Category Archives: Animal heroism

Animal altruism: Heroic penguin shields chicks from predator

Today, the BBC is scheduled to broadcast an animal documentary, Spy in the Snow, narrated by David Tennant, on how dangerous life is for creatures in the Antarctic.

To promote it, BBC One put out a video clip showing a giant petrel preying on a group of Emperor penguin chicks.

Giant petrels are sea birds restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. They are very aggressive predators and scavengers, and are known by another common name, the stinker. Emperor penguins are the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and are found in Antarctica.

The chicks try to flee, but stumble.

The giant petrel got hold of one chick, grabbing it by the neck. The chick struggles and manages to get away.

The chicks then huddle together in a defensive circle. One of them bravely comes forward, standing to its full height, with outstretched arms to protect the others.

The giant petrel crouches and watches, biding its time.

Suddenly, from the side, out dashes a fearless Adélie penguin to the rescue.

Although the Adélie is shorter and smaller than the emperor penguin chicks, the Adélie — a different species from the emperor penguins — shields the chicks by putting himself between the chicks and the giant petrel.

The giant petrel gives up and flies away, while the chicks and their brave protector waddle to the sea.

How many humans are as brave and selfless as this Adélie penguin?

See these other cases of animal altruism and heroism:


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Faithful dog guarded home for weeks after surviving California inferno

On November 8, 2018, a terrible wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Paradise — a town of 26,218 people in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California.

The AP reports that an Anatolian shepherd dog named Madison who had survived the fire, guarded his home for nearly a month until his owner returned.

On November 8, Madison’s owner, Andrea Gaylord, had fled her home, leaving Madison behind. She asked animal rescue to check on the dog. Animal rescuer Shayla Sullivan responded to Gaylord’s request and spotted Madison some days later. The outdoor guard dog was apprehensive and kept his distance, but Sullivan regularly left food and water for him.

Last Wednesday, December 5, Gaylord was allowed back on her burned property, to find Madison waiting.

He had been faithfully guarding the home all those weeks.

Gaylord told news station ABC10 she couldn’t ask for a better dog: “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.”



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Puppy ‘took the bullet’ to protect woman from rattlesnake

The U.S. Secret Service are trained — and paid — to take the bullet protecting the President.

But a golden retriever puppy named Todd took the “bullet” out of loyalty and love.

On the morning of June 29, 2018, Paula Godwin went on a hike with her two dogs in northern Phoenix, Arizona, when she nearly stepped on something in front of her.

It was a rattlesnake.

Startled by Godwin, the snake struck at Godwin’s legs in self-defense.

H/t The Dodo


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Cat protects 5-year-old boy from bullies

Smudge is a tabby cat who lives with his human family, the Fentons, in Doncaster, England.

As reported by the UK Mirror, in 2014, 5-year-old Ethan Fenton and his 2-year-old brother Ashton were picked on by a trio of bullies.

One of the bullies pushed Ethan to the ground.

Smudge sprang into action and pounced on the chest of the bully.

The three bullies were so shocked by the cat that they ran away, crying.

Ethan and Ashton’s mom, Sarah Fenton, 26, who witnessed the attack said:

“I was keeping an eye on the boys who were playing football in the front garden. I saw three boys who were much taller and older than Ethan walk over to our front gate. I heard them shout Ethan’s name twice but he ignored them and just put his head back down and kept playing with Ashton. But then they shouted at him again and then one of the boys got in Ethan’s face and said, ‘Oi! Why are you ignoring me?’ and pushed him over. That’s when I rushed outside and saw Smudge fly out from under our car and jump on the boy’s chest. I think it was shock more than anything but the boy stumbled backwards, burst into tears and then ran off.”

Sarah, a part time hairdresser, bought 10-week-old Smudge after the cat they had for just 18 months died. For Sarah, it was love at first sight. She said: “When they showed us Smudge it was just love at first sight. He was so small and cute and I knew we just had to have him.”

The family have had Smudge for three years but had never before seen his heroic alter ego. Proud Sarah said:

“He has never done anything like that before but it was absolutely brilliant seeing him look out for Ethan like that. He has slept outside his bedroom keeping guard ever since it happened. I actually feel so much safer knowing Smudge is around after seeing him defend him like that. He is a big part of the family and he is more of a brother to the boys than a cat.”

Here’s the video:

H/t JosephBC69

See these other hero cats:


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Little dog saves 4 tiny kittens from fire

The Jack Russell is a small dog — a type of terrier that ranges in size from 1o to 15 inches long.

Leo is a Jack Russell mix who lives with his human (a woman with four children) and animal (another dog, Barney, and four newborn kittens) family in Melbourne, Australia.

Leo may be small but he has the heart of a lion.

One night, Leo’s house caught fire. Soon, flames filled the whole house.

Leo’s human family and Barney managed to get out, but Leo refused to flee.

When the firefighters got into the building, they found little Leo lying unconscious on the ground.

When they picked him up, they noticed that four tiny and alive kittens were underneath him. Leo was keeping the kittens safe by using his body to shield them from the fire.

Fortunately, the firefighters were able to revive Leo with oxygen.

H/t Happiest

God’s creatures like little Leo are extraordinary in their courage and sacrificial love. They put us humans to shame.

See also these other hero dogs:

It’s not just dogs. See these other heroic animals! —


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Homeless dog rescues woman from car wreck

Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:12:51 +0000


Shannon Lorio was upset from an argument with her husband, and was speeding.

Her car plunged off the side of the road into a ditch, and Shannon passed out from a concussion and brain hemorrhage.

If it weren’t for a passing homeless dog who dragged her to the road, Shannon probably would have died.

Happily, hero dog was taken to the Humane Society where he was adopted by canine search and rescue trainer Heidy Drawdy, who is training him to be an urban search-and-rescue dog.

And the dog’s name?

Hero, of course!

Hero dog drags woman from car wreck

H/t FOTM’s CSM and I♥


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Dog rescues kittens dumped in traffic

Sat, 20 Apr 2013 16:58:48 +0000


We need light!

Here’s your feel-good story of the day. 🙂


reports for, that an Iowa woman named Kelly found a huge surprise as she pulled into her driveway. Her dog, Reagan, was sitting next to a crumpled Meow Mix bag. Reagan was known to bring “treasures” home for her but this was different. He whined incessantly at Kelly.

ReaganReagan, the heroic dog

So Kelly opened the bag and, to her horror, found two tiny three-week-old kittens covered in the viscera of their littermates.

“What was painfully obvious to her was that these kittens were intentionally put in a bag and dumped on the road. It was also apparent that the bag had been run over and that at least two kittens, maybe more, had been crushed; and that her dog had retrieved the bag from the road and brought it up to the house for Kelly to find,” as described by Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue (RVASR), the organization that eventually took these traumatized kitties in.

Kelly reached in the bag and took the frightened kitties inside her home.  She bathed, fed, and comforted the little critters. The next day she tried contacting various rescue organizations only to be told they could not help.  Finally RVASR told her to take the kittens to their veterinary group and from there, found a foster mom experienced in neo-natal kitten care.

Family Dog Saves Kittens Placed in Bag, Tossed on Highway

The two little boys, brown and cream tabby mixes, were named Skipper and Tipper.  Skipper is curious and energetic and loves to snuggle before nap time.  Tipper is a gentle, sweet and laid-back fellow – a consummate lap kitty.

After many hours of dedicated around the clock care by the foster mom — including hand feeding every two hours — the little guys were ready for adoption.

H/t FOTM’s Joseph


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