Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hero dog risks life to save kittens from fire

Leo the terrier was hailed as a hero after he risked his life to save a litter of newborn kittens from a house fire in Melbourne, Australia. He had to be revived with oxygen and heart massage after his idea. Fire fighters who revived Leo said he refused to leave the building and was found by them alongside the litter of kittens.

Another video available here. Thanks to Aileen for sending this story.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baby monkey gets his own guard dog

According to Ananova, keepers at a Chinese Zoo have given an orphan monkey its own guard dog to prevent it from being bullied by bigger primates.

Thanks to Aileen for sending!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cat of the year

This is one of my new favorites.

Meet Cashew and Libby.

Libby was honored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as Cat of the Year. The Daily Item explained:
Cashew, a yellow Labrador/Shar Pei mix who died in 2005 at 14, gradually went blind and deaf due to old age, Terry said.

As the dog found it harder and harder to get around, Libby stepped in, leading her canine friend to her food bowl, waiting for Cashew's return from inside the Burns' home and watching over the dog while the two slept side-by-side.
According to the article, Libby hasn't gotten over the death of Cashew and is not interested in making friends with new dogs.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friends in Berlin can't bear to be apart

A cat and a bear have been living happily in a Berlin Zoo for more than eight years. The Sun explains:
Meet furry friends Mausi and Muschi – the cat and the bear who are a zoo’s odd couple.

The female moggy and the male Asian black bear live, eat, sleep and even play together.

Their unlikely friendship was forged seven years ago when Mausi entered Muschi’s enclosure at Germany’s Berlin Zoo and started to eat his food.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Try this on your cat

Caught this cool photo on Larry Ferrante's flickr.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas friends

Nice Christmas-themed animal friendship photo from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society - even though the hat looks like it was photoshopped.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Polar bear and huskies

Photographer Norbert Rosing captured these images of a 1,200 lb. polar bear playing with husky sled dogs in Canada's Hudson Bay. More photos here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Animal friendship puzzle is selling a 1,000 piece puzzle of this pic.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Friendship at the water's edge"

Reported in the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune in 2001 - Chino, a golden retriever, developed a friendship with this favorite fish, Falstaff. The pair "spend long stretches of time engrossed in each other's company."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dog is baby kangaroo's best friend

Rex, a German short-haired tiger cross, came upon a dead kangaroo in a road in Victoria, Australia. Amazingly, one of its joeys was alive in its mother's pouch. Rex rescued the joey, took it home, and dropped it at his owner's feet.

The Guardian reports that this dog and baby kangaroo are now best friends:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Golden retriever adopts tiger cubs

These tiger cubs were born just this Sunday at Safari Zoological Park in Kansas - but their mother soon abandoned them. Luckily Isabella the golden retriever just weaned her own puppies and was able to adopt the cubs:

Check out this NPR interview with Allie Harvey, who runs the zoo.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Owen and Mzee: world famous interspecies friends

Meet Owen and Mzee, the hippo and tortoise who became world-wide interspecies celebrities as a result of their astonishing friendship.

Owen, a baby hippo, was rescued in the Indian Ocean after the 2004 earthquake. He was put in a pen with Mzee, a 130-year-old Aldabra Giant Tortoise. Over time the two became inseparable companions - eating, sleeping, swimming, and playing together. And they became famous; Owen and Mzee: The true story of a remarkable friendship hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Caretakers eventually moved Owen to a new enclosure with a female hippo, Cleo, so the friendship has ended, but you can still enjoy these photos:

There's a great article in National Geographic about the pair, and you can check out much more at the Owen and Mzee web site.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cat adopts rabbit

Thanks to Eric and Deb for sending this awesome video of a Snaggle Puss the cat and Bubbles the baby rabbit:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sharky the pit bull and his chicks

I didn't want to wait until Easter next year to post this. Check out these two videos of Sharky the Pit Bull and his chicks:

There are many more videos of Sharky on YouTube.

Thanks to Corinne for sending.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NYT Sunday Book Review on interspecies friendship

I don't have a photo for this post, but I thought some might find this interesting anyway.

Believe it or not, two years ago the New York Times Sunday Book Review published a review of several books on interspecies friendships.

In "Can't We All Just Get Along?," author Sarah Ellis writes:
"What is it that so appeals to us about implausible animal cooperation? We humans seem to have a great hunger for the wolf to dwell with the lamb. Is this a vision of paradise? An alternative to our deep-seated fear that we are all either predator or prey? Whatever is at work, it is evident that we find stories of interspecies relationships deeply satisfying and that we are eager to present these to children."
Thanks to Andrea for sending this.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prey and predator share a cage

Not the cutest pair, but an unlikely animal friendship worth sharing nonetheless.

As reported in Ananova, a wolf and a goat have become inseparable after zookeepers in Nanchong had them share a cage:

According to the article, the wolf and goat do everything together - except share meals.

Thanks to Aileen for sending!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cat adopts red panda

An Artis zookeeper's tabby cat has adopted and is nursing an abandoned baby red panda cub in Amsterdam. She's smaller than her "brothers and sisters," but if she survives she'll grow to be slightly larger than a cat.

The red panda is an endangered species - there's an estimated 2,500 red pandas worldwide.

Check out this great video from MSNBC:

Thanks to Elaine for sending this!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A particularly odd friendship

How about this for an interspecial friendship: a rat has been living with a cat and her kittens in Yantai City. According to Ananova, the rat even drinks the cat's milk and plays with its "brothers and sisters." Apparently the cat's motherly instincts have trumped her predatory instincts as she is treating the rat the same as her own kittens:

Thanks to Aileen for sending this!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Orphaned tiger cubs and baby orangutans become inseparable

Tiger cubs and baby orangutans, abandoned by their mothers after birth, became loveable playmates in Taman Safari zoo in Indonesia in 2007. Natural enemies, they became inseparable friends.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail:

More background and photos from the Daily Mail and MSNBC.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Summer the Rabbit and smitten kittens

As reported by BBC News and the Daily Mail: Six tiny, abandoned kittens were brought into a veterinary branch in Aberdeen by veterinary nurse Melanie Humble. She thought her cat, Ellie, might show some interest - but instead it was Summer the Rabbit who quickly developed a friendship with the five-week-old kittens. Only five-months-old, Summer lets the frisky kittens snuggle close to her.

As reported in Ananova:
Melanie, 29, from Aberdeen, said: "It's amazing to see. For some reason they just took to the rabbit instantly and thought she was their mum.

"They started climbing all over her and were looking to get milk from her. She just sat there and let them do it.

"Now they follow her everywhere. They can't bear to be without her. They're all so lovely together."

Check out video of Summer and the kittens from STV.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Newborn squirrel joins pregnant Papillon's litter

An oldie but a goodie, first reported by the Seattle-Times in 2005: Debby Cantlon was asked by a friend to care for an abandoned, newborn squirrel found at the base of a tree. The squirrel was no more than one week old - it hadn't yet opened its eyes. It was found near what was thought to be its mother, dead from poisoning. Debby began caring for the squirrel, whom she named Finnegan.

Her pregnant Papillon, Mademoiselle Giselle, actively encouraged the orphan squirrel to join her own litter. Days before Giselle was due to deliver her puppies, she dragged the squirrel's cage to her own bedside. As the Seattle-Times explained, Debby "ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out and the interspecies bonding began":

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Eagle makes friends with rabbit

Not exactly the cutest pair, but I thought this was worth mentioning anyway.

From Ananova:
A rabbit and an eagle have become unlikely best friends in China. The owner of the eagle put the rabbit in its cage at Beizhamen Bird Market, Zhengzhou City, for the bird's dinner. But instead of following its predatory nature, the eagle made friends with the startled but fortunate rabbit.

"The rabbit very humbly combs the eagle's feathers with its mouth," the surprised owner told Oriental Today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The buck stops here

This endeering photo made it to the front page of reddit recently:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Real-life Bambi and Thumper

A series of photos by Tanja Askani captures a real life Bambi and Thumper.

As explained (in German) by Tanja on his website: Its mother killed shortly before its birth, the fawn was raised in a rural town with help from local townspeople. At first the wild rabbit and the fawn just grazed in the same area, but quickly became friends. Not even the cold winter months could separate them. When the fawn was old enough, the townspeople decided to release it back into the wild. The fawn was anesthetized for easier transport; the final photo shows the rabbit supporting the deer's sleepy head, as if it were saying goodbye.

The full story and many more photos are available on Tanja Askani's web site.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bird takes hamster under his wing

Unfortunately there isn't much context for this photo on Avi Abrams's Flickr page, but I couldn't resist sharing:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tiger and piglets in Thailand

At the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Thailand's Chonburi Province, zookeepers somehow have sparked a loving relationship between a Royal Bengal tigress and six tiny suckling piglets.

As explained in the Pattaya Mail, "Food in the wild, maybe - but at the zoo, tourists who witness these amazing scenes come away with food for thought."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Paternal dog Billy takes on an unusual kid"

Earlier this year the Daily Mail featured a story the unusual friendship between a boxer and a baby goat:
Billy the boxer has become the constant companion of the 12-day old kid called Lilly. He sleeps with the goat, licks her clean, and protects her from any dangers at Pennywell Farm wildlife centre at Buckfastleigh, near Totnes, Devon.

The kid was abandoned by her mother when she was only a few hours old and adopted by paternal Billy when his owner Elizabeth Tozer began hand rearing the goat.
Billy and Lilly - a most unusual pair - are now inseparable:

For some reason this reminds me of the movie Babe - must be the farm animals.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Puppy and kitten share a hug

Andrea Harner has this great photo of a puppy and kitten on her blog:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

BBC News: "Rare deer twin in the dog house"

As reported by the BBC, a fawn rejected by his mother has found stand-in parents in two dogs named Geoffrey and Kipper.

Mi-Lu was one of two fawns born to a Père David's deer at Knowsley Safari Park in the United Kingdom, but his mother showed interest only in his twin. Abandoned by his mother, the fawn was found cold and alone in a ditch by park staff. But with the help of the park curator's dogs Geoffrey, a golden retriever, and Kipper, a lurcher, staff were able to nurse Mi-Lu back to health.

(Père David's deer, originally from China, are a critically endangered species; at one time there were only 18 left in the world!)

Here's a photo of Mi-Lu with one of his adoptive parents:

Monday, December 1, 2008

"The abandoned monkey who has found love with a pigeon"

In September 2007 the Daily Mail reported: "A monkey and a pigeon have become inseparable at an animal sanctuary in China."

Simply put, this is the photo that inspired me to keep this blog.

Abandoned by his mother, this 3-month-old baby macaque was found on the verge of death when it was rescued on a small island in Guangdong Province. He regained his health in an animal hospital, but remained sad — until a friendship with a white pigeon lifted his spirits and gave him a new lease on life.

Now this orphaned macaque is never far from the pigeon’s side: