Even animals need guardian angels.
And lucky for White Boy, a dog who was stranded in the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida, a manatee was standing by, keeping the pup company until a local police officer could help rescue him from the water. While neighbors in Seminole Heights heard the dog struggling Friday evening, they did not realize what had happened until they saw him in the water the following morning, according to Good Morning America, and called the Tampa Police Department.
His pleas for help, however, attracted the attention of a large manatee -- a species that is naturally curious -- and likely swam over to investigate, rescuing officer Randy Lopez told ABC News. White Boy couldn't make it over the cement sea wall on his own, so the manatee watched over him until Lopez was able to set up an extension ladder and bring him back to dry land.
White Boy clinging to the river's cement wall while the manatee watches over him nearby
As the 30-year Marine Patrol Unit veteran prepped to save White Boy, officer Jodie Maxim captured this photograph.
"You don't see that every day, and it's a great reminder... the importance of kindness," the department wrote in their Facebook post alongside the photo.
Officer Lopez lifting White Boy out of the river
White Boy was reunited with his owners soon after his rescue, reported ABC News. Bug bites and bloody paws aside, he was in perfectly good health. No one knows how long he had been stranded in the water or how long the manatee waited with him, but their connection might have made all the difference.
White Boy reunited with his family after being rescued by Officer Lopez
Bizarre animal interactions like this one prove that you just never know who your rescuer might be.
This summer, for example, a bear in the Budapest Zoo was caught on video saving a drowning crow that had wandered into his enclosure. While most would expect the massive mammal to look to the struggling bird as a meal, the bear surprised zoo visitors -- and seemingly the bird itself -- as it offered the crow some much needed assistance.