When it comes to heroism, it’s not always people who save lives; sometimes, it’s an untamed animal who acted without hesitation to defend a man, a woman, or a child when they were in danger. This makes you wonder if the so-called “bestial” actually possesses a greater sense of humanity than humans do. Here are the top 10 instances of wild animals really saving humans, without further ado.
1.A humpback whale that protected a marine biologist from a potential shark attack.
During a swim off the Cook Islands in the south Pacific Ocean in September 2017, scientist and activist Nan Hauser, widely known as the “Whale Lady,” was approached by a humpback whale. The whale then propelled her forward with its closed jaws, pulled her out of the water, and swept her beneath its enormous pectoral fin.
2. An Ethiopian girl who was claimed to have been saved from her kidnappers by a pride of lions.
A 12-year-old Ethiopian girl was unexpectedly seized in June 2005 while returning home from school by a gang of men who wanted to force her into marriage. In reality, according to police accounts, the girl said that the golden cats stayed by her side, never injuring her in the least, before peacefully leaving when rescuers arrived. The kidnappers held her for up to a week and beat her severely before being driven away by a local pride of lions.Her cries resembled those of a distressed cub, which many experts believe inspired the lions to save her. However, other experts aren’t so sure, speculating that the cats were actually more interested in devouring the youngster before being stopped by the police rather than saving her.
3. A bear that protected a man from a puma or mountain lion attack.
Robert Biggs, 69, was attacked by a cougar in March 2012 while hiking in the woods of northern California after spotting a mother black bear and her cubs. Despite his best efforts to defend himself, Biggs was repeatedly attacked and mauled by the cat as it jumped from behind and knocked him to the ground. The bear suddenly appeared as she grabbed the puma by the neck and threw it away, releasing the man from the animal’s grasp.The she-bear then went back to her cubs, while Biggs returned home unharmed, thankful that a normally fearsome predator had saved him from the jaws of death (he even claimed that he and the bear made eye contact, indicating that she really intended to save his life), leaving him with only a few scrapes and a minor injury to his arm. At this point, both animals engaged in a brief period of vicious fighting before the mountain lion slipped away. Nonetheless, many individuals continue to this day to deny his claims.
4. A gang of porpoises who saved a well-known actor.
The renowned actor Dick Van Dyke claimed that one day while surfing, he unintentionally fell asleep on his surfboard. When he awoke, he discovered that he had drifted too far from land, and in an unfortunate turn of events, he noticed several fins around him, which he (of course) mistook for sharks. Good thing a pod of porpoises propelled him to safety by pushing him all the way to land. Yeah, guys, we would have undoubtedly lost a cherished senior actor if not for their dolphin relatives.
5. A deer that unwittingly protected a woman against a violent man
In February 2012, an unidentified woman attended a party in Oxford (Ohio), left at around one in the morning, and then strolled by a field with scant trees and overgrown grass. She was suddenly attacked by a mugger who grabbed her from behind, pulled on her purse, and even resorted to hitting her in the face and dragging her across the field when she started to resist. The struggle soon startled a deer sleeping nearby, which suddenly jumped up and ran away. In the process, that deer unintentionally startled the man himself, who instantly fled the scene and left the woman alone. It only goes to show how an animal may occasionally save a life without even wanting to.
6. A sea lion that saved a suicidal man.
Kevin Hines, a resident of California, attempted suicide by jumping from the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in September 2000 and drowning himself in the ocean below because he was so depressed. Thankfully, a sea lion poked him as he was submerged, keeping him afloat and sticking by his side until a Coast Guard rescue craft arrived. Since then, Hines has become a speaker for suicide awareness and a mental health advocate out of gratitude for having escaped death thanks to the efforts of that sea lion.
7. Various elephants that saved people in distress.
Elephants are intelligent enough to feel the exact same feelings as people, there is no denying that. The pachyderms are typically among many creatures to have grown to despise Man greatly, especially after years of persecution. Yet, some of them can display warmer behaviour. These sentiments are not necessarily negative as is customary.As evidenced by numerous instances of Asian elephants stepping in to rescue humans in distress, whether from animal attacks (for that matter, some individuals have even been reported battling fellow elephants to protect people! ), from natural disasters, or both, empathy (a sentiment long thought to be solely human) can often force an elephant to act on the double so as to rescue another species, no matter how different.
8. A group of beavers that protected a boy from the cold
Once, Rheal Guindon, a young boy from Ontario (Canada), was out camping in the wilderness with his parents when the latter decided to go fishing without him. It unfortunately took a turn for the worse when the boy watched helplessly from shore as his parents’ boat sank, taking their lives in the process. Panic-stricken, he wanted to head towards the nearest town to get help; but as the sun set, he realized he would have to spend the cold night outside, heartbroken and traumatized as he lay on the icy ground. Guindon felt something warm and furry press against him at some point, so he assumed it was a dog and slept soundly next to it. However, when he awoke, he was surprised to find that the warmth and fur had actually come from a group of beavers who had cuddled up next to him to keep him from freezing to death overnight when temperatures had dropped well below zero. Really incredible, wow! I already know that when I’m out in nature, I should always plan for the unexpected, but altruistic beavers? I’ve now seen everything.
9. A sea turtle that saved a shipwrecked woman.
You folks really don’t believe that the list of wild creatures that saved human lives should just contain mammals? Oh no, that also applies to reptiles. In fact, the Philippine Navy once reported on a 62-year-old woman named Candalaria Villanueva who was saved from a shipwreck in June 1974 by a giant sea turtle. In fact, the navy personnel who rescued Villanueva confirmed the entire incident, saying that Villanueva was clinging to the turtle’s back when it saved her from drowning.After the shipwreck, Villanueva said she was straining to grasp onto anything when the turtle suddenly appeared and let her hang onto her shell, allowing her to swim for two days straight without stopping. The story doesn’t end there; when sailors arrived to rescue Villanueva, the turtle reportedly circled the ship three times to make sure she was in safe hands before plunging back into the water.
Last but not least, let’s not overlook the numerous stories of dolphins rescuing people from shark attacks or drowning. In the video above, you can see one instance that particularly stands out to me. It occurred in 2003 when a whole pod of dolphins—adults and juveniles alike—started circling and mobbing a large hammerhead shark with the obvious intention of protecting the diver who had captured the event on camera. This incident serves as yet another illustration of the unbreakable bond between these beloved marine mammals and ourselves.