People always say "opposites attract," and that stands true in the animal kingdom as well. The only thing different about critter companions is that when two unlikely animals come together as buddies, it's almost too insanely cute for words. But we tried to describe the adorableness anyway. Check out the photographic proof of some of the most surprising and squee-worthy animal friendships around.
10. DENNIS AND FRED
Wing joined paw when Dennis the duckling lost his mother to a fox. Luckily, Labrador Retriever Fred stepped in to pick up the parenting reigns. The dog adopted the baby duck as his own and refuses to leave the little one's side. The pair even takes swims together. Maybe Dennis will learn the dog paddle soon.
9. GOHAN AND AOCHAN
Not only did Aochan the yard-long rat snake play with his food, he befriended it too. The Tokyo Zoo snake became amigos with a hamster, Gochan, that zoo keepers brought him as a snack. Instead of digging in, Aochan introduced himself and allowed the rodent to take a nap on his back. The twosome have been sharing a cage since then. (MSNBC)
8. SAMANTHA AND PANDA
We have seen gorillas get cozy with cats, but Samantha is the first gorilla we've seen get buddy-buddy with a bunny. Eager to offer 47-year-old Samantha some companionship, the Erie Zoo gave her a rabbit named Panda. (Samantha was lonely and too old to breed.) The present turned out to be a perfect fit. Gentle giant Samantha adores Panda, petting him and sharing her food with the bunny. (ABC)
7. KASI AND MTANI
Kasi the cheetah and Labrador Mtani just celebrated their first year of friendship together at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The pair were carefully socialized as babies and now make super compatible roommates. Zookeepers say that the pairing is not as unusual as it first appears, since dog and cheetah socialization are similar.
6. REX AND THE BABY KANGAROO
It's no surprise that this baby kangaroo became so enamored with German Pointer Rex after the pooch saved the marsupial's life. When the joey's mom was killed by a car, Rex discovered the baby still alive in his mother's pouch. The dog took the baby kangaroo back to his owner, who eventually moved the baby to a wildlife sanctuary. Before going to the facility, Rex and the joey formed a fast and loving bond. Now, the pooch often drops by to play with his happy and hoppy pal. (U.K. Daily Mail)
5. BEA AND WILMA
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay knows how to make all kinds of animals get along. Bea the giraffe and Wilma the ostrich love spending time together. The pair often spends their days walking around their enclosures, nuzzling noses. Perhaps they bonded over being two long-necked women stuck in a short-necked world. (Cast TV)
4. MUSCHI AND MAUSI
When the mysterious black cat Muschi crossed Mausi the bear's path, instead of bad luck, the zoo animal found a friend. How Muschi got into Mausi the bear's enclosure at the Berlin Zoo in 2001 is still unknown. But ever since then, the cat and bear have stuck together. Zookeepers even had to move Muschi into Mausi's cage while the enclosure was being expanded, because the two couldn't stand being without each other. (U.K. Daily Mirror)
3. TORQUE AND SHREK
This odd couple got close when Shrek the owlet was moved into Torque the dog's house. The baby bird, who was free to roam the house, quickly took a shine to Torque, cuddling up to him on the sofa. The pooch responded positively and now the duo spend their days watching the telly and playing together. (The U.K. Sun)
2. SAIMAI AND HER PIGLETS
Like mother, like daughter. Saimai the tiger, who was raised by a sow, is now caring for her own group of pigs at a Shanghai zoo. Zookeepers say it is common at the facility to let tigers raise pigs and vice versa.It's a little unusual to us, but too cute to argue with. (WLS-TV)
Next: Unlikely Animal Foster Families
1. OWEN AND MZEE
Mzee the Aldabra giant tortoise provided a shell to lean on when Owen the hippo was going through rough times. Orphaned by a tsunami, Owen was moved to Haller Park in Kenya and placed in a enclosure with Mzee. The 130-year-old tortoise gladly accepted the new companion and the pair became fast friends. As fast as a tortoise can, at least. (Owen and Mzee)