Celebrity status isn't only reserved for humans anymore. Some of the most beloved personalities of the decade have been famous animals. The world is going to the dogs... and the cats, and the foxes, and even a raccoon.
Whether they've garnered massive attention for their model-worthy Instagram posts, touched hearts across the world with their harrowing stories of survival, or simply offered a meme-worthy moment, these famous critters define some of the cutest moments of the decade. Vote up the sweetest animals of the 2010s capable of melting almost any cold, lifeless heart.
Born six weeks early at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Fiona the hippo captured hearts across America as a viral sensation. As the first hippo to be born in the park in 75 years, the zoo was excited for her arrival. However, when her mother went into labor early, it seemed like the little hippo might not make it.
At the time of her birth, she weighed only 29 pounds - tiny in comparison to the 55- to 120-pound norm of most newborn hippos. The zoo posted daily updates on Fiona's health to their Facebook page, and the world watched this tiny hippo recover. Videos of the little girl learning to walk were viewed over 21 million times and visits to the Cincinnati Zoo went up by 20%. Today, Fiona is happy, healthy, and thriving.
Cats and dogs are out - foxes are in.
At around 3 years old, Juniper the Happiest Fox has nearly 3 million Instagram followers. She got her start when new fox mom Jessica Coker found a Facebook post about an Indiana fur farm looking for a home for a rescued fox. Coker obtained a permit and brought the fox to her home in Florida where she started an Instagram account to document her new pet's progress. Over time, Juniper transformed from a naughty wild animal to a sweet and playful house pet.
Juniper released a book in 2018 and posts often on her Instagram, often featuring her other animal siblings, including the dog Moose and fellow fox Fig.
In 2014, the small town of Cormorant Village, Minnesota, went to the dogs... literally. During an annual local festival called the Cormorant Daze, residents of the town voted Duke the dog as their ceremonial mayor. The pup was elected for the position four years in a row before retiring in 2018. As mayor, his job consisted of appearing in parades, acting as an ambassador for the town, and watching over his local townsfolk outside the pub.
After many years of service, the 13-year-old Great Pyrenees passed. He's remembered forever by the people of his town and across the country by the many people who wish they, too, could have a dog mayor.
Unconventional pets get all the likes. A permanent resident of the Bahamas, Pumpkin was rescued when she fell out of a tree and broke her leg. Her owner Rosie Kemp took the animal in and nursed her back to health. Called Pumps for short, the sweet raccoon first appeared on the Instagram scene shortly after her rescue in December 2014. Over the next few years, she amassed more than 1 million followers. But Pumpkin wasn't in it for the money. Over time, she turned her attention to raising money for charities like World Central Kitchen and the Bahamas Humane Society.
Unfortunately, most raccoons only live around two to three years. Pumpkin held on a little longer, but passed at nearly 5 years old. While the fluffy trash panda may not be around anymore, she's immortalized forever on her Instagram.