The Top 3 Photographs of 2011

A tree-climbing lion stirs in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.

This brown rat’s angry display at the photographer reflects 73 generations of breeding for hostility to humans. Scientists at Novosibirsk and in Germany are comparing the aggressive rat genome to that of rats selected for friendliness, attempting to untangle connections between DNA and behavior.

Dedicated keepers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi Elephant Nursery in Kenya protect baby Shukuru from the cold and rain, and the risk of pneumonia, with a custom-made raincoat.


Meanwhile, in Thailand

Paul Barton: “I took my piano to the mountains of Kanchanaburi to play for some very old, injured and handicapped elephants, especially a blind elephant Plara immediately behind the piano.

Why? – “Maybe because elephants are wondrous creatures and I believe music can speak to the parts of us, and perhaps a blind elephant – that words cannot reach.´╗┐”