25 Heroic Animals Who Rescued People

Posted by , Updated on July 5, 2016

We have already posted a number of posts to show you how amazing, beautiful, and cute animals are, but this time around, we are going to show yet another great quality some animals have – enormous loyalty and bravery. That is right, our post today is dedicated to animal heroes who have stepped in and saved humans from imminent dangers and sometimes even inevitable death. You might have heard some stories about domestic animals such as dogs and cats who saved their owners, but in fact, there have also been many wild animals who have rushed in a critical situation and saved the day for distressed humans in the most unexpected and heroic ways. As we at List25 love these amazing stories, we searched the web through and compiled a list with 25 animals who have rescued humans. If you are an animal lover, we are pretty confident you will adore these creatures even more after reading this post. From a pig who saved a woman from a heart attack and a dog who saved 92 stranded sailors to an elephant who saved a little girl from deadly tsunami, here are 25 Heroic Animals Who Rescued People.

Feature image: Pixabay.com


Dolphins saved swimmers from a shark.

DolphinsSource: www.afd.org.au, image: pixabay.com

In 2004, four people were saved in New Zealand from a great white shark by a pod of dolphins which swam circles around the swimmers for 40 minutes until the shark lost interest and swam away. The swimmers originally thought the dolphins were just playful, but they quickly realized the dolphins actually saved them from a 3 m (10 ft) great white shark that was trying to get to the group.


Lions saved a girl from kidnappers.

LionsSource: news.bbc.co.uk, image: en.wikipedia.org

In 2005, an incredible incident occurred in Ethiopia after a 12-year-old girl was kidnapped by 4 men on her way home from school. A few days later, the group encountered 3 lions who chased off the kidnappers and stayed with the girl without hurting her. When police finally found her, the predators left. Some experts suggested the lions may have spared the girl because her crying may have sounded like the mewing sound from a lion cub.


A dog saved a man from drowning.

Chocolate LabradorSource: independent.co.uk, image: en.wikipedia.org

Chocolate Labrador named Nanook became a hero after he noticed a drowning man at Malaga Port in Spain and pulled his owner to the spot. The man, described as “thin and in his sixties,” was freezing and close to drowning, and he probably would have died if it were not for Nanook. The lab was later praised by the port authorities.


A pig saved a woman from a heart attack.

pot-bellied pigSource: mmn.com, image: pixabay.com

In 1998, Jo Ann Altsman had a heart attack while vacationing in Pennsylvania. Lulu, her daughter’s pot-bellied pig, ran out of the house and laid down in the street to stop traffic. The pig tried relentlessly to get help, returning to the house to check on Jo Ann, only to rush back to the street for help. Finally, a man stopped and followed the pig back to the house, where he found Altsman in pain on the floor and called the ambulance.


A cat saved a man from a house fire.

CatSource: bbc.com, image: pixabay.com

Craig Jeeves was sleeping when his house in Melbourne, Australia caught on fire in 2014. Jeeves would have probably died in the house if it had not been for his tabby cat, Sally, who jumped on his head and started to scream. Jeeves woke up just in time to escape the house that got completely destroyed by the fire. Jeeves and his brave cat, whom he had adopted from a cat house, survived and suffered no injuries.


A dog saved 92 stranded sailors.

NewfoundlandSource: twentytwowords.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

In 1919, a ship called Ethie crashed into rocks, stranding 93 sailors amidst stormy seas. After one of the sailors was swept out to sea, the crew turned to the ship’s dog, a Newfoundland named Tang. With a rope in his mouth, the dog leaped into the water to search for help. When he reached land, onlookers were amazed to discover that his jaw was still fastened to the rope. All 92 of the remaining sailors were pulled to safety due to Tang’s ceaseless bravery.


A deer saved a woman from an attacker.

DeerSource: wcpo.com, image: pexels.com

In February 2012, a young woman was attacked by an unknown man on her way home from a party in Oxford, Ohio. The attacker dragged her behind a building and tried to choke her with her purse straps when a deer ran out of a nearby bush and scared the man off. Shocked but not seriously injured, the woman then returned to the party and called 911.


A bunny saved a man from a coma.

BunnySource: news.bbc.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

A diabetic since childhood, Simon Steggall from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, slipped into a coma while watching television. When Dory, his pet bunny, saw that, she jumped on his chest and thumped furiously. Simon´s wife Victoria, an ambulance driver, noticed Dory´s bizarre behavior, realized what happened, and called paramedics for help.


A dog saved his owner from choking.

golden retrieverSource: pinterest.com, image: pixabay.com

Toby, a golden retriever, took home the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Dog of the Year Award in 2007 for saving his owner, Debbie Parkhurst, from choking to death on an apple in her home. When it became apparent that she was choking, the dog leaped hard onto her chest and forced the lodged morsel to come loose from her throat, probably saving Debbie´s life.


An elephant saved a girl from a tsunami.

ElephantSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Then just 8-year-old Amber Owen was on vacation in Puket, Thailand in 2004 when the area was hit by a devastating tsunami. The girl was riding her favorite elephant Ning Nong when the deadly wave struck, but the elephant used his animal instinct and ran to safety, taking Amber with him. If Amber had stayed at the beach, she would have certainly died as the wave was extremely strong, knocking down trees and houses all over the place.


A parrot saved a toddler from choking.

ParrotSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

A Quaker parrot named Willie was honored by the Red Cross after he saved a toddler’s life in 2009. Willie was the only one who noticed young Hannah was choking on her breakfast. He began to furiously flap his wings and raise the alarm by yelling “Mama, baby!” His cries alerted his owner and the babysitter, Megan Howard, who rushed to rescue the girl by performing the Heimlich maneuver on her.


A horse saved a woman from an angry cow.

HorseSource: theguardian.com, image: pexels.com

Rancher Fiona Boyd from Scotland was about to do the ordinary task of moving a cow and its calf out of a paddock when she was suddenly attacked by the cow. Weighing some 600 kg (1,323 lbs), the cow knocked Fiona to the ground and was about to crush her when Fiona´s horse, Kerry Gold, galloped over to chase the cow off by kicking her with her back hooves. The cow left, and Fiona could get away from the paddock.


Watusi cattle saved a woman from a snake

Watusi cattleSource: listverse.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Janice Wolf was in the back pasture of the refuge she operates in Arkansas when her 11 month old Watusu calf suddenly turned and blocked her path. She couldn’t understand why it was doing this, so she took hold of its horns and tried pushing it, but it tossed its head and knocked her off balance. Then, she spotted a copper-head snake on the ground exactly were her foot would have been if the calf had not intervened.


A cat saved a family from gas poisoning.

catSource: nbcnews.com, image: pixabay.com

Eric and Cathy Keesling from Newcastle, Indiana, said their cat Winnie played a crucial role in saving their lives after a gasoline-powered water pump in their basement caused the odorless but deadly gas to build up. Knowing something was wrong, the cat began nudging Cathy’s ear and meowing loudly to wake her up. After climbing out of bed, Cathy realized she was nauseous and dizzy but still managed to call 911 and saved her family.


Beavers saved a boy from freezing to death.

BeaverSource: onegreenplanet.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

Rheal Guindon, a young boy from Ontario, Canada, lost his parents in a tragic accident on a camping trip and had to spend the night outside. Soon after he lied on the ground, he felt “a warm furry body” press up against him. Rheal thought it was a dog, but when he woke up the next day, he found 3 wild beavers snuggled up around him. If it had not been for the beavers, he would have probably frozen to death during the night.


A gorilla saved a boy after a fall.

GorillaSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 1996, a 3-year-old boy slipped 6 m (20 ft) into the gorilla enclosure at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and lost consciousness. A female gorilla named Binti Jua picked up the injured boy, while carrying her own infant on her back, and protected him from the other animals in the enclosure. In a remarkable show of maternal care, she cradled the child and carried him to an entrance where staff could safely reach him.


A dog saved a family from a road-rage gunman.

German shepherdSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 2014, A German shepherd named Noah gave his life for an Atlanta family by throwing himself in the line of fire when a gunman shot up their car outside one of the city´s strip malls. Surveillance footage captured the heroic canine in the final moments of his life just seconds after a man opened fire on the car. Witnesses described how Noah jumped out the passenger window and attempted to chase after the attacker before lying down in an alleyway.


A goat saved a farmer from death.

GoatSource: mmn.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

While doing his daily farm work in 2002, Australian farmer Noel Osborne was accidentally knocked into a pile of manure, shattering his hip. He was rendered immobile and stranded too far away for anyone to hear his calls for help. For 5 days, his goat Mandy huddled by his side, keeping him warm, even throughout stormy, cold nights. Perhaps more remarkably, Mandy also allowed Osborne to milk her for sustenance.


A Beluga whale saved a free-diver from drowning.

Beluga whaleSource: dailymail.co.uk, image: en.wikipedia.org

Yang Yun, aged 26, was taking part in a free-diving contest without breathing equipment among whales in ice-cold water in the Polarland Aquarium in Harbin, China, when her legs became crippled from cramping in the freezing cold. At that point, Mila, one of the beluga whales, stepped in and saved drowning Yun by pushing her to the top of the pool. Beluga whales are sensitive and intelligent animals who can work very closely with humans.


A dog saved a family from a wolf attack.

RottweilerSource: enkivillage.com, image: flickr.com

Just 3 days before Christmas in 2007, a family from Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada were on a trip when they encountered a pack of hungry wolves. Fortunately for the family, they had their dog, a Rottweiler mix named Shadow with them. Shadow took on the pack and stopped the leading wolf, giving the family´s father time to get a rifle and chase the wolves off.


A sea lion saved a man from drowning.

Sea lionSource: telegraph.co.uk, image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 2000, mentally ill and severely depressed Kevin Hines (then aged 16) decided to commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Fortunately for Hines, he survived against all odds after a sea lion came to the rescue and kept him afloat until a coastguard arrived to get Hines to safety. Hines, who now works as a mental health advocate, said he would have certainly drowned if it had not been for the courageous sea lion.


A dog saved her owner by calling 911.

beagleSource: nbcnews.com, image: en.wikipedia.org

In 2006, a beagle named Belle proved to be incredibly smart when she managed to call for help for her diabetic owner, Kevin Weaver, who had a seizure and collapsed to the ground. Belle was able to call 911 by biting the number 9 on her owner´s cell phone, which she had been trained to do earlier. Weaver said he would have surely died if he had not had Belle.


A dolphin saved a boy from drowning.

DolphinSource: dolphin-way.com, image: pixabay.com

In August 2000, a dolphin named Filippo became a hero in Manfredonia, Italy, after he saved a 14-year-old boy, Davide Ceci, from drowning. The boy, who couldn’t swim, fell from his father´s boat, unnoticed, and started to drown immediately. He was already close to death when Filippo saw him and swam to the rescue. The dolphin pushed Davide back to the boat, close enough for Davide’s father to grab his gasping son.


A cat saved a man from robbers.

catSource: oddee.com, image: pixabay.com

Peter Choyce, a disabled man bound to his wheelchair, was typing on his laptop with his cat by his side in front of his house when two men attacked him, trying to steal his computer. After punching Choyce in the face, they grabbed the laptop out of his lap and were about to leave when Choyce´s cat, Unshkins, flew up in the face of the attacker, clawing frantically and bloodying the criminal’s face. Intimidated by the heroic cat, the robbers ran away without the loot.


A dog saved his owner from a bear attack.

border-collieSource: www.insideedition.com, image: pixabay.com

Read Roberts was running with his border-collie, Pacer, in a forest in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, when they were attacked by a mother bear who appeared in the bushes with her two cubs. The bear knocked Roberts down to the ground and was about to kill him when she was fiercely attacked by Pacer. Therefore, the brave dog let his owner to get away from the bear and call 911. Both Roberts and Pacer survived the attack.

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