Unlikely Friendships


Pie aren't squared, pie are round!
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Apr 17, 2013
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Old, but still fun. Nice photos.

This weekend -- perhaps inspired by the growing friendship between our new dog and our old one -- I've got a surprising find along with a sweet White Stripes song for you,

We're Going To Be Friends.

Every once in a while, I'll run across something in the natural world that wholeheartedly surprises me. I remember watching a nature documentary about lions, where I saw a wounded, pregnant lioness leave her pack to give birth. It was no surprise that once night fell, the hyenas began to arrive. The lioness held her ground for a little while, but once the third and fourth hyena showed up, the lioness had no choice but to abandon her cubs to their fate. But the shocking part came moments after her leaving, where a traveling group of leopards came upon the scene, and defended the cubs against the hyenas.

How remarkable, I thought, that a wild animal with no inherent stake in the outcome would interfere simply to protect and help another living creature. Well, it turns out that interspecies animal friendships are far more common than I'd realized. Here are some of my favorites that I've found.

In December 2004, a baby hippopotamus (Owen) orphaned by the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake was rescued and brought to Haller Park. There were no other hippos there, so Owen was placed with Mzee, the park's 130-year-old Aldabra Giant Tortoise. In short order, the two became friends, eventually eating, sleeping, swimming and playing together. When Owen was deemed fit for it three years later, Mzee was removed and a female hippo, Cleo, was brought in.

At Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Thailand, a two-year-old Chimpanzee, Do Do, took an interest in a two month old Tiger cub named Aorn, and learned to bottle-feed it.

But it isn't only in zoos that this type of unlikely animal friendship is found.
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