The Animal Kingdom's Stars of 2017: Meet the Year’s Most Beloved Furry Friends

From Zola the gorilla to April the giraffe and Fiona the hippo, 2017 was full of camera-friendly animals.

Some stars just shine brighter than others and our furry friends are no exception. Here are three breakout stars of the animal kingdom that gripped our attention in 2017.

Zola the gorilla made headlines again for his sweet dance moves. 

Zola, 14, is a western lowland gorilla that currently resides at the Dallas Zoo. Years before, he was staying at the Calgary Zoo in Canada where his impressive dancing skills were first discovered and became an internet sensation. 

In June, Zola was caught on camera dancing up a storm and most recently channeled his inner "Flashdance" in an incredible performance that social media buzzing with excitement — and laughter.

April the giraffe had the world talking about her pregnancy. The giraffe’s pregnancy was livestreamed from Animal Adventure Park in New York.

As her internet popularity grew in the weeks and days leading up to the birth, many thought it was all a hoax because she was well past her due date. Then, on April 15, she gave birth to a healthy calf. 

Fiona the hippo was also an animal star of the year. 

Born premature, Fiona the hippo was up against big odds, as the mammal was hand-fed by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo and watched around the clock. 

All of Fiona’s precious moments, including her first steps, reunion with her parents, and swimming for the first time, were all documented by the zoo and widely shared on the internet.