The book, Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom, is a beautiful collection of heartwarming animal tales released in 2011 that features cross-species bonding. A cat and a bird. An elephant and a sheep. A snake and a hamster.
Watch five of the best videos from 2011 involving animals protecting each other, befriending and even shopping in unexpected ways.
Orangutan and Stray Hound Dog, Best Friends Now
An orangutan leaped at the chance to throw its long arms around a vagabond dog that had wandered from the woods. Within hours, the two were inseparable.
(National Geographic, April, 2011)
Friendship Between Dog and Elephant Ends, But Compassion Remains
Steve Hartman updates us on the elephant-dog friendship that blossomed in an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. A story of compassion between the most unlikely of friends.
For nearly a decade, Tara the elephant had been best friends with a dog named Bella — a mutt who wandered onto the sanctuary grounds and into the heart of the gentle giant.
Although the last chapter of this story is sad, the same compassion that warmed your heart the first time will surely make you smile again. (November, 2011)
When a Mother Goose Loses her Lifelong Mate, a Friendly Deer Steps in
In a Buffalo, NY cemetery, a mother goose has lost her lifelong mate and was left alone to tend her nest. She spends the day sheltering her eggs from the cold spring air.
The loss of her male partner now makes her vulnerable to any would-be predators who choose to approach the nest. But, in an unlikely twist of fate, an adult deer has taken over the role of protector.
There’s no known way that a deer and goose can communicate, yet somehow the deer has come to understand the need of the nesting mother. (April 2011)
Boaters Detangle Humpback Whale Saving its Life
Last summer, Michael Fishbach and his colleagues were on a small boat when they encountered a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net and on the verge of death.
Fishbach and Gershon Cohen founded The Great Whale Conservancy to help and protect whales, but never before had they been able to directly save one themselves.
With just a small knife and little time, the three men took over an hour to untangle the complex web of nylon netting. When finally the whale was freed, its display of joy is obvious, captured on video taken by another passenger.
Penguin Goes Shopping Every Day
Lala, the 10 year old King Penguin is so smart – he walks to the fish store every day with his little backpack to the shop.