1. The Dachsunds Who Adopted a Tiger
Bessi the Dachshund came to the rescue of a tiger cub born at Stroehen Zoo in Germany after the cub had already experienced the loss of two important figures in only a week. For reasons unknown to the zookeepers, the cub’s mother rejected it just after birth. The zoo’s mascot, a wirehaired Dachshund male named Monster lovingly adopted the cub but died unexpectedly shortly after. Immediately after the death of Monster, the cub’s foster dad’s daughter, Bessie took to snuggling up with him. Bessi seemed to fall in love with the cub at first sight and has proven herself a capable guardian.
2. The German Shepherd Who Adopted Three Cougar Cubs
The birth of three cougar cubs left the zoo in Samara, Russia full of excitement. Unfortunately, the parents of the cubs began to show signs of aggression towards the infants so the zookeepers immediately removed the cubs from their pen and placed them instead with a motherly German shepherd named Cholli. The foster mother had recently taken care of five youngsters of her own and had a maternal instinct that just wouldn’t quit. Cholli has cared for her foster wards ever since the switch and even feeds them as if they are her own puppies.
3. Tabby Adopts Bobcats
The litter of three little bobcats was found during the demolition of an abandoned home in Newberry County and turned over the Carolina Wildlife Care center in Columbia, S.C. The kittens were immediately adopted by a gray tabby mother named Zoe who was already nursing kittens of her own. The organizers expect Zoe to nurse the bobcat kittens for about four weeks in order to minimize the human contact the bobcats, who will eventually be released into the wild, receive. Once the bobcats are weaned, they will have to be removed from the care of Zoe and the company of her kittens who could all be in danger of the bobcats’ claws and teeth. After 18 months of rehabilitation, the bobcats will be returned to the wild.
4. Golden Retriever Adopts Baby Rabbits
Koa, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever in San Francisco, found two tiny orphaned rabbits in her backyard and immediately adopted them as her own. Although Koa has never had puppies, her motherly instincts kicked in the moment she found these adorable, helpless babies.
5. The Mutt and the Joey
What started out as a normal morning walk for Leonie Allan and her 5-year-old mixed breed, Rex, soon turned extraordinary. Leonie was walking Rex past a dead kangaroo that had been struck by a car in Torquay, Victoria, Australia, when the dog began to point towards the carcass. Leonie, concerned it might be a snake that had gotten his attention, tried to call him back. Rex ignore his owner and instead went straight towards the pouch of the dead kangaroo and pulled out a tiny little four-month-old baby. Though unharmed by the accident, the little joey would have surely died if not for Rex’s heroic actions. The joey snuggled up with Rex on their way to the Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary where caretakers immediately took the joey in and named him Rex Jr. Rex Jr. will remain at the sanctuary until he is about 18-months-old, which is when he will be released back into the wild.
6. Hippo Saves Zebra and Wildebeest
Tom Yule and his 13-year-old son watched helplessly as a wildebeest calf and a zebra foal nearly drown in the Mara River near the northern Lemala Serengeti tourist campground. The wildebeest and zebra were taking part in their annual migration from the Masai Mara in Kenya to the grassy plains of the southern Serengeti. One of the biggest hurdles of the migration is the Mara River, which was flowing especially strongly due to recent heavy rains. The young wildebeest was swept away first and began to get pulled downstream when a hippo immediately went after it and positioned herself downstream of the calf while nudging it with her snout and keeping the calf above water until it reached the other side of the river and was able to rejoin its herd. Yule says it was only five minutes later when they saw a young zebra foal also get swept downstream of its own herd. The hippo quickly went after the foal and, using her snout, helped it across the river the same way it had helped the calf. When the foal finally reached the banks it just stood there for a moment panting fearfully. The hippo gently nudged it and gave it an affectionate nip until the zebra skipped off to rejoin its family.
7. The Dolphin and the Whales
A dolphin from New Zealand, named Moko, managed to rescue a pygmy sperm whale and her calf from the grips of a sandbank. Moko was out playing with a few of the swimmers as he often did when he spotted the two whales stranded on the beach. A group of people has tried in vain for over an hour to get the whales back to the sea and were just about ready to give up when Moko appeared and began to call to the whales. The moment the whales heard Moko, they instantly seemed to calm down, made a few calls back, and then followed him back out to the sea.