Dig Your Own Grave

Interspecies Animal Friends!

Finnegan the Squirrel
Finnegan the squirrel was found injured and malnourished in the Seattle area in September 2005, when he was only a few days old. He was brought to Debby Cantlon, who had a reputation for taking in sick and injured animals. Ms. Cantlon reported that her pregnant Papillon dog, Mademoiselle Giselle, repeatedly dragged the kennel in which Finnegan was being cared for across the house and deposited it next to her own doggie bed. After Mademoiselle Giselle gave birth to her pups, she continued to care for Finnegan, even allowing him to nurse with her own. More details (and a lot more pics!) of this canine-rodent love-nest can be found here.
Owen and Mzee
By now, most people know the story of Owen the baby hippopotamus that was separated from his mother during last December’s tsunami and found an adoptive parent in Mzee, the 130 year old tortoise. Those who need to brush up on the tale and want to swoon over some more pictures can read our Tortoise Adopts Baby Hippo article, as well as the One Year Update on Owen and Mzee follow-up article.

Scholastic Press has even released a picture book about the two entitled The True Story Of A Remarkable Friendship:

The Kitten and the Hen (Kome and Kokko)
I wish I could tell you a little more about the kitten and the rooster hen, but all I have is this little japanese movie with the two of them clowning around and snuggling up together at night. If you click the picture you can watch the movie yourself, and if you understand japanese maybe you can fill us all in. Until then we’ll have to go with my best guess which is that the kitten was separated from its real mother during a tsunami and adopted by the hen in a wildlife refuge. Call it a hunch.

UPDATE: Jimbo has left a nice little translation of the story in the comments section.
Huahua and the Little Chick
In China a pet chihuahua named Huahua adopted a baby chick. Huahua took charge of the chick as soon as owner Liu Bangyang’s daughter brought it home. She regards the chick as her baby and stands guard to make sure it comes to no harm. Whenever the chick strays too far, Huahua picks it up gently in her mouth and puts it back in its cot. Liu, from Guiyang city, said: “We’ll try our best to raise the little chicken, if that’s what Huahua wants”.

And how about what the little chick wants? Because I’m imagining pretty high on that list is going to be “not being in a dog’s mouth”.
The Dog and the Ducklings
And here is a very cute pair of pictures featuring a big white fuzzy dog that adopted a whole lot of baby ducklings. People will try and tell you that dogs often adopt other orphaned animals because they are kind and nurturing by nature, but I will tell you it is actually because they love eating their own poop so much. What does one have to do with the other? I’m not sure, but my poodle here tells me that day-old poop is quite delicious.

Sai Mai and the Piglets
For a couple of years now a set of adorable pictures of a tiger playing with a litter of little piglets have been circulating the internet. The story accompanying the photographs is always different. Sometimes it is a tigress who lost her cubs and adopted the piglets, sometimes it is the piglets who lost their mother.

Unfortunately the true background is a little more sinister. The images were taken in 2004 at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand. Although the Sriracha Tiger Zoo hosts one of the world’s most successful tiger breeding programs, unlike most western zoos it also offers circus and carnival-like shows, exhibits, and interactions, including the mixture of adults and young of different species in the same enclosures. The mixture of tiger and piglets depicted in the images was not something undertaken for functional reasons, but rather as a form of visual entertainment provided by the zoo for the amusement of its visitors.

Not cool Sriracha Tiger Zoo! Not cool!
Cassie the Cat and Moe the Crow
Cassie was an abandoned kitten, tossed into the yard of Anne and Wally in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Almost immediately Cassie was adopted by a wild crow later named Moses. Anne says, “She trusted no one but the bird. When Cassie went in the road, Moses would do everything she knew to get him out of the road.” Moses also went so far as to hand (err, beak) feed Cassie food she found on the ground.

Click the image to the right to play a short movie about Cassie and Moses ->
Chino and Falstaff
Chino is a 9-year-old Golden Retriever with fuzzy paws, and Falstaff is a 15-inch orange and black koi who likes to nibble on fuzzy paws.

The two have been fast friends for three years now, according to Mary and Dan Heath of Medford, Oregon. When Chino lies down with his nose an inch from the water, Falstaff eagerly swims up to the dog, sometimes playfully nibbling on the pooch’s paws.

Ms. Heath describes how their pooch reacted to the small pond in the back yard of their new house: “Chino just got real fascinated. He would lie there on the rocks and just watch the fish. This is one of the few things that’ll get him to wag his tail.”
The Snake and the Snack Hamster (Aochan and Gohan)
A rodent-eating snake and a hamster have developed an unusual bond at a zoo in Tokyo, Japan. Their relationship began when zookeepers presented the hamster to the snake as a meal.

However, the rat snake (named Aochan) refused to eat the rodent. The two now share a cage, and the hamster sometimes falls asleep sitting on top of his natural foe. Zookeepers have since named the hamster ‘Gohan’ – the Japanese word for meal.

Check out PART TWO – More Interspecies Animal Friends


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