Sometimes two people get together and things just click. In the animal kingdom, such bonds are harder to come by. But when they do, they make for some of the most beautiful pairings that Mother Nature could conceive. Here are a few magical animal matches.
Koko and Her Babies
Koko the gorilla is famous for her knowledge of sign language. This big-hearted gorilla yearned for a companion, so when she was finally given a kitten, her motherly instincts were unveiled. Koko lives in Woodside Hill in California, and although she is unable to mother any of her own babies, she adores her kitten children. When Koko turned 44, the ape was introduced to an entire litter of kittens. After carefully interacting with them, she picked up one and cuddled it and put another on her head. In sign language, she announced that the two kittens were now her babies.
Long Neck Friends
Bea the giraffe and Wilma the ostrich are both residents of Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Since their enclosure is a massive 65 acres, they could go their entire lives without seeing each other if they wish. However, it is the exact opposite, and the pair can always be seen paling around with each other or just hanging out by the water. Maybe they feel some close connection because both of them have long necks. No matter what, these two are an unlikely pair that deserves some recognition.
The Fox and the Hound
Tinni the dog and Sniffer the wild fox are the real-life version of The Fox and the Hound. The two met in the forests of Norway and have been best buds ever since. Tinni lives with the photographer Torgeir Berge and while on a walk one day they stumbled upon Sniffer. The two immediately became friends and now spend the majority of their time playing in the Woods as Berge documents their experiences on film. This experience has also influenced Berge to become an activist against Norway’s fox fur trade and hopes to soon publish a book about the animal’s friendship.
These Friends Are a Hoot!
Torque the dog and Shrek the owl have developed quite an unusual relationship. As you may think owls aren’t usually ones to make friends, especially with another species, Shrek found a companion in Torque. Torque’s family adopted Shrek when he was just six months old. Shrek was removed from his mother because the handlers feared that he might be eaten by the mother in a high-stress situation. Luckily, Shrek found his was to Torque, and the two have been buddies ever since.
The Lucky Duckling
As a duckling, Dennis the duck’s mother was mauled by a fox. He was later discovered by Fred the Labrador and his owner Jeremy when taking a walk. The two adopted Dennis and gave him a home. As it turns out, Dennis and Fred got along great and enjoyed spending time together. Although an unlikely match, the two have great chemistry and Dennis loves using Fred as a giant jungle gym. Apparently, Fred is not new to making new friends, as he once was friends with a rescued baby deer. Good boy!
Mabel’s Unlikely Chicklings
Mable the chicken lucked out when she had a foot injury. instead of using her as food, the owner took her into his home and made her a pet. However, moving into the house wasn’t the only new thing for Mabel, there was also a litter of puppies waiting for her. Strangely enough, the one-year-old hen had taken to roosting on the puppies while their mother was away. It makes Mabel happy and the puppies seem to love it too. This was a win-win for Mabel and the pups.
A Big Cat and Little Dog
Five years ago, a small dachshund named Milo took the lion cub named Bonedigger under his wing after it was discovered that the cub was suffering from metabolic bone disease, leaving him disabled. The two stuck like glue when they were both young even as Bonedigger matured into a fully-grown lion. Now, five years later, the 500-pound lion and 11-pound pup are still good friends. They can often be seen lounging around together and enjoying each others company. At times they are even joined by Milo’s other dog friends Bullet and Angel.
A Mysterious Friendship
This all-white cat and cute little fox were discovered by a group of fishermen on the shore of Lake Van in Turkey. Although there isn’t a definite story as to how these two became such good friends, they appear to have a happy relationship and are very playful with each other. It’s likely that the fox lives in the area and the cat escapes on occasion to go visit its friend on the shores of the lake. It’s definitely an unusual but surely adorable relationship.
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Shere Khan the tiger, Baloo the bear, and Leo the lion were all rescued from a drug dealer that had abused them greatly. Baloo even had to have surgery from a harness that grew into his skin and ended up having to be removed since it had caused deformities. Since the three experienced such traumas together the trio is now inseparable. Thankfully, they are now under the care of Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia where they are all happy and healthy. The three all live together and even share their own home at the sanctuary!
Manni and Candy
Manni is a wild boar piglet that was found starving in a field in southwest Germany. Thankfully, he was found by the Dalhaus family who brought him home with them. Upon arrival, Manni was introduced to the family’s Jack Russell terrier Candy. Like they were already lifelong friends, the two hit it off and have become partners in crime. Manni is recovering very well and will either stay with the family or be moved to a wildlife park. let’s hope for both of the animals that Manni gets to stay.
Bambi and Thumper, Is That You?
This dynamic duo was captured on film by animal photographer Tanja Askani. From the series of pictures taken, these two didn’t happen to just be near each other, or crossing paths—they actually are companions. The two can be seen exploring together, hanging out under a tree, and even showing clear signs of affection. Just when we thought Disney films are fantasy, nature throws this unique pair together for us to adore.
Dog: Organgutan’s Best Friend
Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick Hound live together in a rare and endangered species sanctuary in the United States. Although dogs are not rare or endangered, Roscoe has lived with Suryia ever since he followed her and her handlers home one day. When Suryia was transferred to the reserve Roscoe joined along. The two have been great friends ever since and enjoy lounging around, reading books, swimming, and posing for pictures together.
Long Distance Friends
When Pippin the deer baby, she was adopted by Isobel Springett and her Great Dane, Kate. Growing up, the two animals were extremely close friends and acted just as if they were both the same species. Yet, as Pippin grew older and matured, she had to move back into the forest to start a family of her own. Although this is sad for Kate, Pippin still visits Kate and Isobel regularly and lets them know that she’s doing well. So even though Pippin had to move on she never forgot about her best friend.
Anja the Foster Mom
After their enclosure was flooded by a hurricane, these two stunning white tiger cubs were separated from their mother. Fortunately, they were adopted by a United States animal reserve caretaker who just happened to have a chimpanzee named Anja. Anja enjoys watching over and playing with the cubs. She is careful and gentle and can be understood to be their partial mother. Anja has also helped to raise many other orphaned animals, so she’s no amateur when it comes to taking care of little ones. Thank you, Anja!
Meet Bubbles and Bella. Bubbles is an African elephant and Bella is a black Labrador, making this pair not your typical friendship. Both are residents of the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina. Their love for the water brought them together, and they have become best friends since they were introduced. The two have even been known to play catch together when Bubbles throws the ball with her trunk and Bella jumps off of Bubbles head or back to retrieve it in the water. Bubbles was rescued in Africa after her parents were killed by poachers, and Bella was left by the contractor who built Bubbles’ first pool. Now, they’re inseparable.
JoeJoe and His Many Friends
Capybaras are known to be incredibly gentle and get along well with other animals, and JoeJoe is no different. JoeJoe the Capybara is possibly the most famous Capybara on social media. There is even an entire website devoted to his various friendships. He can regularly be seen interacting with many other kinds of animals—whether he’s cuddling with puppies, swimming with ducklings, or rolling around with the chicks that he shares a home with in Arizona—he is truly affectionate. JoeJoe is a standup Capybara and loves to make all kinds of new friends.
Juniper Has a Crush On Moose
Juniper is a rescued fox that developed a great friendship with her rescuer Jessika’s and her Australian Shepherd mix named Moose. Since Juniper’s arrival at Jessika’s home, Juniper and Moose have become inseparable. The pair eats together, sleeps together, plays together, and groom one another. Jessika even notes that she’ll catch Juniper sitting on Moose’s head using the dog as a couch. However, she says Moose doesn’t seem to mind and sits patiently until Juniper is well rested. Jessika also describes their relationship as if Juniper is a little girl that has a crush on Moose.
Pack Animals Turned Friends
Recently rescued by the Keepers of the Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Arizona, Anthony the lion and Riley the coyote met when they were both only a month old. They instantly became friends, and their bond was so evident that they were featured in a PBS Nature episode called “Animal Odd Couples,” which showed them playing, grooming each other, and even watching over as the other one slept. Riley accompanied Anthony when he left the sanctuary for surgeries because the animals would experience serious separation anxiety.
The Tortoise and The Cow
Simon the cow (better known as Simon Cow-ell) arrived at the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Center in Thailand in February 2016 due to a loss of part of his hind leg. He was put in a temporary location in a field as was eventually supposed to join two other cows when he was ready. But Simon had other plans. He formed a strong albeit unlikely friendship with a giant tortoise named Leonardo that was from the Bangkok Zoo which closed in 2013. Simon snuggles next to Leonardo, rests his head on his shell and they follow each other everywhere. They now live in their own enclosure permanently.
J’aime came to the Rhino Orphanage in South Africa in March 2017 but was still too young and small to be with the other rhinos. After a few months, she made friends with Joey, a lamb who had been abandoned by her mother and brought into the sanctuary. Although Joey was only a few days old, the two became quite the duo. Now, they go on daily walks together and eat from the same trough. Just this May, the orphanage adopted another lamb named Penny, who they introduced into J’aime and Joey’s little friend group.
Making Peace With the Enemy
Brazilian biologist André Cost found an owl when it was just a baby. He named the owl Forbi and was concerned it wouldn’t get along with his cat Cleo. But when he brought Forbi home, Cleo welcomed the bird and the two became great friends. This is interesting considering that birds and cats have an unspoken hatred for each other. Now, the two can be seen spending most of their time together just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.
From Enclosure Mates to Best Friends
Themba the elephant was taken to the Shamwari Rehabilitation Center when he was six months old after being orphaned. He was put in an enclosure with a sheep named Albert. Themba initially wasn’t so sure how his new roommate and chased Albert around the watering hole as soon as they were introduced. Yet, in the morning, Themba would not leave Albert’s side. The two were seen exploring the enclosure together, with Themba’s trunk sitting on Albert’s back. Since then, the two can’t go anywhere without each other.
Mubi’s Nightime Pals
Mubi is an endangered drill monkey that was born at the Lympne Animal Park near Canterbury Kent. At only two weeks old, she was rejected by her mother, so the zookeeper Simon Jeffery decided to take her in. During the day she lives at the enclosure to interact with the other monkeys, however, at night Jeffery takes her home where she has made friends with his two Jack Russel Terrier puppies named Iain and Daisey. The three of them spend their evenings wrestling around on the couch and making a general mess.
An Abandoned Kittens Protector and Best Friend
In 1999 a stray kitten appeared in Wall and Ann Collito’s yard in Massachusetts. The couple began feeding the cat, yet they weren’t the only ones that were helping out the meek feline. A crow was watching over the cat, who by now was given the name Cassie, by feeding her worms and protecting her from other animals. Even when the Collitos managed to get the cat inside, every day the crow—named Moses by the family—would peck at the door for Cassie and they would spend the day together. There is video evidence taken by the Collito’s because they knew that nobody would believe them. This routine went on for five years until Moses suddenly stopped showing up. The Collitos and Cassie were heartbroken but assumed he had succumbed to old age.
A Sad Yet Poetic Story
For eight years at the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary, the elephant Tarra was best friends with a mutt named Bella who had wandered onto the grounds. They were so close that Bella would even let Tarra rub her belly with her giant foot. One time when Bella had spinal surgery, Tarra stood on the balcony and waited to show concern for her friend. In 2011, Bella was found dead from most likely a coyote attack, however, there was no evidence of an attack except for her body. Then, they found blood on Tarra’s trunk, she had picked up Bella and moved her body to a safe place.
Tom And Jerry Should Take Note
This is a picture of Batman, a dumbo-eared rat, and Pumpkin, the resident cat at a Tennessee animal shelter. At the shelter, Pumpkin has a reputation for showing compassion to any species that enters the building. After the shelter acquired Batman from another animal control officer, they decided that he would be the perfect companion for Pumpkin. This realization came after they were cleaning out Batman’s cage and Pumpkin decided to jump right in. It is a common idea that cats and rodents do not get along, but Pumpkin and Batman are here to prove otherwise.
An Odd Sight To See
Silkie chicken Penny and two-legged chihuahua Roo became unlikely pals after being taken in by Alicia Williams, a receptionist at Duluth Animal Hospital in Georgia. Sadly, Roo was abandoned in a ditch and disabled before he was adopted by Williams. As for Penny, Williams adopted her when she was a few weeks old, saving her from a testing facility. Roo was born without his two front legs, but that doesn’t stop him from living an active lifestyle with the help of his wheelchair. The pals do everything together and sometimes Penny even rides on Roo’s back.
Using Her Motherly Instincts
They say that primates are the most genetically similar to humans, so that’s probably why this chimp is fascinated by puppies (because who doesn’t love puppies?!). Anna lives at a wildlife park in Daventry, England. Both wild and domestic animals coexist at this park, which is why Anna is in close contact with the many puppies that are born there. Anna reportedly has a fascination with puppies and sort of takes on a babysitter role whenever they’re born. Her maternal instincts at play, she cradles them as if they were her own and is protective when strangers get close.
This Is A Story About A Bear Named Lucky
Lucky is the brown bear cub pictured on the right. He was spotted in the backyard of a Slovenian family, who decided to adopt him. While a part of the family, Lucky took a liking to the family Rottweiler, much to everyone’s delight. Although the family was warned that they should send Lucky to a shelter (raising a wild bear is potentially dangerous), Lucky disappeared before they could do anything about it. This led authorities to believe that he was stolen, but once he was found, Lucky was sent to a bear orphanage in Romania, where he will be rehabilitated into the wild.
She Couldn’t Have
Although they are able to coexist with one another in people’s homes, cats and dogs are always pitted against each other in popular culture. Dogs are excitable and loyal, while cats are passive and careless. But this isn’t always the case, as proven by this photo. This story of this pairing begins with loss. This cat had a kitten that passed away, while this puppy’s mother got hit by a car. The cat then took on a motherly role and began to care for the orphaned pup. Here, she is nursing the puppy, who otherwise might not have survived if no one had found it.
Judy And Her “Baby”
This dog’s name is Judy and she lives at a zoo near Tamworth, Staffordshire, England. On top of Judy’s head sits a growing busy baby, a small primate native to Africa that is otherwise known as a Galago. When they are born, bush babies need to cling to warm bodies for 24 hours a day, but sadly, this bushbaby was rejected by its own mother. The zookeepers thought of a solution and trained Judy to care for the bush baby. Now, Judy has become a surrogate mother to this bush baby and has provided warmth at all hours of the day.
Its Natural Predator Became Its Best Friend
This is a story that you will not often find in nature. This friendship came about after this lioness killed this antelope’s mother. Captured at Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park by photographer Adri De Visser, this antelope was apparently adopted by the lioness and is now a member of the pride. The lioness was seen eating its prey and went to rest in the shade when suddenly, they prey’s offspring came out of the bush. One would think that was it for the baby antelope, but instead, the lioness was seen caring for the new orphan as if it were her own. Talk about guilt.
It Only Takes One To Make Her Feel Welcomed
Lola the chihuahua and Princess Leia the Nigerian Dwarf goat are apparently best friends. They live together on a dairy farm in Cumberland, Maine, where they like to chase each other and jump off bales of hay. National Geographic reports that when Lola was first brought to the farm, she was a mere four-inches tall and was very intimidated. Seeing that she was having a hard time making friends, Princess Leia took Lola under her wing—or should we say hoof?—and welcomed her to the bunch. This only goes to show that it takes a simple act of friendship for one to feel welcome in a strange place.
Her Name Is Mama And For Good Reason
Mama is an American foxhound who traveled from North Carolina to Connecticut for a special reason. When the LEO Zoological Center in Greenwich, Connecticut needed a surrogate mother for four orphaned North African fennec foxes, Mama came to the rescue. But it was an unlikely pairing, considering that Mama’s breed is inherently raised to hunt foxes. The North African fennec fox is the smallest species of canine and when they’re fully grown, they only weigh up to 3.5 pounds. Mama became their savior, despite the irony of their breeds. The director of LEO said, “Mama loved them and cleaned them and protected them. She is just a precious, wonderful dog.”
Manuka And Hector
This is Manuka the micro pig and Hector the house cat. Here, they look like two siblings with Manuka annoying Hector, yet you can tell that the love is still there. These two are actually part of an intermixed household that is home to five more micropigs and a dog. They all eat, sleep, and play together in Christchurch, Cambridgeshire, cared for by their owner Jane Croft. Croft told Daily Mail, “They can’t stop playing with each other. They may be a handful at times but when it comes to feeding its like a well oiled machine… or maybe a military operation.”
Finding Friendship In Lonliness
This picture was taken at a temple in Thailand, where a monkey and a stray cat have become the best of friends. Here, you can see the monkey holding the cat in the most protective way. Business Insider reports that they were both abandoned by their owners and were adrift for a year before they found each other. You could say that their friendship serves multiple purposes, as this monkey apparently also helps pick lice off the cat (although we can’t say for certain what the cat does for the monkey). One thing’s for sure though, animals of different species will always find solace in one another when their loneliness brings them together.
Little Guys Got To Stick Together
This picture was captured in 2006 in the northern Indian city of Lucknow. Indian summers often consist of monsoon rains that flood the streets, which isn’t good news for small animals that are stuck on the ground. This tiny mouse was seen perched on the back of a toad, who just barely is above the flood waters. We can’t say for certain what became of these two animals after this picture was taken, but our best guess is that they became good pals—after all, the toad doesn’t seem to mind that this adorable mouse is seeking refuge on his body.
Brought Together After Devastation
Owen the hippopotamus was just a year old when he was found orphaned and dehydrated near the Indian Ocean in 2005. He was taken to a wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa, where he found companionship in a male tortoise named Mzee, which is Swahili for old man. The park officials believe that Owen took a liking to Mzee since they are similar in color. Mzee didn’t seem to mind and took on a parental role towards Owen. When he got older and healthier, Owen was scheduled to be placed in another sanctuary to be paired with a lonely female hippo named Cleo.
Birds Of A Feather Flock Together?
At least, that’s how the saying goes. But these aren’t birds and if you look closely, it’s not two dogs either. Standing next to the Dalmatian is an adorable little lamb. Zoe the dalmatian thought she acquired a puppy of her own species when she made friends with this newborn lamb, who was abandoned by its mother in South Australia. Julie Bolton, who owns the animals, told Daily Mail, “Now the mother [Zoe] who doesn’t have puppies at the moment is actually cleaning it and licking it and mother it and it tries to mother up to her udder.”
Kasi the cheetah and Manti the Labrador were both raised together at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. When Kasi was a cub and Manti was a puppy, the two developed a quite unique bond and could always be seen together. Their relationship in their youth was an extremely popular spectacle for obvious reasons. However, as Kasi grew older, he began drifting away from Manti and was more interested in the female cheetah. Although Kasi spends a little more time with the cheetas than he used to, the two still maintain a friendship and even visit schools and other places together.