Nature continuously surprises us with its un-ending diversity of creatures and bonds. There was the octopus mother who brooded over her eggs for 4.5 years without eating, the pair of gay penguins in Madrid who adopted an abandoned egg and animal bonds that have shocked the world. Here are some of the most unexpected animal friendships:
The orangutan and the hound
Surya, the orangutan, and Roscoe, the Blue Tick Hound met by a river in South Carolina. Surya was on an outing with carers from the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species when he first laid eyes on the hound. His carers says the bond between the two was immediate. Roscoe followed the group back to Surya's sanctuary and found the orangutan enclosure immediately.
The pair have been inseparable since. Surya shares all of his food with Roscoe and the two like going on walks together.
Watch the video, these two play like toddlers:
The tortoise and the hippo
In 2010, a baby hippo was found alone on a beach in Kenya. Conservationists say the hippo, named Owen, had been swept away from his family by strong waves that rocked the coast after a tsunami. Rescuers brought Owen to an animal sanctuary and with nowhere to put him, placed him in an enclosure with large Aldabran tortoises. He went straight over to Mzee, a 130-year-old tortoise. But the bond wasn't immediate. Mzee, whose name means 'old man' or 'elder,' wasn't taken by the 660 pound baby. Eventually, though, Mzee gave in. Now the pair eat together, sleep together and swim together. Staff say Owen behaves more like a tortoise than a hippo.
The sheep and the elephant
When Albert the sheep was brought in to keep an orphaned elephant company, the elephant was not impressed. He charged at Albert, but Albert was quick enough to run away. Before long, the baby elephant got used to the sheep and the pair played together and slept together.
The cat and the crow
This story is a bit older. Back in the 90's a couple saw an abandoned kitten out on the street. Beside it was a crow - keeping it company. The pair played together and looked out for each other until the human couple took the cat in and adopted her. The crow came calling for the cat, named Cassie, for four years but the pair were never reunited and the crow eventually went away.
The lion and the oryx
When this story hit the news it moved many people. Against her instincts, a lioness adopted a baby oryx and began caring for it like her own. The story ended sadly when the baby oryx was killed by another lion, and the lioness showed clear signs of pain and distress, but in the following years she would adopt more baby oryxes.