We all know what heroes are. There are fictional superheroes like Superman, Spiderman, and Captain Marvel. And in real life, we often hail firefighters, police, medical workers, soldiers, and other such people of important services as heroes. But does the animal kingdom have their own heroes?
As it turns out, there are wild animal heroes that can come to the rescue and save other animals. Whether it’s from natural danger, like being hunted or drowning, or from human-made hazards, there are animals out there with seemingly heartfelt intentions. So if you’re wondering, “which wild animals have been heroes to other animals?”, then keep reading. Today we’ll look at some occasions where animals stepped up to become heroes. The good news you can also peruse the collated Youtube videos on the warm hearted subject below.
1. Baboons Save an Antelope from a Leopard
Baboons are often seen as loud, annoying creatures, but in this instance, a troop of them stepped up to become animal heroes. They used their fearlessness to save an antelope from a hunting jaguar. Videos of this save can be found all over the internet.
It starts with the jaguar in a tree. Then, as the antelope comes near, the jaguar leaps from the tree, grabbing the antelope in a sneak attack. It forces the antelope to the ground and begins to take hold of the frightened animal’s throat.
Before it can make the final blow, the troop of baboons come barreling in. They begin screeching at the leopard, who quickly lets go of the antelope. Then the monkeys chase off the leopard, keeping the antelope safe. Why did they do this? It’s unsure, but we do know that they were definitely heroes to that antelope.
2. Baboon Saves one of its Troop From Lions
It seems like baboons might be big heroes in the animal world. This time, though, it’s a baboon rescuing a baby baboon from lions, with an interesting twist, and it was all caught by some wildlife photographers.
The scene starts with two female lionesses chasing a large troop of baboons into the trees, with quite a noisy chase. But one female baboon gets brave, and decides to drop down from the tree to make a run for it. She doesn’t make it far before she’s snatched up by one of the lions.
However, as she dies, something interesting happens: a small baby detaches itself from her body. Instinct kicks in, and the baby tries to run up the tree, but it isn’t strong enough to climb. So the female lion comes to investigate.
Instead of attacking, though, she gently begins playing with the baby. Perhaps her maternal instinct kicks in, and she gently picks it up and walks away, eventually placing it between her paws. Even more interestingly, the baby tries to suckle on her!
After a little while, two male lions come, and the lioness begins attacking— possibly to protect the baby, or to reject their advances. Either way, this skirmish gives a male baboon, who has been waiting to rescue the baby, just the right opportunity to run down, snatch up the baby, and run into a tree. So this tale has two animal heroes: the female lioness and the brave baboon.
3. Elephant Saves a Buffalo from Lions
This time, the hero animal isn’t a monkey, it’s an elephant. But once again, lions are the antagonists of this story.
A group of lions attack a lone buffalo. One latches onto its back, and the others begin to bite and scratch at it. It manages to buck one of them away, and puts up a long fight. Eventually, though, the lions wrestle it to the ground. Nearby, a group of elephants is wandering.
Just when all hope seems lost for the buffalo, one elephant clearly separates from the pack. It charges the lions, who begin running, and it keeps chasing them until they’ve gone away completely. For this buffalo, it was an extremely lucky day. And while we can’t say for sure why the elephant did it— we can’t read animals’ minds, after all— we do know that elephants are highly empathetic creatures, and therefore care about other animals.
4. Lion adopts baby antelope
Normally, an antelope means one thing for a lion: a tasty meal. But in Kenya, a female lioness saw something different: children in need of a mother.
This lion found six baby antelopes all alone, which would have made them perfectly easy prey. But for some reason, instead of seeing them as food, she took them under her wing— or paw— and helped them stay healthy. She even risked starvation to stay with them and keep them safe.
And it seems that she was mostly successful. Sadly, two of the antelopes did die— by attacks from other lions. But three of them eventually returned to their mothers, and one was rescued by wildlife officials. Videos of the lion taking care of her adopted baby can be found on the internet. No one knows why she did it, but one thing is for sure: she definitely made it into the ranks of the animal heroes.
5. Baby Wildebeest Treats a Lioness like its mom
This is another story where a lioness’s maternal instincts seem to kick in and prevent her from causing harm to another’s baby. This time, it’s a baby wildebeest and a hungry lion. Footage of the encounter, from the Smithsonian channel, can be found online.
The wildebeest is very young, only minutes old. It has just been born, and before they can rejoin with the pack, the mother’s worst fear happens: in comes a hungry lion. She tries multiple times to scare off the lion, and at one point even seems to succeed. But then the lion returns, and the mother is forced to leave her baby behind to save her own life.
Once the lioness has the baby, though, she pauses. It stops running, and doesn’t seem to be afraid of her. Perhaps her maternal instinct kicks in, but whatever the cause, she doesn’t feed on the baby, even though she’s hungry and it’s a good, and easy, source of food.
Instead, gently toys with the young wildebeest, who doesn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, it nuzzles up to her and rubs its head against her, as it would for its own mother. Perhaps, since it is so young and this lion is not attacking, it mistakes her for its mom.
Regardless, after a little while, the lioness does something even more remarkable: she lets the baby return to its mother. Whatever came over that lioness, she chose that day to not only let a baby live, but to let its mother live as well, so she truly is a hero animal.
6. Dolphins Form a “life raft” to help their Injured Friend
In this instance, dolphins, who are very intelligent sea creatures, team up to create a makeshift life raft in an attempt to save their friend from drowning. The whole thing was caught on camera by a group of researchers from South Korea.
It started when they noticed a group of about 12 dolphins swimming very close together. One of them— a female— was having trouble staying afloat, and was flopping around. As you may know, dolphins breathe air, so if she couldn’t stay afloat then she might drown.
In what appeared to be an attempt to save her, the dolphins around her formed a sort of life raft. They swam in a row with her on their backs, carrying her above the water, which allowed her to breathe. Sadly, they couldn’t keep doing that forever.
After a little while, some of the dolphins left the group. The others tried to support her, but couldn’t do it on their own, and they stayed near her, gently nudging her until she sank away. While they may not have been successful at saving her, they did try, and that definitely makes them heroic animals.
7. Gorilla Assists Injured Bird
Last on today’s list of heroic animals is a gorilla that attempts to help an injured bird. This takes place at a zoo in Australia, where interested onlookers captured the whole event on camera.
The gorilla is just wandering around its habitat when it finds an injured bird. The bird is quite small, especially when compared to the gorilla, so things don’t look too good. But instead, the gorilla stops to examine the bird, and even lays its head down to get eye to eye.
Then, the gorilla attempts to be a hero. It very gently places its fingers beneath the birds backside, and gives it small pushes. The bird tries to fly, but it just can’t get off the ground. Still, the gorilla keeps trying.
Eventually, it realizes that the bird isn’t going to fly, and so it walks away, leaving the bird to figure out what to do. But at least the gorilla tried its best, and was yet another animal hero that tried to help out other animals.