Fate works in adorable ways sometimes, bringing unlikely elements together and making them work in the cutest ways possible. Animal foster families are a heartwarming example. Around the world, plenty of maternal and paternal critters have opened their paws to needy animals of other species. The result? Some unusual but always aww-inducing family portaits.
SOME BUNNY LOVES YOU
Koa the dog made an interesting find on one of her daily lizard chases: two baby rabbits. Seeing two furballs in need, the Labrador took on the bunnies as her babies, offering them shelter and affection. Thanks to Koa's kind ways, both of the newborns grew into hoppy adults. (Metro)
THE PARENT TRAP
Saimai is raising a group of youths that would look like food to most tigers. Since she was 2 years old, the big cat from the Bangkok Zoo has been looking after a group of pigs. While the arrangement may seem unusual to us, for Saimai, it is just repaying a favor. The tiger was brought up by a sow, so she has piggie parenting skills built in.
MEANWHILE IN THE JUNGLE
A hard-luck baboon at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage understands how hard life can be without a parent. Maybe that's why he chose to treat an abandoned 3-month-old bush baby as his own. Since the little animal's arrival, the baboon has made sure that the bush baby gets plenty of food, playtime and love. (Reuters)
Things seemed like they might get hairy when a lion mother rejected her rare white cub, but than a dog named Lejon pawed in. The Pointer mix eagerly took on the role of step-dad, keeping Jojo the cub entertained and full of furry smiles. Now, even though Lejon's patience is tested from time to time, the pair is inseparable.
WHAT THE DUCK?
Two ducklings waddled into Hiroko the cat's life at the perfect time. After losing three kittens, the maternal meower was looking for something to love. When her owner brought home two ducklings, the feline took to the babies instantly and claimed them as her new kids. (Daily Mail)
FAN OF STRIPES
A Russian zoo was ecstatic when one of their Amur tigers had two cubs. Unfortunately, there were issues early on when the mother rejected her babies. Enter new mom Cleopatra the Shar Pei. The nursing dog happily took on the big-cat cubs along with her own pups, serving up nourishment for everyone.
One of these things is not like the other. The standout white baby bird on the left is a baby falcon trying to blend in with two chicks. The hen ended up with the bizarre brood when she adopted the abandoned falcon into her flock. The predatory bird will eventually grow large enough to gobble up his surrogate mom, but that doesn't seem to bother this bird parent one bit. (Highbeam)
MORE PIGS PLEASE
A French Bulldog named Baby must've really wanted puppies, because she settled on the first babies that came through her door. When Baby's owner brought in six shivering infant boars, the dog instantly ran up and started warming the little ones. Baby hasn't left their sides since. (Denver Post)
AN UNUSUAL ATTRACTION
True love knows no bounds. You can leave it to the animal kingdom to prove that. After Owen the baby hippo was orphaned due to a tsunami, he was taken to an animal sanctuary where he met a new dad. Mzee the 130-year-old tortoise took a shine to the young hippo, forming a dad-son duo you would expect to find only in the comics.
A LITTER THAT BARKS
Who says cats and dogs can't get along? One momma cat is out to prove to all her babies that canines can be A-OK. The feline, who recently gave birth to a litter of kittens, took on three orphaned puppies among her original bundle of joy. So far, none of the babies seem to notice a difference. (LF Press)
THE WILD BUNCH
Jasmine the greyhound has these other kind-hearted animal moms beat out. The doting dog has been a surrogate mom to over 50 animals. Jasmine has been there to care for almost every orphan animal that had trotted through the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary in England, including deer, owls, foxes, badgers and rabbits. (Cute Overload)
CUCKOO FOR YOU
Kookie the kookaburra had fallen on hard times. His mother wanted to eat him, he was kind of ugly and he was stuck in isolation for his protection. And then a little duckling came along. Lacking a family as well, the baby bird was looking for love. Kookie, who would normally see the duckling as a snack, was eager to take the little bird under his wing and play big brother. They have lived happily ever after. (People Pets)
This mom isn't monkeying around. She is truly raising this chimp. After being turned away by his family, a baby chimpanzee was taken into a zookeeper's home to be hand-raised. But it wasn't the keeper who did most of the work; it was her Mastiff. The dog instantly connected with the primate and raised her alongside her own puppies.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE EARS
It's "The Fox and Hound: Babysitter Style." A beagle was hired to care for and nurse a group of needy fennec fox kits at a private zoo. Staff were concerned about how the foxhound dog, known as Mama, would do with the big-eared newborns. The beagle lived up to her name, providing top-notch love for all of her exotic infants. (Greenwich Time)
FELINES FOR FIDO
One animal lover had an overwhelming mix of good and bad news. First the good: the owner's dog and cat both gave birth to healthy babies. Sadly, the bad came quickly after, when the mother cat was hit by a car. Luckily, new mom Molly the dog was happy to take on a double load, raising both her puppies and the needy kittens.
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