It can be easy to forget that we share the planet with seemingly countless creatures of all sorts of species. Of course we pay attention to our lovable big dogs and little cats, but that seems to be the extent of it — we think of these animals as pets or zoo creatures. Instead, animals can be smart, compassionate, loving, and dangerous all at the same time. We decided to look up some animals that chose to be heroic for reasons we can’t fully understand. We’ve gathered some of the most heartfelt heroic animal stories that’ll (probably) bring you to tears, so we suggest having a tissue (or a box) close by.
Therapy Dogs Of Newtown.
The tragic deaths that occurred on December 14th, 2012 in Newtown will echo forever in the hearts of those that survived the event. PTSD is not just an affliction that is reserved for soldiers or warriors, it is also something for survivors to struggle with. Now there are over 70 dogs, of all ages, that work exclusively in Newton as therapeutic animals for the children and parents involved. Studies show how great it is for both the dog and the patient to exchange affection and we can’t argue with the results. A little love shared between a dog and a person who is struggling can be all that either one needs to feel a little better. If you have a dog that you think would work great in this line of employ, consider going to dog training schools for dog behavior training. You might just have an animal that can save a life.
12-Year-Old Kidnapped Girl Saved By Lions.
Of course this story didn’t happen anywhere in the United States, lions aren’t exactly common critters around here. Instead it was back in 2005 in the African country of Ethiopa. A 12 year old girl had been kidnapped by a small group of men who had intended to force her into marriage. The young girl had been missing for a week when she was found on the edge of the woods nar Bita Genet, surrounded by a group of lions. According to the young girl she had been left there, presumably to die, when the lions arrived. The noble animals stood guard over the young girl until help arrived and then left, never harming the girl. This is an action almost straight out of a movie and we truly hope that doctors continue to focus on preservation and big cat health care to keep these creatures alive and well.
Heroic Dolphins Fight Great White Shark.
If you are like me then you’ve had nightmares that end with you stuck helplessly in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by sharks. Sharks are some of the most terrifying creatures on the face of the Earth. They are holdovers from a different time and vicious in a way that is required for survival in the ocean. Todd Endris learned up close that a meeting with a Great White Shark could be deadly, or at least he would have if not for a group of dolphins that arrived. Endris was helpless in the water when a group of dolphins staved off a Great White that had approached Endris. The intelligent and loving dolphins formed a circle around Endris until he found safety.
Cher Ami: The Carrier Pigeon of WWI.
It’s almost impossible for us to imagine a time before cell phones and wireless internet. However, there was a time back in World War I that the army used homing pigeons in order to safely and securely send messages across enemy lions. One pigeon, named Cher Ami, turned into a hero during the Battle of the Argonne. Homing pigeons were typically shot at by enemy soldiers in order to prevent messages from being relayed. Cher Ami would end up getting shot during service but she would still make it across enemy lions in order to help save the 77th Infantry — a group of over 193 men. Cher Ami had her leg shot off but the soldiers gave her a wooden leg in replacement and General Pershing personally made sure the pigeon arrived into retirement safe and sound.
Moko The Dolphin Saves The Whales.
While ‘Save the Whales’ may seem like a cliche phrase from the past, some people certainly still live by the mantra. Some animals are getting involved too like Moko the dolphin. Moko was well known already for how kind she was to humans but it wasn’t until onlookers saw the dolphin save a pair of pygmy sperm whales that she was really recognized as a hero. Two of these pygmy sperm whales were about to swim to shore and beach themselves when Moko leapt into action, pulling both of the whales away from the impending shore and back out to sea — saving them in the process.
Robert Biggs is Saved by Grizzly Bears.
There are a few creatures that you never want to come across while you are out in the wild and hiker Robert Biggs ran into them both. Biggs had been out on the Whiskey Flats, hiking, when he stopped to watch a few bears drink from a stream — from a distance of course. Only a few moments later a mountain lion erupted from the brush and attacked Biggs — a surefire death sentence had the hiker been alone. Instead the grizzly bears roared into action, fighting off the lion before returning to their stream. Those grizzlies saved Biggs’ life and we’re sure that he is thankful!
Yang Yun is Saved by a Beluga Whale.
There is a reason that lifeguards don’t like it when swimmers have underwater breathing contests. It is hard to tell when someone is struggling and when someone is just playing around. Yang Yun was practicing holding her breath inside of a Chinese aquarium in preparation for a competition when her legs froze and locked up. Yang Yun was effectively stuck at the bottom of the aquarium and close to drowning when a Beluga Whale noticed her and helped to propel the woman back to the surfce, saving the woman’s life.
Scarlette the Cat Saves Her Kittens.
You don’t have to save a human being in order to be a hero. We forget sometimes that animals can be very maternal and Scarlette the cat did a heck of a job reminding us. In March of 1996 Scarlette and her kittens were stuck in a garage when the building went up in flames. Rather than leaving her newborn kittens to die in the blaze Scarlette removed them out of the fire individually despite getting burned and blinded by the smoke. Firefighters foudn Scarlette and her kittens and managed to save them all at a nearby clinic, eventually getting homes for them all.
Babu the Dog Senses a Tsunami.
Japan has been a hotbed for tsunami activity lately thanks to a variety of different factors. Babu, a small dog, perhaps kept up with the news. One morning Babu was so restless that she forced her owner to take her for a walk away from the home. Just after cresting a hill her owner looked back to see that the tsunami, and related flooding, had rolled in to completely destroy the home. Had they not left that morning both owner and dog would have been killed.
Sergeant Stubby The Battle Dog.
Sergeant Stubby, formerly just Stubby, had been a stray dog that liked to hang out around the 102nd Infantry Training Facility during World War I. The soldiers took such a liking to the small, stub tailed dog that they were alloewd to keep it and teach it drills, bugle calls, and even how to perform a salute. The dog would eventually be brought overseas where it would serve in 17 battles thanks to his ability to find wounded soldiers. Sergeant Stubby even attacked a German soldier who had been trying to map out the Allied trenches. Stubby would survive the war and be awarded a variety of medals for valor.
Poacher Hunting Dogs Of Congo.
What could be more heroic than an animal saving other animal lives? In Congo poaching has become such a probelm that aggressive measures have been put in place. At the Virunga National Park rangers are utilizing bloodhounds to keep an eye, ear, and nose out for poachers. These bloodhounds take years to train and they are some of the best ways poachers can be stopped.
Parrot Saves Child From Choking.
Parrot’s are a wonderful contradiction for pet owners: they are smart, loud and vocal but you can’t really train them to just relax. A few years ago a babysitter had been watching a two year old child when she briefly stepped out of the room to use the bathroom. The family’s parrot immediately started squaking ‘mama, baby’ over and over until the babysitter returned. There she found the young child choking and was fortunately able to save the kid.
Lily The Tornado Rescue Dog.
In 2011 Joplin, Missouri experienced one of the most catastrophic tornadoes in history. The intensity of the tornado tragically resulted in 158 direct fatalities and 1,150 injuries. And while this number is seemingly high, if it wasn’t for Lily’s bravery the number presumably would have been much higher. Lily, the tornado rescue dog, worked day and night in attempt to save as many Joplin residents as she could. Whether it was rescuing people under trapped debris, stepping on rusty nails, or being surrounded by dangerous toxins, Lily never complained and kept pushing forward.
Therapy llamas Help Relax Hospice Patients.
When you think of a therapy animal, a llama is definitely not one that comes to mind (in our opinion). But thanks to Pisco the therapy llama, we were proved VERY wrong. Every month the 13-year-old therapy llama (Pisco) visits Saint John’s Hospice, helping terminally ill patients and their families feel better, ease the pain, and relieve any stress they have. The main goal of bringing in Pisco is to increase happiness and to calm terminally ill patients in the terribly sad last stage of their lives.
Ning Nong The Elephant Saves Tourist From Tsunami.
In 2004 Amber Owen and her British family vacationed to Phuket, Thailand. Their “relaxing” vacation quickly (and tragically) became anything but relaxing. In 2004 the west coast of the Phuket Island suffered a terrible tsunami, flooding and causing horrible damage to majority of the beaches. The morning the tsunami struck, inconveniently happened to be the same day/time that Amber was riding Ning Nong the elephant. But thanks to Ning Nong’s animal instincts, he and Amber headed inland before the enormous waves hit.
Kilo The Pit Bull.
Justin Becker experienced everyone’s worst nightmare, an attempted (violent) burglary. But thanks to his pit bull pup Kilo, he’s alive and well today. When a fake FedEx worker tried to thrust himself through Justin’s front door, both Justin and Kilo immediately made moves. While Becker tried to shut the door Kilo attempted to bite the attacker which consequently led to the man to break free and let out a shot from his fun, hitting Kilo’s skull, going right through his neck. THANKFULLY Kilo was immediately rushed to the vet, making a miraculous recovery.
Meet Binti-Jua, The Gorilla.
Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo witnessed their (female) gorilla, Binti-Jua, become a hero on August 16th, 1996. The scene took place inside a habitat that was occupied with seven gorillas. A seven-gorilla cage seems (very) intimating, right? However, when a toddler fell 15 ft. into the cage of gorillas, Binti-Jua bravely scooped the child up, carrying him to the doorway where the paramedics could pick him up.
Disease-Detecting Gambian Pouched Rats.
A Belgian non-profit located in Tanzania, APOPO, trains African giant pouched rats to efficiently and quickly detect diseases such as tuberculosis. These African rodents’ extensive sense of smell not only allows them to sense various diseases, but it also enables them to sniff out land mines.
European Glow War Worms.
Using beetles as a flashlight seems too good (and cool) to be true. However, during the trenches of World War I, many soldiers would collect these European glow worms and use their natural fluorescent illuminating light to not only see, but to read reports, maps, and letters as well.
Pot-Bellied Pig Saves Its Owner.
When LuLu’s, the pot-bellied pig, owner had a heart attack, she powerfully broke through their backyard to help him. Since LuLu is only a pig, and pigs can’t talk, she brilliantly ran right to the street and laid down in the middle of the road so that cars would stop. Luckily her plan worked, as a motorcyclist pulled over and followed LuLu to the backyard where her owner was. He of course immediately called 911, and yes the owner survived!
Golden Retriever Performs Heimlich Maneuver.
When Toby’s owner started to severely cough, in a violent manner, he of course became very worried. The Golden Retriever immediately pushed the woman to the floor and started to jump on her chest. His up-and-down jumping dislodged the apple from her throat, enabling the owner to breathe.
The Korean War Horse, Sergeant Reckless.
Meet Sergeant Reckless, the horse that served in the Korean War. Reckless was thoroughly and properly trained to travel to-and-from the ammunition delivery sites and help evacuate wounded soldiers. Under enemy fire, Reckless completed an incredible 51 solo trips, granting her two Purple Hearts and establishing her as one of America’s 100 best heroes ever thanks to Life magazine.
Killian, A Babysitter’s Worst Nightmare.
Typically Killian was a very friendly dog, but when he was around the family’s babysitter he all of the sudden became quite aggressive. His unpredictable behaviors not only worried his owners, but it also made them curious and wary. To solve their suspicion, they set up a video camera to record what was happening while they were out. And sure enough, while the parents were gone the 7-month-old child was both verbally and physically being abused by the sitter. Good puppy!
Bear Saves Hiker In California.
Lions, tigers, and bears, thank goodness! In 2012, a California hiker was presumably attacked by a viscous mountain lion. But thanks to a clan of three (mother) bears who swatted the mountain lion away, the hiker thankfully survived.
The Ultimate Cat Scan.
Cats are known to be mysterious little feline creatures, but sometimes there’s a very good reason behind their inexplicableness. Wendy Humphrey, a 52-year-old woman, was quite confused when Fidge, her black-and-white cat, kept jumping up on her chest, specifically her right breast. Every evening, for two weeks straight, Fidge continuously kept leaping up on Wendy. The cat’s absurd actions prompted the woman to (luckily) visit the doctor. Wendy ended up having a malignant tumor in her right breast that could’ve spread it not treated. Moral of the story: always trust an animals instincts.
Kabang Saves Two Girls From Motorcycle.
Warning: this story may leave you feeling quite emotional. Meet Kabanga, the nose-less and upper jaw-less pup from the Philippines. In December 2011 Kabanga saved both her human’s daughter and niece from a speeding motorcycle. However, in her (successful) attempt to rescue the two girls, Kabang sadly suffered extensive injuries. But like most heroic stories, this story went viral, and quick, enabling the pup to undergo lifesaving surgeries in the USA.
A Tribute To The 9/11 Rescue Dogs.
It’s hard to believe that 9/11 was 15 years ago, but we’ll never forget (and always be grateful) for those who courageously risked their lives to try and save the lives of both humans and animals. We’ll also never forget the countless amount of rescue dogs, who worked sleepless nights, determined to find people buried in the aftermath rubble of 9/11. Because the situationw as inevitably super emotional, filled with high intensity, many of the dogs needed therapy as they sadly suffered from PTSD.