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7 Videos of People Rescuing Animals

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Some people can be pretty terrible to animals—but most people will try to help cuddly (and not-so-cuddly) creatures when they can. Here are some of the most incredible videos of people saving animals.

1. Surfers Saving a Shark

Ordinarily, surfers and great whites aren’t exactly friends, but when this great white shark pup washed up on a beach with a hook caught in its mouth, these brave surfers pulled it out of the water, removed the hook barehanded and then helped it get back in the water. Just a warning, you might want to watch this one on mute as the narration of the woman filming is more annoying than it is useful to understanding what’s happening.

2. A Diver Freeing A Dolphin

The coolest thing about this video isn’t that the diver helped remove the hook and cut the fishing line that was tangled around this poor dolphin, but that the animal seemingly knew the diver could help him. In fact, the group of divers probably wouldn’t have even noticed the dolphin’s predicament if it hadn’t come swimming right up to them and shown them something was wrong. The rescue sequence begins at about 3:30.

3. A Senior Climbing to Save A Kitten

Somehow a tiny kitten ended up on a tiny ledge, several stories off the ground. It meowed over and over, hoping someone would come to its aid; these cries managed to attract the attention of 60-year-old Kay Leclaire, who was jogging in the area. Leclaire just happens to be an expert climber who has previously scaled Mount Everest and is the oldest woman to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents, so she quickly headed home and grabbed her gear. By the end of the day, the kitten was not only back on the ground, but adopted by a loving family.

4. Rescuers Freeing An Owl

This poor gray horned owl flew into a chain link fence and got caught. Fortunately, Susan Clark of the Topanga Animal Rescue and Gary Strauss of Life Energy Institute were able to help cut the links away, free the owl, and check him for injuries. Perhaps one of the most amazing things about this video is just how calm the owl remains throughout the whole ordeal.

5. Power Company Workers Helping A Seagull

Somehow this poor bird managed to get his head caught between two electrical lines. Luckily for him, Nova Scotia Power sent out worker Yvon Blin to help free him. Unlike the owl stuck in the fence, this guy wasn’t particularly helpful to his rescuer—there’s a reason owls have a reputation for being wise while seagulls aren’t considered particularly bright.

6. People Pulling A Moose From A Swimming Pool

Perhaps they should change the expression “stubborn as a mule” to “stubborn as a moose.” After all, this guy seems to be doing all he can to help fight the team of nine people who are doing everything they can to help pull him out of the pool. While this video makes it seem like the moose might have just been enjoying a swim, an original, full-length version showed that he kept slipping further and further into the deep end and was unable to get back out.

7. Rescuers Cutting A Moose From The Ice

It seems not all moose are so difficult while being rescued. This big guy was relatively patient as he waited for people to cut away and smash the ice that was holding him in place. Of course, he was also probably trying to conserve his energy in the freezing waters.

While I’ve never been a part of a big-scale rescue like this, I always try to help stray dogs so they can be returned to their owners. Even knowing that I could have saved a pup from being hit by a car is a nice feeling. I’m sure any of you who have saved a critter have similar rewarding feelings—and of course, if you have any good stories, feel free to share them in the comments.

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Big Questions
Do Cats Fart?
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Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it.

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of gulping breaths or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
Squirrels Are Probably More Organized Than You, Study Finds
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Despite having a brain that's slightly bigger than the size of a peanut M&M, squirrels have a fascinating, razor-sharp instinct when it comes to survival. They know that acorns that are high in fat and sprout late are perfect for long-term storage, so they salvage them for winter and eat the less nutritionally dense white-oak acorns right away. They also tend to remember where they put their acorn stash rather than relying solely on smell. Like nature's perfect stunt performer, they can even fall out of trees in a way that minimizes physical damage. Now, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have unveiled a newly discovered part of a squirrel's hoarding strategy, Atlas Obscura reports.

The researchers tracked 45 wild fox squirrels on the UC-Berkeley campus for nearly two years. They made available to the squirrels four different types of nuts—walnuts, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts. Sometimes the animals were given a single type of nut, and other times the nuts were mixed. Either way, the squirrels promptly sorted and stored their food according to type—walnuts went in one hiding place, almonds in another, and so on.

This type of behavior is known as "chunking" and makes it easier to retrieve data in memory. In doing this, a squirrel won't have to visit several different places looking for pecans: They know just where the main supply is. Squirrels can stockpile up to 10,000 nuts a year, so it's essential for them to know which type of nut is where.

The study, published in Royal Society Open Science, also indicated that squirrels seem to understand nuts have weight, choosing to carry heavier acquisitions to a different location than lighter nuts.

Squirrels being squirrels, they were happy to be gifted an assortment of nuts during the experiment, but there was one wrinkle: Rather than stash them away, sometimes they'd just eat them on the spot.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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