Ingrid E. Newkirk
(See the video link of hug-in-action at the end of this post) Just like human beings, animals have feelings, too – there’s no doubt of it. Especially when it comes to those who take care of them, or more people who saved their life. And probably the best example it’s the story of Abigail, one of the most affectionate rescued animal in the world.
When she was just a few months old, the poor little kangaroo lost her mom. It’s when she arrived at the Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs in Australia. Here she was welcomed with the open arms and a lot of love by the volunteers. Of course, the little one responded with the same coin and now, ten years later, hugging those who rescued her and took care of her became part of her daily routine.
Due to her friendly, lovely attitude, Abigail earned the tittle of the sanctuary’s “Queen.” And now, all the staff at the centre start their day with a warm hug from Abi.
“Abi was raised from a joey with Roger and Ella…Abi came to me as an orphan of 5 months old and was quite busted up with cuts and scrapes. Abi has grown into a very healthy 7 year old, and is my only kangaroo who comes up and gives a great big rugby tackle cuddle. Abi is also unusually light in colour and I think she is very beautiful,” wrote the Sanctuary Alice Springs on their Facebook page.
Watch the “Queen” on her daily routine, here:
My name is Daniel Rindone, and I’m writing to ask for your help. You see, I am a former Army Special Operations Non-Commissioned Officer who saved a dog from Syria last year with SPCA International’s help.
Today, dozens of other soldiers – including the one in this photo – are anxiously waiting to have their pets saved. Please donate $55 now to help them. Any amount would be helpful!
You’ve seen the headlines. During the last month, U.S. soldiers have been rapidly pulling out of Syria. Those who thought they had months left at their location, were told they would be shipping out in days.
A flood of requests to save camp mascots and battle buddies have come in to us from these soldiers. These brave men and women have scrambled to deliver their dogs and cats into SPCA International’s care. But I would like to share the words of just one soldier with you. He has asked that we don’t share his photo, name or other identifying information because there could be serious ramifications for him.
Email from U.S. Army Soldier Deployed in Syria:
My name is XXX . I’m a XXXX Syria, leaving behind our Kurdish friends. It is an order that will haunt me for the rest of my life. From our camp along the XXXX we drove 6 hours to XXXX . It was there that I met up with a linguist friend, XXXX , who was serving with our headquarters at the XXXx ; he had rescued a puppy.
When orders came for them to evacuate, their site was absolute chaos. The entire camp was set on fire and they left early when mortar rounds began to cook off in a warehouse only 100 meters away. They were not able to take even their own belongings, but he was able to get this pup out and he brought her to XXXXX . I told him that I had rescued a dog from Afghanistan years prior and he asked me to promise to get her to XXXx and take her to the states, I told him I would do my best.
I wasn’t able to help my Kurdish friends who I had become so close to over these past 5 months, the friends that I had shared meals with and joked and sang and danced with, so I’m really hoping to save this puppy from everything she would be subject to. She looks to be about 7-8 weeks old. I just made a 17-hour drive with her in the truck from XXX and arrived in XXX 2 hours ago. If there is anything I can do to get this puppy home please let me know because I don’t want to break my promise to a friend, and I assure you she will have a great life in the United States with my other two dogs.
I know this email seems unbelievable. But I assure you it is real. When I read this message, it cut straight to my heart and I knew it needed to be shared with you. Thank you for reading and thank you for considering a donation this Veterans Day to help this solider…and so many more.
SPCA International Board Member
Former Army Special Operations Non-Commissioned Officer
PS: With the huge influx of animals, the upcoming weeks will be extremely costly and complicated, but we can’t leave these animals behind. The soldiers and their pets are counting on your generosity. Please, donate today.
Note: All donations received will be immediately used to rescue animals from Syria. After which, any excess will be directed to help other military service members, veterans and their pets through SPCAI’s programs Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide and Operation Military Pets.
This story originally appeared at InspireMore.
Lions, tigers, and bears definitely aren’t meant to live as a pack. But not every animal has been through the trauma that forged the bond between three normally opposing male predators.
Back in 2001, police raided a drug dealer’s house in Atlanta, Georgia. In the basement, they came across a heartbreaking sight. There sat three terrified, malnourished, and parasite-ridden cubs that certainly didn’t belong in anyone’s home.
The African lion, Leo, had been stuffed inside a small crate with an open wound on his face. Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, was emaciated, and the black bear, Baloo, was wearing a harness so small it had become embedded into his flesh.
But their nightmare was finally over; the Georgia Department of Natural Resources took them to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit animal rescue in Locust Grove. There, they’d spend the rest of their days on a beautiful 250-acre property. They’d already been through too much in their short lives to ever be released back into the wild.
“When they were first brought to the sanctuary, Baloo, Shere Khan, and Leo were injured, frightened and clinging to one another for comfort,” curator Allison Hedgecoth told HuffPost. And as they got more comfortable, they groomed each other, cuddled, and played together. Clearly, they were a bonded trio.
Sanctuary staff anticipated the need to separate the friends once they reached sexual maturity, as they would likely grow apart. After all, it’s the natural order in the animal kingdom. But the trio, known as BLT (bear, lion, tiger), never left each other’s sides. The sanctuary ultimately decided to keep them together.
For 15 years, Baloo, Leo, and Shere Khan lived, slept, and ate in the same habitat. And after surviving such horror together, they couldn’t have been happier.
Baloo, the playful one, loved teasing Leo with gentle bites. And the affectionate Shere Khan could often be found snuggling up to either of his brothers.
“Even though they live in a three-acre enclosure, they’re usually within 100 feet of each other,” Allison told Inside Edition. “That’s proof that they’re not just coexisting or cohabiting, they actually do enjoy each other’s company.”
Leo and Shere Khan spent the rest of their lives with Baloo before they passed away, respectively, in 2016 and 2018. Baloo was there for both of their burials — and a constant presence in their final days.
While everyone at the sanctuary is still heartbroken over their deaths, they find solace in knowing they gave all three a fantastic life together. And they’re making sure Baloo knows he isn’t alone.
Rest in peace, Leo and Shere Khan. The world will never forget your beautiful story of survival and friendship.
Four winters. That’s how long I was there. I remember each icy blast, each deep snow, and the mice far beneath, tucked into burrows I could not hope to reach. I slept beneath the bramble and awakened with snow perched on branch and fur.
On the days when the creek’s ice cracked along the edges and snow melted in rivulets toward the pond, I knew I would not go hungry.
Four summers. That’s how long I was there. Other cats came and went from this place, and I fought often and hard for hunting rights, for the right to walk this piece of borrowed earth for a time.
You saw me one summer’s day, skirting along the edge of the forest. I saw in your eyes compassion and distress at my gristly body. You turned and disappeared inside, then returned with two small, circular objects, one with silvery water, the other with luscious scents. You placed them at the garden’s edge and spoke softly to me: “This is for you.” I blinked slowly at you, acknowledging.
The scent of food brought back fragments of memory: an old woman, a petting hand, a warm house.
I ate and drank my fill, then slipped off into the forest. You watched.
Four days. That’s how long you fed me. On the fifth day, you placed a steel box on the ground with food and water inside. I walked around it, wary, sniffing. It smelled of other animals, and I sensed that you meant to trap me. What I did not know then was that you would have taken me in and cared for me.
You dreamed about me that night—do you remember? You stood on the back porch as I walked away, leaning into the wind. I turned back toward you, my face round and scarred, my eyes telling you wordlessly: I will not return. Did you remember every detail of the dream as you awoke, as if it were real?
Four days. That’s how long you continued to set the trap with food and water. On the fifth day you peered for a long time at the place where you had seen me in the dream. Then you put away the trap and scattered the food in the forest for other animals to find.