Animals are a huge blessing to this world. They provide us with food, entertainment, good company, love, and sometimes, they save our lives. When we give them our love, they often reciprocate with tenfold. Check out twenty of the cutest real life animal heroes!
20 Lulu, the Courageous Pig, Who Ran to Get Help
In August of 1998, Jo Ann Altsman suffered a heart attack while vacationing solo in the Pennsylvania Woods. Fortunately, her housebroken Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig, Lulu, was there to save the day! After a few moments of crying at her owner, who had fallen to the ground from the pain, Lulu burst through the small dog door of their mobile home and sprinted straight for the road. She tried to flag down cars by laying in the middle of the road. According to a witness, it took 45 minutes before Lulu caught the attention of a motorcyclist who followed the pig back to Jo Ann. The anonymous motorcyclist immediately dialed 911 for help. Along with media fame, the courageous pig was awarded her favorite dessert, a jelly doughnut!
19 Babu, the Shih Tzu, Who Saved His Owner From Tsunami
In March 2011, a few days after a earthquake in Japan, 12-year-old Babu saved her 83-year-old owner, Tami Akunuma, from the destructive forces of a tsunami. Due to old age, Babu was normally not excited to go on walks. However, Babu insisted on going for a walk that day, which gave her owner a warning that something was wrong. On the walk, Babu guided her owner up a hill away from their regular walking route. A few minutes later, a tsunami wiped out their home and the rest of Taro-Kawamukai’s district.
18 Mila, the Amazing Beluga, Who Rescued a Diver
26-year-old Yang Yun was competing in a free diving contest in Harbin Polarland, a theme park located in Northeast China. For the contest, divers were required to sink to the bottom of a twenty-foot arctic pool and stay there as long as possible without any breathing equipment. Within the tank, there were several Beluga whales swimming freely around them. As Yun reached the bottom of the pool, she found herself paralyzed from the arctic temperature. As Yun began to panic, Mila, a Beluga whale, gently tucked Yun's leg in her mouth and pushed her to the top of the pool.
Fun fact: Belugas are highly intelligent creatures who have the facial muscles necessary to smile!
17 Napoleon, the Good Samaritan Bulldog
The heavy build of bulldogs do not allow them to be good swimmers, however, this did not stop two-year-old English Bulldog, Napoleon, who risked his life to save six drowning kittens. The kittens were abandoned in a burlap sack in the middle of a lake. The normally calm and collected Napoleon left his owner’s side and sprinted across the road into the lake. His owner saw him struggle to paddle with the bag of kittens from the deep end. They were immediately rushed to the animal hospital. Unfortunately, two of the kittens did not make it. Thanks to Napoleon, the other four were nursed back to health and put up for adoption.
16 Dory, the Glucose Monitering Rabbit
Dory, a three-foot rabbit, was the Steggall’s family house pet in Cambridgeshire, England. They thought she was just an ordinary rabbit until one evening, when Simon Steggall fell into a potentially lethal diabetic coma. His wife, Victoria, thought he had fallen asleep on the couch from a long day at work. She didn’t suspect anything until Dory jumped on Simon and started to tap, and dig at his body and profusely lick his face. Due to Dory’s unusual reaction, Victoria soon realized something was wrong and called the paramedics. Simon was saved thanks to Dory's warnings.
15 Masha, the Cat, Who Saved an Abandoned Baby
During a harsh winter in Russia, residents found a homeless long-haired cat lying in a box next to a 12-week old infant. The then-homeless and nameless cat is now known as Masha. Masha had curled her body around the infant to keep the baby boy warm for several hours and meowed to get the attention of locals. If it weren’t for Masha, the baby would not have survived the harsh Russian winter.
14 The Mama Bear Who Came to a Hiker's Rescue
Robert Biggs, a 69-year-old Californian, was hiking his usual two-mile trail in the Bean Soup Flat area. He stopped to watch a family of black bears drink from a stream. Suddenly, a vicious mountain lion attacked him, knocking him onto the ground. The mama bear came to his rescue and fought off the mountain lion. The mountain lion ran away and Biggs survived with nothing but a few scratches and bruises on his arm.
13 Killian, the Guardian Mutt
New parents, Benjamin and Hope Jordan, had no idea their seven-month-old son Finn was being verbally and physically abused for five months by their 22-year-old babysitter, Alexis Khan. According to the family, Killian, their Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd Dog mix, who is normally very sweet and friendly, had been acting aggressively towards the babysitter. Finn's parents even had to restrain him a few times to prevent him from attacking Khan. Due to Killian’s unusually hostile behavior, Finn’s parents decided to hide an iPhone beneath the sofa to record what was going on in their home when they were gone. The iPhone revealed that when Finn cried, Khan was cussing at, slapping, and shaking the infant. Killian’s warnings, and protectiveness over Finn has put Khan behind bars.
12 Wunsy, the Super Parrot, Who Rescued His Owner From Assault
Rachel Marino took her African Grey parrot for a “walk” in a London park when a man attacked her from behind. Her attacker grabbed her neck and pushed her to the ground. Courageous Wunsy was quick to react and defended Marino by flapping her wings in the man’s face, while alerting others of the attack with her high-pitched squawks. This was enough to scare off the attacker and sent him sprinting away.
11 Binti Jua, the Gorilla, Who Saved a Little Boy
In August 1996, a three-year-old boy somersaulted over the barrier, falling 20 ft down into the gorilla habitat at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Binti Jua, an 8-year-old female Gorilla, approached the little boy’s unconscious body. The crowd and workers watched as Binti Jua, who had her 17-month-old baby clinging on her back, held the 3-year-old boy in the crook of her right arm. She rocked the boy back and forth for a little while. Not too long after, she set him down to an area away from the rest of the gorillas and where the employees and paramedics could reach the boy. Binti Jua’s motherly instincts and gentleness towards other species made her a hero.
10 Khan, the Protector
Khan, a rescued Doberman Pinscher saved 17-month-old Charlotte Svillcic from a King Brown Snake, the world’s third most venomous serpent. According to Charlotte’s mother, Catherine, her daughter was playing in their garden in Cairns, Australia, when Khan started to act very aggressively towards Charlotte. With his mouth, Khan quickly grabbed the toddler by the back of her diaper and threw her over his shoulder. With Charlotte out of the snake’s reach, the snake shot out from hiding and bit Khan in the paw. Fortunately, Khan made a full recovery after being administered anti-venom at the hospital.
9 The Guardians of the Jungle
In Africa, a 12-year-old girl was kidnapped on her way home from school by four men. These men were trying to force her into a marriage. The girl went missing for a week. On June 9th, 2005, the police found her being guarded by three lions. Apparently, the three lions had chased the men off and stayed with the girl without harming her until local police arrived. Lions truly seem to be the kings and guardians of the jungle!
8 The Pod of Bottlenose Dolphins Who Saved a Surfer From a Great White Shark
In Marina State Park in Monterey, California, 24-year-old surfer Todd Endris was severely bitten in his right leg by a monstrous great white shark. As Endris tried to kick the shark in the head with his only working leg, a pod of bottlenose dolphins encircled Endris, keeping him protected until he was able to catch a wave back to shore. Thanks to the pod of dolphins, Endris was able to recover from his injuries and continue to pursue his passion for surfing.
7 Baby, the Pit Bull, Who Saved Entire Family From Fire
In Wellston, Oklahoma, Rhonda and Evelyn Westenberger, were fast asleep when they were woken by their alarmed pit bull, Baby. She was barking and jumping on the two sisters to wake up. The hallway of their 17-year-old home was filled with flames. Both sisters and Baby made it outside safely. However, five dogs still remained inside the burning house. Baby courageously ran back inside to guide them to safety. One of the dogs hid underneath a bed, too scared to come out. She had to grab the dog by the neck and drag it outside. The Westenberger family may have lost everything to the fire but thanks to Baby, they have each other.
6 Moko, The Dolphin Interpreter
Moko, the bottlenose dolphin, was well known for her friendly visits at a beach along the East coast of New Zealand. Moko would occasionally swim by to play with local swimmers. One day, in the summer of 2008, a mother Pygmy Sperm Whale and her baby were beached along the shore. The whales resisted any help from humans. When Moko arrived, she communicated to the mother and her calf, seemingly calming them down, and even lead them back into deeper water.
5 Lefty, the Pit Bull, Who Saved "Dad" From Robbers
During the middle of the night, four armed robbers broke into Lefty's home. When one of the robbers pointed his gun at Lefty’s “father,” Lefty didn’t hesitate to jump in front of his owner and take the bullet. The shot shattered the bones in her right shoulder and severely injured her leg. Due to the robbery, the anonymous family turned to Facebook to tell Lefty’s story and gather enough donations to save her life.
4 Willie, the Squawking Hero
Willie, a Quaker Parrot, was given the Animal Lifesaver Award during the American Red Cross’ “Breakfast of Champions” event in Denver. Megan Howard, Willie’s owner, was baby-sitting a toddler named Hannah. They were enjoying their usual breakfast together. When Howard left the room, Hannah started choking on her breakfast. Howard heard Willie repeatedly squawking “Mama, baby!” while he flapped his wings. She rushed back, to find Hannah already turning blue. She saved Hannah by performing the Heimlich maneuver. Without Willie’s warnings, Howard may not have made it back in time.
3 Koshka, the War Hero Cat
Army staff sergeant Jesse Knott was stationed in Afghanistan where he formed a bond with a green-eyed stray cat, which he named Koshka. One night, a suicide bomber walked into their site and blew himself up. Unfortunately, Knott lost two of his good friends. He fell into deep depression and planned to commit suicide. The night Knott was planning to take his life, Koshka would not leave his side. The grey tabby started purring while head-bonking Knott. As he sat on top of the sergeant’s shoulders and head, the cat would pat Knott's face with his paw. Koshka’s loving gestures saved Knott's life by reminding him that he was part of many people’s lives back at home.
2 Gimpy, the Gentle Elephant Seal
Gimpy was brought to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, California, where she suffered head trauma which left her partially blind and paralyzed. Ryno, a volunteer, showed up daily to feed, clean, help the seal in and out of the pool, and would even have one-way conversations with Gimpy. One day, while Ryno was feeding Gimpy and the other seals, he slipped on a sardine and fell into the tank. Three young aggressive male seals surrounded him. Gimpy quickly jumped in between Ryno and the seals, showing them her sharp teeth and her strong 300-pound body. Thanks to Gimpy, the seals swam away and Ryno was able to return safely to land.
1 Ningnong the Tsunami Detecting Elephant
Amber Mason was leisurely riding Ningnong at a beach located near the Thai Resort in Phuket when the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami struck. Ningnong, normally a gentle giant, suddenly sprinted out of the waves to the top of the beach, with Amber on his back. Amber was saved and Ningnong happily returned to the beach to play in the waves.