35 posts tagged Friends
35 posts tagged Friends
Today the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship presents a cornucopia of interspecies camaraderie courtesy of the Rocky Ridge Refuge in Midway, Arkansas (previously featured here). Refuge founder and lone operator Janice Wolf rescues and cares for a variety of creatures, big and small, common and exotic.
"Up to 60 animals call the refuge home at any given time, although a few of those are long-term residents. These include Cheesecake the capybara, Crouton the African Sulcata tortoise, Barcode the zebra, Butterbean the bull terrier and Bazinga the miniature horse."
These overwhelmingly heartwarming photos demonstrate that all of these different animals, warm and cold-blooded alike, don’t just get along well with each other, they appear to care for each other too. Now please excuse us while we go find a furry friend to hug.
What could possibly be even more awesome than a photo of Sir Patrick Stewart wearing a cotton candy mustache or lounging in a bathtub while dressed as a lobster? Here it is: a photo of Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen both wearing bowler hats while sitting together on Santa’s lap. This particular Santa might just be having the best Christmas ever.
However you choose to look at it - Gandalf and Captain Picard, Magneto and Professor X, or just two amazing actors and good friends - if this isn’t a magical moment we don’t know what is.
Lots of people love to travel and plenty of people do, but there are also lots of people out there who, sometimes because of physical or psychological challenges, can’t get out very easily, if at all. That’s where a tender-hearted, 38-year-old, Japanese entrepreneur named Sonoe Azuma comes in. Three years ago she started a business called Unagi Travel, a self-described “travel agency for stuffed animals.” Sonoe arranges vacations and day-trips for stuffed animals, taking photos and videos all the while, so that their owners may vicariously experience the adventures of their plush friends.
Travelogues are uploaded to Facebook, where the owners can follow what activities their stuffed animals are up to.
"So far, more than 200 stuffed animals have participated in the trips, and some of them sign up regularly. I would say 40 percent of my business is repeat customers," Azuma told The Yomiuri Shimbun. She now organizes ten trips a month and has even taken stuffed animals abroad to the U.S. and Europe.
These trips aren’t just entertaining for Sonoe’s customers, some of whom suffer from depression and/or social anxiety, they also encourage people to work up the strength/courage/motivation to get out and travel themselves.
"I want to see and walk around the sights that I viewed through my stuffed animal’s journeys someday,” a 51-year-old woman from Saga Prefecture told Yomiuri. The woman had become a recluse because an illness had made walking difficult. However, she was inspired to rehabilitate her legs and go out in the world after seeing her stuffed animal on an Unagi Travel tour.
"Seeing my stuffed animal traveling encouraged me," she said. "I began to think that I should do what I can do, instead of lamenting over things that I can’t.
Here’s an endearing new story for the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship. It’s a couple years old, but no less touching for being a bit dated. Meet Suryia the Orangutan and Roscoe the Bluetick Coonhound, an improbable pair who’ve been inseparable ever since they met at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s the same endangered wildlife reserve that’s home to another Bubbles and Bella, another awesome and unlikely pair of pals.
Suryia and Roscoe first met in 2008 soon after Roscoe first appeared at the reserve and starting following TIGERS staff members as they walked home from work.
He was immediately spotted by the orangutan, who ambled over to make friends. Dr Bhagavan Antle, the reserve’s founder, said: ‘Roscoe looked really thin and a little lost so we fed him and took care of him. He followed us through the gate and ran over and found Suryia. As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing.
'Dogs are usually scared of primates, but they took to each other straight away. We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.'
In 2011 Dr. Antle published a book of photographs which, entitled Suryia and Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship, shows the ape and pup enjoying each other’s company at the wildlife reserve.
Visit Dailymail.co.ukfor even more photos of this charming primate/canine duo.
Today the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship brings us the awesome story of ‘Bubbles’ the 32-year-old African elephant and ‘Bella’ the 3-year-old black Labrador. They’re best friends and they live together at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, also known as Myrtle Beach Safari, a wildlife park in South Carolina.
Bubbles was rescued when she was still a baby, orphaned after her parents were killed by poachers for their tusks. She was flown to the US along with a few other elephant orphans where there were facilities ready to care for them.
One of Bella and Bubbles’ favourite games to play is play catch. Bubbles uses her trunk to throw a ball for Bella. When they’re in the water together, Bubbles throws the ball and Bella leaps off her perch atop Bubbles’ head to dive in and retrieve it. Bubbles also likes to play keep-away with the ball and Bella because Bella can only leap about as high as her friend’s knees.
Photos by Barry Bland.
The Geyser of Awesome was recently tipped off to a particularly awesome and exceptional tale of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship. Thanks to Pamela, we learned about Bonedigger, a five-year-old, 500 pound lion, and Milo, a seven-year-old, 11 pound Dachsund, aka Bonedigger’s BFF. They live together at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
Bonedigger was born with a metabolic bone disease that left him mildly disabled. While he was still just a cub, Milo and two other dachshunds, Bullet and Angel, seemed to sense that Bonedigger needed extra care and the three dogs sought to comfort and protect the young lion.
Now Bonedigger and his pack of wiener dogs cuddle, feast on raw meat, and play on the park grounds together. Sometimes Park manager John Reinke gets in on the cuddling as well. Perhaps best of all, after their meals, Milo licks Bonedigger’s mouth clean - teeth, tongue, and all.
Milo also does his best to mimic Bonedigger’s ‘puffing’ behaviour - “a deafening lion growl that can be heard over a mile away. Wild lions use it to communicate with other prides in their natural environment.”
The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park was damaged and flooded by the horrendous tornado that tore through Oklahoma on May 20th. Nevertheless, they’ve been providing shelter for both domestic and wild animals that were left homeless after the storm. Click here if you’re interesting in donating to the park.
Have you made or seen something awesome that you’d like us to see? Submit it here.
It feels like it’s been too long since we last visited the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship. Thank goodness ZooBorns posted about this awesomely cute and fuzzy pair of baby bird friends at the Kirkleatham Owl Center in Redcar, North East England.
Meet Larch, a Long-eared owlet, and Chop-suey, a White-crested Runner duckling. They’re both only three weeks old and currently inseparable.
Initially there were a dozen duck eggs in the Center’s incubator, but only one hatched, producing little Chop-suey. Although the chick was content with human company, he was not happy being left alone. Larch the Owl had been by himself there so staff put the two together and they instantly snuggled up and fell asleep!
They won’t be able stay together for much longer due to their differing needs as they develop,” said a spokesperson at the Center, “but while they are still very small we are more than happy for them to enjoy their time together.”
If those four photos didn’t immediately incapacitate you with their cuteness, click here to watch a short video of Larch and Chop-suey cuddling up together.
"Where do you want to go today, my feline friend?"
Meet Rudi Saldia and his cat MJ. This awesome pair of pals enjoys nothing more than cycling around Philadelphia together with MJ happily riding on Rudi’s shoulders. Rudi films their bike rides with his HD HERO2 GoPro camera and, we’d be remiss not to mention, sports a rather dashing mustache.
Last year Rudi posted a video of himself and MJ entitled My Cat Can Ride A Bike Better Than You Can. Click here to watch even more videos of Rudi and MJ.
[via Laughing Squid]
Illustrator Itzel Najera (aka NEWS) and illustrator and animator DOZEREK, both of whom are based in Mexico, recently collaborated on an awesome 3D design project entitled Abismo (Abyss), which features an adorable pair of characters who appear to have found themselves inside the belly of a whale.
We’re crossing our fingers and toes in hopes that these characters might turn into actual toys some day. We’d love to add them to our collection and have no doubt that there are many other people out there who would happily do the same.