Category Archives: Animal saints

Animal altruism: Lions protect girl from abducters; dog leads owner to injured pup

(1) Ethiopian lions protect girl, 12

BBC News and the AP have an astounding account of three African lions in Ethiopia protecting a 12-year-old girl from her abductors.

Police Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo, speaking by telephone from Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, recounted that the girl was abducted and beaten by seven men on her way home from school.

Tilahun Kassa, a local government official who corroborated Wondimu’s version of the events, said one of the men had wanted to marry the girl against her wishes.

Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. Young Ethiopian girls are often abducted and forced into marriage. The United Nations estimates that more than 70% of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas where most of the country’s 71 million people live.

On June 9, 2005, a week after she had gone missing, the girl was found by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet. Police caught four of the abductors and three were still at large.

Sgt. Wedajo said the girl had been guarded by three lions for about half a day, after the lions chased off the abductors: “They (the lions) stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest. If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage. Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people.”

But cynical “wildlife experts” are skeptical:

  • Game hunter Colonel Lemma Legesse told the AFP news agency lion attacks on humans and farm animals have become increasingly frequent in the region, and that the lions “were probably preparing to eat her but were intercepted by the police and the others.”
  • Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said the girl may have survived because she was crying from the trauma of her attack: “A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a lion cub, which in turn could explain why they didn’t eat her.”

Ethiopia’s lions, famous for their large black manes, are the country’s national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency. Despite a recent crackdown, hunters kill the lions for their skins, which can fetch $1,000 a piece. Williams estimates that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

(2) Dog leads owner to injured pup

Ace the pit bull was out walking with his human dad in New Jersey.

Suddenly, Ace pulled dad off course towards an abandoned home. In the alleyway next to the house was an injured 10-week-old pit-bull mix puppy, barely alive.

The man rushed the pup, later named Theo, to a local animal shelter to get help.

Source: The Dodo

H/t PawMyGosh

See these other accounts of animal altruism:

~Eowyn

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Homing in on Home

Are We There Yet?

The following is an excerpt from
Traveling Light by Max Lucado

The twists and turns of life have a way of reminding us––we aren’t home here. This is not our homeland. We aren’t fluent in the languages of diseases and death. The culture confuses the heart, the noise disrupts our sleep, and we feel far from home.

And you know what? That’s OK.

Homesickness is one of the burdens God doesn’t mind if we carry. We, like Molly, are being prepared for another house. And we, like the parakeet from Green Bay, know we aren’t there yet.

Pootsie was her name. She escaped from her owner and came into the keeping of the humane society. When no one else claimed her, Sue Gleason did. They hit it off. They talked and bathed together, becoming fast friends. But one day the little bird did something incredible. It flew over to Mrs. Gleason, put her beak in her ear, and whispered, “Fifteen hundred South Oneida Street, Green Bay.”

Gleason was dumbfounded. She researched and found that the address existed. She went to the house and found a seventy-nine-year-old man named John Stroobants.

“Do you have a parakeet?” she asked.

“I used to; I miss him terribly.”

When he saw his Pootsie, he was thrilled. “You know, he even knows his phone number.”

The story isn’t as crazy as you might think. You have an eternal address fixed in your mind as well. God has “set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Eccles. 3:11 NIV). Down deep you know you are not home yet.


The book this is from is a wonderful treatment of Psalm 23. To learn more, go to Max Lucado’s website – https://maxlucado.com/products/traveling-light-releasing-the-burdens-you-were-never-meant-to-carry/


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Dog uses own body to keep toddler alive in Siberian cold

Winters in Siberia are snowy, icy, and bitterly cold, with temperatures plunging to as low as -12°C  (10°F).

The Siberian Times reports that in January 2017, villagers in the Loktevsky district of Altai region in southern Siberia, Russia, found a dog, covered in snow, curled up on the unheated porch of a home.

Beneath the dog was a two-year-old toddler, barely alive, with acute hypothermia.

The boy had lived in the house with his mother, who left the child alone at home. If it were not for the dog who, for two days, shielded the toddler from the cold by wrapping his body around the child, the boy would have died from exposure.

Four days after she left, the mother returned. She “is being investigated in a criminal case, accused of deliberately abandoning her child,” and “faces a potential jail sentence and losing the rights to raise her child.”

I searched in Siberian Times‘ archives for a follow-up, but found none.

In a comment, a Siberian Times reader wrote that according to the dog’s owner, the dog is an 8-months-old Husky mix named Betes.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Blind dog, Norman, rescues drowning girl

One Monday morning in July 1996, 14-year-old Lisa Nibley and her younger brother, Joe, were swimming in the Necanicum River in coastal northern Oregon when they were caught in the rising tide.

Joe was able to scramble onto shore, but Lisa was caught in the tide and carried further and further away from the shore. She struggled against the powerful current, but kept going under. Then she prayed to God for help.

On the beach, Annette McDonald was walking Norman, a blind, yellow Labrador retriever whom she and her husband, Steve, had rescued from a dog pound. Abandoned by his original owner, Norman was only two days from being euthanized.

Annette said it was unusual for her to walk Norman that morning, but something “came over her”.

While walking on the beach, Norman suddenly ran toward the sea, having heard Lisa’s cries for help.

Altogether, the dog bolted 150 yards straight into the water.

Then Norman hesitated because Lisa, weak from her struggles, had stopped screaming.

So Annette yelled to Lisa to call out to Norman.

Using his hearing, Norman, the blind dog, made his way to Lisa and towed her back to shore.

Lisa’s grateful parents, Jeff and Elaine Nibley, tried to raise money for surgery to help Norman’s blindness.

Sadly, Dr. Grant Maurer, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the Animal Eye Clinic in Tigard, OR, determined that Norman had a genetic disease that cannot be cured with surgery. (AP)

H/t Kelleigh

See also these other heroic “creatures-without-sin” (St. Bonaventure):

~Eowyn

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3-year-old boy kept alive by wild bear in freezing rain

On January 22, 2019, 3-year-old Casey Hathaway vanished from outside his grandmother’s house in North Carolina.

Casey Hathaway

 

FBI and U.S. Marines professional search teams joined up with volunteers to search for the boy, who weighs only 25 lbs., in the forest near grandma’s house.

Yahoo reports that after two days of heavy rain and freezing temperatures, a neighbor out walking her dog heard a loud cry coming  from the bushes about 40 yards from the road. There, little Casey was found crying and tangled in thorn bushes.

He was rushed to the hospital in surprisingly good condition, apart from a few scrapes and bruises, where he later told his family that it was a bear who had kept him safe for the past two days, according to a GoFundMe page set up by the toddler’s grandmother at “the public’s request.”

The page says: “He told us that his best friend the bear was with him to help keep him safe. Thanks to God’s mercy he came home to us alive and well.”

While the family admits they’re not sure how accurate Casey’s version of events are, it is not the first time that wild animals have kept missing children safe:

  • In 1888, the New York Times reported the disappearance of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a deep valley, where she claimed she had slept by a bear that kept her warm that night.
  • In 1955, 2-year-old Ida Mae Curtis went missing in Kootenai National Forest in Montana. She was located after enduring two days of pouring rain, and explained that she had been cuddled and comforted by a bear during her time away.
  • In December 2018, wild elks used their body heat to save a boy from hypothermia.
  • The video below chronicles other cases: Gorillas saved boys who fell into the gorilla compound in zoos; a lioness saved a zookeeper; and an elephant saved an elephant nature park staffer from drowning:

H/t Kelleigh

~Eowyn

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Service dog saves the lives of kittens abandoned in the woods

Banner, a three-year-old female Siberian Husky, is a medical service dog for Whitney Braley, who has PTSD and frequent anxiety attacks.

Banner detects migraines, as well as low and high blood pressure. The dog calms  Braley when she has an anxiety attack by slowing down her heart-beat and removing her from crowds.

One day, Banner was very insistent on leading Braley into the woods.

There, in the middle of the woods, the dog circled around a closed cardboard box.

When Braley opened the box, Banner put her head in it and lifted something out.

In Banner’s mouth was a tiny kitten!

Inside the box were the kitten’s six siblings. Someone had left them in the box, to die in the woods.

The kittens weren’t making any sound, so Braley feared they were dead. Thankfully, aside from being cold, they were all alive.

Braley told Good Times: “I don’t even know how Banner knew they were in there. The kittens were freezing and weren’t meowing or anything. She just knew somehow. She is a true hero. If she didn’t find the kittens, they would have all died.”

Braley brought the kittens home, and fed and cared for them — with Banner’s help, who mothered the little kittens. The dog was gentle with the kittens, cuddled and watched over them, and took naps with them.

Thanks to Banner, the kittens had a new lease on life and eventually all went to their forever homes.

You can follow Banner on Instagram.

H/t PawBuzz and FOTM reader CSM.

See also these other what St. Bonaventure called “creatures without sin”:

~Eowyn

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Elephant Artist

Suda the elephant painting…

Dr. Eowyn, as an animal lover, this post is for you.

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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! —

~Eowyn

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7 animals who saved humans

Here are the 7 animals who saved the lives of humans:

#7: A female gorilla rescued a 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure in Brookfield Zoo.

#6: A German Shepherd guided Alaska state troopers to his owner’s home that was on fire.

#5: A lioness intervened and saved the life of a zookeeper who was being attacked by a male lion.

#4: An elephant in an elephant nature park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, saved a staffer from drowning in a fast-moving river.

#3: A male gorilla shielded a little boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure from other gorillas.

#2: A dog disarmed a robber of a convenience store in France.

#1: A cat named Tara in Bakersfield, CA, saved the life of a young boy who was being mauled by a dog several times the size of the cat.

What these seven animals did were acts of pure altruism because they derived no personal benefit and, in the case of the dog and Tara the cat, actually put themselves at risk.

~Eowyn

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Do Whales Laugh?

Let’s ask these tourists…

Today’s laugh is brought to you by the Lord’s amazing creatures.

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