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It's time once more for a look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today's photos include researchers dressed in panda costumes, a massage given by an African snail, a 39-pound cat named Meow, a Japanese macaque with hay fever, and orangutans having a playdate using FaceTime on an iPad. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [41 photos]

Polar bear cub Anori explores the outdoor enclosure at the zoo in Wuppertal, Germany, on Monday, April 23, 2012. Anori was born on January 4 and is becoming a visitor's highlight. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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SHOWDOWN
SHOWDOWN: A Yemeni youth held his gun as authorities removed a roadblock in San’a. Labor strikes spread through Yemen Wednesday as workers demanded reforms and dismissals over alleged corruption linked to the country’s outgoing president. (Mohammed Huwais/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: Elvis the crocodile attacked a lawnmower at the Australian Reptile Park in Gosford, north of Sydney, Wednesday. (Australian Reptile Park via Reuters)

WINTER SALE
WINTER SALE: Emilio Filipe stood by the window of his clothing shop in Lisbon Wednesday. (Francisco Seco/Associated Press)

COLD CRASH
COLD CRASH: A Soviet-built jet operated by a Kyrgyz carrier broke its wing, overturned and caught fire Wednesday as it tried to land in deep fog in southern Kyrgyzstan. Thirty-one people were injured, officials said. (AKI Press via Associated Press)

FOOD WAR
FOOD WAR: Revelers took part in the battle of ‘Enfarinats’ in the town of Ibi, Spain, Wednesday. For 200 years, Ibi’s citizens have celebrated the day with a battle of flour, eggs and firecrackers outside the city town hall. (Jaime Reina/AFP/Getty Images)

CLEANING DAY
CLEANING DAY: A Greek Orthodox monk cleaned the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Christianity’s holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy Wednesday, as dozens of monks battled each other with brooms until police intervened. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press)

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The Hajj pilgrimage draws millions of Muslims from around the world every year to Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam's holiest place. Saudi Arabia expects to host perhaps three million people in a ritual journey that every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must make at least once in their lifetime. It is the largest annual gathering of humanity anywhere. Timed to the Muslim lunar calendar, the Hajj is followed by the celebrations of the three-day festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which symbolizes Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Collected here are photographs of the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as well as images of preparations for the Hajj and Eid al-Adha in many other parts of the Muslim world. -- Lane Turner (42 photos total)
A Muslim pilgrim prays as visits the Hiraa cave at the top of Noor Mountain on the outskirts of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on November 2, 2011. According to tradition, Islam's Prophet Mohammed received his first message to preach Islam while he was praying in the cave. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

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People take refugee at a makeshift shelter after earthquakes in Cuilapa, Guatemala, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing.

Anti-death penalty protester is helped off the ground after hearing about a delay of the execution by the U.S. Supreme Court for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis was scheduled to die Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail.

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People take refugee at a makeshift shelter after earthquakes in Cuilapa, Guatemala, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

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Anti-death penalty protester is helped off the ground after hearing about a delay of the execution by the U.S. Supreme Court for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis was scheduled to die Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) #

 September 23, 2011

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A caretaker at the Calauit island wildlife sanctuary feeding giraffes with tree leaves in Busuanga, Palawan province, in the western Philippines. Calauit island wildlife sanctuary covers 3,700 hectares and is home to endemic animals and African wildlife and was declared a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1977 as the Philippines responded to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to save endangered animals in Africa. AFP PHOTO/ TED ALJIBE #

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Members of Indian Army engineering wing help a Buddhist monk to descend a huge landslide following Sunday's 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Phengla around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Gangtok, in Sikkim, India, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Thousands of homeless villagers in the Himalayas spent a miserable night outdoors in heavy rains after a powerful earthquake flattened houses and rescuers struggled to reach victims in the mountains of India, Nepal and Tibet. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

 September 23, 2011

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Soldiers stand guard as Israeli settlers with Israeli flags participate in a protest march against Palestinian statehood September 20, 2011 from the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar to the Palestinians town of Nablus, West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he plans to apply for full membership for a Palestinian state after he speaks at the UN General Assembly this Friday in New York City. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #

 September 23, 2011

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Traders signal offers in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index futures pit at the CME Group following the Federal Reserve meeting September 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Federal Reserve says it will sell $400 billion of its shorter-term securities to buy longer-term holdings in an effort to stimulate the economy. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

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A worker puts finishing touches on a ribbon display on a giant lantern shaped structure set up on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Freed American Shane Bauer, center is welcomed upon his arrival from Iran, in Muscat, Oman Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. After more than two years in Iranian custody, two Americans convicted as spies took their first steps toward home Wednesday as they bounded down from a private jet and into the arms of family for a joyful reunion in the Gulf state of Oman. (AP Photo/Sultan Al-Hasani) #

 September 23, 2011

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The Statue of Liberty is seen through the windows of a boat prior to the start of the 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty ceremony on Liberty Island on September 22, 2011 in New York City. The 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty is to be celebrated on October 28th, 2011. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

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Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abduallah Saleh gather at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier where a Palestinian flag hangs during a rally celebrating his return to Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents that have turned the capital into a war zone. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

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An Indian villager and a child, evacuated by helicopter from Chungthang de-board at a helipad in Mangan, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. The 6.9 magnitude quake Sunday evening claimed lives in northeastern India, Tibet and Nepal. Rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and mudslides that blocked the roads leading to villages in the remote, mountainous region. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

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A supporter of Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier hold portraits of former Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier, also known as "Papa Doc," below, and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as "Baby Doc," top, as protesters gather outside a hotel where the group interrupted a press conference by Amnesty International in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Sept. 22, 2011. Amnesty International was expected to reveal new testimony from victims of the dictatorship and their relatives. Duvalier returned to Haiti in January from exile in France. He was ousted from Haiti in 1986 after a 15-year rule. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) #

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A woman suspected of being a Gadhafi loyalist is seen behind bars inside a detention facility in Misrata, Libya, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi's former prime minister has been arrested in Tunisia, officials said, as Libya's new rulers and NATO warned the fugitive leader and his loyalists that they are running out of places to hide. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo) #

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote during the Facebook f8 Developer Conference at the San Francisco Design Center in San Francisco on September 22, 2011 in California. KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images #

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Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abduallah Saleh stand on flag poles celebrating his return to Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents that have turned the capital into a war zone. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

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In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, an Indian man removes a dried cloth from a string in New Delhi, India. India's Planning Commission, tasked with updating its poverty line figures to reflect rising prices, told the nation's Supreme Court Wednesday that fifty cents a day was "adequate" for the average Indian villager to spend on basic needs. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) #

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A defecting Yemeni soldier takes position behind sandbags during clashes in Sanaa on September 22, 2011 as tribesmen join battles between rival military units, raising fears among frightened residents of a descent into civil war. MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images #

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Girls walk in a park in Moscow, on September 21, 2011. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images #

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Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian demonstrator during clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Qalandia Wednesday, as thousands of flag-waving Palestinians rallied in towns across the West Bank to show support for their president's bid to win U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill) #

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A displaced Pakistani boy, center, looks on as he and others collect water from a tanker in Umerkot District in Pakistan's Sindh province, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A photo taken on September 20, 2011 shows rescue serviceman checking for people as a passenger boat capsizes after being hit by a restaurant boat on the flooded Jialing River in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Nearly 1.7 million people have been forced to abandon their homes and dozens more have died in heavy flooding across large parts of China, the government reported. STR/AFP/Getty Images #

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Displaced Pakistani Ijaz Nawana, 6, looks on while sitting on the ground playing with tyre, as he and others take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Israeli settler youths wave Israeli flags at the start of a protest march against Palestinian statehood, from the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar near the Palestinians town of Nablus, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is determined to seek U.N. recognition this week of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in 1967. Israeli security forces fear the U.N. bid could spark violence in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) #

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Eddie Reyes is comforted while remembering fifteen of his colleagues in the New York Police Department Emergency Service Unit who were killed on September 11, 2001 during a first responders wreath-laying ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial on September 20, 2011 in New York City. The ceremony, which marks the first of seven "first responder days" for members of 9/11 first responder agencies and their families, honored the 441 first responders whose names are now inscribed on the September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

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