The connection between animals and humans is earthly as well as divine. Animals have been mentioned in the Quran, Gospel and the Bible. They have been included in famous anecdotes telling tales of war and destruction. Animals have made their way into folklore and traditions so much so that we have a whole genre of stories dedicated to animals- fables. Aesop’s Fables are popular all over the world and we have grown up hearing them.
A connection with animals has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. There is less tension and people tend to live happy lives if there is “also” an animal that they pet (we do not rule out the importance of social life and marriage and friends). People do not tolerate animal abuse and movies enter special clauses towards the closure and in the beginning to ensure audience that no animals have been harmed in the making of the movie. There are some animals that have made their mark in history. We have compiled a list of ten animals that are famous in the world. The reason of their fame has been included. Happy reading!
The cross eyed opossum Heidi had three times greater number of Facebook admirers than the; German Chancellor Angela Merkel when it died. During the past few years many animals from German zoos have made their way to the headlines and Heidi is one of them. She was abandoned and then raised in a wildlife sanctuary in U.S state of North Carolina.
From Odense Zoo of Denmark, she was placed in the Leipzig Zoo during a tropical wildlife exhibit of 2011. Her cross eyes made her vulnerable in the wild but the other extreme was her being placed with two other opossums despite them being nocturnal and solitary. She inspired a YouTube song and became a popular animal of the zoo probably because of her condition. She closed her eyes forever after being euthanized due to a health condition that was unspecified. Her premature death occurred in 2011 and was not the first of such in Germany.
9. Bobbie the Wonder Dog
Bobbie was nicknamed the Wonder Dog by admirers from all over the world because of the seemingly impossible ordeal that he had overcome. In 1923, he travelled with his Oregon owners to Indiana where he separated from them. His family eventually gave up the search and returned to their homes. Six months later in February 1924, Bobbie appeared at the front door of his Silverton home after crossing deserts, plains and mountains that had left his feet worn to the bones. Travelling 2551 miles across America had taken a toll on his health and he was skinny and weak. The news spread around the country and he received fan mail from all over. He was featured in newspapers and magazines and given a special star studded collar.
Bobbie attracted 40,000 spectators at a show in Oregon back then which showed his popularity. He died at the age of 6 in 1927 and was buried with honours at the Oregon Humane Society’s pet cemetery in Portland.
Fido made it to our list because of the extreme loyalty that he showed to his master during the years of the war. He is not the only dog to have done so- yet his story is one of the most touching ones. Many pets fled their homes and families during the tragic years of the World War II.
Fido was found by Carlo Soriani in a ditch, injured, from where he was carried home and nursed back to health. From then on, he became the shadow of his master and went to the bus stop everyday to see him off and receive him when he got back from work. One day, his master did not return from work because he became a victim of the Borgo San Lorenzo bombardment where many factories were hit. For the next 14 years, Fido visited the bus stop almost 5000 times, looking for his master until people began to notice him and he became a media sensation in Italy. He died on the wait on June 9, 1958.
7. Unsinkable Sam
The German battleship Bismarck was one of the largest vessels in the German navy. It was used in only one offensive during World War II. The ship raided routes from Britain to North America in May, 1941 after which it also destroyed British battlecruiser HMS Hood in combat and was thereafter relentlessly pursued by the Royal Navy. The Bismarck was sunk along with 2200 German soldiers on May 27, 1941 but Sam, the black and white patch cat, survived the sinking.
It joined soldiers on the HMS Cossack until it too was sunk by the German submarine U-563. 153 crew members died but Sam survived the explosion. He was then transferred to the HMS Ark Royal which was also torpedoed by the German submarine U-81 in 1941 and yet again Sam survived. In total, the cat survived three sinkings during the World War. Other ships HMS Lightning and HMS Legion that he had stayed on also sank later in the war.
Sometimes fame comes to those in a team who deserve it less. In the opinion of some Balto’s counterpart Togo deserved to be on this list instead. In 1924, a diphtheria epidemic (disease of the upper respiratory tract to which youngsters are extremely prone) in the city of Nome by the coast of the Bering Sea, demanded that a supply of diphtheria antitoxin be made available to the population of the city. The city had only one doctor. The port closed for the winter before the vaccine could arrive and the delivery was then completed through 20 mushers and 150 relay dogs the final team of which was led by Balto. Facing extreme conditions of temperature, the dogs completed the task as Balto also saved his team members.
A statue of the dog was placed in the New York Central Park to honor his commitment. However, in the serum run of 1925. Togo had run 261 miles which were the most hazardous and yet he is not commemorated in the same way as Balto. Who is the most famous canine after Rin Tin Tin.
Border Collies are considered to be the most intelligent of dog breeds. Born in 2002. Betsy the Border Collie was able to decipher a word only after hearing it twice and sat up on command only when she was ten weeks old. Research and study has proven that the rate of learning of Betsy and human toddlers is the same. Could it be that dogs and other animals too, occasionally, come across a specimen that has a much higher IQ than their general population? During the past 15 years, many dog breeds have become more smarter and have shown a greater connection to humans. However Betsy’s communication with the humans is being considered to be an evolution of the dog specie. Researchers believe that finding the cause of cancer in dogs could actually help in treating human beings with cancers.
See also; Top 10 Historically Famous Animals.
South Africa has not seen many hippos as famous as Huberta. We do not know what actually occurred in her mind to drive her journey from St. Lucia Estuary in Zululand to the Eastern Cape of Africa (almost 1600 km away). It took her three years to complete the journey and she attracted many curious journalists and was followed by people and tourists. Huberta was popular but not hesitant or shy. She crossed roads, ate in the parks, went into towns, farms and even spoiled golf course grass. As she took a break enroute in Mhlanga River, people came to visit her and offered fruit and other treats.
An attempt to capture her and put her into Johannesburg. Zoo was deemed to be the price of her popularity but it failed. The Natal Provincial Council later declared that catching or hunting Huberta would be illegal. She arrived in East London in March 1931 after crossing 122 rivers but was shot and killed by a group of hunters that were arrested and fined. Her body was recovered, given to a taxidermist and returned to South Africa in 1933. She stands in a museum hitherto as people look at her and remember her interesting story.
3. Cher Ami
Cher Ami was a messenger pigeon sent out by U.S. Army Captain Charles Whittlesey in October 1913, as he and more than 500 other men became trapped in a small depression in the Forest of Argonne. It became the hero of its battalion for delivering a message despite being shot in the chest and continuing its journey to deliver the message that ultimately saved its soldiers.
See also; 10 Most Famous Historical Birds.
The famous lion of the zoo of Kabul was ruthlessly injured by a person who threw hand grenades into the cage. Reportedly, Marjan had killed the man’s friend who tried to touch him after sneaking into the cage. The attack left Marjan blind, deaf and permanently disabled. He died in January 2002 at the age of 23.
1. Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin was rescued from the battlefield by an American soldier Lee Duncan during World War I after which he appeared in silent roles in over 27 films. He was an immediate box office success and famous all over the world. Rin Tin Tin died in 1932. See also; 10 Animals that Entertained the World.