Greatest Animals In History That Helped Man In Difficult Times
On October 4, World Animal Day is celebrated in commemoration of Saint Francis of Assisi. A saint who left humanity as teaching that our well-being is linked to the well-being of all animals and the environment. A saint, born in 1182 in Italy, and who taught us what our place on Earth is.
In 1929 the World Organization for Animal Protection established this celebration with the main objective of remembering the importance of the conservation of animal species on the planet.
The animals and humans have always gone hand in hand and some have managed to mark a before and after in history because of our relationship with them or their extraordinary abilities.
Space dogs, very capable apes, mammals or pigeons that left their mark on history. To pay tribute and remember how extraordinary some animals can be, here are 6 animals that changed history.
Laika, the first space animal
Probably the most famous dog in history is Laika, a dog recruited on the streets of Moscow and selected to become the first living being to ‘manned’ a spaceship.
The whole world continued her journey, but she only survived between 5 and 7 hours. Russia concealed that the ship lacked a return system.
Belka and Strelka, two little dogs less known than Laika, were even more important than her in the USSR space race because they managed to return safely to Earth. They spent a full day in space aboard Sputnik 5 on August 19, 1960.
Cher Ami, the World War II carrier pigeon
Before the telephone network spread and it was easy to communicate from anywhere, animals could be of great help or even become true heroes. Cher Ami was a carrier pigeon during World War II. This little animal delivered 12 very important letters and helped save 194 lives.
In one of these letters, he warned the allies of the situation of a battalion that was surrounded by enemies, in this way the American army was able to defend the lives of these men. Although in this mission the bullets hit Cher Ami, she did it.
Seabiscuit, the horse that gave hope
Seabiscuit was a horse that seemed little, was not very big, nor strong and his trainer considered him lazy. However, trainer Tom Smith knew how to understand the horse, getting him to win several races and making him a public favorite.
Seabiscuit managed to win the so-called “Race of the Century” against his rival War Admiral, a horse that had just won the Triple Crown. The way he succeeded and the fact that it seemed little, made him a symbol of hope during the Great Depression in the United States.
Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal
Dolly has gone down in history for being the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. But, above all, Dolly served to present the field of genetics in society.
In fact, Dolly was not so bad (technically speaking) within the many genetic studies and discoveries that are currently being developed. But he did manage to open a tremendously controversial debate about the countless possibilities of what the field of genetics is capable of and which of these are ethical or moral.
Balto, the husky who saved his people
In 1925, an epidemic of diphtheria, a deadly disease that primarily affects children under the age of five, affected the town of Nome, Alaska. Medicines were needed that were only available in Anchorage 1,609 Kilometers away. The distance was insurmountable and the ice prevented transport by sea, so a plan was developed to carry the antitoxin by means of dog sled relays, the so-called Whey Race to Nome.
Balto, a Husky dog considered slow and unsuitable, was in charge of leading the last relay in a hellish journey – almost 500 km, 127 hours and temperatures 45º below zero – and managed to guide the medical convoy to Nome.
Thanks to him and his companions, the city of Alaska was able to receive the antitoxin that would save the lives of the town’s children. For his feat, a statue was dedicated to Balto in New York’s Central Park and an animated film released in 1995.
David Greybeard, the chimpanzee who used tools
In 1960 British anthropologist Jane Goodall was observing a group of chimpanzees by the great Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. There, she noticed a chimpanzee using a tool, specifically a male with gray hair under her mouth that used a stick to get termites out of her nest.
This ape baptized David Greybeard, removed the leaves from some branches and designed a tool to be able to delve into a termite nest.
This was a complete revolution in the 1960s. At that time the manufacture and use of objects were considered an exclusively human activity. David Greybeard proved that we were wrong. And, incidentally, he ate some termites.