Rescued dolphins, a foraging cat and turkeys galore: 2018's animal stories to remember
In N.L., the animal stories seem never ending — and we are grateful
When it comes to animals that make headlines, Newfoundland and Labrador has had a few stunners.
Through the years, we've seen a moose-eating shark; we've had a bloated, rotting corpse of a blue whale; and even rumours of a panther spotted in Newfoundland.
So of course, 2018 was no different.
There were viral videos of moose, a vienna-sausage eating fox, and turkeys run amok.
A mushroom-foraging cat
This is Douglas Fir. He's a cat who hunts chanterelle mushrooms. It's the equivalent of a truffle-sniffing pig, but for local N.L. favourite fungi.
Shawn Dawson, Douglas Fir's owner, is a full-time forager, and takes his cat out into the wilderness to hunt down edible treasures.
"He follows me around. Every now and then he'll take off, and I'll find him sitting, waiting for me in a chanterelle patch," Dawson told CBC's St. John's Morning Show in August.
And under the umbrella of feline stories this year, we got acquainted with Sid, the king of downtown St. John's.
Sid, unfortunately, got himself stuck in a shop window one night, but it turned out okay and became one of the beloved cat's most famous sightings.
THAT epic moose video
When talking about unforgettable animal stories of 2018, it would be a crying shame to forget about that one video of two women who saw a piebald moose.
"My blessed redeemer!" gasped Roxanne Rowsell in a now-viral video, as the moose took a bath in a pond near Black Duck Brook on Newfoundland's Port au Port Peninsula.
Nancy will forever be immortalized in the province's vernacular.
Do yourself a favour and refresh your memory by hitting the play button:
Not so long ago, Santa's reindeer apparently got lost on the way to the North Pole, instead wandering along the highway near Deer Lake.
Truck driver Jason White caught them on video trotting alone the Trans-Canada Highway.
Seriously, what's up with the fowl?
For a time, it seemed there was a turkey invasion afoot.
There were multiple sightings in a month, including one white turkey that had a surprising and glamorous moment of fame at the Four Sisters in downtown St. John's.
"Got a bit closer and I realized it was a big ol' turkey," Matt Roberts told CBC's St. John's Morning Show about running into the big bird.
Plus, a bunch of other turkey sightings, for some reason.
And now this video of a strange foursome on #8 at <a href="https://twitter.com/ClovellyNL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ClovellyNL</a> last weekend has surfaced. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCNL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/sjmorningshow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sjmorningshow</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KrissyHolmes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KrissyHolmes</a> <a href="https://t.co/7E1QfLrGNy">pic.twitter.com/7E1QfLrGNy</a>—@Fred_Hutton
But when it comes to winged wonders, there was more than just a few turkeys running around.
Back in March, a stunning green-eyed Great Cormorant was rescued by Antje Springman and Dennis Minty in Conception Bay North. It was fortunate for the bird, since Minty is a wildlife biologist.
They forced some food down its beak and, eventually, it was able to get itself back out into the wild.
Fox stranded on an iceberg
A poor Arctic fox got stranded on an iceberg near St. Lewis, Labrador, back in June.
But thankfully, a fishing crew saw it struggling, with gulls trying to pick at it, so they executed a rescue. They brought the fox on the boat, dried it out and fed it Vienna sausages.
"He likes them," Alan Russell told CBC's Labrador Morning.
Another water rescue happened in January, when Shane Richard came across a dog stuck in a half-frozen pond in Pouch Cove.
The dog turned out to be Wolf, who had bits of a leash still attached to his neck when he was pulled from the water.
"On the phone it sounded like they were crying and everything," Richards said. "They were just ecstatic to get him back."
A pod of seven dolphins was the source of much worry in Heart's Delight back in March, when the ice had them trapped in the harbour for days.
When eventually crews were able to break ice enough for the dolphins to escape, the town breathed a sigh of relief — and, of course, cheered as the dolphins swam away.
Polar bears, of course
In Hopedale, a healthy-looking polar bear was all but posing for photographs back in April.
The bear stood up straight on its hind legs, before dropping onto the snow to roll around a bit.
Jenna Flowers captured the amazing photos, which were shared thousands of times.
They're beautiful animals from afar, but when a polar bear gets too close, it's not great.
In Nain and St. Lunaire-Griquet, there were a couple of close encounters.
Because of how close a polar bear and a couple of black bears came to the community in Nain, wildlife officials and RCMP had made the decision to put the animals down.
Another polar bear was spotted wandering around homes on the Northern Peninsula, prompting officials to warn people to stay away.
And in unfortunate stories about animals that needed to be put down this year, Coco the cow might top the list.
The wandering bovine had jumped her fence in Conception Bay South in November, and spent a week on the lam, with her owners trying to track her down and get the 1,000-pound cow home.
"At least, I know where she's to and she's not going to hurt anyone else," said Louise Scott, Coco's co-owner.
Happy dog steals the show
And just a few weeks ago, we met Willow, the white Belgian shepherd who was born with a broken spinal cord, but gets by with a donated wheelchair.
Willow's owner, Stephanie Costello, hoped that walking the pup in the Santa Claus parade in Holyrood raised awareness about other animals with special needs, who are also in need of a home.
"She's the happiest dog in the world," Costello said.