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The accidental animal explorers

Ah, the Littlest Hobo. Such gallant adventures. Such noble causes. You wouldn’t stay for long, we’d turn around and you’d be gone again. Brave beast. Alas, not every animal goes from adventure to adventure with such ease and will. Some find themselves traveling great distances and experiencing epic hazards for no other reason than sheer bad luck. Like these unfortunate four-legged friends…

Hungarian hound heads for the skies

T’is true. A dog named Bruno was found 20 miles from his home after he was sucked up into the sky by a storm, while still in his kennel. Hungarian Agnes Tamas said she had chained Brumo to the dog house when he was swept away by what she described as the worst storm anyone in her village can remember. Three hours and 20 miles later he was found. Some say he hasn’t flown since…

Pooch floats 80 miles on hunk of ice

One heroic hound was plucked out of the Baltic Sea by sailors on a Polish boat after an 80 mile ‘cruise’ on an ice floe. The clueless canine travelled more than 60 miles up a river and out onto the icy waters of the Baltic Sea, where temperatures can dip to -34C, and continued a further 20 miles into the abyss. "My crew thought it was maybe a seal relaxing on the ice," the senior officer onboard said. "As we got closer to the ice floe we saw that it was a dog!" The ship’s big-hearted engineer Adam Buczynski managed to pluck the dog off the ice. "He didn't even squeal. There was just fear in his big eyes," said Buczynski.

Stowaway cat survives two-week, 3,000 mile voyage

A mog named Pharoah survived after stowing away in a container on a merchant ship that arrived at Felixstowe after a 3,000 mile journey from Egypt. The furball had been looking for a nice place for a nap and awoke on board the MV Maersk Batam, heading for Britain. He had to sit it out for two weeks, foodless. His reward on arrival? Five months quarantine. Oh and some dinner.

Dog swims six miles through shark-infested waters, survives 4 months on a desert island

Here is your winner. Bar none the bravest and unluckiest explorer in the animal world. When Jan Griffith's beloved dog, Sophie Tucker (greatest dog name ever?) fell overboard, near Queensland, from her family's yacht she feared her pet had drowned. They searched the area, but there was no sign of Sophie Tucker. She had already set off on an epic six-mile swim through ferocious shark-infested waters. The pooch doggy-paddled all the way to the remote and volcanic St Bees, an island populated by koalas and wild goats, the latter of which Sophie Tucker hunted and ate to stay alive. A handful of people living there reported seeing a dog-like beast running around and when goat bodies began to pile up locals contacted wildlife rangers who found dear Ol' Sophie, four months after taking her plunge. Apparently it was a miracle that Sophie Tucker had not been attacked by tiger sharks and hammerheads.

Pictures: Rex Features