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These were Denver7's top feel-good stories of 2017

These were Denver7's top feel-good stories of 2017
Posted at 11:55 AM, Dec 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 14:00:30-05

DENVER – From natural disasters and mass shootings to political division and violent protests, there has been plenty of “bad” news this year.

But it wasn’t all negative. 2017 also gave us many positive stories, including people helping each other out and a certain famous giraffe (finally) giving birth as millions watched live.

Here are the seven “feel-good” stories that drew the most traffic on this year:

7. In-N-Out burger planning first Colorado location in Colorado Springs

OK, so this one is only “feel-good” if you love In-N-Out Burger, which, as it turns out, a LOT of people do. The California-based chain has a huge, cult-like following, so it’s no surprise that the announcement that the company is expanding into Colorado was one of our most-read stories of the year.

6. Meet the Denver woman who is the first African-American female airline captain

Who can resist a story about a local trail blazer? Captain M’Lis Ward, based in Denver, is the first female African-American captain for a major U.S. airline and she hopes generations of young women will follow in her footsteps.

5. Rare “triceratops” fossil found in Thornton at construction site

Over the summer, a construction crew unearthed what appeared to be the fossilized skeleton of a triceratops in Thornton. That got a lot of people excited but we recently found out it’s not a triceratops at all – the bones are actually from a torosaurus, which is a close relative of the triceratops (and much more rare).

4. Surprise! Denver Zoo welcomes baby giraffe Dobby

While people were watching with bated breath as April the giraffe prepared to give birth (we’ll get to that in a minute), the Denver Zoo had its own giraffe birth. Dobby was born (in private) early in the morning hours of February 28. 

3. Thousands cheer on April the giraffe as she prepares to give birth to her calf

April the giraffe went from unknown resident of New York’s Animal Adventure Park to celebrity giraffe overnight as the park live-streamed her pregnancy. For weeks on end, it seemed like she was right on the cusp of labor…and we were drawn in for every second of it.

2. Man hanging by neck from Arapahoe Basin chairlift rescued by quick-thinking slackliner who cut strap

Mickey Wilson, a professional slackliner from Golden, jumped into action to save a man whose backpack strap got stuck in a chairlift at Arapahoe Basin in January. Wilson used his slacklining skills to climb across the cables to the chair, where he was able to cut the man free. The story and photos of the rescue became our second most popular positive story of 2017.

1. McDonald’s employee jumps through drive-thru window to save off-duty officer

By far the most-read “feel-good” story of the year came from Doral, Florida, where a McDonald’s employee jumped through the drive-thru window to help an off-duty police officer who suddenly fell unconscious in her car.

Here’s to hoping for many more inspirational, uplifting stories in 2018!