Weird Nature
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15 Times Wild Animals Actually Saved Humans

Updated May 12, 2019 357.6k views15 items

When we think of wild animals, we generally consider one or two scenarios: increasing conflicts with them as humans encroach on the places they live and our response to the situation, or animal rescue missions to save them from a myriad of perils. There are many situations in which human beings need to solve the plight of an animal or go out on a limb to save their lives. These tales of rescue are often some of our favorite and most heartwarming animal stories.

However, what about when the tables have turned and a person finds themselves in harms way without help nearby? One would think a human could hardly count on the help of a wild animal to save their lives, but incredibly, it has happened. Dolphins, gorillas, lions... all have crossed the imaginary lines of what is expected from the animal kingdom and have displayed extraordinary humanity to perform amazing acts of courage and kindness. The fact that wild animals are also capable of compassion and understanding shouldn't be too difficult to accept. Suspend your feelings of disbelief, and enjoy these inspirational and heroic true stories of wild animals saving humans!
  • Gorilla Saved Toddler From Attack

    Gorilla Saved Toddler From Attack
    Photo: Fred Hsu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    In August of 1996 at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, a 3-year-old boy fell 18 feet into a gorilla enclosure, sustaining a rather severe head injury. Binti Jua, a female Lowland Gorilla, protected the boy from the other gorillas, who are notoriously territorial. She then cradled him in her arms and carried him 60 feet to an entrance where zoo employees and medical personnel waited to treat his injuries.

    Source: Chicago Tribune
  • Beluga Whale Rescues Drowning Diver

    At the Polar Land Aquarium in Harbin, China, in 2009, diver Yang Yun took part in a free-diving competition to apply for a whale training job offered there. While diving in the freezing water, she developed a cramp in her leg and found herself unable to swim to safety. 

    Mila, one of the two beluga whales in the tank, noticed Yun's distress and came to her rescue, by grabbing her leg in her mouth and forcefully pushing her up to the surface, saving her life.

    Source: The Daily Mail

  • Lions Foil Kidnapping Plot

    In 2005, a 12-year-old Ethiopian girl was reportedly saved from a group of kidnappers by three lions. Seven men had abducted the girl, holding her captive for over a week, to try and force her into marrying one of them. They had beaten and assaulted her repeatedly, but the potential man-eating felines apparently chased off the men and stood guard over the girl for half a day until the police and her family came.

    Source: BBC News
  • Sea Lion Helps Man Who Jumped Off Golden Gate Bridge

    Cases of surviving a deliberate plunge off of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge are very rare, but perhaps they might occur more often if a helpful sea lion would show up. This is what happened when 19-year-old Kevin Hines decided to jump in September of 2006. Miraculously, he survived the 25-story plunge, but the impact of the water broke his back and shattered vertebrae, and the overwhelming pain rendered him unable to tread water.

    But before he started to sink, something brushed his legs. A sea lion was circling him, nudging him, and keeping him above water. Authorities were able to get to him and pull him out of the water, but he surely would have drown due to his injuries had he not been buoyed. 

    Sources: SF Gate, Kevin Hines