In the grand scheme of things, the ascension of humanity has not been a particularly good thing for most of the animal kingdom. We humans have pushed more species into extinction with our clubs, bows, guns and shovels than we'll ever know. We develop forests and hills into malls and parkways and turn their animal homes and habitat into our homes and habitat. We run them over, build things they fly into, and scoop them up with our nets.

But every now and then, we humans do animals a solid. Whether it's a kitten stuck in a culvert ditch or a baby chick fallen from the nest, when the chips are down, most people step up to the plate and lend a hand when needed. We looked around and pulled together this collection of videos showing humans helping animals get out of some pretty bad situations.

You have to give the squirrel credit here — it did everything in its power to self rescue and only relied on this nice riverboarder after exhausting all of its options. Seriously though, that little guy would have been wet, sodden toast if that guy hadn't come along. Good scoop!

When charter boat captain Pat Foster and his mate Adrian Colaprete were out in the waters off Virginia Beach, Virginia, they noticed a whale that appeared to be swimming erratically. Upon further inspection, they found the animal, which turned out to be a rare Northern Right Whale, burdened by a fishing rope tied to an unseen mess of fishing gear. So Adrian jumped in the water. A few bold kicks and some swipes of the knife avert what would have been a disaster for the whale (and our planet's biodiversity as a whole).

Given how smart we know dolphins are, there's no doubt that this one knew exactly what it was doing when it swam up to those divers for help. Beautiful.

That fox must really love peanut butter.

Another super-smart animal asking for help. This time it's a crow asking for a quick sip of bottled water from a helpful human.

When a fisherman caught a young great white shark off California's Venice Beach, rescuers quickly extracted the hook and sent it back on its way out to sea. Kudos for risking the bites — sharks need every bit of help they can get in the face of a global assault on their numbers.

Kay LeClaire is a skilled and experienced mountaineer who took part in an interesting rescue involving a bit of rappelling and a stranded little kitty.

This dog made a great mistake. Stuck, somehow, out on a piece of ice in freezing Russian waters, this poor little dog was not too far away from being a pooch-cicle. Thankfully for him, some fishermen stepped in and saved the day.

House fires are traumatic enough without losing your pets and loved ones. Huge hero points to this fireman for taking quick action to save this little kitty overcome with smoke fumes.

Do you have any good videos of humans helping out animals? If so, share them in comments!

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