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This is the moment a cheeky owl thought he was on the X Factor - when he gave a Simon Cowell-style WINK for the camera. See SWNS story SWOWL; Wildlife photographer Mark Hancox snapped the Little Owl giving the X Factor judge's trademark gesture last Friday. Patient Mark, 48, waited for FOUR days in a specially built hide just yards from a rusty metal pole the owl used as a perch. He said: ''I took a few snaps and suddenly he shut his left eye in a winking motion - it was amazing.''

Best Animal Pictures Of 2012

From a cheeky sloth gatecrashing a holiday snap to a harmless gannet that transformed itself into a Great White, here is a collection of the most memorable animal pictures of the year.

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