10 Unlikely Animal Friendships

Cat with plate of food in front of her
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February is heart month. Which is technically supposed to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health. But this post is all about making your heart go, ‘Awww’. Unlikely animal friends are adorable, awkward, and awesome. These inter-species relationships remind us humans that we should set aside our differences and live together in harmony.

1. Bubbles the Elephant and Bella the Black Lab

Source: Bored Panda

This unlikely animal friendship will make your heart melt. Bubbles’ family was killed in 1981 by ivory poachers in Africa. He was rescued and adopted by Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina. Bella the black lab was abandoned at the park by a man who was contracted to build Bubbles’ swimming pool. They are now inseparable and love to go swimming together!

dog jumping off of elephant

dog laying on elephants leg

2. J’aime the Rhino and Joey the Lamb

Source: @therhinoorphanage

J’aime was the youngest rhino at The Rhino Orphanage in South Africa. He was so small that he wasn’t able to join the other rhinos in the beginning. Joey the lamb’s mother rejected him so he was brought to the orphanage to be hand-raised. J’aime and Joey became fast friends and go on daily walks together.

unlikely animal friends sheep and a rhino

3. Manni the Wild Boar and Candy the Dog

Source: L.A. Unleashed

Manni the piglet was found starving in a field in Southwest Germany by the Dahlhaus family. They brought him home and introduced him to their Jack Russell Terrier Candy. The two of them hit it off immediately. Manni and Candy “play together every day. They play hide and seek, romp around in the hedges and bushes and just have a lot of fun together,” Wilhelm Karl Dahlhaus told the German newspaper Bild.

Wild boar and jack russel terrier running together

wild boar and dog animal friends

4. Anjana and Her Tiger Cubs Mitra and Shiva

Source: Bored Panda

After their enclosure was flooded during a hurricane, two white tiger cubs were separated from their mother. Mitra and Shiva were adopted by a U.S. animal reserve and found a close animal friend in Anjana the chimpanzee. Anjana has helped zookeeper China York raise many different orphaned animals.

Anjana the chimpanzee and white tiger

Chimpanzee cuddling with two white tigers

5. Henry the Dog and Baloo the Cat

Source: Mother Nature Network

A Colorado couple adopted Henry hoping that he would fit in with their active, outdoorsy lifestyle. He fit in well, but the couple noticed that Henry got very anxious and stressed out when left alone. They decided to get Henry a kitten companion – making sure to find one that they thought would fit in with their adventurous lifestyle as well. Henry and Baloo hit it off right away and even regularly go camping together!

unlikely animal friends Henry and Baloo

Dog and cat hiking together

6. Shere Khan the tiger, Baloo the bear and Leo the lion

Source: Twisted Sifter

Shere Khan, Baloo, and Leo were discovered in the basement of a home in Atlanta during a drug raid. They were all young cubs at the time and Baloo was in the worst shape. He had a harness on that was never loosened as he grew bigger. Baloo’s skin had grown around it and the harness had to be surgically removed. The three ‘brothers’ were rescued by Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary and are affectionately called ‘The BLT’. These animal friends are the only bear, lion and tiger in the world that live in the same enclosure.

Rescued bear, lion, and tiger rest together

Unlikely friends lion, bear, and tiger nuzzle heads

7. Cameron the Lion and Zabu the Tiger

Source: The Dodo

Cameron and Zabu were born at a roadside zoo in New England in 2000. They were bred for one purpose – to one day breed in the hopes of producing ligers. In 2004 the pair was rescued from the roadside zoo by Big Cat Rescue in Florida. They saw how bonded the couple was and knew they had to be kept together.

Rescued lion and tiger lay together

Tiger licks lions mane

8. ‘Simon Cow-ell’ the Cow and Leonardo the African Spurred Tortoise

Source: WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre

This is one of the most unlikely animal friendships on this list. The Wildlife Friends Foundation in Thailand rescued Simon after he was caught in vine that resulted in serious injuries. Part of one of his hind legs fell off due to his injury (you can read more of his story here). Leonardo was rescued from a Bangkok zoo in 2014 after the zoo closed. The rescue’s staff was surprised to see Simon and Leonardo form such a strong bond. They often follow each other around, share meals and rest together.

Simon the cow with his friend the tortoise

cow and tortoise lay together

9. Cleo the Cat and Forbi the Owl

Source: Love Meow

Cats and birds aren’t typically known as animal friends, but that doesn’t stop these two. Brazillian biologist André Costa took in the little owl when it was just a baby. Cleo took Forbi in too, and they became best friends.

cat and owl are unlikely friends

Owl perched on cats back

10. Kate the Dog and Pippin the Deer

Source: KateAndPippin.com

Pippin was adopted by a Great Dane named Kate when she was just a baby fawn. Pippin was abandoned by her mother on Isobel Springett’s property on Vancouver Island. She quickly formed an unlikely animal friendship with Isobel’s Great Dane. Kate and Pippin’s friendship is chronicled in a book – called Kate and Pippin – featuring Isobel’s photography of the odd couple.

Kate and Pippin the dog and the deer

dog and deer lay on bed together

For more odd couples follow Odd Couples by The Dodo on Facebook.

Amber Bahm
Amber Bahm
Amber came from a small town in Saskatchewan where she grew up with horses, a cat, and her dog Willow. When she moved out West to Kelowna she brought Willow along and has since adopted a rescue dog from Mexico named Chica. Amber combines her love for animals with her knowledge of design, computers, and technology while working at NaturPet.

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