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Smile, You’re On Critter Cam

The Wildlife Conservation Society (which is based at the Bronx Zoo and runs about 500 field projects in 65 countries) has shared their top ten camera trap photos of the year with us. (Plus a bonus otter video.) It’s been a rough year on wildlife, so it’s nice to be able to enjoy a few images of animals free in the wild.

A pronghorn strikes a stately pose in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where WCS is studying the effects of exurban development on wildlife. Photo: WCS North America Program.

A pronghorn strikes a stately pose in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where WCS is studying the effects of exurban development on wildlife. Photo: WCS North America Program.

A baby giant anteater hitches a ride on its mother’s back in Manu National Park, Peru, where WCS does landscape conservation work. Photo: SERNAP/WCS.

A baby giant anteater hitches a ride on its mother’s back in Manu National Park, Peru, where WCS does landscape conservation work. Photo: SERNAP/WCS.

An ocelot inspects a camera trap station in Manu National Park, Peru. Photo: SERNAP/WCS.

An ocelot inspects a camera trap station in Manu National Park, Peru. Photo: SERNAP/WCS.

A ghostly-looking polar bear checks out a muskoxen skull on Russia’s Wrangell Island where WCS collaborated with Russian scientists earlier this year. Photo: WCS/Joel Berger.

A ghostly-looking polar bear checks out a muskoxen skull on Russia’s Wrangell Island where WCS collaborated with Russian scientists earlier this year. Photo: WCS/Joel Berger.

A strolling leopard in India’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve seems to have a camera trap strapped to its back (it’s actually on a stand). Photo: WCS India.

A strolling leopard in India’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve seems to have a camera trap strapped to its back (it’s actually on a stand). Photo: WCS India.

A brown fish owl decided to briefly touch down in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve. Photo: WCS India.

A brown fish owl decided to briefly touch down in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve. Photo: WCS India.

A curious sloth bear mother and its two cubs pay a visit in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve. Photo: WCS India.

A curious sloth bear mother and its two cubs pay a visit in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve. Photo: WCS India.

A tiger and its curly-tailed cub on a stroll in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve where WCS has worked since the 1980s, and tiger numbers have rebounded. Photo: WCS India.

A tiger and its curly-tailed cub on a stroll in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve where WCS has worked since the 1980s, and tiger numbers have rebounded. Photo: WCS India.

A muntjak takes a selfie in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve – tiger prey species have doubled in recent years due to good management. Photo: WCS India.

A muntjac takes a selfie in India’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve – tiger prey species have doubled in recent years due to good management. Photo: WCS India.

No, not a pink elephant, just a damaged camera trap after a forest elephant got through with it in Gabon’s Lope National Park in Central Africa. Photo: WCS Gabon.

No, not a pink elephant, just a damaged camera trap after a forest elephant got through with it in Gabon’s Lope National Park in Central Africa. Photo: WCS Gabon.

Bonus video: A pair of curious otters inspect a camera trap in the Yukon.

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