22+ Extraordinary Human and Animal Friendships

1-The Cat Who Drew The Girl Out of Her Shell

6-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw has autism, characterized by irregular sleep patterns, doesn’t make eye contact, obsessive behavior and refusing to play with her family and other children. When Thula the cat came into her life, Iris began to speak. She would say ‘sit, cat’ and Thula would obey. Her speech therapy has improved in leaps and bounds, and Thula even encouraged her to play and paint.

2- Agee, the polar bear

America is home to many exotic pets, but we think Mark’s polar bear certainly takes the owning of these wild animals to the next level! Not only does he devote his days feeding, caring, and playing with the polar bear, he also shares his pool and bed with it!
But this ashen giant of a fluffball is a gentle giant, hugging and playing all day and night with his human best friend.

3-Man And Goose Are Inseparable

Dominic Ehrler, a retired salesman, befriended a gray goose named Maria in Echo Park. The two are inseparable, taking walks around the park where they first encountered each other. It started 10 months ago when the goose just simply started following Dominic. He wasn’t feeding or coaxing the goose, but there was something about Dominic that Maria the goose wouldn’t leave his side. “She thinks she owns me,” Dominic said. “Other geese aren’t allowed to be near me on account of Maria.”

4- Two Guys Befriended A Lion Cub

Friends Ace Berg and John Rendall bought a 35 lb. lion cub at Harrods in 1969. They called the cub ‘Christian’, but within one year they face a problem: Christian was getting too big to keep. They knew sooner or later that they couldn’t keep him any longer and they had to send their pet away to Africa where the cub was rehabilitated before being released to the wild.

5-Woman And Her Alligator

Mary Thorn adopted Rambo some 11 years ago when the alligator was still a baby reptile. Under her care, the alligator has been potty trained, understands sign language and can even ride a quad bike.
In order to keep the 6-foot long alligator, she has to move to a property with 2.5 acres of open space or give him up to a sanctuary. Mary explains her friendship with Rambo. “He’s like my son. He’s family.”

6- Ron Bridges and his pet buffalo

YouTube/ ABC News

Self-described rodeo enthusiast Ron Bridges gave his pet bison buffalo an unusual home in the form of his very own house! Initially, nurturing responsibilities were left to his son, but in time, Ron Bridges had lost sight in one eye and had to sell many of his valuables. But he decided to keep the buffalo and with time, gave him more freedoms. And instead of running wild through their home and destroying their possessions like a bull in a china shop, the 2500 lbs buffalo, whom they named Wild Thing, defies age-old adages and has been well behaved ever since he was first to let in and has been living in their house ever since. Wild by name, domestic by nature.

7. Joao Pereira and his best friend, Dindim

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Joao Pereira de Souza had spent most of his life working as a fisherman in Rio de Janeiro when an unlikely encounter would change his life. Noticing a moving object covered in oil, Souza came to the aid of an injured penguin. If he arrived any later, it is likely he would have died. In time, Souza spent hours of his time nursing the penguin back to health, and in that time, they struck up an incredible bond, so it was almost of great sadness when the fisherman realized Dindim was well enough to be released back into the wild. However, the adorable penguin has traveled back to Joao for at least 8 months a year, proving how special their bond is.

8. A 5-year-old girl befriends a cute duck

Facebook/ snowflake

It’s every child’s dream to own a cute pet. A hamster is usually a good introduction to the world of pet ownership. From there, parents might be willing to give in and gift their child a puppy. But when Kylie got a duck at 5, an enduring friendship was quickly formed. In a story that looks like something straight out of a Disney movie, Kylie and her pet duck Snowflake quickly became inseparable, taking walks in the park, attending football games, and going to the local mall.

9. A zookeeper reunites with the gorilla he helped bring back to life

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An extraordinary reunion involving an Australian zookeeper and a gorilla was caught on camera by Australia’s 60 Minutes series 5 years after the gorilla was released back into the wild. It was a beautiful sight, and one made more so by Kwibi’s stunned reaction as his former friend and carer came rushing to greet him. Kwibi then spent the night with his human pal and also introduced Aspinall to his family.

10. Derrick Thompson’s magical elephant

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Derrick Thompson has been instrumental in founding and running the Save Elephant Foundation. In his time there, he has helped rescue countless baby elephants and nursed them back to life before releasing them back to their natural habitat. However, one such elephant, who he called Kham Lha, demonstrated just how caring elephants can be when she rushed across a lake and offered its trunk in a bid to “save” Derrick. Though he appeared to be drowning, Derrick was just fine, but it was Lha’s offer of her trunk to hold on to that truly melted Thompson’s heart.

11. Frikkie Von Solms and his best friend

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69-year-old Frikkie Von Solms is like many in his country in that he is accustomed to seeing wild lions and other dangerous animals. However, Solms probably knows more about wild animals than anyone else. For the past 11 years, the lion caretaker has raised Zion and become the best of friends with him. While he has done this with 19 other lions, Zion’s infectious energy and love quickly rubbed off on the seasoned caretaker after being
separated from its mother and father at birth.

12. Kevin Richardson’s career with wild animals

Wikimedia Commons via Kevin Richardson
Known in many circles as “The Lion Whisperer” Kevin Richardson is another South African well versed in dealing with wild animals. However, unlike many in his profession, Richardson is a self-taught zookeeper who has raised some of the world’s most dangerous
wild animals, from lions to hyenas and leopards. Despite being scratched, punctured and beaten, Richardson’s Welgedacht Private Game Reserve near Pretoria continues to thrive
.13. Brutus the grizzly bear
Facebook/ Brutus the Bear

Meet Brutus, an 800 pounds grizzly bear that soon became Casey Anderson’s best friend. Casey, a naturalist, was there for Brutus when he was just 2 weeks old after coming to its aid in an overpopulated wildlife park. Today, Brutus is living a life far removed from the hardships it faced at birth in a sanctuary that Casey built for all things-grizzly bears. While it may be shocking to casual observers, Brutus and Casey’s friendship is entirely safe with Casey being able to predict Brutus’s every move.

14. Got your goat

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An elderly Australian farmer slipped and fell while out feeding his animals and broke a hip.
Unable to move he lay there for five days in hope someone would find him, in the meantime,  his goat Mandy slept next to him to keep him warm and let him drink her milk for sustenance.

15. Jessica the hippo

YouTube/ Animal Planet

Jessica, like many domesticated wild animals, was found injured by South Africans Tonie and Shirley Joubert, who soon nursed her back to health. However, while Jessica now roams the nearby river with her fellow species, she still sees her rescuers. When she steps foot on dry land, she can expect to be greeted with a bottle of her favorite tea, share the porch with the family dog and eat dinner in the kitchen. Not a bad life.

16. The Wolf Man

YouTube/ Barcroft TV

Shaun Ellis, 47, isn’t your average middle-aged man. Instead, he’s devoted his life to a pack of wolves, whom he eats, sleeps and plays with. Going native, he rarely washes, and even eats the same horse meat his wolf friends so savagely devour. Ellis did this for some time, often sleeping in a similar muddy habitat to theirs until he met his wife Isla, 30 at a friend’s house. Since marrying her, Isla has moved into his home and adopted his unusual but fascinating life with the wolves.

17. The sister he never had

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When this 5-year-old’s father found a 1.3 meter python in their bathroom for the second time in days, he initially thought of destroying it. However, on second thought he was compelled to keep it and give it to his son to play with. Mad, right? Well, this story gets even more bizarre. Shortly after deciding to keep it, his son struck up a strong bond with the snake named Lucky. Now weighing more than 5 meters, this reptile could easily swallow its owner, but instead lives off a diet of duck meat and chicken. The besotted owner said Lucky is the sister he never had. That’s one way of putting it

18. Jimbo the bear

YouTube/ Mad Lab

Jim and Jimbo’s story was documented on the popular YouTube video of Jim nursing back Jimbo to life. But upon recovery, Jimbo exhibited few signs of wanting to return to his natural home, and insisted on staying put! Today, Jim has expanded his animal goodness to other bears by opening up his very own rehabilitation center for bears just like Jimbo.

19. Orlando to the rescue

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Service dog Orlando, saved his owner who fainted and fell on train tracks. Jumping down to him, the dog dragged him to the center of the tracks and lay over him in a miracle situation where the train went over both of them.

20. Taking a bullet

YouTube/ ABC News

Pitbull Kilo was at the brunt of a vicious attack when a home invader tried to force his way into the house of his owner Becker. Trying to force his way into the house, Kilo attacked the man only to be shot in the skull at close range. Fortunately, the attacker was scared off and Kilo received the medical attention that saved his life.

21. Janice’s Bengal tiger sanctuary

YouTube/ MadLab

Janice Hailey has become something of a saint in Orlando for her ability to nurse cub tigers back to health and give them a loving home. While in the confines of cages, Hailey spends hours of her day not only feeding them but also interacting with them and keeping them entertained. Bengal tigers have been a mainstay fixture in Hailey’s household for over 20 years. Her work is aided by her husband and daughter, who continue to be the leading lights in this field.

22. Tippi’s wild childhood

YouTube/ MadLab

Tippi Hedren is the daughter of Sylvie Robert and Alain Degre, two French wildlife photographers who found themselves out in the wilds of Africa when she was born. Documenting the amazing wild animals of the continent, her parents would often
capture these stunning creatures as they interacted with their child who, growing up around the beasts, was completely fearless. Just take this stunning photo. Cheetahs aren’t the biggest, strongest or most aggressive of big cats since they are mostly built for
speed rather than strength but they do still have enough power to bring down an antelope and snap its neck so we’re not so sure we’d be too cool with one giving us a taste, just in case. Tippi, however, does not care for our fear and is an absolute boss with her cat friend.

23. Nothing to see her… just a man and his best friend watching life go by

YouTube/ MadLab

How cute is this? The poor pelican had found itself injured during a wild storm until a man spotted its plight and aided it back to health. Its savior Gefforey built up a unique bond with it during its recovery phase and they have hung out together ever since.
Often inseparable at times, these typical pack animals demonstrated that in rare cases, love and friendship know no bounds.

24. One woman’s unique bond with a group of lions

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You may have already come across this fascinating story of one woman’s unique bond with a group of lions in a South African reserve. If you haven’t then you’ll be shocked to know that Lazmi, a volunteer at the nature reserve, has bonded so well with these lions they treat her as one of their own. Due to their strong bond, the lions treat her as an authoritative figure and acknowledges her as a constant dominating figure in their lives, so much so that she can get, as Animal Planet described it, ” kissably close.”

25. Gilberto and his crocodile

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One fisherman on our list befriended a penguin, and another made an unlikely bond with a crocodile! Yes, Shedden, in a story similar to a Joao’s, found a croc seriously injured on a riverbank so took great care of it, despite putting his own life at risk. Naming the feared reptile Pocho, Gilberto released him into a river after nursing it back to health, but found him lurking at his veranda the very next day! From there, Pocho never left his rescuer’s side.

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