Animals

Amazing Animal Stories From San Diego in 2021 – NBC 7 San Diego

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SD Zoo Gorillas tests positive for COVID-19 (January)

Gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park


San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Troops are recovering at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park after SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was diagnosed in several troop members earlier this month.

A handful of troop gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19 after showing symptoms of illness such as coughing, congestion, lethargy and nasal discharge. Three of the eight gorillas at the zoo tested positive for the virus on January 11 but vets reported that they were eating, drinking and interacting well.

The discovery led wildlife officials to vaccinate a group of monkeys at the zoo against COVID-19 just two months later to prevent another outbreak of the disease.

Pregnant Bobcat treated for injuries after possible car crash (January)

An undated photo of a waiting bobcat that is rescued and treated at the San Diego Humane Ramona Wildlife Center.


San Diego Humane Society

An undated photo of a waiting bobcat that is rescued and treated at the San Diego Humane Ramona Wildlife Center.

Three lives were saved when the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center rehabilitated a pregnant Bobcat after it was likely struck by a car in Rancho Bernardo. The expectant mother was found injured on the Bernardo Center Road mediator, with a broken jaw.

Vets treated the bobcat for weeks by immobilizing its jaw with wire and string until they deemed it good enough to be released. Thanks to the dedicated care from the wildlife staff, the kittens and her two kittens were doing just fine.

Mama Dog gives birth to two puppies under a pram on a rainy day (March)

A stray dog ​​and her newborn puppies were rescued from the San Diego Humane Society Thursday, March 25, 2021 after they were found under a truck in Valencia Park.


San Diego Humane Society

A stray dog ​​and her newborn puppies were rescued from the San Diego Humane Society Thursday, March 25, 2021 after they were found under a truck in Valencia Park.

It’s a story that melted the hearts of social media users and one that all moms can resonate with – this mum was a dog in labor on a cold, rainy day with nowhere else to go, she took shelter under a truck to give birth. Puppies.

The San Diego Humane Society has rescued a new mother and her newborn puppies after they received word of the touching story. Once the puppies were old enough, they were put up for adoption and they all found new families.

A man with a prosthetic leg adopts a Shih Tzu with amputated legs (June)

Dog sitting on the grass with pink prosthetic legs


Joe Little, NBC 7

Chloe doesn’t seem to care the least that her hind legs are prosthetics.

As if the pet adoption stories aren’t inspiring enough, the spirited San Diego family “nursery failure” has truly captured the spirit of pet rescue.

Chloe the Shih Tzu is now a happy pup in a loving home, but that wasn’t always the case. Before she was adopted by the Hunter family, her old owner had wrapped bandages tightly around her hind legs cutting off blood flow to her. Upon arriving at the San Diego Humane Society, she needed surgery and was given two prosthetic legs. Then, she was placed in a home where a family member completely understood Chloe and created an instant bond since he himself had a prosthetic leg.

San Diegan Rescues 36-Year-Old Pet During the Kaldor Fire (September)

This handsome parrot named Pepe was rescued by San Diego Humane Society officers Joy Ollinger and Sandra Anderson after being abandoned during the Caldor Fire evacuations.


San Diego Humane Society

This handsome parrot named Pepe was rescued by San Diego Humane Society officers Joy Ollinger and Sandra Anderson after being abandoned during the Caldor Fire evacuations.

The relentless Kaldor fire wreaked havoc in South Lake Tahoe as it consumed thousands of square footage of Northern California in September and October. To help animals in need, two humanitarian law enforcement personnel from San Diego traveled north.

Among the dozens of animals they helped rescue and secure was a 36-year-old parrot named Bibi. The amazing bird was left behind after its owners were ordered to evacuate due to the fire. Fortunately, San Diegans were able to reach Pepe and reunite him with his loved ones.

Four orphaned bear cubs are cared for at the Ramona Wildlife Center (September)

The San Diego Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center has taken in four bear cubs—one was found with burns on its feet and three orphaned twins.


San Diego Humane Society

The San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center has taken in four bear cubs—one was found with burns on its feet and three orphaned twins.

Speaking of wildfires in Northern California, the Dixie wildfire has displaced hundreds of residents and disrupted natural wildlife in its path. After sweeping across several counties, a 7-month-old cub found himself alone and approached the area’s firefighters. The lone bear sustained minor burns to its paws, and was eventually taken to the San Diego Humane Society Ramona Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Soon after, the three bears who were sadly found orphaned in Mariposa County were taken to the Ramona Wildlife Center for much-needed care. In late September, the adorable facility was caring for four youngsters at a time. There, the cubs learned how to hone their natural skills and nurtured back to full health.

Cancer-free Chihuahuas celebrate after last round of chemotherapy (November)

3-year-old Chihuahua Eric beat his opponent and beat cancer after 17 rounds of weekly chemotherapy.


San Diego Humane Society

3-year-old Chihuahua Eric beat his opponent and beat cancer after 17 rounds of weekly chemotherapy.

Party hats, a puppy-friendly cake and applause all over the place were how the San Diego Humane Society celebrated Chihuahua’s own successful battle against cancer. Eric, the 3-year-old dog, overcame the disease after 17 rounds of chemotherapy and four months of veterinary care.

The dog arrived at the animal shelter strayed in a rough shape. He was covered in ticks, his claws were covered in blood, and he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor known as Transmissible Genital Tumor (TVT) and a tick-borne disease called Ehrlichiosis. He was a tough puppy and after overcoming the opponent, he was qualified to find his fur family.

Rescuing a wolf after getting stuck in a bumper (November)



San Diego Humane Society

A female wolf found in the bumper of a car has been freed and rescued after weeks of care.

A female wolf has been released back into the wild after being hit by a car and found stuck in the front bumper of a car parked at a San Marcos supermarket. A bystander made a painful discovery and called the San Diego Humane Society for help.

Fortunately, the wolf survived the shock and after breaking free of the bumper, she was taken to the Ramona Wildlife Center for treatment. There, she received care for a seriously injured paw and the trauma she endured. After nearly three weeks of successful rehabilitation, she was returned to her normal habitat.

Deep sea creature washes Ashore Black beach (November)

Fooballfish on the sand


Jay Peller

Fooballfish on the sand

St. Diegans, who were surfing Black Beach in late November, were in for a major shock when they spotted a soccer fish in the Pacific Ocean washing up on the beach. You may recognize the deep-sea angler fish because it was famous for its spooky appearance in “Finding Nemo”.

A local resident, who took pictures of the creature, described it as “the stuff of nightmares.” The scary-looking fish has coarse, sharp teeth and a bit of lively light on top of its head that acts as a lure.

Paddleboarders Hang Out With a Giant Sunfish (December)

Matt Wheaton poses for a photo with the ocean sunfish known as a "very great," Off the coast of Laguna Beach on December 2, 2021.


rich german

Matt Wheaton, pictured with an ocean sunfish known as a “mola mola,” off the coast of Laguna Beach on December 2, 2021.

Well, okay, this was just North San Diego County but this get-together is too elegant to put it on this list. A couple of skateboarding enthusiasts were making their regular trip to Laguna Beach when they came across the enormous ‘mola mola’, also known as the ocean sunfish.

Rich German said he and his friend had been hanging around the fish for about half an hour while the mola mola slid along the surface of the water, apparently unfazed by the couple. The sunfish has been estimated to be 9 to 10 feet long.

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