10 Stories That Prove Animals Are True Masters of Mischief

In the wild, we expect to see animals exhibit a wide array of behaviors—hunting, foraging, displays of social interaction, and defending their territory—all of which are crucial for survival. However, even domesticated animals share similar biological and behavioral traits with wild animals, such as the need for food, water, and shelter, seeking protection from predators, and caring for their offspring.

While each species has specific behaviors and adaptations unique to its environment, these stories take a look at the untamed, unruly, and downright unpredictable side of the animal kingdom. From daring escapades to clever antics and missions of mischief, these furry, feathered, and scaled troublemakers prove that animals are truly the unrivaled mischief makers of the world.

Related: Top 10 Animals With Totally Crazy Body Parts

10 Munchies Mishap: Stuck in a High School Vending Machine

On August 12, 2019, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department responded to a rather unusual call at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, Florida—a “furry burglar” had been caught red-handed inside a vending machine. Unfortunately, although the raccoon knew exactly where to find his favorite snacks, once inside the vending machine, the little critter was unable to get out.

When officers arrived, they found the masked bandit wedged in between Herr’s potato chips and Welch’s Fruit Snacks. The sheriff’s office contacted animal control, and thanks to the combined efforts of a deputy, an animal control officer, and a high school custodian, the vending machine was placed on a dolly and rolled outside in a mission of liberation.

While there was no word as to whether the raccoon ever got any snacks out of the whole ordeal, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office later posted a video of the encounter, proving that the woodland creature escaped safe and sound and was “off to his next adventure.”[1]

9 Concert Crusader: One Epic Escape to Rock Out with Metallica

On August 25, 2023, Metallica drew nearly 80,000 fans to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, during their M72 World Tour, breaking the single-show attendance record at the venue. Despite the record-breaking attendance, the band had a surprise four-legged guest at their concert that night—an Akita-shepherd mix named Storm.

Concertgoers spotted Storm sitting in a seat inside the stadium, where she remained for hours during the show., Storm was later taken to a local shelter under the assumption that she had been abandoned by her owner at the concert. From there, the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation wrote a Facebook post about Storm in hopes of trying to find a foster home for her, and the photo of her at the concert went viral.

However, Storm already had a family, and it was the band who later took to social media to clarify that Storm had snuck out of her home, which happened to be adjacent to SoFi Stadium. Storm’s owners, Kathy Villa and Aribeth Hurtado, claimed they initially had no idea the pup had snuck out of the house, much less attended a concert. It wasn’t until they saw the photo of her on social media that they realized what had happened. Thankfully, Storm was reunited with her family the next day.[2]

8 Flightless Fugitive: MeeMoo the Emu’s 20-Mile Adventure

MeeMoo the emu lives with his wife, MeeMee, on his owner, Harry McKinney’s 40-acre (16 hectares) family farm in Harriman, Tennessee. Unfortunately, on April 12, 2023, crews were logging on a nearby ridge, which “spooked” Meemoo. So the bird made a run for it, jumping over the 7-foot fence (2.1 meters) surrounding his enclosure.

McKinney saw MeeMoo run through the property’s front pasture, but given that the bird was traveling approximately 40 miles per hour (64kph), McKinney decided to get in his truck and set off in pursuit of the flightless fugitive. While McKinney tried to follow MeeMoo, he soon lost sight of him. Nearby residents also attempted to help McKinney locate MeeMoo. But when those efforts failed, he turned to social media, asking users to post if they saw the emu.

Thanks to private messages from social media users and calls made to local police about sightings, the police and volunteer firefighters were able to track MeeMoo. After seven hours and a chase that spanned 20 miles (32 kilometers), officers were finally able to corner MeeMoo near a Victorian home downtown, which was surrounded by hedges.

Once MeeMoo was cornered, McKinney was enlisted to end the pursuit once and for all. McKinney whistled to get the bird’s attention and used a dog leash that was inside his truck to make a slip lead, which he placed over MeeMoo’s neck before walking him back to the truck. Upon returning to MeeMoo’s enclosure, McKinney said that the 7-foot fence is now a 9-foot fence (2.7 meters) in hopes of preventing another escape.[3]

7 Cocoa Caper: Antics Turn Estate into Chocolate Wrapper Wonderland

In September 2023, 33-year-old Fiona Downes began finding a large number of wrappers from Blue Riband bars (crisp wafers coated in milk chocolate) all over the private estate of Dudley Crescent in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England, where she lives. Downes then posted a picture of the wrappers to the estate’s WhatsApp group, asking residents to please pick up their wrappers.

Unfortunately, over the following months, even more wrappers of half-eaten chocolate bars continued to appear. Naturally, the residents became more and more annoyed with the litter, and the saga—later dubbed “Wafergate”—became a daily discussion on the WhatsApp group in hopes of finding the culprit.

However, it wasn’t until November 21, 2023, that a local who works in a nearby storage facility spotted dozens of Blue Riband chocolate bars inside a skip (a large metal container for putting trash in) on a site just behind the estate.

Shortly after that, 42-year-old Natalie Clarke, another resident of the estate, spotted squirrels running up a tree with wrappers. She was able to take a picture of them, solving the months-long mystery and finally providing residents with an answer as to the culprit behind the chocolate wrapper wonderland—sweet-toothed squirrels.[4]

6 Petty Thief: Klepto Swiping Items from Neighboring Homes

Jeanne Wheat of Katy, Texas, initially noticed her black outdoor cat Cleo taking items from inside her home. However, what began as innocent, mischievous tendencies quickly escalated into Cleo becoming a furry neighborhood felon.

When Wheat began traveling over the summer of 2023, Cleo started visiting neighboring homes, gaining unauthorized access through open windows, and even crawling in open car windows. The furry thief stole a wide range of items from neighbors—socks, yard gloves, bathing suits, T-shirts, and even… mice (computer mice, that is).

In fact, Cleo brought back so much stuff that Wheat set up a table with a designated “box of shame” outside her home. It was accompanied by signs that read, “My cat is a thief,” “Please look through his loot and recover your stuff,” and “He has no remorse, but I apologize on his behalf,” inviting neighbors to reclaim their stolen goods.

While you might assume the neighbors would be upset about their missing belongings, the reaction was quite the opposite, and Cleo became a social media sensation. The community has seemingly embraced Cleo’s antics, making shirts for him and donating a portion of the sales to a local animal shelter.[5]

5 Principal vs. Dumpster: A “Beary” Big Surprise

Zela Elementary School in Summersville, West Virginia, installed a lock bar on the school’s dumpster after noticing a black bear had left behind a mess of garbage bags outside. However, at approximately 7:15 am on May 1, 2023, as principal James Marsh was unlocking the bin, he got a “beary” big surprise when a black bear popped out of the dumpster.

Once the bear’s head appeared, Marsh darted away, and the bear made a run for the woods. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident, but the entire encounter was captured on the school’s security footage and was later shared across social media. Marsh stated he believed that the bear must have trapped itself inside the dumpster after squeezing in for a meal and a snack.

While the students found great amusement in the video, the school stated they were taking more precautions to ensure the bear doesn’t come back. The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources came and made modifications to the lock.[6]

4 Houdini Husky: Shelter Escape Artist’s Mission to Liberate and Feast

Sometime between midnight and 1 am on November 16, 2023, Jodi Polanski, the founder and CEO of the Lost Our Home Pet Rescue in Tempe, Arizona, received an alert on her phone about the alarm going off at the shelter. However, it wasn’t an outside intruder that was to blame, but rather, a hungry husky named King inside the shelter who set off the alarm.

Once the escape artist broke out of his kennel, King was seen wandering around the shelter, trying to free his fellow canine companions so they could join his party. While King was unsuccessful in freeing his friends, he went on to bite the handle of the door that led to the office, pulled it open with his mouth and paws, and “threw himself a party.”

In the lobby, King proceeded to jump on furniture, pull down food, and stuff his face with a midnight snack. Unfortunately, King’s all-you-can-eat party was cut short after a Tempe police officer showed up and busted him in the act. Tempe police have 24-hour access to the shelter due to a partnership that allows them to drop off pets in need.

Despite getting “arrested,” King enthusiastically greeted the officer, who not only walked King back to his kennel but also cleaned up the aftermath of his festivities. The entire incident, which was dubbed the “cutest arrest ever,” was all captured on the shelter’s security footage.

Even with his criminal record, Polanski later stated that King, who had originally been brought in as a stray, “was snatched up by his forever home almost immediately.”[7]

3 Adorable Clean-Up Act: Caught Red-Pawed Tidying Up Man’s Shed

In late 2023, 75-year-old wildlife photographer Rodney Holbrook of Builth Wells in Powys, Wales, began noticing that objects he left out of place in his shed were mysteriously put back where they belonged overnight. Holbrook said the mystery began with finding some bird food he stored in the shed, later ending up in an old pair of shoes.

Confused as to how the shed could clean itself, Holbrook decided to set up a night vision camera on his workbench. What he discovered was quite reminiscent of the 2007 animated movie Ratatouille, where a rodent secretly cooks at a restaurant. However, rather than cooking, Holbrook discovered a mouse making nightly visits to round up clothespins, corks, nuts, and bolts before placing the items in a tray on Holbrook’s workbench.

Once Holbrook discovered that it was the rodent at work in his shed at night, he then experimented with leaving out different objects to test the mouse’s lifting skills. But the rodent was undeterred, even carrying cable ties to the pot.

The rodent, which Holbrook dubbed “Welsh Tidy Mouse,” typically works alone but, on occasion, is accompanied by one or two other mice. However, Holbrook doesn’t seem to mind the arrangement and has left the mouse to its cleaning schedule, stating, “I think he would tidy my wife away if I left her in there.”[8]

2 In Search of the Best Deals: Unexpected Visitor Waits Outside Dollar General

On August 29, 2023, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a rather unusual call—a 6-foot (1.8-meter) alligator near the outside entrance of a Dollar General store in Buras, Louisiana. It seemed to be “patiently waiting” for the store to open.

When officers arrived, they found the alligator near a sign for Little Debbie snacks, and Deputy Tony Palmisano snapped a picture of the alligator, which was later shared on the sheriff’s Facebook page. Although it was unclear where the animal was moved, the sheriff’s office made a follow-up post stating, “For all you inquiring minds, Mr. Gator picked up his Little Debbie snacks, hopped in his truck, and went fishing at the Civic Drive Fishing Pier in Port Sulphur!”[9]

1 Sugary Bliss: Mother and Son Stage Krispy Kreme Heist

On September 12, 2023, a Krispy Kreme van was parked outside a store at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a military facility in Anchorage, Alaska. While the delivery driver typically left his doors open during his stops at the store, this habit proved to be a mistake.

As the driver was inside the convenience store, a mother bear and her cub had just enough time to sneak inside the van and wreak havoc on its contents, eating 20 packages of doughnut holes and approximately six packages of the three-pack chocolate doughnuts.

It wasn’t until the driver returned from the store that he discovered the bears inside the van. The store manager, Shelly Deano, snapped a few photos of the bears. Then, she and the delivery driver began banging on the side of the van in an attempt to shoo the bears away. However, the bears didn’t seem to mind the ruckus and continued with their feast.

From there, base security was contacted, who sounded sirens to scare the bears away. The mother and cub eventually exited the van and wandered in front of the store for a short time before heading off into the woods.[10]

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