House Cat Endures Two Days in Alligator Alley, and Four Other Amazing Pet Survivor Stories

Categories: Animal Planet
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If there's one thing Disney movies have taught us, it's that domesticated pets have an uncanny knack for surviving in the wild.

The most recent real-world example happened when a car accident along I-75 sent an 11-year old house cat named Sam scurrying into the unforgiving brush of Big Cypress National Preserve.

Here's how Sam the cat endured South Florida's brutal wilderness before getting reunited with his owners, and four other mind-blowing tales of pets surviving against all odds.

5. Shetland sheepdog spends 53 days in Nevada wilderness
In March, Barbara Bagley of Utah was in a horrific car accident in the Nevada desert. The wreck killed Bagley's husband and, according to the Associated Press, left her with two punctured lungs, a shattered wrist, busted ribs, and a concussion. The couple's dog, a Shetland sheepdog named Dooley, bolted from the scene. Dozens of locals mounted a search crew to find the dog in hopes of lifting Bagley's spirits and helping ease the recovery process. After 53 days, a woman on horseback found the emaciated dog a mere five miles from the site of the accident. It apparently survived by dining on a coyote carcass and slurping water from nearby ranches. "I was overjoyed that I was going to have him back in my life. I think he felt the same about me," Bagley told the AP.

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4. Pet turtle lives for five years on U.K. river bank
Just because turtles are among the most boring pets doesn't mean people should toss the beasts in the wild after growing tired of their reptilian inertia. But that's what happened to Terry the terrapin, according to Small World News Service. An owner apparently released the hard-shelled critter on the banks of a river in the U.K. somewhere around 2006. A turtle expert said the animal shouldn't have survived the first winter, yet Terry lived for at least five years out in the wild. A photographer who documented the turtle's presence over the years said Terry appeared to be getting bigger with each sighting.

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