcomed into the Chester Zoo animal family. Millie was less than a week old when we told you about her in March, but she was already a whopper at 6 feet tall! She's a baby Rothschild giraffe, which are an endangered species and there are only thought to be 670 left in the wild.
A porcupine
In Cumbria two porcupines went on the run. The prickly pair escaped from the Wetheriggs Animal Rescue and Conservation Centre by chewing their way out of their enclosure. Luckily they were found and have since moved to a new home in Holland.
Baby pandas
We were waiting for a panda cub and fourteen came along at once! These adorable baby pandas were shown off for the first time at the Chengdu Giant Panda centre in China in September. There are fewer than 2,000 pandas left in the wild and the Chengdu centre works to protect the species.
Lion cubs
Not one, but four incredibly rare white lion cubs were also born this year. Their mum, Cleopatra, gave birth to two male and two female cubs at a zoo in Georgia, a country between Eastern Europe and Western Asia in December.
Kitten
2013 saw a very unusual item of lost property handed in to London Underground. Victoria the kitten was found when she was just four weeks old and it wasn't known where she came from. Staff at the lost property office passed her on to an animal charity to be cared for. Animal workers called her Victoria after the name of the station where she was found.
Murkle the otter pup.
Murkle the otter also had a lucky rescue. The little cub was just eight weeks old when she was found alone on a street in Scotland. Murkle was taken to the Scottish SPCA's National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshir in October.
Blobfish
But, it wasn't a happy year for all! The blobfish was crowned the world's ugliest animal by a public pole. The grumpy-looking creature lives deep in the ocean near south-eastern Australia and spends its life "bobbing around" in the dark. It is often killed by fishing nets - so the Ugly Animal Preservation Society held the competition to draw attention to endangered animals that aren't cute.