Francois Langur
The viral sensation began when the Smithsonian’s National Zoo tweeted out a picture of the grey seal pup born over the weekend Taronga Zoo, Sydney

There is little doubt that the global news featuring politics, climate issues, refugee crisis and wars can leave one feeling exhausted and possibly dejected. Even the doomsday clock has been reset. But fret not, there is some relief.

Zoos across the US and the world have come together to give you a much deserved break from the week's dreary news. Numerous zoos took to twitter to duke it out in an adorably wonderful battle, using the hashtag #cuteanimaltweetoff.

IBTimes UK has compiled a list of the most "aww"-inspiring, cuddly-animals featuring tweets to get you just the break you deserve.

According to report by Mashsable, it all began when the Smithsonian's National Zoo tweeted out a picture of the grey seal pup born over the weekend. Twitter user Sarah Hill from Virgina saw it and then tweeted the Virgina Aquarium to counter, which then started one of the most wonderful hashtags of 2017 yet.

The hashtag was soon picked up with zoos and parks across the world joining in to tweet out heart-capturing pictures of animals.

The viral phenomenon has dominated Twitter and other social media platforms over the past couple of days, bringing numerous smiles to users, many of whom have taken to posting pictures of their pets using the same hashtag.

The viral sensation, spearheaded by the Smithsonian's greyseal pup's birth has been a pleasant surprise to the organisation. Spokesperson Annalisa Meyer said on Thursday (26 January), ""We have never set off a cute animal challenge," Ms. Meyer said, the New York Times reported. "Will it be the last? Maybe not. We are open to more cute tweet-offs."

"It's been a really fun day, and I'm just glad there was something light to talk about today. There's been some heavy news lately and it's been fun to distract people with this fun stuff," Hill told PilotOnline.