Animals have extraordinary minds capable of exceptional acts of perception, generosity, bravery and kindness. Their connection with humankind gives us a glimpse into their world and their desire to share it with us. Here is a collection of fascinating, heartwarming and humorous tales about some of the animal kingdom's amazing inhabitants and their often mysterious connection with us:
* After being attacked by a great white shark while surfing, Todd Endris was saved from sure death by a pod of dolphins that encircled him and kept the marauding shark away until he was able to ride a wave back to shore
* An orphaned black bear cub and a 10-year-old boy become best friends, napping together, and even tumbling and wrestling
* When a three-year-old boy toppled into the gorilla enclosure at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, Binti Jua, a young female gorilla, rescued the child and delivered him safely to the zookeepers
* African grey parrots are capable of speaking at least 350 words, but Harvard avian researcher Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her African grey parrot, Alex, proved that birds have cognitive abilities and are capable of more than just mimicking words
* A pride of three lions rescue an injured Ethiopian girl from her attackers and watch over her until her family finds her.
And many moreÖ