55 Tales Of Animals Being Awesome
Animals are adorable, dependable, and occasionally will lay waste to your enemies. Their skins also make for nice coats, but they're a lot more interesting alive, as proven by the following remarkable stories.
Salty was a guide dog whose blind owner Omar was in the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Omar tried to tell Salty to escape without him since there wasn't enough time to get out together, but Salty led him down over the course of an hour, and they escaped with just minutes to spare.
2. The Flamingo
A flamingo escaped a Kansas zoo in 2005. Zoos normally clip flamingos' wings, but this one got away and was eventually spotted eight years later in the Gulf of Mexico, living with a partner who had fled a different colony.
Percy the cat jumped out of the window of Paul Robertson's truck while he was throwing up. Paul searched for the missing cat all day then drove off. Four hundred miles later, Percy emerged from under the truck, having survived the trip in its undercarriage.
4. The Van Sheep
In 2005, a sheep in the Turkish province of Van jumped off a cliff for unknown reasons. The other 1,500 sheep in the herd saw this and decided to follow suit. Luckily, though the first 400 died, their corpses cushioned the others, saving them
5. The Freiburg Hamster
German police found a woman dead in her home, and based on her ripped clothing and violent injuries around her groin, they assumed this was a sexual assault and murder. Actually, she'd died of natural causes, then her pet hamster had torn her open and used her skin and fat to make a nest.
7. Blair's Croc
Ryan Blair sailed to an island off Australia, planning to kayak back to the mainland later that day. But a 20-foot crocodile showed up to eat him if he returned to the water. The croc stayed there, stalking him, for two weeks until a rescuer came with a bigger boat.
8. Penguin 337
This penguin managed to slip out of a Tokyo aquarium, jumping a wall and slipping through a gap in a seven-foot fence. It managed three months in Tokyo Bay before keepers managed to retrieve it.
Austin Pair donated a sofa to Goodwill in 2018. He had also lost his pet snake, Toki, but that had been six months before, so we almost can't blame him for not checking to see if the three-foot boa was in the sofa, ready to surprise unprepared buyers.
10. The Malawi Terror Beast
We aren't entirely sure what sort of animal this was. Some said a hyena, while others said it was too tall for one. Either way, it killed five people in 2002, feeding particularly on victims' faces and genitals. Hunters thought they killed it, but then it appeared to kill three more.
Hachiko's owner died at work. But no one told Hachiko, so the dog waited for his master at the railway station. He waited there every day for nine years, till he himself died.
Abuh the tortoise went missing from a Japanese zoo in 2017. It should have been easy to find, considering it weighed 120 pounds. They took two weeks to find it. Abuh was found just 450 feet from where he'd gone missing.
13. The Beast of Gevaudan
14. The Texas Biomedical Baboons
Scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Facility gave their baboons a 55-gallon barrel for unclear reasons (probably something to do with the expression "a barrel of monkeys"). The animals used the barrel to escape their enclosure and immediately began terrorizing nearby commuters.
Chris lived on the streets of Sydney with his pet rat Lucy. In 2019, Lucy went missing. Somehow, the police got involved -- not to randomly beat the homeless man but to search the entire city for the missing rat. The search succeeded.
Benjamin and Hope Jordan trusted their babysitter, but their dog Killian kept growling at her. This convinced the couple to secretly record what was going on while they were out. They thought maybe she was kicking the dog, but she was actually slapping the baby.
Andrea Gaylord's house was one of 18,000 that burned in California's November 2018 Camp Fire. She also lost two dogs in the blaze. Or so she thought. One turned up 87 miles away. And the other, Madison, turned out to be alive and well when his family came back to the burned site one month later.
A guide dog named Figo saw a school bus heading towards his blind owner, so he launched himself at it. This didn't actually stop the bus, but it did shield his owner, and Figo survived the encounter, suffering just a broken leg.
19. The Jungle Cruise Monkeys
An amusement park owner in Florida in the 1930s ordered monkeys for his Jungle Cruise attraction (this wasn't Walt Disney -- it was an unrelated amusement park). The monkeys escaped, and their descendants still roam Florida today, carrying herpes.
20. Roof Horse
21. The Kali Catfish
Catfish don't generally eat people. But an Indian tribe dropped so many corpses in the Kali river that a giant fish there developed a taste for human flesh. After various deadly attacks, they lured it to shore with a funeral pyre and managed to slaughter it. It was 6 feet and 161 pounds.
22. The Relatable Raccoon
In 2017, a raccoon slipped through a Chicago sewer grate and feasted on the goodies it found. It became so fat it couldn't get back out. The Public Works Department had to remove the grate to free it.
Jo Ann Altsman had a heart attack in 1998. Her potbellied pig LuLu then escaped the fenced-in yard, found a highway, and lay in the middle of the road so a car would stop. None did, so LuLu ran back to check on Jo Ann, returned to the highway, finally succeeded in stopping a car, and led the driver to Jo Ann.
This cat slipped out of its carrying case in JFK airport in 2018. It roamed the airport for eight days before guards manage to catch up with it, spending some of its time in areas inaccessible to humans.
25. The Bay Seal
A New Zealand woman in 2011 discovered a baby seal inexplicably on her couch. She called the authorities, who revealed hers was not the first home the seal had broken into that day.
26. The Space Frog
The greatest end any frog experienced had to have been what happened in 2013. NASA launched its Minotaur V rocket, and a pool sat nearby in case a fire broke out. The rocket launched a frog from the pool into the air.
28. Pam's Camel
Australian Pam Weaver received a camel as a present on her 60th birthday. Then the camel sat on her, killing her, leading news sources to declare she had been "humped to death by a pet camel."
Gavel, a German shepherd, trained as a police dog in Australia. He was fired for being too friendly. Luckily, he got a new job as the Vice-Regal Dog of Queensland.
We're going to spare you from seeing a photo of a Chihuahua with a barbecue fork in its head. But we will tell you that after an accident impaled him, Smokey ran into the forest for two days before returning, getting surgery, and recovering.
31. The Bita Genet Lions
A kidnapped Ethiopian girl in 2005 probably thought things were going from bad to worse when three lions showed up. But the lions chased off her kidnappers and then stood guard around her till rescuers arrived.
A four-year-old saw his puppy Dyno was dirty, so he dropped it in the toilet to give it a bath. Then he flushed. The puppy survived, though it took multiple teams of experts to guide it to a manhole for extraction.
Couraud was a wolf in a pack that descended on Paris in the 15th century. He personally killed over 30 people until the townsfolk finally lured the pack into a battle on the steps on Note Dame.
35. Lukasz's Cow
In 2018, a cow in Poland was on its way to the slaughterhouse when it broke through a gate, jumped in a lake, and swam to an island. It lived the remainder of its days on the island in peace.
36. Binti Jua
We've heard of a few major stories of kids killed by gorillas in zoos. But when a toddler slipped into the gorilla enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo, a gorilla named Binti Jua cradled him and kept others from attacking.
37. The Scafell Octopus
Climbers ascending England's highest mountain in 2013 did not expect to find an octopus at the summit. The most reasonable explanation is that it fell from the sky.
When Hurricane Harney came to Houston, one hawk was too injured to fly away. So it rode a cab out of town.
Major Brian Dennis found Nubs the wild dog in Iraq in 2007, stabbed with a screwdriver and left to die. He bandaged the dog, then left for his new station 75 miles away. Nubs tracked him all the way there, and the two lived together for the next 11 years.
A thousand-pound heifer rammed into farmer Fiona Boyd and prepared to kill her (cows kill many people each year). But then Fiona's horse Kerry arrived and kicked the cow into submission while Fiona rolled to safety.
In 1982, the Almeida family lost their pet tortoise. 30 years later, they found the tortoise in a locked room of the house, still alive. Presumably, it had survived by eating bugs.
43. Chase No Face
This cat lost its face after a car hit it. Somehow, it survived just fine with no face and even suffered no pain even while looking absolutely terrifying.
Simon Steggall fell into a diabetic coma in 2004. His wife didn't notice, but his rabbit Dory did and alerted her, earning an honorary membership in the Rabbit Welfare Association in the process.
45. Wa Tiba's Python
In 2018, a 23-foot python swallowed a woman whole. Villagers killed the snake, cut it open, and found her fully intact, clothes and all. There are pictures.
46. The Faroe Sheep
Google wants to map the world, even parts without roads. To get Street View images of the remote Faroe Islands, they strapped cameras to sheep and let them loose.
47. The Subway Shark
In 2013, New Yorkers found a shark on the train with them, lying dead on the floor. Someone had picked it up from Coney Island, then got tired of it and discarded it.
A naked Florida man was found dead in the tank of SeaWorld's killer whale, Tillikum. By the time they found him, rigor mortis had set in, and someone had bitten off his genitals.
The team of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and Theo, the English Springer Spaniel, set a record for most bombs found during their deployment in Afghanistan. Then a sniper killed Liam. Just hours later, Theo lay down and died of undetermined causes.
51. The Devilish Cunning Panther
That was the nickname earned by a leopard in India credited with killing over 100 victims in 1858. Often, it would leave only its victims' hands and feet behind after feeding.
52. The Dolphin Gang
A 10-foot great white shark approached four divers off the coast of New Zealand in 2004. They thought it was going to attack, but a pod of dolphins got in front of them and protected them for 40 minutes.
A Swedish team did not know how a stray dog came to be in the middle of the Amazon jungle. But it followed them, even as they embarked on a grueling race. The final race stage was by kayak, and when they launched their boat, Arthur jumped after them into the river, so they pulled him in with them.
54. The Marlin
In 2019, a 200-pound Australian marlin leaped out of the water and into a fishing boat. It speared one fisherman through the tricep and shattered the other's bone simply by smashing into it.
55. The Olympic Goats