Check out these animals adopting other animal species! From zoo animals to wildlife, this top 10 list of animals that adopted and rescued other animals is heartwarming!
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11. Gorilla and Kittens
You might be familiar with Koko the Gorilla because of her famous friendship with actor and comedian Robin Williams. She’s well known for her role in language research and is the subject of many children’s books.
Koko is able to communicate through sign language using over 1,000 words and can understand around 2,000 spoken words. She was born in 1971 and has been working with animal psychologist Penny Patterson since she was very young. She surprised everyone when she used her language skills to ask for something surprising: a kitten!
Her caretakers, thinking she wouldn’t know the difference, gave her a stuffed kitten. Gorillas are incredibly strong animals and they were worried that Koko would hurt a kitten by accident. However, she did know the difference and signed the word “sad” when they tried to give her the stuffed animal. Like, you know what I’m saying but you are ignoring me!
They decided to give it a try and Patterson brought her to a kitten and carefully supervised the interactions. Koko named the kitty “All Ball”. To everyone’s surprise, she showed extreme care when playing with All Ball. She was gentle, loving, and patient. She also tried to use All Ball as a convenient scapegoat. When Koko ripped a sink from the wall, she tried to blame it on the cat! The story about a gorilla asking for a pet kitten broke the news all over the world.
One day, though, All Ball escaped Koko’s enclosure and was hit by a car. Her caretakers were forced to break the news and Koko signed “bad”, “cry”, “sad”, and “frown” over and over. Gorillas can’t cry like humans and this was the only way she could express her grief.
Over the years, Koko has had several pet cats and continues to raise awareness to save gorillas.
10. Cat and a Squirrel
Cats who have recently given birth are known for their strong mothering instinct. That can turn even the most fearsome hunter into a loving parent.
Shortly after giving birth to a litter, Emmy the cat found a baby squirrel in her owner’s yard, or her yard, depending on how you want to look at it. Squirrels are usually prey to cats and don’t stand much of a chance. However, perhaps due to a mix of hormones and the baby squirrel’s noises of distress, Emmy decided to adopt the squirrel rather than eat it. Maybe she was just a very nice cat!
Emmy’s owner could no longer take care of her and her children. They were passed on to new owners and the strange addition was named “Rocky”. Rocky became so integrated into his new family that he even learned how to purr just like a cat.
9. The Fox and the Hound
The Disney version of The Fox and the Hound is one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen, I couldn’t even watch it as a kid because just thinking about it made me start crying.
The good news is that there is a real life version of this story that has a much better ending!
A Norwegian photographer named Torgeir Berge owns a German Shepherd named Tinni. One day, the pair were walking through the woods near Berge’s home when they found an orphaned baby fox. Berge allowed Tinny to play with the fox, who Berge named Sniffer. The pair spent the entire day together. When it came time to go, Berge didn’t try to take the fox with him but left him to fend for itself. The fox was old enough to survive on its own and Berge didn’t know hot to take care of a wild fox. Which just as a side not, you shouldn’t take wild animals home with you either…
The friendship born on that day remained and when Berge would take Tinni out for walks, Sniffer the fox would come and they would spend hours playing together. Berge took beautiful photos of the friendship in order to raise awareness and denounce the killing of foxes for their fur.
8. Pig and a Lamb
Rescued from a factory farm, Edgar Allen Pig lived on a farm sanctuary in Australia. In fact, he’s the namesake of the sanctuary, which is called Edgar’s Mission. The owner of Edgar’s Mission taught Edgar how to walk on a leash so that he could better serve as an ambassador and draw attention to the inhumane treatment of farm animals. Not many people had seen a pig walking on a leash in Australia!
It wasn’t long after his arrival that Edgar showed a talent one wouldn’t assign to a pig: he made an excellent foster father.
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