Saturday Stories – Gabi the Guard Dog
This week’s true Saturday Dog Story focuses on a German Shepherd from the 1980s called Gabi. She was adopted by the Belgrade Zoo in a country known at the time as Yugoslavia, and worked alongside the security team as a guard dog. Typically her responsibilities were to ensure people behaved whilst visiting the zoo, and also to prevent people breaking in during out-of-hours.
On the night of 22nd June 1987 Gabi was carrying out her normal rounds alongside her partner Stanimir Stanić and another male German Shepherd. Everything seemed to be in order until they neared the jaguar area of the zoo.
Lacking her sense of smell and vision, her partner Stanić didn’t realise that an adult jaguar had escaped from its cage and was waiting to ambush them in the darkness. Gabi however was fully aware, and without any hesitation took the initiative and pounced on the jaguar, where a fight soon broke out.
The other male German Shepherd immediately bolted in fear, leaving her to fight the angry jaguar by herself. As she did her best to keep the crazed animal at bay, Stanić used the time to phone the police. As Gabi’s battle raged on, the scuffle took them across the zoo allowing enough time for the police to arrive and help deal with the situation.
There is no doubt that Gabi’s brave actions prevented the jaguar’s escape, and almost certainly saved Stanić from serious injury or death. She suffered some minor injuries during the fight but these were thankfully quick to heal.
The zoo later installed a monument to commemorate Gabi’s bravery, with the inscription “Dog Gabi, her heart was stronger than a jaguar.”
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About the Author: Chris Green works in the office at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs, using his technical expertise to assist wherever needed. In his spare time he likes playing guitar and bass, and hiking around Dartmoor.