15 Uncommon Animal Friendships That Will Make You Cry

Some people still assume that animals are mindless beasts, but the unexpected animal friendships we’ve gathered here will demonstrate that they, too, are capable of feeling love and compassion.

All of these photos are heartbreakingly adorable, but there’s more to it than that. What prompted these creatures to form friendships? Lions, dogs, and elephants, for example, are recognized for building deep social bonds or even networks in the wild. Understandably, they would seek social bonds outside of their species in the absence of their pride or packs. Other more isolated animals especially if their parents are gone, may create parent-child relationships with creatures with whom they spend time or who helped rear them.

Regardless of the reason, extraordinary friendships like this demonstrate that animals are far more emotionally complicated than many humans imagine. These friendships might not be so exceptional after all! Meet Bella the Black Labrador and Bubbles the African Elephant.

Image credits: Barry Bland

Bubbles the elephant and Bella the black lab have become great friends despite their vast differences in size. Bubbles were rescued from ivory poachers in Africa and brought to a safari reserve in the United States while Bella was left there by a parking contractor. It’s fun to see the two interact, especially when Bella uses Bubbles as a diving board!

Image credits: PA

Bea the Giraffe and Wilma the Ostrich: During their time at Busch Gardens in the United States, Bea and Wilma became fast friends. They don’t have to spend time together because they share a 65-acre cage; they choose to do so.

Image credits: Torgeir Berge

Tinni the Dog and Sniffer the Wild Fox: Since meeting in the Norwegian woodlands, Tinni the dog and Sniffer the wild fox have been great friends. Tinni’s owner, Torgeir Berge, does his best to keep up with and photograph the couple as they play in the woods. Tinni lives in the Norwegian forests with his owner, photographer Torgeir Berge.


They met a wild fox named Sniffer while out walking in the woods one day. They became unexpected animal pals despite thousands of years of breeding and the social situations that separated them. Berge now follows the cute pair through the woods as they romp and play. Fortunately for the rest of us, he brings his camera with him to document the antics of these furry companions. The way the two cute animals interact reminds us those wild animals which many of us dread or despise, are sometimes far more akin to the domesticated animals we adore than we realize.

Image credits: Solent News and Photos

Torque the dog and Shrek the Owl: When Torque was only 6 months old, he adopted Shrek the owl chick. Shrek was taken away from his mother because his handlers were scared she would eat him if she was stressed. He’s doing fantastic now, and the two of them have become inseparable friends.

Image credits: SWNS

Dennis the Duckling and Fred the Labrador: Things were looking bleak for Dennis the duckling after his mother was injured by a fox. Dennis was found and rescued by Fred the Labrador and his owner Jeremy. Since then, Dennis and Fred have remained friends. Fred must have a huge heart since this isn’t the first time he’s stepped in to aid an orphan — he once adopted a baby deer.

Image credits: Anita Maric

Mabel the Chicken and the Pups: Mabel the Chicken was rescued from the pot due to a foot injury and when she was relocated into her owners’ home, she discovered a new delight — puppies! The year-old hen has taken to roosting on the puppies and keeping them warm for some reason even though their mother prefers the yard. So there you have it.

Image credits: Barcroft USA

Milo the Dog and Bonedigger the Lion: When it was discovered that Bonedigger the lion cub was suffering from a metabolic bone disease that rendered him crippled, Milo the little dachshund took him under his wing. The 500-pound lion is still best friends with the 11-pound dachshund and his two companions, Bullet and Angel, five years later.

Image credits: imgur.com

Fishermen on the edge of Lake Van in Turkey observed this odd duo of cat and fox playing. Aside from the fact that they’re quite cute and playful, not much is known about them.

Image credits: Barcroft Media

Shere Khan, Baloo, and Leo: The story of the tiger Shere Khan, the bear Baloo, and the lion Leo is extremely heartwarming. They were all rescued together from a drug dealer who had severely abused them. Baloo even required surgery to remove a harness that had grown into his skin and created abnormalities, although the owner had neglected to adjust it. The three buddies have become inseparable as a result of their shared experiences. They are being cared for at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in the United States.

Image credits: spiegel.de

Manni the Wild Boar Piglet and Candy the Dog: The Dahlhaus family spotted Manni the wild boar piglet starving in a pasture in southwest Germany and brought him home. Candy, their Jack Russell terrier, and struck it off right away when he was introduced to her. Manni is doing well since we last heard from him, and he will either stay with his family or relocate to a wildlife park.

Image credits: Busch Gardens Tampa

Kasi the Cheetah and Mtani the Labrador were raised together in the United States at Bush Gardens. Their odd friendship was a joy to observe when they were little. Kasi began to wander away from Mtani as he approached adolescence, becoming more interested in the female cheetahs in the neighboring enclosure. Kasi now spends more time with other cheetahs, but the two remain close friends and frequently visit schools and other locations together.

Image credits: Tanja Askani

Rabbit and Deer: This unique deer and rabbit combo were discovered by animal photographer Tanja Askani and appear to be straight out of Disney’s classic Bambi.

Suryia the Orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick Hound share a rare and endangered species reserve in the United States. While orangutans are critically endangered, dogs are not. Roscoe, on the other hand, has been living with her since he accompanied Suryia and her handlers’ home. He didn’t seem to have any other options, so he stayed with Suryia, and the two have remained close friends ever since.

Image credits: Isobel Springett

Kate the Great Dane and Pippin the Deer: Kate the compassionate Great Dane adopted Pippin the newborn deer. They were best friends as children but as Pippin grew older, she ventured out into the woods to start her own deer family. She does, however, continue to pay visits to Kate, and her owner.

Image credits: Bary Bland

Anjana the Chimpanzee with Tiger Babies: After their mother’s habitat was flooded during a hurricane, these two white tiger cubs were removed from her. Fortunately, Anjana the chimp and its caretaker, China York, were adopted by a U.S. wildlife sanctuary. We’re confident they’re in good hands because Anjana has assisted China in the care of a variety of orphaned animals.

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