On a recent visit to the Modisa Wildlife Project near Maun, Botswana, traveller John Hawkins captured this heartwarming footage that shows the incredible bond between a lioness and her rescuer. In the video, Sirga can be seen eagerly pacing back and forth behind a fence as the man, Valentin Gruener, unlocks the gate. Once the gate is opened, the 110-pound lioness jumps onto Gruener—for a cuddly, full-body embrace! Sirga clearly displays her affection for the man, rubbing noses with him during the hug and even laying across his lap on the ground. What an amazing friendship!
After Sirga was driven out of her pride as a cub, she was rescued by Gruener and Mikkel Legarth, who couldn’t stand by and watch her die. The two conservationists took her in, raised her, and even taught her how to hunt on her own. Throughout the years, Sirga has never forgotten her bond with the men who helped her. She now serves as a beacon of success for the Modisa Wildlife Project, which Gruener and Legarth started with the hope of finding long-term solutions for saving the lion population in Botswana, Africa.
A pet fox and dog have become unlikely best buddies – in one of the cutest animal friendships of all time.
There have been all sorts of bizarre animal bonds that have formed over the years, like this protective lion who adopted an antelope as a ‘cub’ for instance.
And then there was Bella the black Labrador and Bubbles the African elephant, among others.
But while pet fox Juniper and Moose the Australian Shepherd might not be quite as an extraordinary mix, their relationship is definitely one of the most heartwarming.
Moose was adopted by owner Jessika when he was young, and when she bought Juniper home as a five-week old pup the pair instantly bonded.
Now they have formed an enduring relationship, and just love spending time together.
Jessika absolutely adores the cuddly pairing. But she has made a point to warn others that keeping a fox is waaaay harder than having a dog or a cat, and extra special care has to be taken to keep them healthy.
Luckily, Moose an Juniper’s friendship is being documented through Jessika’s Instagram page for Juniper so you can keep an eye out for updates as to how they’re getting on in the future.
Ed Gernon rescued an abandoned German Shepherd that was living on the streets. The dog, Gernon named “Rex”, was vicious to other animals. After all, he had to use his hunting instincts to survive.
But after being shown constant love, Rex began to trust and his attitude completely changed.
One month after his adoption, Rex found a baby hummingbird covered in ants under a tree. It had fallen from its nest. Gernon was sure it was dead, but Rex refused to leave the bird behind.
Gernon ended up taking the bird inside, nursing it back to health, and teaching it how to fly.
It’s been more than a year, but Hummer refuses to leave, insisting on staying close to the dog and human who never gave up on her.
“It’s like living with Tinkerbell,” Gernon told KCBS News. “It was this little creature. This fragile creature that the whole world wanted to kill and he was trying to protect her so I thought I’d go the distance.
Hailey Fort is only 9-years-old but she is already an inspiration to people of all ages. Not even old enough for high school yet and she already spends her free time helping the homeless in more ways than most full-grown adults.
It all started when she was 5 and she saw a homeless man in her hometown. She asked her mom if she could help the man by buying him a sandwich. After her mother said ‘yes’ Hailey never stopped.
Hailey now builds shelters for the homeless and grows food for them too. In fact, this year alone she plans to construct 12 mobile shelters for the homeless community, many of which she considers her good friends.
When Nicole Elliot saw a photo of a senior dog with terminal cancer on her local animal shelter’s Facebook page, she knew she had to do something.
The Georgia woman decided to not only provide a home for Chester the terrier, but also to make sure his final days would be the best ones of his life.
“Before I went and got him, I decided to do a bucket list,” she told ABC News.
Elliot adopted Chester on June 27 and learned that the senior dog had undergone surgery to remove some of his tumors, but more had turned up. The dog’s owners had surrendered him to a high-kill shelter, and Animal Ark Rescue took Chester in before he could be euthanized.
In addition to cancer, Chester is also tested positive for heartworm, and veterinarians aren’t sure how much time he has left.
But regardless of how many days or weeks remain, Elliot is determined that Chester enjoy them.
Since his adoption, Chester has been to parks, eaten hot dogs and gone on a shopping spree for toys and treats.
“There are so many people that say animals don’t have souls like humans, but I feel like anybody who met Chester would see he does have a soul,” she said. “I think all animals should have a chance to have a happy life.”
Wherever James Isaac goes, Mahe follows – even into the boy’s hospital bed.
The 9-year-old is autistic and relies on the black labrador to keep him safe and calm. James does not speak and flinches from human touch and eye contact, but with Mahe things are different. He will curl up happily with Mahe.
A hospital chain has found a way of caring for both the young and the old by having them take care of each other – and in the process, built a bridge across generations.
The Intergenerational Learning Center consists of a preschool inside the Mount St. Vincent nursing home in Seattle, Washington. The 400 adults in the assisted-living center join the kids in daily activities from music and dancing to storytelling and just plain visiting.
The Center’s managers say the children learn from their elders and are nurtured by the adults while the invigorated seniors get a new sense of purpose and well-being from the playful tots.
Film maker Evan Briggs has a Kickstarter page to finish a documentary about the place. His film “Present Perfect” portrays what he calls the “very real experience of aging in America – both growing up, and growing old.”
Kinard Elementary School in South Carolina has started a new project that’s enriching the lives of kids and animals in the area. For two days first grade teacher Lauren Demarest took all the first graders to the York County Animal Shelter.
They weren’t there to learn about animals, or walk them, or do any of the other things that usually need doing around the shelter. No, they were there to read to the animals.
Imagine having to live in captivity for 53 years. While this is hard to imagine, it is sadly common for animals to endure such captivity for the sake of human entertainment. In the circus, for example, elephants are cruelly subjected to an unnatural existence. These highly emotional and intelligent animals have some of the most complex familial and social groups in the animal kingdom, and yet, we continue to reduce them to entertainment props, subjecting them to a life in chains performing tricks they would never do in the wild.
One sweet elephant, Rhea, did spend 53 years of her life enduring the horrors of life in a circus. Thankfully, however, Wildlife S.O.S. was able to win her freedom and give her a new life at their sanctuary. This elephant has only been free for a few days, but so far she is thriving!
The Wildlife S.O.S. team wrote on Facebook, “After non stop traveling since morning, we’ve stopped for a break, and also to give Rhea some time to stretch her legs. We gave her a shower as a very generous restaurant owner on the highway offered us to use his water tank, and let Rhea walk around a bit.”