The week in wildlife – in pictures

This week: a swimming adder, feeding polar bears and stranded whales


A honey bee at Vyacheslav Kolesnikov’s bee farm in the Turquoise Katun special economic zone in Russia

Photograph: Kirill Kukhmar/TASS/Getty Images

A swallow feeds young birds in Harbin, China 

Photograph: Costfoto/Barcroft Media

Flower meadows at Hever Castle in Kent, UK

Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

Crested terns fly over Jiushan island nature reserve in east China’s Zhejiang province. This week Chinese and US researchers and volunteers banded birds at the reserve to learn about the migration pattern of the world’s most endangered tern species 

Photograph: Yin Xiaosheng/Xinhua/Barcroft Media

A pair of venomous snakes, probably Indian rat snakes, play in a garden in Mahottari district, Nepal 

Photograph: Narendra Shrestha/EPA

A bear at Bear Wood near Bristol, UK, part of the Wild Place project, in which for the first time in more than 1,000 years native bears and wolves are coming snout to muzzle with each other in a slice of British woodland 

Photograph: Andre Pattenden/Bristol Zoo

Dozens of hand-reared curlews have been released on to reserves in Gloucestershire as part of a trial to conserve the species in lowland England. It is hoped that the birds will join endangered wild populations and return to the Severn Vale in future years, boosting the numbers of breeding pairs in the area. The curlew, recently called the ‘panda of UK conservation’ by ministers, could be lost forever in parts of the UK in as little as 15 years, forcing experts at the wetland charity WWT to intervene

Photograph: Samuel Walker/WWT

A wild elephant appearing in the human inhabited area of Negeri Antara, Aceh, Indonesia, in a picture released this week. Across Aceh province, new plantations and a housing construction boom are threatening the natural environment, pitting humans against the already critically endangered wild elephants. Only 500 elephants remain in the wild in Aceh 

Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA

An Indonesian nature conservation agency (BKSDA) officer displays 16 heads of helmeted hornbills caught illegally from animal traders in Banda Aceh this week 

Photograph: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images

Polar bears on Wrangel Island, Russia 

Photograph: Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Getty Images

One of the polar bear cubs eats a whale 

Photograph: Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Getty Images

Dwarf scorpionfish and nudibranch mollusc eggs in the Mediterranean in 2006, taken from onboard the Rainbow Warrior. The marine biologist, conservationist and specialist underwater photographer Roger Grace who died at his New Zealand home in June spent his life surveying the ocean

Photograph: Roger Grace/Greenpeace

A blue shark completely entangled in a driftnet in the north Pacific. According to a paper published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, the larger shark species accounted for more than half of all identified sharks caught globally as fisheries targets or bycatch. The findings indicate large sharks face a future with limited refuge from industrial longline fishing 

Photograph: Roger Grace/Greenpeace

This photo taken on 9 July shows an Asian black bear in the Thabarwa animal shelter in Mawbe, on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar 

Photograph: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

Stranded whales on the Longufjorur beach in the Snaefellsnes peninsula area in north-western Iceland on 18 July 

Photograph: David Schwarzhans/AFP/Getty Images

A frog in the drought-hit Landes pond in Lussat, central France 

Photograph: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

A bumblebee covered with pollen sits in a hibiscus flower in a garden in Bornheim, Frankfurt, Germany 

Photograph: Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa

A rare sighting of an adder swimming in Norfolk’s Hickling Broad national nature reserve. It is perhaps trying to keep cool 

Photograph: Lynne Warner/Norfolk Wildlife Trust

An Atlantic puffin ( Fratercula arctica) carries a strip of green plastic rubbish collected for nesting material in its burrow on Skomer, west Wales 

Photograph: Graham Prentice/Alamy Stock Photo

One of two young Malaysian bears goes outside for the first time at the Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands 

Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw/AFP/Getty Images

A leg of a ‘diablito’ frog ( Oophaga sylvatica) is photographed in a laboratory in a zoo in Cali, Colombia

Photograph: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Stork eat fish in a pond in Villars-les-Dombes, France 

Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images