Friday, August 26, 2011
Top five: Cutest iReports ever (squeal!)

Editor's note: CNN's citizen journalism initiative, iReport, is celebrating its fifth birthday this month. To mark the occasion, we're taking a look at some of iReport's shining moments in a series of top five posts on a variety of topics. Today, iReport team member Rachel Rodriguez tries not to die of cute overload.


Every once in awhile, you hear a squeal from the iReport desk. People start to gather around someone's computer screen. And finally, there's the collective "awwwwwww" that confirms we've received another adorable animal iReport.


We may not be I Can Has Cheezburger (yet), but we do get our fair share of "awww"-inducing videos alongside the newsy awe-inducing ones. Here are the top five iReport videos that will make your heart melt and brighten your day, no matter what:


Baby tiger plays with its keeper

For anyone who has ever wanted a pet tiger (me, me, ME), this video is about as close as you can get. Sylvester the tiger cub is about a year old in this video, shot by Mordechai Twersky at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo in spring 2009. A zoo official gets down to the cub's level and calls him over, and Sylvester proceeds to climb all over his head, shoulders and torso like a big kitten (which, of course, he is). Paired with Twersky's close-up shots of Sylvester's gorgeous face and coat, this footage is guaranteed to make you want to hug your screen.


Ducklings trapped in pool

This video from last April would be cute on its own, but Chris Lombardo's music editing turns it into a Disney-worthy vignette that I tend to watch five times in a row every time I click on it. A mommy duck and her brood take up residence in Lombardo's Newbury Park, California, pool, and this video chronicles their eventful and adorable journey to get out again.


Baby deer gets her bottle

The brilliant thing about this video is that it keeps upping the adorableness quotient as it continues through its three minutes. First, the little deer comes when she's called by Amy Carrickhoff, who raised her since her mother abandoned her as a baby in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. Then she jumps up on Carrickhoff like a dog, wanting to be petted. THEN, she follows Carrickhoff into the house. And finally, she slurps down her bottle of delectable goat's milk. In a nutshell, this iReport from November 2010 got nearly 250,000 page views for a reason.


Bear splashes in backyard fountain

This is a video from August 2008 of a 2-year-old black bear in Mammoth Lakes, California, that climbs into Harry White's backyard fountain -- he barely fits -- and has a playful, splashy bath. There's really nothing else I need to tell you. Just watch it.


Penguins chase butterfly

Drama at the Philadelphia Zoo! A butterfly is flitting about in the penguin enclosure, and no matter how hard they try to toddle after it, the penguins just can't catch it. Good thing Marty McGuire was there in August 2010 to capture all the action.


But wait! It is my pleasure to gleefully announce that we've chosen some honorable mentions as well -- because who are we to withhold adorableness from the world?


This lovely goat has been my desktop background for two years. He just looks so peaceful and happy!


And this little lion cub, pictured above, is completely irresistible. I want to adopt him. Like, seriously.


Sea turtles are delightful, and they're even more adorable when they're babies and being rescued by a caring group of kids.


This horse is keeping cool by showering off in a sprinkler. Wait until he plays with the jets of water with his hoof like a little kid -- unbearably cute.


Want to meet the world's tallest cat? Here you go. She's a sweet Savannah cat who's even more beautiful than she is tall.


All this cute is hard to top, but if you think you have a video that can do it, we'd be delighted to see it and share it with the world. Because news is served best with an occasional side of "awwwww."

August 26, 2011
Click to view sunethra's profile

Darling cuddles bear....

August 26, 2011
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August 26, 2011
Click to view Silentboy741's profile

Mystery Illness:  Diabetic Comas Spike 17% After CNN Releases iReport.

August 26, 2011
Click to view SandraLEVin's profile

These are the most ADORABLE videos ever! Thanks much to each contributor and to CNN for providing a welcome respite from the stress as we brace for hurricane Irene, here in northern NJ.

August 26, 2011
Click to view martymcg's profile

Thanks CNN for selecting my "Penguins Chase Butterfly" video among your Top 5!! This has been so exciting!

August 26, 2011
Click to view katie's profile

@martymcg Thanks for sending it! We love getting fun, adorable videos like that.

September 15, 2011
Click to view PKaplan's profile

Thank you for sharing this videos. You make my Day !! :)

September 16, 2011
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September 24, 2011
Click to view ecotraveler's profile

Love this blog, rachel'. Thank you for makin' my day:)

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