Dig Your Own Grave

More Interspecies Animal Friends!

(In case you missed it, check out part one of Interspecies Animal Friends)

Finchen and Rabbit
I’m probably not the only one who thought the friendship between Bambi and Thumper was a fabrication that belongs strictly in a Disney movie, but nature jumped in once again to prove us all wrong. This little fawn became an orphan after it’s mother died in a car accident in May 2005, but was lucky enough to get adopted by local animal lovers who named it Finchen and gave it a home in their garden. Soon after Finchen was settled in, a wild rabbit showed up that was always seen near the fawn – first keeping his distance, but after a short period of time the two animals became inseparable: playing, feeding and resting together.

Their amazing friendship lasted until the next summer when Finchen, now a beautiful doe, was transported to a wildlife release station so she could be prepared for a life in the wild.

An update from 2007 says that Finchen was successfully released into a nature preserve, and that the little rabbit now lives in a small population of his kind, right outside the garden where he shared so many beautiful moments with his friend.

This story, and many similar ones can be found in a photo book by Tanja Askani called A Friend Like You:

Tarra and Bella
Debbie has Ronnie, Misty has Dolory, and Tarra has Bella – all of the elephants in this Tennessee sanctuary (that functions as a retirement home for pachyderms) have found a buddy to spend their days with. You know, for casual girl talk, whining about geriatric aches and pains, sharing words of wisdom, complaining about the fact that their children never visit…

But if you had to choose the oddest couple here, it would definitely be Tarra and Bella- Tarra being an elephant and Bella being a white mix-breed dog who found a home in the sanctuary with dozens of others. Not even noticing the differences so obvious to a human eye, these two spend their days eating, sleeping and roaming around together.

And I did not tear up when I saw the doggy touching a giant elephant foot with her little paw. I just got something in my eye.

Carol Buckley has released a hardcover picture book about the two entitled Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends:

Sharky and the Chicks
Sharky is a pitbull whose heart is even bigger than his giant canine teeth. When he was a year and a half old he befriended some tiny baby chicks and since then life has become an adventure for all of them. If you’re the cynical type and already thinking how he probably swallowed them all as soon as the camera went off, check out these followup videos that show Sharky with the same chicks two moths later, a year later, and finally 2 years later.

Take that, cynics.

Also, take this video of Sharky giving the chicks a swimming lesson.
Billy and Lilly
This story has “strange” written all over it from the beginning, as Billy is not a goat but a dog – which extends the concept of strangeness even further since paternal adoptions are extremely rare in the animal kingdom.

Billy the boxer from Buckfastleigh in Devon County (England), obviously disregarding the customs of nature, adopted a 12 day-old baby goat named Lilly after her mother abandoned her when she was only few hours old. Since then there was nothing anyone could do, they were stuck like glue: spending days and nights together, Billy cleaning her after meals and constantly having his fatherly eye on any potential dangers threatening the little one.

This unusual single parent family attracted quite a crowd at the animal center, and even though I couldn’t find a followup story I’m sure Billy and Lilly are still the best of pals.

Tink and Pink
Pink is slightly bigger and differently colored than the rest of the puppies in Tink’s litter – probably because he’s not a pup, but a cute piglet that was adopted by the Dachshund mommy when his own mother couldn’t take care of him. Even though they always say mom loves all of her babies the same, it seems that Tink favorites her foster child above the rest of them: gives him extra attention when cleaning and nursing, and is always very protective of him.

After Tink weaned Pink and the rest of the puppies from her, they’re now growing up together – playing and exploring, until all of them find great new homes.

Tink and Pink’s owner wrote a children’s book about this amazing story called The Pink Puppy:

Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan
For you unfortunate ones that haven’t read The Jungle Book (or watched one of the many movie versions), I will emphasize that Baloo is the bear and Shere Khan is the tiger. Leo the lion doesn’t quite fit into the story, but then again, these animals don’t fit together in the first place.

All three were rescued as two month old cubs during police drug raids in Atlanta, Georgia. They were meant to spend their lives as status symbols for drug barons, but instead got a new chance in an animal rescue center in Locust Grove, Georgia, where they decided to keep them together.

BLT, as zoo keepers call the strange group, are now 8-year-olds living in a spacious custom made habitat as siblings. Baloo and Shere Khan are early risers that like to lounge in a creek, whilst Leo sleeps most of the day – and visitors are able to witness how this unusual family functions.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
Cashew and Libby
If you think that a cat and dog friendship is not interesting enough to make a place in this article, I can only advise you to read on and give it a chance.

Cashew, the 14 year old labrador retriever mix, is blind and deaf – and her best friend is a ten year old cat named Libby who besides the friendship (or as a part of it), also provides the services of a seeing-eye cat. Libby steers Cashew away from the obstacles in the house and in the yard, leads her to her food bowl, and sleeps by her side in case she wakes up and feels disoriented. She grudgingly lets the dog out of her sight to be walked, but otherwise sticks to her night and day.

Even though Cashew passed away recently, her owners are aware that her life quality these last few years wouldn’t be the same without her seeing-eye friend – the ASPCA was aware of it too, so they named Libby the ASPCA Cat Of The Year 2008.
Surya and Roscoe
Surya is a joyful orangutan that lives in a Wildlife Preserve in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) and loves to ride an elephant through the forest with his human friends. As strange as that is by itself, the story gets even more complicated when one day on their usual walk by the nearby river, they run into an abandoned hound dog. Our measly human perception will never allow us to understand why Surya jumped off the elephant, and why the hound dog (later named Roscoe) ran straight into his arms like they were long lost friends.

Though they initially separated the two after their touching meeting, Roscoe kept finding his way into the facility again and again, until keepers finally realized they were stuck with this unlikely couple forever.

Disclaimer: video may contain huge amounts of undiluted cuteness.

In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out part one of Interspecies Animal Friends


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