A Lion Lifted From a Well, a Sea Otter Learns to Swim, and More: 2014’s Top 10 Animal Rescues Caught on Camera

This year had its fair share of dramatic, fantastic, and downright cute animal rescue stories. Thankfully, they were filmed.

(Photo: YouTube)

Dec 25, 2014· 2 MIN READ
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

Looking for a heartwarming animal rescue story this holiday season? How about 10?

From porcupines to sharks, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best videos from 2014 of animals in distress, and the people who helped save them.

1. Indian Villagers Rescue a Lion That Fell Down a Well

What do you do when you find a lion in your well? Rescue it, of course. That’s what residents of Amrapur village in western India did when the pulled an angry 400-pound lion to safety.

Full story here.

2. An Orphaned Baby Sea Otter Learns to Swim

Thanks to some patient animal care workers, a five-week-old sea otter pup learned how to swim. Lucky for us, they decided to film the cutest swimming lesson ever.

Full story here.

3. A Magical Roadside Rescue of an Unborn Baby Porcupine

When Jared Buzzell saw a porcupine get hit by a car in Minot, Maine, he had to check it out. His uncle had told him the animals contained a magical mineral in their stomach, but what Buzzell recovered was a different miracle—a baby porcupine.

Full story here.

4. A Lego Wheelchair Gives This Tortoise Mobility

Blade, a 4.4-ounce turtle, was born with a metabolic bone disease. Blade’s owner took him to an animal hospital, where a German veterinarian was inspired by his son’s toys to build a tiny tortoise wheelchair.

Full story here.

5. Florida Beachgoers Carry a Manatee Back to Sea

It took a village—or at least a small Florida beach crowd—to lift this manatee off the sand and put it back in the water.

Full story here.

6. The Coast Guard Frees an 800-Pound Sea Turtle Trapped in Fishing Gear

When some fishing gear off the New Jersey coast snagged an 800-pound leatherback sea turtle, the coast guard sprang to the rescue. The entangled turtle highlighted the growing problem of “ghost fishing,” in which derelict nets that have broken free from fishing vessels continue to catch and kill animals for decades.

Full story here.

7. A Hedgehog Stuck in a Can Is Rescued—Better Toss Your Cans Out Right

A baby hedgehog in the United Kingdom gets rescued from a perilous place—the inside of a can. Wildlife Aid Foundation president Simon Cowell is there to free the critter before any harm is done.

Full story here.

8. A Tiger Shark Needs Help, and These Brave Aussies Give It

In Australia, a controversial shark deterrent has been installed offshore near popular beaches. They’re called drumlines—where baited floating hooks await an unsuspecting shark. A group of activists opposed to the drumlines made it their goal to free this tiger shark. Some members of the group swam with the shark until it was able to swim on its own.

Full story here.

9. A Baby Elephant Is Rescued After Being Separated From Its Mom

When a group of elephants got mixed up with a herd of cattle in the Ndoto Mountains of Kenya, one infant elephant got confused and started following the cows instead of its mother. Once local tribespeople saw what had happened, they alerted a conservation group, which airlifted the baby to its elephant nursery in Nairobi.

Full story here.

10. Two Sea Turtles Are Set Free Instead of Becoming a Meal

A group of tourists became animal activists this past summer on the beach of Little Corn Island, Nicaragua, when they saw two endangered loggerhead turtles lying on their backs, the trophies of a recent hunt. Instead of watching the turtles become meat to be sold on the black market, the tourists swooped in, moving the turtles off their backs, into the water and on to freedom.

Full story here.