15 Heartwarming Stories Of Animals Rescuing Other Animals

Newspix / Penikvideos

You can sum up our natural world in plenty of ways: beautiful, mysterious, and even downright strange.

Animals can defy our expectations in so many ways. We imagine that they're not as intelligent or caring as we are, and then they go ahead and prove us wrong.

Some animals have even put their own lives at risk to rescue their friends when no one else could.

These 15 creatures didn't hesitate to save other animals in need. And we could all learn a think or two from them.

1. The Helpful Hippo

Hippo rescue
Lemala Camps - YouTube

Tour guide Tom Yule captured the incredible footage of two separate animal rescues by one caring hippo at a river in Tanzania.

Hippos are known for being fierce creatures, but this one guided a young wildebeest caught in the current to shore. Then it rescued another animal, a young zebra this time.

Hippo rescue
Lemala Camps - YouTube

“The hippo got out of the water and came up behind the foal and started nudging it and gently biting it on its backside," Yule remembered, "as if to say, 'Come on man, don't give up now, you can do it.'"

2. Tillie To The Rescue

Tillie the dog
Vashon Island Pet Protectors - Facebook

Owner B.J. Duft was heartbroken when both his dogs, Irish setter Tillie and her "little sister" Phoebe the basset hound, went missing from his home.

The pair were gone for a whole week before rescuers found them together. It turns out Phoebe had fallen into a cistern, and Tilly refused to leave her side until they were both rescued.

Tillie the Dog
Vashon Island Pet Protectors

Good girl!

3. Stuck On Each Other

Poncho possum
Myrtle Beach Safari - YouTube

Poncho the possum's life hasn't been easy. His mother was struck by a car when he was just a baby, and she was found by the side of the road.

After being taken to the Rare Species Fund animal sanctuary, his caretakers were desperate to find a foster mom for Poncho.

Poncho possum
Rare Species Fun

The unlikely animal who stepped up was Hantu, a white German shepherd who carried the orphan possum on her back. To this day, Hantu and Poncho are still as close as real family members.

4. Cats And Dogs

Cat rescue puppy
Ellen Thomas - YouTube

These two species famously don't get along, but that didn't stop a caring cat from protecting this poor little puppy.

The young dog was desperate to escape a rocky pit, but his tiny legs were too small to get out. Watch the dramatic moment when the cat risked her own life to save it:

5. The Odd Couple

A camera team from Bartlesville, New York captured the unlikely bond between two lonely animals: a female goose who had lost her mate and a deer.

Deer goose
BartlesvilleLIVE - YouTube

The bird had made its nest in an empty cemetery urn, and for some reason the deer refused to leave her side.

The animal was even seen standing between the goose and a wild dog. Whatever the explanation, this is too sweet.

6. Rex, The Kangaroo Dog

Rex Skippy

When Leonie Allen came across a kangaroo who had been struck by a car, she wanted to get away as soon as possible.

But her dog, a 10-year-old crossbreed named Rex, wouldn't let her. She found out why when Rex retrieved the 'roo's injured Joey and carried it to safety.

Rex Skippy

The orphaned critter, later named Skippy, was raised at a wildlife sanctuary. But he stayed close friends with Rex until he was released back into the wild.

7. He's A Retriever Alright

Dog Rescue

Mark Freeley says his English golden retriever, Storm, didn't hesitate to jump into icy water when he saw a deer was drowning.

The heroic pooch dragged the animal to shore by the neck, then nudged and snuggled with it to be sure the deer was okay.

Dog Rescue

An animal rescue team arrived to take over soon after, but not before the deer ran back into the water. Freeley dived in himself the second time.

8. Moko's Big Rescue

Moko the Dolphin
Whakatane Beach

Resident's of New Zealand's North Island knew Moko the dolphin by name, because the cheerful creature seemed to love human company.

In 2008, a pair of pygmy sperm whales were trapped in a sandbar near Moko's habitat, and rescue crews had trouble getting them back to sea.

Moko approached the stranded whales before quickly guiding them back to the ocean.

Moko the Dolphin

"The dolphin did what we had failed to do," said conservationist Malcolm smith. "It was all over in a matter of minutes." Sadly, Moko passed away just a few years later.

9. Lifeguard On Duty

Dog rescue
Laurie Becerra

Dog owner Laurie Becerra was stunned when she saw video footage of her pets Smokey and Remus in her backyard pool.

Smokey, a weak swimmer, was stuck in the deep end and could not get out. Remus tried to help him from the poolside, before diving in to give him a boost.

“My best friend cried when we sent her the video," Becerra said. "She says he’s a certified lifeguard now."

10. The Honorary Hippo

Lisha, a Labrador who lives in South Africa's Cango Wildlife Reserve, has become a loving foster mom to dozens of wild creatures.


After growing up at the reserve since she was a puppy, Lisha doesn't bat an eye at any animal her owners leave in her care.

Being raised by another animal is important, so the babies don't become dependent on their human caretakers.


Along with plenty of hippos, kittens, and tiger cubs, Lisha also helped raise Spiky the porcupine.

11. A Helping Hand


Jorong, an orangutan at the Dublin Zoo, showed his gentle side when he scooped a drowning baby coot bird out of the water.

The clever ape tried to coax the chick out of the water with a leaf before taking matters into his own hands, scooping the bird to safety.

You can even see Jorong hold up the distressed bird to make sure it's alright, before setting it back on the grass.

12. Don't Mess With Oliver

Here's another story that proves dogs and cats get along much better than we give them credit for:

Oliver the Dog
27 East

Stanley the cat was attacked by a coyote in his own backyard, until his housemate Oliver the dog stepped in to protect him.

The act of heroism earned Oliver awards from humane societies across the country, and a ticket to the premiere of Marley and Me.

13. Un-bear-ably sweet

Aleksander Medveš - YouTube

The most uplifting animal rescues are the ones that defy our expectations. If I told you that a crow landed inside a brown bear's water fixture at the Berlin Zoo, could you guess how this story ends?

In fact, the bear did sink his teeth into the bird, but only to lift him out of the water. Once he was free, the bear ignored the shaken animal and went about his business.

The crow was shaken, but in good health.Aleksander Medveš - YouTube

The bird flew off soon after, with a story to tell that the other crows would probably never believe.

14. Fish Are Friends, Not Food

Poath TV - YouTube

Another, much smaller predator also ignored his animal instincts to pull off a heartwarming rescue.

Valentino the cat was upset to find the fish in his backyard tank was stuck in the filter box. He gave it a nudge with his paw and walked away once it started flapping its fins again.

Poath TV - YouTube

Okay, so Valentino's owner revealed the fish is actually a robotic toy, and not edible, but it's the thought that counts.

15. Elephants Never Forget (Water Safety)

RT - YouTube

Security cameras at the Grandpark zoo in Seoul captured the scary moment when a baby elephant fell into a pond.

The adult females in his enclosure, named Big Momma and Nandi, didn't waste any time trying to scoop the youngster out.

When that failed, they rushed into the water to carry the baby to safety.

It was a scary moment, but a good reminder that mothers (and kids) are the same no matter what species they are.

The 10 most loving mothers in the animal kingdom will also win your heart.

And when zoos started "reviewing" their animals, things got silly quickly.