Over the years there have been many extraordinary stories about the intelligence, beauty and bravery of animals during times of turmoil and peace. Many animals have even achieved worldwide recognition and appreciation for their efforts. Below, we have created a small list of some of the most recognised of those animals and what they’ve contributed to our society.
- Fido (Italian street dog) meaning ‘faithful one’ in Latin has come to symbolise the extreme loyalty of animals. During World War 2, he was found badly bruised by Carlo Soriano a brickworker. He nursed Fido back to health and Fido would follow him everyday to the bus stop Soriano took to work. Fido was always there to greet Soriano when he returned at the same bus stop. Unfortunately, the area was bombed 2 years later and Soriano passed away. Despite this, Fido returned every day for 14 more years becoming a media sensation in the process. He died on June 9 1958 while waiting for his master.
- Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier was born in 1943 during the second world war. In February 1944 Corporal William Wynne, an American soldier found her in the New Guinea jungle and decided to take the 4 pound, 180mm tall dog backpacking through the jungle. Throughout her time, Smoky participated in 12 air/rescue mand photo reconnaissance missions, survived 150 air raids, a typhoon and parachuted 30 feet in the air out of a tree using her very own parachute. Her largest contribution was her incredible hearing and sense for danger as she saved Corporal Wynne and other soldiers on multiple occasions by warning them of incoming fire. Smoky later went on to make national headlines for her efforts.
- Pigeons were a popular messenger carrier during wars because of their speed, flying altitude and homing ability. Cher Ami meaning ‘dear friend’ in French was trained by the US Army Signal Corps in France during World War 1. In 1918, US army Captain Charles Whittlesey with his men had been trapped by German forces behind enemy lines. Whittlesey dispatched a number of pigeons including Cher Ami to get aid. Although the other 2 pigeons were lost, Cher Ami escaped and at one point during the mission was shot in the chest and fell to the ground. Cher Ami completed the journey but was bloodied, blind in one eye and his leg was hanging on by a tendon. The bravery of the pigeon helped save 194 men and became the mascot of the US department of Defense service.
- Dolly the sheep (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was born in Scotland and was the first mammal to be cloned using an adult somatic cell taken from a breast gland. The experiment undertaken by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute showed how an animal can be fully cloned using a single cell. Dolly the sheep was named after Dolly Parton the famous singer.