A Look at Unlikely Animal Friendships

There’s something heartwarming about animal stories. Cats who traveled across country in a truck muffler, only to be reunited with his owners weeks later. A dog who helped somebody through a tough situation or a pet that gave a child more confidence. But one of my favorite types of stories are those of unlikely animal friends.

Unlikely Animal Friendships

You know, a horse that has a weekly play date with a dog or a tortoise and a deer who walk together every day. Just try watching this video of a chick curling up under a cat’s chin without saying, “Aww!”

At the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wyneewood, Okla., a baby chimp, baby wolf and two baby tigers joyfully play together and seemingly have become inseparable.

But what creates the dynamic between two very different animals? What is it that turns a predator into total snuggle bud? Who knows. Maybe it takes a certain personality trait that only some individual animals have. Maybe it’s the innocent and trusting nature of youngins or lonely old souls to come together and find something in each other.

I couldn’t find much research done on this dynamic to fully explain it, but John Wright, a certified applied animal behaviorist and professor of psychology at Mercer University, wrote an article in which he said that given the right set of circumstances, the right animals can form close and lasting relationships. All it might take is an animal that finds a need or fulfillment from another animal, whether that be companionship, socialization or a nurturing mother figure. With trust between two social animals, a beautiful relationship can easily blossom.

As Wright explained, sometimes tragedy can strike and cause animals of different species to bond as they seek solace in each other. In a photo I found going around Facebook, a fawn and bobcat were found cuddling under a desk in an office together after a forest fire.

Take a look at this video from the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., where a lion and white tiger love spending time together.

Whatever powers these friendships, they're intriguing, not to mention adorable. Perfect for a fun Friday fix, huh?

Do you know any animal odd couples?