ONE News Reporter
Throughout the year, New Zealanders have been enthralled by a number of strange and wonderful creatures which have melted hearts across the nation.
We've put together our picks for the top ten animal stories of 2015 for you to enjoy.
10. Red panda cubs born at Hamilton Zoo
Two exceptionally cute red panda cubs were born at Hamilton Zoo on January 15, melting hearts when they were revealed in May.
9. Giraffe driven through Auckland CBD
Shira the giraffe turned a few heads when she was transported through downtown Auckland in the back of a large trailer on her way to Christchurch.
8. Blue shark becomes celebrity in Wellington Harbour
A happy little 2.5m blue shark found itself the centre of attention after becoming trapped in a small part of Wellington Harbour near the waterfront in April - it was safely freed.
7. Stolen dogfight pup Polly finds a safe new home
After a hard start for life, including being stolen and possibly used for illegal dogfighting, little Polly the puppy got a new lease on life after being adopted in March.
6. Southern right whale visits Auckland harbour
Aucklanders were visited by a true giant of the seas in August, when a large southern right whale was spotted lolling around about 200m from shore off Tamaki Drive.
5. Cruz the Skateboarding dog kicks off
Bull mastiffs don't get much of a good wrap in the media, but Cruz was an instant star, showing us his skills on a skateboard in October.
4. Anjalee the elephant celebrates her birthday at Auckland Zoo
Anjalee was flown from Sri Lanka to New Zealand and celebrated her ninth birthday in August at Auckland Zoo with a bit of a party.
3. Furgusson the 10kg maine coon who works at Waikato Hospital
A real Good Sort, Furgusson is a large and very relaxed maine coon cat who brings joy to patients at Waikato Hospital when they are not feeling well. Hadyn Jones met him in October.
2. Police dog Thames re-united with handler after search for him
Seven-year-old german shepherd Thames was lost in the Tararua Ranges for seven nights, but after a last-ditch search, he was found and re-united with his handler on May 11.
1. Papakura Seal causes a stir in South Auckland
After making its way to a driveway overnight in May, this inquisitive seal then made national headlines by returning the next day and camping out in a car-wash, even inspiring his own parody Twitter account.
One person died and three other people were taken to hospital with moderate to serious injuries after a crash in Te Awamutu this afternoon.
Two of the victims were trapped in their cars following the head-on crash at about 4.40pm on Paterangi Road.
Three people were taken by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Waikato Hospital.
Diversions are in place and motorists are being advised to avoid the area if possible.
"Sadly a male has died at the scene," Senior Sergeant Juliet Burgess said.
Police want to speak to anyone who witnessed the crash or drove through the crash scene in the minutes after it occurred.
Meanwhile they are urging road users to take care and exercise extreme patience during the holiday period.
The police serious crash unit is in investigating.