There’s a new book out called “Unlikely Heroes” by Jennifer Holland that tells 37 inspiring stories from the animal kingdom. From a horse who protects his rider from a pit bull, to a hippo rescuing a wildebeest from drowning, these stories share unexpected acts of heroism and empathy amongst different animals.
Holland tells three stories of when animal heroes have stepped up to the plate in order to save the life of a human child. “Animals who act generously don’t care about recognition, about TV coverage or awards. The good-deed doer, the good deed done, goes back to whatever he was doing before the incident. Eating. Sleeping. Rolling in the mud. Just being,” she writes. Below, we take a closer look at these three inspiring stories.
Willie the Quaker Parrot
One day in 2006, Meagan Howard was watching her friend’s daughter Hannah and was in the kitchen preparing a meal for the little girl. As she set the Pop-Tarts on the table to cool down, she checked on Hannah, who was watching morning cartoons, then decided to slip out and quickly use the bathroom. Good thing Meagan’s pet, Willie, a parrot called a Quaker — an intelligent and chatty breed of parrots — was on the lookout. “I was gone maybe 30 seconds,” Meagan recalls. “And suddenly, I heard the bird.” Willie was “going crazy, squawking and shrieking” two distinct words over and over — Mama! Baby!
Meagan rushed out of the bathroom to find Hannah in the kitchen, holding a Pop-Tart, gasping for air as her face and lips started turning blue. “Hannah had climbed up on a chair and gotten the Pop-Tart and she was clearly choking on it,” says Meagan. “I grabbed her and immediately started doing the Heimlich maneuver until the piece came flying out.”
Binti Jua the Gorilla
In August 1996, a little boy who was visiting the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago, IL climbed up where he shouldn’t have and ended up falling some 20 feet down into the gorilla habitat. As zoo staff formulated a plan to get the child out, one of the gorillas, an 8 year old female named Binti Jua (which means “Daughter of Sunshine” in Swahili), approached the child’s motionless body and held him in her arms.
Zoo staff used water hoses to herd the rest of the gorillas away from the boy as Binti carried the child about 75 feet, across a stream and sat on a log away from the other animals. At one point, she could be seen rocking the child back and forth like a mother would a sleeping baby. She finally set him down and joined the rest of the gorillas!
The Wild Elephant
One night in Olgara Village in West Bengal, India, a lone forest elephant broke down a door to a hut and crashed through a wall, likely searching for food. The flimsy building was no match for the raw power of the huge animal. As pieces of the home rained down, a sound of a crying baby stopped the elephant’s devastating rampage. The elephant found himself standing in front of the crying child’s bed.
For some reason, the animal stretched out his trunk and began cleaning up all the rubble that had fallen on the little girl then turned and walked away back into the forest without any further ruckus.
Stay safe! Know Before™.
The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team