20 Unlikely Animal Friendships That Will Warm Your Heart
The power of camaraderie truly has no limitations.
There may be 8.7 million species on earth, but for many humans and animals alike, finding a best friend is still no easy feat. And though the connection between humans and animals is undeniable, with a pet in 68 percent of all U.S. homes, the bonds between members of the animal kingdom is often even sweeter.
In fact, there are some unlikely animal friendships out there that you'd never expect to see, but won't be able to stop awwing over, either. And while checking out these cute animal pairings may seem like little more than a pleasant distraction, it serves a greater purpose for humans, too: according to a study published in PLoS One, looking at adorable animals can actually help you focus better. With that in mind, read on to discover a bunch of unlikely animal friendships that are sure to warm your heart.
Saint Bernard and Chicks
Big dogs are often among the biggest softies out there, as is clearly the case with Julie, a rescued Saint Bernard living in Belgium, and her best friends, a pair of tiny chicks. In fact, Julie, who lives on a farm with her partner, Basiel, their baby, Leo, and her human mom, Isolde, is such a mush that she's frequently photographed letting her barnyard pals, from goats to chickens, walk all over her.
Pig and Lamb
Adversity can be the bond that cements a pair together, as is the case with Bubbles the pig and Seamus the lamb. Bubbles, rescued by Where Pigs Fly Animal Sanctuary in Laguna NSW, Australia, became instantly attached to his farm-mate Seamus, a blind lamb who came to live at the same sanctuary, and the two have been inseparable ever since.
Cat and Hedgehog
Being a little prickly won't stop a true friend from loving you. Case in point: The adorable friendship between Atticus, a hedgehog, and Chubba, a sweet tabby cat who isn't afraid to get close to those spikes for some cuddles.
Goat and Mini-Horse
If there's one thing Wyatt's Second Chance Ranch in Cedar Creek, Texas, is good at (other than the rehabilitation of animals), it's capturing truly adorable moments between unlikely animal friends. The nonprofit animal rescue, which houses more than 40 different animals, caught this particularly adorable moment between BFFs Lulu the mini horse and Nova, a goat intent upon giving her a friendly back massage.
Rhino and Goat
Being abandoned and being unloved are far from synonymous, as two unlikely animal friends found out at the Zululand Rhino Orphanage in South Africa. The orphanage—which was established after a February 2017 poaching incident wiped out the country's previous rhino orphanage—has helped abandoned rhino Khula find a new best friend in the form of Buzi, a goat who won't leave her side.
Highland Cow and Goat
The best part of having a best friend? Sharing the things you love. Not only do Buckley, a highland cow, and Ralphy, a goat, have a similar fondness for chowing down on hay, these two best friends even look like one another, with matching brown coats.
Bison and Pig
Helen, a bison who lives at the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Scio, Oregon, has an even bigger heart than her enormous size might suggest. In fact, she's so friendly she's even taken Uma, an adorable spotted pig, under her wing, and the two are now inseparable.
Donkey and Pig
While donkeys may have a reputation for stubbornness, that doesn't mean there isn't a sweet side underneath all that huffy charm. In fact, at Chatsworth Farmyard and Adventure Playground in Bakewell, a town in Derbyshire, England, a donkey named Seamus has become best friends with a pig named Brussel, providing plenty of photo ops for the farmyard's owners with cute cuddles like this.
Dog and Raccoon
While raccoons might not automatically come to mind when you imagine indoor pets, some of these trash pandas make surprisingly good companions for their animal friends and human owners alike. In fact, June, a raccoon, and Paris, a Vizsla dog, have been the best of friends since they were introduced by their owner.
Joey and Gosling
A little affection can go a long way when it comes to bridging the gap between species. In fact, Molly, a western grey kangaroo, and Lucy, a pilgrim gosling, have become the best of friends, thanks to their regular habit of cuddling together—and Molly's insistence upon bathing the little goose as if it were her own.
Turkey and Chocolate Lab
While dogs are often said to be man's best friend, the relationship between this adorable pair makes a good case for a dog's true best friend being fowl. Despite their differences, Buddy, a chocolate lab, and Hansel, a turkey who loves dressing up in outrageous costumes, have a bond like no other.
Horse and Duck
True best friends won't let a little thing like a one-ton size difference get in the way of their bond. In fact, Harry, a one-year-old duck, and his best friend, Neville the horse, have found plenty of ways to see eye-to-eye, like this ritual of sharing breakfast.
Dog and Bearded Dragon
Though many people assume that dogs will be aggressive when introduced to smaller animals, that's never been a problem with pals Pete, a bearded dragon, and Gus Fring, his canine companion.
Tortoise and Guinea Pig
Just because you're a little hard-headed (or, in this case, shelled) doesn't mean you can't find a perfect companion. In this case, Ethel, a Sulcata tortoise, the well-dressed pet of illustrator Kasey Cauliflower, has become BFF with Buster, an adorable guinea pig with whom she enjoys frequent playdates, according to her human caretaker.
Horse and Great Dane
As a blind and deaf dog, double Merle Dane Keller has plenty of challenges on his plate. Fortunately, that's never mattered to Goose, his mini horse best friend, with whom he's been inseparable since the two met.
Beagle and Guinea Pig
They say that people start to resemble their furry friends, and the same might just be true for members of the animal kingdom, too. Case in point: Hugo, an orange-and-white beagle, has a coat that's virtually identical to that of his best bud, Wayne, a guinea pig.
Corgi and Bunny
Easter can't come soon enough for these unlikely animal friends. Luckily, both Mr. Fuzzy, a bunny, and Einstein, a corgi—and his patient best bud—don't mind dressing the part when the occasion rolls around.
Mini Australian Shepherd and Prairie Dog
It sometimes pays to have an older sibling to show you the ropes, as has become evident to Peppa, the seven-month-old prairie dog. Her best pal, Chester, is more than 10 years her senior, but clearly has plenty of patience when it comes to his adorable little sis.
Monkey and Puppy
Some animal friendships are so aww-inspiring you can't help but love them. In this case, a rhesus macaque monkey from India adopted an abandoned puppy and raised it as her own, feeding it, grooming it, and even carrying it as it would one of her own offspring.
Pig and Dog
No snout? No problem, according Bob, the pig. This curly-tailed fellow residing in Sanya, China, has fallen head over hooves for his canine pal—so much so that he doesn't mind serving as the little guy's step stool.
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