Wonderful examples of heartwarming relationship between different animals.
Animals can be orphaned for any number of reasons, and many lose their parents to car accidents or predatory animals. When these young hedgehogs found themselves motherless, a nurturing house cat adopted them and nursed them as though they were her own
Many animals were left without parents after the December 2004 tsunami, including a baby hippopotamus who caregivers named Owen. The young hippo bonded with a 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise named Mzee after being rescued by wildlife rangers. The two were inseparable until 2007, when a female hippo named Cleo moved in with Owen, and Mzee moved to a new pen.
This little fawn (who has since been named Bella) was found under a lady's porch. Her mother may have been hit by a car, leaving the sweet, spotted girl all on her own. Fortunately, the family's Rhodesian Ridgeback dog stepped in as a foster parent.
Mario the bull graciously shares some grass with a young boar, nicknamed Freddy. This little piggy got separated from his family, and luckily, a herd of Galloway cattle took him in. Some of the cows in the herd were even loving enough to nurse Freddy alongside their own calves.
When Lucky the cat was introduced to Merlin, an orphaned rabbit, the results could have been disastrous. To everyone's surprise, Lucky nursed him alongside her kittens, adopting him as one of her own.
After this baby macaque monkey wandered away from its mother, it was taken in by an animal protection center. It found comfort with a gentle young dove who was also in residence there. The two spent every waking moment together for months--until they were old enough to be released back into the wild.
Although the average Sumerian tiger would think of a baby orangutan as lunch, these two get along just fine. Abandoned by their mothers soon after birth, Nia and Dema have been cared for at the Taman Safari Zoo in Indonesia, where they spend their days playing and cuddling together.
Wildlife photographer Sönke Morsch captured this pair on film, and it's hard to believe that they didn't escape from some Disney studio set. The young deer and rabbit play together, groom one another, and snuggle when naptime rolls around.
Visitors to the Swan Lake Villa Resort in Kenting, Taiwan, are often delighted to see how the black swans feed the fish that share their pond. The birds pull morsels from their feeding trough and drop them in their little fish friends' mouths.
Keepers at the Berlin zoo were startled to discover a black cat hanging out in Mauschen's pen. The Asiatic black bear seemed to enjoy the company, so they let him stay. The two of them ate, slept, and spent all their time together, until Mauschen passed away at the ripe old age of 43.
The caregivers at the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa were concerned when a young orphaned elephant named Themna wouldn't eat. They decided to introduce him to Albert the sheep, the two became best friends, and soon, Themna's health and strength improved.
Adult kookaburras often snack on Madagascar ducklings, so this friendship came as a surprise. Kookie (the kookaburra) had to be rescued by staff at the Seaview Wildlife centre after his parents killed their other offspring. The unnamed little duckling was a runt and was being picked on by other birds. Thankfully, their friendship helped them overcome the hardships they experienced earlier in life.
Jess, a 12-year-old springer spaniel from Devonshire, goes on a milk run three times a day to bottle-feed lambs on the sheep farm where she lives. She's a surrogate mother to lambs that have been rejected or orphaned, and the babies follow her everywhere she goes
The bars on this rabbit's outdoor cage are just wide enough for local house sparrows to sneak through. When they do visit, the bunny is more than happy to share his feed with them. He also acts protectively towards the birds whenever people are around, placing himself between the food dish and any prying eyes.
A lovely lady in New York adopted both Sobe the iguana and Johann the cat, and the two clicked immediately. Every day, as soon as Sobe is let out of her cage, she seeks out her feline companion for cuddles and grooming. The two of them are incredibly good at lounging around together under heat lamps all day.
A 5-month-old grizzly cub named Bam Bam befriended a 16-month-old chimp named Vali at a Safari park in South Carolina. The two spend most of their time roughhousing, playing tag, and just enjoying each other's company. Since Bam Bam will undoubtedly grow up to be over 6 feet tall and 600 pounds or so, he'll make a great bodyguard in case anyone messes with Vali.
Although we'd assume that the lion would look at a dachshund and think it was a tasty sausage snack, these two are such close friends that the little dog licks the big cat's teeth to clean them. Bonedigger, a five-year-old lion, was born with a crippling bone disease and is being cared for at an exotic animal park in Oklahoma. Milo the dachshund comforted him when he was a cub, forming a lifetime bond with his not-so-ferocious friend.
Fum the cat lives in a small village in Spain and is best friends with a friendly barn owl that's been nicknamed Gebra. The two will nuzzle and cuddle one another in between games of tag, and it's obvious that they are the best of friends.
Bea and Wilma are more than neighbors at the Serengeti Plain exhibit in Florida's Busch Gardens--- they're also close friends who wander the park side by side. Their 65-acre enclosure would give them more than enough space to seek out other friends, but these two ladies can't bear to be apart.
Koko is a 42-year-old gorilla who has made headlines over the years countless times over. She knows over 1,000 signs in American Sign Language and communicates her thoughts and emotions to her handlers quite clearly. Koko has a great fondness for cats, and she is very gentle and nurturing with kittens.. When the first cat she adopted died after being hit by a car, she was devastated and expressed her grief to all around her. Maybe this little fuzzball will become a new, cherished friend.
Most people would assume that a cat would look at a chick and see it as a tasty nugget, but not this time. These buddies met on a farm in Russia, and the kitten protected the chick from rats and other vermin.
When Wiebe the Dutch Shepherd was a puppy, he was fascinated by the koi that lived in his family's pond. As he got older, he started drinking from the pond after his daily walk, at which point the koi would come to the surface to greet him. Now their nuzzles have become a daily ritual, and it doesn't look like the tradition will stop any time soon.
Aochan the snake lives at the Mutsugoro Okoku zoo in Tokyo, Japan. When his handlers dropped a hamster in for him as a snack, he decided to befriend the little fuzzball instead, and now the two of them happily share their enclosure.
These devoted companions live near a village in Thailand. The cat is thought to have wandered away and gotten lost in the forest when it was just a kitten. It was adopted and cared for by the monkey, who is incredibly protective towards its friend, and the two are often seen together sharing food and cuddling.
When photographer Norbert Rosing noticed a polar bear trotting into the camp where he was shooting, he was probably more than a little nervous. After all, huskies and bears aren't known to get along, and things could have gotten ugly. Instead, the bear struck up a friendship with the dogs and returned daily for about a week to play with them.