Throughout the ages, many a great story representing the deep bonds between mankind and the natural world have been told, and the present day is no exception. In fact, YouTube is now the home of many of these stories, caught on video for our collective viewing pleasure. From an interesting college project to ensure the continuity of the rarest big cats, to war veterans being healed of their PTSD by means of wolves, here are four endearing animals stories that you can enjoy on video:
Meet Colorado’s Mountain Rescue Dog Squad
The US state of Colorado is famous for its beautiful rocky mountains, and is highly popular with skiers. As is common in many mountainous areas around the world, the risk of avalanches is high, so the Breckenridge Resort employs a group of six dogs and handlers that are specifically trained to rescue people that get lost in the woods or end up buried under a sudden torrent of snow. The dogs are said to be able to do the work of 30 men in the same amount of time.
A Dog That Raises Baby Cheetahs (And Wallabies and Ocelots)
Cincinnati Zoo is home to an Australian Shepherd dog named Blakely. This patient canine is employed by the zoo to help them raise baby wild animals, such as cheetahs, wallabies, foxes and even the occasional warthog. His role is to teach the animals how to play and socialize properly, showing them what acceptable behavior is prior to them returning to a group of their own kind. While the job is demanding, Blakely seems to take it all in his stride.
Bringing Back Extinct Tigers with Surrogate House Cats
It’s a sad truth of life that some 20 to 30 species are lost to extinction every single year, but at the University of Georgia, there’s a real-life Jurassic Park – for big cats. The scientists there have extracted DNA from rare big cats in an attempt to save them from going extinct. Eventually, this DNA will be used for the artificial insemination of a domestic cat, which will then give birth to a tiger or other big cat. Domestic cats have been chosen for this purpose because scientific knowledge of their reproductive system is much more comprehensive than that of big, wild cats.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is the bane of many a war veteran’s existence, with traditional treatments not always being effective at helping them readjust to normal life away from the battlefield. However, things are different at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center. This unique place allows veterans to interact with rescued wolves, allowing them to forge a deeper bond and heal each other in the process.