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5 Feel Good Animal Stories

By: Elyanne Roen

With finals ongoing, it's easy to get stressed out. So take a break from studying to read these short and sweet animal stories that will make you say "aww"! Featuring an unlikely friendship, a pup finding a new purpose, a funny coincidence, a heroic pup, and a penguin parade.

1. Unlikely Friendship - In September 2022, photographer Christian Ziegler captured a photo of what appeared to be a bonobo cuddling a little mongoose like a pet in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "The ape held and stroked the small mongoose for over an hour," Ziegler told BBC News. The bonobo eventually released his "pet" back into the Congo Rainforest unharmed. The photo went on to win Highly Commended Image by the Natural History Museum in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

2. New Purpose - Gavel, a German Shepard, was trained as a puppy to be a police dog. Although his crime-fighting future seemed definite in Queensland, Australia, when it came time to go out into the field, Gavel loved nothing more than to run up and greet strangers. This also included criminals. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a great thing for a dog to do as a police dog. So Gavel flunked out of the police dog academy for being too sociable. Luckily, Gavel had been being fostered by the Governor of Queensland in his official residence since the pup was six weeks old. Governor Paul de Jersey gave Gavel an official position at the residence. Gavel is now known as Gavel VRD (Vice-Regal Dog), and his duties include welcoming guests and tour groups as well as taking part in special ceremonial occasions.

3. Funny Coincidence - In February 2020, a group of tourists on a safari tour in South Africa saw a baboon carrying a lion cub up a tree. The baboon was grooming the little lion cup as if it were a baby baboon. The baboon moved around the tree carrying the lion cub for some time, accidentally recreating the iconic scene from "The Lion King," where the baboon ‘Rafiki’ lifts the lion cub ‘Simba’ up into the air. This rare occurrence bore a funny resemblance to the movie.

4. Heroic Pup - Patron, a 2-year-old Russell Terrier, has been on the front lines of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, sniffing out hidden bombs and landmines. Patron is said to have sniffed out more than 200 explosive devices in the first few months of the war. Along with sniffing out bombs, Patron also educates Ukrainian children on safety and serves as a symbol of Ukrainian bravery and resistance against Russia. On May 8, 2022, Patron and his owner were given a Service Medal award by President Zelinsky.

5. Penguin Parade - January 13, 2023, kicked off the first Penguin Parade at the Cincinnati Zoo. The king penguins were set free (under supervision) from their habitat to stroll along the zoo’s walkways, much to the enjoyment of the humans strolling along the walkway as well. The penguins waddle and march from the birdhouse to the Children’s Zoo and back. Who doesn’t like a good parade? Especially one with only penguins.


I hope you enjoyed these nice animal stories and that they made your time during finals a little less stressful.

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