Surprising Animal Heroes Who Changed Human Lives

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Vote up the most surprising and inspiring stories of animal heroism.

When most people think of animal heroes, chances are they are envisioning a rescue dog like Lassie. Though there are doubtless scores of brave pooches and even cats out there who have proven their species' valor without a doubt time and time again, you may be surprised at how many heroic animals have stepped forth from more unexpected parts of the animal kingdom, as well. Here you’ll find a collection of heroic tales featuring unexpected animal heroes that range from potbellied pigs to gorillas to parrots.

Though dogs are proverbially considered man's best friend, the following stories may lead you to reconsider just how deep a bond it’s possible to form with less likely members of the animal kingdom. Here you’ll find the tale of a pigeon that proved to be a bigger badass than a whole human motorcycle gang combined. You’ll also get to know a rat who has figured out how to diagnose more life-threatening illnesses in 20 minutes than his human lab partners can in four days.

So come on in and prepare your heart for a little melting. Who knows? Sometimes maybe it takes an animal to restore your faith in humanity.