Animals make our lives better and not only because they keep us company and allow us to pet and play with them.
Sometimes animals take an invisible cape and become our heroes. What you are about to read are just 18 of the most notorious cases when our silent friends stepped in to save lives or deliver justice.
It’s hard to say whether animals acted on behalf of their training and instincts, or if they felt compassionate towards our needs. We would divide our audience far too deeply if we insisted with that question. Driving factors never label good deeds.
Take good care of your pet cat, dog, or hamster! Some day they might be the ones saving your life or not.
1. Elephant Carries Little Girl Out of Harm’s Way
8-year-old Amber Owen will always remember her 2004 trip to Thailand.
However, her mind will never linger on the beautiful sandy beaches and delicious food. Instead, the little girl will always look back at how an elephant saved her from a catastrophe that claimed close to 300,000 lives.
It was December 26 when a violent earthquake triggered a tsunami of epic proportions. Amber was on the beach, enjoying the company of friendly Ning Nong, a four-year-old elephant trained to entertain tourists. When the sea began to act strangely, Ning Nong grew anxious, as his trainer tried in vain to calm him down.
Some speak about a sixth sense animals have regarding imminent disasters. One thing is sure. Once the waves hit the beach, Ning Nong sought shelter inland, carrying with him the terrified little girl, thus saving her life.
What made Ning Nong a hero? The elephant walked in meter-high waves and did not freak out. He deliberately searched for higher ground although the members of his species have no problem swimming.
Do you fear death while you sleep? You will never think about that twice. Just read the next story.
2. Cat Saves Family from Horrific Death
When a cat lives with a family for many years, you can bet the animal would do anything to protect its caretakers.
The Keeslings can call themselves lucky to be alive and all thanks to their 14-year-old cat, Winnie. The animal sensed the odorless carbon monoxide filling up the house and proceeded to alert the unsuspecting humans.
“It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming.” That is how the mother, the only one who remained conscious, described the desperate call that woke her up in the middle of the night. She dialed 911 just in time, as her son and husband already passed out due to the fumes.
Some laugh when they hear about people keeping pets around the house to feel safe. The story of how the Keesling family dodged a bullet that night might change some minds.
Cats are notorious for their early hour’s wake, and Winnie’s courageous reaction proved decisive. Hundreds die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and heroes from the animal world have so little they can do about it.
Or maybe you are a dog person. The next true story might suit you better!
3. Heroic Doberman Pushes Little Girl Away from Venomous Snake
Allowing small children to play in the backyard can always turn deadly if you live in Australia.
Seventeen-month-old Charlotte narrowly escaped certain death when the recently acquired family dog stepped in between her and a king brown snake, one of the most venomous on the continent. The story is as heartwarming as it can get.
Khan, a Doberman Pinscher, acted heroically just four days since the family adopted him from a dog shelter. Some say that protective instincts need good years to develop, but Khan proved them wrong.
The canine friend grabbed the baby by the diaper and tossed her away from the snake’s range, just second before the bite. Rushed to the hospital, Khan made a full recovery once veterinaries administered anti-venom.
Why is Khan a real life hero? He was an altruist and ignored the instinct to run. How many of us would have acted the same?
Only domestic animals can save lives. The next unbelievable story debunked another limiting belief.
4. Sea Lion Saves Suicidal Man
When the suicide crisis line fails to change one’s mind, only a real hero can prevent the tragedy.
For 25-year-old Kevin Hines, the unexpected hero was stinky and had a bad habit of eating fish all day long. Nevertheless, the sea lion kept him afloat enough for the rescue team to intervene.
The dramatic scene took place in the freezing waters of the San Francisco Bay. The troubled teenager jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, a popular suicide spot that guarantees almost certain death.
We will never know if the sea lion wanted just to play or if it acted on behalf of destiny. Only one thing is sure. Kevin Hines took it as a sign to turn his life around and abandon the negativity.
The sea lion Hines initially considered a shark remained unknown. Unlike other animals on our list, we have no way of praising its bravery, an example that when nature lends a helping hand, it needs no “thank you!”
Just how far will animals go to save your life? They next story is unbelievable.
5. Pot-bellied Pig Stops Traffic and Saves Woman’s Life
People don’t associate pigs with acts of kindness towards their owners. They are happy to receive enough food and be lied they will never end up as ham.
However, Lulu performed a bold statement for the entire species when she saved her owner from certain death. The story goes out of the ordinary this time and can make you think about animals having an intelligence of their own.
Owner Jo Ann was living in a trailer when she suffered a heart attack. Not only did Lulu sensed something was wrong, but the pig discovered the best way to convey that message to other humans. She lied on the middle of a highway, and when a driver stopped, Lulu led him back to the trailer.
How often do you have a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig acting like Lassie? The odds are indeed at their minimum. Lulu became an instant star and appeared on Oprah and The Late Show.
Animals with a minimum grasp of our language have better odds of becoming our saviors. Check out the next incredible account!
6. Parrot Signals Baby in Distress
Parrots are known for their ability to speak words, and this unique feature amongst animals proved lifesaving.
When young Megan Howard accepted to babysit little Hannah, there was no clue about the tragedy waiting to happen. Almost all toddlers went through a choking episode, but this time it was something serious.
When someone called ‘Mama, baby’ it was as if a divine intervention was issued to save poor Hannah. However, the cry came from Willie, the Quaker parrot of the family, whose immediate reaction proved decisive.
Megan was quick to react, performing the Heimlich maneuver. Even so, the excellent first-aid training would have come to no help if it weren’t for the parrot calling her across the house.
Some would say this was blind luck and the bird was just using the two words her owners used more often. Scientists claim parrots are not able to use words to express themselves.
Should we deny Willie the hero badge for that reason? We don’t think so!
We have friends ready to save us even deep below the surface. The next account can restore your faith that nature is good at heart.
7. Beluga Whale Saves Diver Having Leg Cramps
Free diving to six meters below the surface in water chilled to Arctic conditions. What can go wrong?
Everything! Even in a fish tank, going that deep can put one’s life in danger if something unexpected happens. 26-year-old Yang Yun was trying to break a record when cramps froze her legs.
Stuck at the bottom of the pool, she had no way to signal those above that she was in distress. However, Mila, the beluga whale sensed the woman’s struggle and came to help. The friendly cetacean first grabbed Yang and then managed to push her towards the surface.
Was Mila trying to play with the swimmer? Some would say yes. However, that simple answer undermines the fact that belugas have an above average intelligence when compared to other animals.
Captive individuals are known for mimicking the pattern of human speech. No one can deny their empathy and intention to do good.
When it is not out hunting game, even the king of the jungle engages in acts of good. Who would have thought?
8. Lions Save Abducted Ethiopian Girl
Stories of lions helping girls in distress might sound like an African version of the “Jungle Book.”
However, the case of the 12-year-old that was saved from forced marriage by a group of lions and then guarded until police came is backed by substantial evidence.
Unfortunately, Ethiopia is a land where marriage without consent is rather common. Men kidnap young girls and rape their way into the wedding. Beatings are involved in most of the cases.
They teach us in school that wild animals have no notion of good and wrong. Satisfying their needs is the only driving factor, and we call those instincts. However, zoology books have no plausible explanation for the three lions that chose to intervene and bring justice.
Authorities viewed it a miracle. How often do you come across a child guarded by some of Nature’s most dangerous killers? The odds of lions not ripping apart other creatures that are alone and scared to death are close to zero.
Not all gorillas act violently towards humans violating their grounds. The next account might change your mind on the Harambe debate.
9. Gorilla Tends to Toddler Fallen in Her Enclosure
Before they shot and killed Harambe, another gorilla made headlines for a similar story.
Binti Jua was eight years old when a toddler fell in her enclosure at Brookfield Zoo, near Chicago. The animal reacted in a positive way and tended the three-year-old that had a broken arm and severe gash on the face.
Binti stood by the boy’s side until zookeepers intervened and showed no signs of aggression. Everyone praised her behavior. Unfortunately, the Internet was sluggish back in 1996, so there was no one to make her a celebrity.
What makes some gorillas heroes and others violent? Scientists are still not sure about it. The answer probably lies somewhere between training in captivity and giving in to natural instincts.
A better question would try to establish why toddlers keep ending up in the animals’ den. Some parents suck at their job.
But just how far does animal heroism go? The incredible sacrifice of a man’s best friend will move you.
10. Pit Bull Takes Bullet for Owner
Pit Bulls are more notorious for taking lives rather than protecting them.
The story of Kilo, the 12-year-old dog that saved its owners in a unique display of undaunted courage, will make your heart feel warm and cozy. The Pit Bull intervened when a burglar dressed up as a FedEx agent broke its way into an apartment.
The gunpoint struggle between Becker (the head of the family) and the villain ended with the first shot fired. The bullet hit Kilo’s forehead, as the animal stepped in to protect his best friend.
Miraculously, the dog survived because the bullet did not pierce through the skull. However, owners say he will never be the same. Just look at the second photo bellow and judge for yourself.
Humans are sometimes worse than animals, and only the heroic acts coming from the least likely place can undo their harm.
Sometimes helps takes unusual forms. The next story is about an animal that nursed a man back to health.
11. Mandy The Goat Comforts Clumsy Farmer
Life at the farm is not easy, and the many rumors that tend to decorate the relationship between men and livestock might ruin the positive effect of the next story.
When farmer Noel Osborne stumbled and fell into a pile a manure, his first reaction was to curse his clumsiness. Nevertheless, once the man tried to get up, he noticed his hip was broken.
Stranded too far away for someone to hear his help, the 76-year-old could do nothing but curse the ill-fate of doing alone and in such stinky circumstances. But he was not alone!
Sensing the unusual of the situation, one of the goats approached the severely injured man and stayed by his side until someone came to rescue. Mandy not only offered moral support but also kept the man alive.
Hunger and cold could have easily killed the old farmer in the five days he spent stranded. However, Mandy kept him warm and even provided him with milk. It might sound strange, but Mandy maternal instincts meant the difference between life and death.
Even celebs get an unexpected helping hand from animals. Unbelievable!
12. Porpoises Help Old Actor Reach Shore
When actor Dick Van Dyke woke up surrounded by fins coming out of the water, his first instinct was to panic.
Avid surfer in his free time, Van Dyke feel asleep once, only to find himself stranded and with no land in sight. However, he got unexpected help from some ocean dwellers few people know.
Porpoises are whales that look very similar to dolphins. Although hard to keep in captivity, they do behave friendly in the proximity of humans. Van Dykes’s story points in the same directions, as the pod of porpoises he met gently pushed his surfboard towards the shore.
We should be grateful to the aquatic creatures for having the 91-year-old around. The man that delighted us with his performances in “Marry Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” uses the story on numerous occasions pointing out just how lucky he was.
Animals fighting each other to protect humans is a rare occurrence. It is amazing when it happens!
13. Dolphins Save Surfer from Great White Attack
Dolphins are also notorious for the help they provide to humans in distress. Sometimes, their heroic acts are astonishing.
“It came out of nowhere. There’s no warning at all.” That is the way surfer Todd Endris described his near-fatal encounter with a Great White shark. Happening off the coast of Monterey, California, the attack could have turned deadly if it weren’t for a group of dolphins that intervened.
The friendly creatures used their sheer number to circle the severely injured surfer and fend off the shark. Injured on the back and losing half of his blood, Endris reached the shore just in time to be rushed to a hospital.
Doctors have seen shark survivors in worse shape, but they never heard such bewildering tales of camaraderie. We should put all our efforts in protecting our silent ocean allies.
Animals might not know CPR, but they are always good at signaling the danger. Check out how a rabbit saved his owner!
14. Dory The Rabbit Saves Owner from Coma
Can rabbits serve any other good outside the cooking pan?
The answer is yes, and the story of Dory will make your heart fill with joy. The 1-meter long rabbit signaled her owner’s diabetic coma and helped save his life.
Mr. Steggall had diabetes since childhood, but this was the first time he experienced such a critical reaction. If it weren’t for Dory jumping on the man’s chest, his wife would have never noticed the danger.
“The rabbit came up on my lap and started tapping and digging at my chest and looking at my face.” That is the last thing Mr. Steggall remembers before waking up in the ER room.
Call it coincidence or a playful behavior, but we tend to see something else. The rabbit grew attached to its owners and panicked the moment she felt something was wrong.
Was Dory’s intervention crucial? Definitely, yes!
Contemplate venturing into a fast stream. Even the best swimmers would give it a second thought, but not the next animal hero. You must read the story!
15. Swift Labrador Saves Pulls Woman out of River
They don’t call them Labrador Retrievers in vain.
Penny became a local hero once her courage and swimming skills helped save a woman from a flowing river. It all started when her owner, Brenda, spotted an empty wheelchair and a woman fighting with the current.
Custody officer with the North Wales Police, Brenda’s impulse to shout “fetch” proved decisive. The obedient Labrador had no second thoughts about jumping into the water, despite her advanced age. Everything turned out just fine. By the time Penny pulled the unconscious woman out, an ambulance was already on its way to the scene.
Next time you see owners training their dogs, just stop for a while and consider how useful that might prove one day.
A little boy saved by wild animals? It might sound like fiction, but it happened for real. Incredible!
16. Beavers Snuggle and Comfort Hypothermic Boy
What most people know about beavers is that they cut down trees with their sharp teeth and build dams that rival our modern engineering.
What rarely sees the light is just how compassionate beavers can get towards humans in distress. Hikers’ tales would remain just a myth if it weren’t for the story of Rheal Guindon.
The small boy found himself in an impossible situation once his parents drowned in their fishing trip. What was supposed to be family quality time turned tragic, as the Rheal had to make his way out of the wilderness.
Nights are cold out in the open, and the boy wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for a group of beavers that acted as a blanket. Rheal was too shocked by his situation and believed they were dogs. Only the first rays of sunlight showed him just how lucky he was.
Consider that sample of altruistic behavior next time you join the hate speech against beavers.
Some animals are smart enough to dial 911. How could it be possible?
17. Dog Dials 911 Just in Time to Save Owner
You know for sure “who’s a good boy” when you have a dog saving his owner’s life after dialing 911.
No, that’s not a form of delusion. Major the dog took the phone out of the man’s pocket and dialed the emergency service. The teeth marks on the case serve as evidence.
However, that’s far from being unusual. That dog received extensive training to both be able to recognize seizures and alert the medical staff. What is remarkable is that Major’s training proved its efficiency on the first try.
Ok, let’s break the truth to you. The phone was set to dial 911 if the someone pressed the screen for more than five seconds. Even so, what happened is worthy of a medal. Heroes do exist, and sometimes they have paws.
Can you guess which animal saved the most lives? We will give you a hint – it’s not an easy guess.
18. Brave Pigeon Saves Hundreds of Men during War
“Cher Ami” (Dear Friend) was the name of the pigeon that helped save the most lives.
His wartime support granted him the Croix de Guerre (War Cross) and landed him access to the Pigeon Hall of Fame. Trust us when we tell you that the second honor is not made up.
Cher Ami served in the U.S. Army and completed multiple missions during World War I. By far, the most famous act of bravery is the time when she delivered a message 40 km after being shot by Germans.
That crucial piece of information signaled the position of the 77th Infantry Division, who was considered lost behind enemy lines. 190 people own their lives to that small pigeon.
Contrary to popular belief, Cher Ami was a “she.” Upon death, they stuffed the animal, which is still on display at the Smithsonian Institute.