Things That Matter

11 Unexpected Animal Friends That Will Make You Smile

Our animal friends are constantly present in our lives. In fact, most of us have a best furry friend waiting for us at home! They sleep next to us, share our lives, and comfort us when we get bad news. While they don’t look anything like us (preferring kibble over a nice bowl of cereal and often need a lot more brushing than us) we still consider them our best friends. That’s why it shouldn’t surprise us that our animal friends sometimes make surprising friendships of their own, despite all the differences. Here are 11 animal kingdom friends who clearly recognize their best bud despite looking (and acting) so differently:

1. Meet Pickles and Dill.

Credit: @LivingWithPickles / Instagram

Pickles has a somewhat sad beginning, as his humans rescued him from a farm once it became flooded as a piglet. Fortunately, his human parents have spoiled him ever since, and he lives his best life with his human friends and many animal siblings. His favorite friend, though, is his brother, Dill. Dill is a French Bulldog mix, and Pickles and he get along like peas and carrots. Possibly because they share so many favorite hobbies!

Pickles and Dill love taking naps together.

Credit: @LivingWithPickles / Instagram

Pickles and Dill love to take naps together, make fascinating sound effects (they both sound like little piggies when they get going), and finding ways so they both get into the dog food. With a name like Dill and Pickles, they were clearly destined to be together, and love growing up together in their new home.

2. Meet Champy and Morris.

Credit: @Champy_and_Morris / Instagram

Morris, a rescue brought from the local shelter to live his best life on the farm, was at first a regular of the front porch and didn’t take too much interest in his fellow animals. Champy took an interest right away. While Morris wasn’t too sure at first, Champy persisted, and a firm friendship was found after a few weeks.

Morris is always ready for a ride from his bud.

Credit: @Champy_and_Morris / Instagram

While Morris was a little shy at first, this definitely wasn’t for long. Champy now spends most of his time with a tiny rider in tow while he grazes and goes about the property. Morris has tried to make friends with the other horses, he hasn’t been successful yet. Luckily, Champy is happy to have someone visit him in the field and to have conversations with and Morris is always happy to take a ride with his best friend.

3. Meet Rudy and Barclay.

Credit: @ducksmakegreatpets / Instagram

While Barclay’s littermates were going off to be siblings to humans, cats, and other dogs, he was meant for something special: to take care of a flock of ducks! Barclay lives with his human parents and his feathered friends and lives a very fun life. While Barclay is getting on in age, he definitely is kept on his toes by Rudy and the gang. Despite living with so many other animals, Rudy and Barclay have a special bond.

Rudy and Barclay aren’t always about placing their ducks in the water.

Credit: @ducksmakegreatpets / Instagram

Barclay and Rudy love to nap together, wrestle when the mood strikes, and they really love to take naps as well. Rudy will even forgo a good swim if Barclay is looking for a nap buddy. They’ll even share a bowl of peas, as long as the rest of the gang doesn’t grab them first!

4. Meet Bubbles and Bella.

Credit: @Andrianalynn16 / Instagram

The story of Bubbles and Bella’s friendship is as heartwarming as it gets: Bubbles was orphaned and taken in and trained to perform many tricks. Bubbles was even a movie star and appeared in many videos. As an adult, though, she didn’t quite fit in with the other elephants. That’s where Bella comes in. When a pool was built for Bubbles, the contractor left Bella behind when he finished. At first, Bella was scared and nervous, but soon blossomed, and immediately was drawn to Bubbles.

Bubbles and Bella are best friends on Instagram and in real life.

Credit: @Rexyissexy / Instagram

Now, Bubbles helps Bella learn how to play, something Bella probably didn’t do a lot of. Bella helps Bubbles by showing her love, carrying around her drinking bowl and toys, and taking long naps with her when they get tired. Fortunately, they both enjoy the water and spend a lot of time swimming together, including playing with each other in the water.

5. Meet Smeller and Puff.

Credit: @Puff_the_Bearded_Dragon128 / Instagram

Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that two heat-seeking animals like a lizard and a cat would become best buds, but these two still turn heads. Smeller and Puff both seem to have a special bond that has nothing to do with their shared grooming habits, but more to do with their love of cuddling.

These unexpected animal friends love to snuggle together.

Credit: @Puff_the_Bearded_Dragon128 / Instagram

Puff and Smeller both share a love of catching small insects (although Puff tends to eat them afterwards and Smeller usually walks away) and Smeller has been known to climb into Puff’s house to catch some heat lamp time. While Bearded Dragons aren’t particularly known for being affectionate, anyone can look at the smile on Puff’s face to realize that he’s loving every minute in Smeller’s life. Such good pals definitely belong together but are definitely make an unlikely animal friendship.

6. Meet Suryia and Roscoe.

Credit: @docantle / Instagram

Suryia and Roscoe are extra unexpected as they became friends after a chance encounter when Roscoe slipped into the Wildlife Sanctuary where Suryia was living. Roscoe, a stray who was a little bit too thin, was fed by animal caretakers and allowed to follow them as they worked. As soon as Roscoe spotted Suryia, a bond was formed. While dogs are normally afraid of primates, Roscoe immediately took to Suryia, and Suryia immediately made friends with him.

These furry friends also have some very famous friends.

Credit: @saltsox / Instgram

Suryia, an orangutang who helps raise orphaned and baby primates, may have a lot of love to give, but Roscoe is a good friend in return. Suryia often takes Roscoe for walks around the sanctuary where they both stay, feeds him chimp biscuits, and sometimes they even go for rides on their animal friend, Bubbles (not the same Bubbles as with Bella). They are so famous, they even have been recognized by National Geographic and Oprah for their special friendship.

7. Meet Bacon and Pepino.

Credit: @Bacon_the_Piglet / Instagram

You know you’re in for a good story when you hear about a pig named Bacon! Bacon is a baby piglet who lives with his porcine brother Pancetta. Bacon also has a soft spot for pups, which is where Pepino comes in. While both Bacon and Pepino both love taking naps, they also find that they share a love of sniffing out mischief, making new friends, and digging under blankets.

This pig and dog are taking over the world.

Credit: @Bacon_the_Piglet /  Instagram

While Bacon and Pepino may surprise people passing by while they are out and about, they soon win people over with their smiling faces, friendly kisses, and obvious love of each other. Bacon is growing up into a very handsome adult piggy, so is a little bigger than Pepino now, but they both maintain their fast friendship.

8. Meet Osiris and Riff.

Credit: @OsirisAndFriends / Instagram

Osiris might be a tall and beautiful pup, but Riff won’t be left out on their adventures, even if he is just a rat! Osiris is a rescued mutt living in the fast and fun city of Chicago and his human parents are big believers in big families. That’s why Osiris has some surprising siblings, from rats, to cats, to anything else that might need help. Osiris plays his part by providing warm cuddles and the occasional piggyback ride.

Osiris is a good sport about giving Riffa a lift.

Credit: @OsirisAndFriends / Instagram

While rats often get a bad rap, Riff prooves Osiris with plenty of love, play time, and snuggles. Osiris just seems happy to have someone along for the ride! While Riff has other rat siblings, only he can be found going for a lift on Osiris’s back.

9. Meet Antoine and Mir.

Credit: Instagram @AntoinesFund

When Antoine’s human family found him, he was just a husky who was paralyzed due to an unknown cause. Without them, though, he would probably not have lasted long. That’s when they brought him to their farm, already full of plenty of farm animals in the process of rehabilitating, where he met up with Mir. While Antoine is still undergoing plenty of physical therapy (and making slow but sure progress), he’s making the most of life by making friends.

It’s adorable how Antoine is always there to provide company.

Credit: @AntoinesFund / Instagram

While horses are normally afraid of dogs as they are a little bit too much like predators, Mir and Antoine have a special bond. Antoine frequently keeps company with Mir while they are out in the paddock, and always make sure to make small talk. While Antoine has plenty of recovering to do from his paralysis, Mir helps to raise his spirits.

10. Meet Sniffer and Tinni.

Credit: @OrganicBurst / Instagram

Sniffer and Tinni, the real-life inspirations for the Fox and the Hound movie, are exactly as adorable as you’d expect a fox and Norweigian hound to be. Tinni met Sniffer in the forest in Norway when walking with his human parent, and, despite having a reputation for not getting along with humans or dogs, Sniffer was instantly smitten.

Sniffer and Tinni are the real life ‘Fox and Hound.’

Credit: @istapetofficial / Instagram

Sniffer and Tinni are more than best friends now, they not only run around the woods together doing exactly what best friends do, they’ve become the image of interspecies friendships! Their favorite thing to do is to run around and play tag, and to see who can get the farthest first. When not running as fast as they can, they love to wrestle and snuggle when tired. Who’d know they weren’t brothers!

11. Meet Kate and Pippin.

Credit: @Isobel_Springett / Instagram

While it might be unexpected to see a giant pooch and a deer running around playing, it has become completely normal for neighbors of Kate and Pippin. Pippin, a deer found in the lawn of a home in British Colombia, has learned that good things come of approaching houses and has made a habit of it ever since meeting Kate. Kate, in turn, has learned that she has a best friend in Pippin, and always begs to go out and play when she spots him in the yard.

These two have a special bond no one saw coming.

Credit: @Isobel_Springett / Instagram

Pippin, the deer, was found as a baby several years ago and was instantly drawn to Kate the Great Dane. While still a fawn, Pippin learned to look up to Kate as a parental figure. As she grew, Pippin learn that Kate could also be the best play partner ever! While Pippin is now quite a bit taller than Kate, they still get together to play the odd game of chase and to catch up on the gossip.

Videos Show That Bears In This Mexican Park Are Getting Way Too Close For Comfort

Culture

Videos Show That Bears In This Mexican Park Are Getting Way Too Close For Comfort

@lzaroRos5 / Twitter

Imagine you’re out taking a stroll in nature, trying to get some fresh air amid all of this chaos. You feel something brush your back and you turn to look behind you and there’s a massive bear.

Well that’s exactly what’s happened on at least two occasions (both of which have been caught on video) in a park outside of Monterrey, Mexico. Groups of hikers are coming into increased contact with Black Bears as they enter more populated areas to search for food and water.

Although the videos look amazing and have quickly gone viral, this bear is getting way too close for comfort.

It all started when a video went viral showing a Black Bear standing up and smelling a woman’s hair.

A series of videos have gone viral on Mexican Twitter as they show a Black Bear getting way too close for comfort to hikers outside Monterrey. The first video showed a group of women hiking the trails of Monterrey’s Chipinque Ecological Park when they got some unwanted attention from a highly curious Black Bear.

The medium-sized bear, captured on a 59-second video, can be seen sniffing the women’s legs and torsos and in one case, getting up on its hind legs and placing its front paws on a woman’s shoulders as it sniffs her hair.

The women in the video appear to do a good job at following the advice from experts to protect themselves from any aggressive behavior. They remained calm and still and waited until the bear left to begin to move. However, the video does also show one of the women attempting to take a selfie as the bear sniffs her hair – not sure how she remained so calm?!

It turns out, the bear has approached another hiker in the same area.

Then, just a few days later, the same bear (identified by a marker on its ear) had another close encounter with another woman at the same park – where such interactions with humans are occurring on an increasingly frequent basis. 

In a video clip of Tuesday’s incident, a woman is approached by the medium-sized bear who sniffs her and lightly paws at her while her husband films the scene, urging her to stay calm. “What should I do?” the woman asks the man, who replies, “Don’t move, stay there.” 

The man remarks that the bear appears very playful, but the tension in his voice escalates as the bear grabs the woman’s leg with its paw. “Bear, bear, come here,” the man says before the clip ends.

Park officials are concerned and say this isn’t natural behavior.

Credit: Paul Farrower / Getty Images

Bears are typically terrified of people. Attacks are very rare. So this type of approach by the Black Bear is considered abnormal behavior caused by human beings. Park representatives said in a statement that “the interaction shown in the video should have been avoided; what is recommended is to move away when detecting the presence of the bear and not approach.”

The bear in question has already been captured twice and released at the request of neighbors, the park said, but as the animal appears to have lost all fear of humans, it will need to be recaptured and sent either to a zoo or an area less populated by people. 

Gustavo Treviño, general director of Parks and Wildlife in Nuevo León, told the newspaper Milenio that 26 bear sightings have been reported in the municipalities of San Pedro, Santa Catarina and Monterrey. He urged citizens to avoid all contact with them and not to feed them or take photos.

The incidents took place outside Monterrey and officials say bears are quite common in the area.

Credit: Humane Society of U.S.

Bear sightings are quite common in this part of Mexico. The two incidents took place in Chipinque Park, which is part of the larger Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in the eastern Sierra Madre mountains.

According to experts, this type of sighting is not unusual in the park during certain times of the year, when bears come down from the mountains in search of food and water. The bears even appear in residential areas.

Black bears are considered to be an endangered species in Mexico, due to the destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting. However, its only protected population is in Sierra del Burro, part of the eastern Sierra Madre mountain range which lies in the state of Coahuila.

We Don’t Deserve Dogs: Our Furry Friends Are Helping Deliver Groceries In Colombia And It’s Too Perfect

Things That Matter

We Don’t Deserve Dogs: Our Furry Friends Are Helping Deliver Groceries In Colombia And It’s Too Perfect

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Once again, dogs prove that they really are our best friend. And they’re proving themselves to be “essential workers” as the world continues to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

As social distancing measures became mandatory across Colombia – and the world for that matter – one market in Medellín enlisted the help of their dog Eros, who has helped deliver groceries to local residents who are high-risk of Coronavirus infection.

Dogs are essential workers in some Colombia towns as they help deliver groceries to high-risk residents.

Across the world, social distancing and no-contact delivery have become the norm as communities try to reduce the risk of Coronavirus infection. In Colombia, a dog has joined a force of ‘essential workers’ during the pandemic as he helps to deliver groceries to people at higher risk of Coronavirus complications.

Eight-year-old Eros trots through the streets of this hilly city of Medellín several times a day with a straw basket held in his mouth, plying vegetables, fruit and packaged foods to customers. The friendly Labrador Retriever has been helping the store owner and customers with deliveries in exchange for treats and and few scratches and cuddles.

OK, but a dog doesn’t know people’s addresses so how does he make deliveries?

Credit: Luis Benavides / Getty Images

When the shop first opened, Eros would accompany the store’s owner as she made deliveries to local residents. Over time Eros remembered customer’s names and where they lived, since most greeted him with treats. With some fine tuning, he has learned to go to their houses on his own simply by telling him the name of the delivery customer. According to the store owner the four-legged delivery personnel is super adamant that he be rewarded for his work with a tip: he won’t leave your house until you give him a treat.

The dog knows the names of about five or six of the store’s regular customers and drops by their home to bring in items. The store’s owner sends Eros with a receipt in the basket and the customers pay the bill through a bank transfer.

Although numbers are high, compared to its neighbors in Latin America, Colombia has escaped the worst of the Coronavirus.

As of July 16, Colombia has recorded more than 165,000 cases of Coronavirus and almost 6,000 people have died. Although these numbers show that Colombia is experiencing its own Covid-19 pandemic, compared to other countries across South America, Colombia has fared quite well.

Many credit the lower numbers to the government’s strict lockdown orders at the beginning of the crisis. City governments had to impose strict social distancing measures, limiting the number of days per week that people can go shopping and even shut down their international borders to all travelers – including Colombians trying to return home from abroad. Many credit these strict measures with helping flatten the curve.

The country has also launched a pilot program using dogs to help sniff out the virus.

Aside from dogs helping to deliver groceries, the country has also launched a study – similar to others around the world – to use dogs to help sniff out the Coronavirus in humans.

Medellín has decades of experience training canines to sniff-out illegal drugs, contraband foods and explosives. While working the frontline of narcotics interception at airports and other entry points continue, researchers from the Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad Nacional and the University of Wisconsin have teamed up on a project to teach sniffer dogs how to detect the odor of COVID-19 in symptomatic individuals.

Joining other similar studies around the world in which dogs can detect infectious diseases, cancers and Parkinson’s with incredible accuracy, six dogs are in training sessions. The objective is to increase COVID-19 detection capacity among 100 dogs.

According to doctor and researcher Ómar Vesga Meneses, to carry out the project, saliva samples were taken from 12 patients infected with coronavirus and receiving treatment at San Vicente Fundación hospital in Medellín. Although dogs have outstanding metrics in diagnosing 99% of cases, the investigation is currently focusing on persons with confirmed cases of Coronavirus.