On Tuesday morning, a group of kids from the Brazilian state of So Paulo were on their way to school by boat when something drew their attention.
An animal in distress was floundering in the sea far from shore.
It was then that he and his young passengers realized the animal was a feral kitten, maybe an ocelot, that had been stranded in the ocean between the island and the mainland.
The little ocelot continued swimming toward the boat as it came to a stop. Mendes was able to scoop her to safety.
Here’s that moment on video:
Mendes and his passengers then brought the ocelot kitten to the bank she’d been swimming toward. Hopefully, her mother was waiting for her there, having arrived at the coast before her.
In the meantime, authorities have been keeping a close eye on the situation.
“The location is the species’ native habitat, and because it was not harmed, returning it in the same direction was vital,” Environmental Police Sergeant Augusto stated of the rescue.
It was an experience Mendes and the kids will likely never forget.
“She was desperately swimming, “Mendes subsequently explained. “It was great to save her with the help of the youngsters who held the paddle.”