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An otter and a kitten, a kangaroo and wombat and a monkey and a rabbit — just a few best buddy pairs that make some very odd couples.
Foes now friends
A wolf and a goat have unimaginably become friends in Xinjiang, China. Their paths crossed when the wolf was a newborn and the goat, who had recently had babies, had milk to share. Now the wolf is 3 years old and the two are inseperable.
A lonley, 4-month-old piglet was given to the St Francis Animal Welfare Shelter in Fair Oak, England by a family who could no longer care for her. Since then, the pint-sized Coco has become firm friends with German Shepherd Jay. The piglet is convinced she is a dog, and walks on a leash, fetches sticks and guards the other dogs. "Jay has taken her under her paw so to say and protects her when they run around together in the field," said center manager Sueltan Day.
Pony and pup
Poppy, a rescued Shetland Pony, and Tilly, a 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier, have become best friends at their home in Beechworth, Australia.
When 6 weeks old, this baby otter was an orphan after the suspected death of his mother. The Secret World Rescue in Somserset, England, introduced the otter to a family of four orphaned kittens also being cared for at the center. Now the group has become the best of friends.
This 11-week-old ocelot kitten, Santos, and his furry dog companion, Blakely, became best friends at Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio. Santos was born at the end of last year but has been moved to Cincinnati's nursery after his mother didn't produce enough milk. Blakely resides in the Cincinnati Zoo's nursery and is a companion dog to a wide variety of baby animals that come into the nursery for various reasons. The zoo says they spend time together almost every day by burning off energy during the cold winter months.
Lions, tigers and monkey, oh my!
A baby monkey, tiger and lion play together at a zoo in Shenyang, China on May 1, 2013.
A duckling and 6-week-old Kookaburra, nicknamed Kookie, have developed an unusual bond after both being orphaned at birth. Kookie had to be saved by staff at the Seaview Wildlife Encounter after his parents killed their other two offspring. The rare 2-day-old duckling was rescued from one of the park's aviaries because he was too small to defend himself against larger birds.
Kangaroo and wombat
At just over 5 months old, Anzac the kangaroo was brought to the Wild About Wildlife Kilmore Rescue Centre in Victoria, Australia after being rescued in the Macedon Ranges. Missing his mom, Anzac was placed with wombat Peggy and the two now sleep together.
Xena, the mini pig, and Jazz, the quaker parrot, are unlikely best of friends from Brisbane, Australia. According to their owner, the two are like brother and sister.
Pup and pig
After being rescued by Wendy Valentine, who runs Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk, UK, Tabitha, a piglet, forged an unlikely alliance with Susie, a rescue dog, at the shelther. They've been inseparable ever since.
When Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla. took in a cheetah cub that had been neglected by its mother, the park’s animal care team became inspired and paired the 8-week-old cat with a 16-week-old female yellow Labrador. A little over a year later, the two animals are the best of friends. They spend lots of supervised play time together and help the Busch Gardens’ education team teach the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild.
Peanut, a skunk, was introduced to two lion cubs, Annabelle and Lester, after Peanut was found orphaned in Northern Ontario, Canada.
This huge gorilla, named Fran and a tiny duckling became unlikely friends after the bird escaped into the ape's zoo enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, in N.Y.
Dog and deer
A dog named Shura licks an orphaned roe deer in the Simferopol zoo in Crimea. The deer was found close to its dead mother in a local forest.
Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe, a bluetick coonhound, became friends at a South Carolina preserve. Now they swim together, play together and Suryia even takes the dog for his walks.
Boar and bull
A young boar named Freddy looks for food as it stands beside Mario, a bull, in Ebergoetzen, Germany. Apparently separated from his pack, the young boar showed up among the herd of cattle about 6 weeks earlier and is fed from time to time by a cow.
A Harrisburg, Pennsylvania resident reports that her cat has struck up a special friendship with the neighboring wildlife, according to Lovemeow.com. Every morning, a local deer visits the cat, who reciprocates by grooming the much larger animal. The deer expresses its affection by licking the friendly feline.
Female dachshund Bessi lays in a basket with a 5-day-old baby tiger on May 20, 2013, at the wild animal park in Stroehen, Germany.
A black cat approaches a resting dog in Middlefield, Ohio, and then makes herself quite comfortable with her newfound friend. Family members said that the dog belonged to a neighbor, and the feline was one of their many barn cats.
At the Wildlives Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre in Thorrington, Colchester, UK, Prudence the piglet thinks she is a dog.
Laith, a lion, licks Dima, a tigress, in their cage at Ghamadan Zoo near Amman, Jordan.
Owner Steph Tuft, 25, takes duck Essy for a walk with her Staffordshire cross dogs Rachka and DD in Bournemouth, England. Essy, a 9-month-old Cherry Valley duck, thinks she is a dog and likes to walk with the other two pets.
Smaigel the cat nurses her kittens and four puppies at her owner house in Amman, Jordan. Smaigel is parenting the puppies, whose mother died in a car accident.
At the Shamwari Game Reserve, a baby elephant and sheep have become the best of pals. Eight-month-old orphan Themba the elephant struck up a friendship with wooly Albert after arriving at the reserve's animal hospital when he was just 6 months old. Themba's mum had fallen off a cliff and died at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, where Themba was born.
Tiger cubs sit in their feeding pen with a sow pig, who has become their surrogate mother, at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Pattaya, Thailand.
BoonLua, a long-tailed macaque, lives with Toby, a rabbit, in Thailand. BoonLua lost both its legs and one arm during an attack by dogs three years ago. It dragged itself to a nearby temple where it received medical treatment and survived. He now lives in a custom built enclosure with the rabbit.
Three-month-old tiger cub, Zoya, plays with Alsatian puppy Frida, in a special enclosure at the Warsaw Zoo in Poland. The dog is owned by a zoo employee and was introduced to the tiger so that she could have a companion for the next few months.
A small rabbit jumped onto the back of its neighboring big hippo to cool off itself as the temperature keeps rising in east China.
A female monkey clutches a pup as another monkey approaches in Jammu, India. The monkey lost her child and has adopted the pup, according to locals.
A female dog cuddles with a young elk, which was rescued from a flooding river by a farmer in South Korea. The dog breastfeeds and guards the elk.
Five-week-old young boar, Manni, enjoys playing with Jack Russell terrier, Candy, in Ehringhausen, Germany.
A tiger yawns as a pig stretches upon waking at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Pattaya, Thailand. The zoo promotes unusual groups, called Happy Families, of mixed species such as tigers, pigs and dogs.
Lots of love
Bea, a 3-year-old giraffe, and Wilma, an ostrich, share a moment at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla. Recently, zookeepers at Busch Gardens noticed the unlikely pair that just can't seem to get enough of one another.
Tortoise and the hippo
A baby hippo named Owen walks along with its "mother," a giant male Aldabran tortoise, at the Mombasa Haller Park in Mombasa, Kenya .The odd couple stayed together after the Asian tsumani reached the Kenyan shore and separated the young hippo from its mother.
Peas in a pod
A white dog nurses two red panda cubs in the zoo in Taiyuan in north China's Shanxi province. The two red panda cubs were abandoned by their mother at birth, and are now thriving at a northern China zoo, thanks to care from the dog
Three is company
A wild boar piglet named Schnitzel shares a bottle of milk with a Jack Russel terrier, Doro, and a ridgeback, Lilli, in Wiblingwerde, Germany. Schnitzel was left behind when farmer Heiko Cordt tried to chase away a herd of wild boars out of a friend's garden. Cordt now raises the piglet with his five dogs.