The internet is full of heart-warming stories of people assisting animals in need: the Australian firefighter hydrating a koala caught in a brush fire, people helping ducks safely across streets and out of storm drains, people rescuing abandoned dogs and cats from the streets, any number of animals rescued from flood waters including horses, goats, deer, even kangaroos. Not as common are stories of wild animals coming to the aid of humans. But it does happen. The reasons are varied, but the stories are awe-inspiring and give you a gentle reminder that we are all in this together. Join us as we retell the extraordinary tales of animals saving human lives from danger and possibly even death.
A Pride Saves A Girl From Abduction
A 12-year old Ethiopian girl was kidnapped as she left school, likely to be sold into marriage by her captors. A week later, while on the move with her abductors, the group encountered three lions who scared off the kidnappers and stood by the girl. The lions then departed into the forest when the police arrived. Some believe the lions were rescuing and protecting the girl. Others suggest they saw the girl as food but either left her alone because her crying sounded like a lion cub or because the authorities spooked them. Either way, the girl was untouched by the lions and recovered from the injuries inflicted by her kidnappers, four of whom were later captured.
A Bear Saves a Hiker From The Jaws of a Mountain Lion
In California, a hiker was observing a mother bear and her offspring. When he went to leave, a mountain lion attacked him from behind. The man hit the lion with a rock pick before the mother bear grabbed the big cat by its neck and thrashed it around. The lion broke free and ran off, while the bear returned to her children, ignoring the injured man. He believes the lion’s ultimate targets were the young bears and the mother reacted accordingly.
A Whale Comes to the Rescue of a Diver
As part of an exercise in a 20-foot water tank filled with whales, a 26-year old diver without breathing apparatus found her legs paralyzed by the Arctic temperature as she attempted to surface. That depth of water prevents a person floating up and the diver thought it was the end until Mila, a beluga whale, took her by the leg and pushed her to the top of the tank. Mila’s small teeth left the diver uninjured and gratefully alive.
A Turtle Saves A Woman From Drowning
Twelve hours after her ship sank, a 52-year old woman remained in the water thanks to her life jacket when a large sea turtle came underneath and kept her afloat for another 36 hours. Rescuers didn’t realize she was clinging to a turtle until it dove underwater and circled them twice before seeming satisfied that the woman was safe.
A Sea Lion Thwarts a Kid’s Suicide Attempt
A 19-year old’s suicide attempt was thwarted when he survived the jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and a sea lion kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. Hypothermia and a serious back injury likely would have ended his life had the sea lion not repeatedly “bumped” the man above the water’s surface until the rescue boat appeared.
A Gorilla Protects a Child After Falling Into His Enclosure
Jambo was a silverback male gorilla in the Jersey Zoo in the United Kingdom when an 8-year old boy fell into his enclosure. The ape gently rubbed the unconscious boy’s back and prevented the other gorillas from approaching the boy. He then ushered them all into their enclosure when paramedics came to the rescue.