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Top 10 animal celebrities

Some animals attain celebrityhood by virtue of being the pets of celebrities, while others have to take the not-so-easy route to fame.

News18test sharma |

Updated:July 8, 2010, 9:21 PM IST
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Top 10 animal celebrities
Some animals attain celebrityhood by virtue of being the pets of celebrities, while others have to take the not-so-easy route to fame.

Some animals attain celebrityhood by virtue of being the pets of celebrities, while others have to take the not-so-easy road to fame. Hundreds of animals have, over the years, captivated popular imagination. Here are the top 10:

Paul the Octopus: Outside of action on football field, three things kept the world tuned in during the Football World Cup 2010: the vuvuzelas, Paraguay lingerie model Larissa Riquelme and Paul the Octopus.

Paul, also referred to as the Oracle Octopus, correctly predicted Germany's two losses in the World Cup. In his entire soothsaying career, Paul got it wrong only once. He currently resides in an aquarium at the Sea Life Oberhausen in Oberhausen, Germany.

Sir Nils Olav: Nils Olav is a King Penguin and is also the Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard. Nilis was knighted in 2008.

Nilis Olav lives in the Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland and the tradition of a penguin being the Norwegian King's Guard's mascot first started in 1972. Nilis had two predecessors to the post who were also called by the same name in honour of Major (retd) Nils Egelien of the Royal Norwegian Guards and King Olav V of Norway.

Sergeant Stubby: Sergeant Stubby was a war dog during World War I and in recognition of his performance on the battlefield was given the rank of sergeant in addition to several medals of honour.

His many credits include the capture of a German spy, locating wounded soldiers and warning of poison gas attacks. Stubby died in 1926.

Nipper: Nipper was the model for the painting that went on to be the trademark of HMV and associated labels. Nipper became a celebrity much after his death in 1898. A road in the town of Kingston-upon-Thames has been named Nipper Alley after him.

Jumbo: If the word jumbo has become a synonym for large it is because of an African bush elephant who after a popular stint at the Paris and London zoos (where he was given the name "Jumbo") was sold to Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Jumbo then toured America with the circus and attracted large crowds. He died on September 15, 1885 after a collision with a locomotive.

Kamunyak: Kamunyak is a lioness in the Samburu National Reserve, in Kenya. She had adopted at least six oryx calves and fought off predators (including lions) to keep her adopted children safe.

Kamunyak was the subject of the documentary Heart of a Lioness.

Adwaita: Adwaita was a long-time resident of the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata. When the Aldabra Giant Tortoise died in March 2006, his estimated age was over 250 years.

Adwaita was a pet of British general Robert Clive of the East India Company and was later transferred to the zoo.

Champawat Tiger: The infamous Champawat Tiger was responsible for the deaths of 436 documented deaths in Nepal and the Kumaon foothills of India. She was killed by the famed hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett in 1911.

Jim Corbet wrote about the tigress and his efforts in hunting her down in his book Maneaters of Kumaon .

Congo: Congo was a chimpanzee and also a painter of some repute. Born in 1954, he had learned to paint at two and had about 400 drawings and paintings to his credit by the time he turned four.

Even the great Pablo Picasso was said to be a fan of the chimp painter. Congo died of tuberculosis in 1964.

Laika: Laika was the first living creature to be put in Earth's orbit. The cosmonaut dog made her flight to space aboard the Russian spacecraft Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. She died within hours of the blastoff.

Laika was found as a stray on the streets of Moscow. In her honour NASA named a soil target on Mars after her. The Russians put up Laika's statue at Star City, the Russian Cosmonaut training facility and Romania issued a stamp in her honour in 1959.

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