Daughter Earth Blog

Cross Species Adoptions

I love nothing more than stories of unlikely animals becoming friends, like in the classic Disney movie The Fox and the Hound. It’s even better when these stories happen in real life. Even more amazing than when two animals of different species become friends, is when animal mothers adopt a needy baby of a different species. Its unlikely for animals to even adopt a non-related animal of the same species. Can anything be more heartwarming, than a story a lion caring for an orphaned baby antelope, an animal a lion would usually make dinner? These stories really prove that animals can be just as compassionate and generous as humans.

Lioness adopts multiple antelopes in Kenya. video



Two baby Sumatran orangutans and two baby Sumatran tigers become great friends after all four are abandoned by their mothers.




Owen and Mzee are perhaps the most famous story of cross species adoption. Owen, the baby hippo who got separated from his family in the 2004 Tsunami, chose to make Mzee the 130 year old Aldabra tortoise his new mom. It took a little convincing but Mzee soon accepted Owen and the two have been insperable ever since.

An orangutan loving a kitten.

Koko the gorilla and her adopted kitten.

Macaque loving a cat.

Macaque hugging a dog.







There are so many stories of tigers adopting pigs and pigs adopting tigers, who knew that tigers and pigs could be such great friends!

Jessica the hippo and her puppy friends.

This mouse rides a frog in a flood.
Dogs and deers become friends.

Not sure they are actually friends, but this iguana caught a ride from a sting ray. Pretty crazy.

Tiger and dog friends.

A dog and a hamster.

Squirrel and hedgehog buddies.

Hedgehog and kitten.Rhino and goat.

Tessa, the puggle, believes she’s a pig from hanging around Mushu, the pig, all the time.

This abandoned macaque in China was very depressed until he befriended a pigeon. (full story)
There is also a great story and video about a baboon who adopts an injured chicken.

After this leopard followed her natural instinct and killed an adult baboon for a meal, she discovered this new born baboon. Instead of protecting her kill, she decided to protect the baby baboon from a nearby hyena. video

Classic enemy pairs:
Cat and Dogs


Cat and Mouse – these two snuggle, unlike the Tom and Jerry stereotype.


This kitten is fascinated with his bird, well duck, friends.

It’s interesting that so many of these stories involve the big carnivorous cats, who seem the most unlikely animals to be looking out for others.
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3 Responses to “Cross Species Adoptions”

  1. john says:

    I would like to use a copy of the prints of animals adopting other animals on you web site.
    are they copy righted or public domain? Thanks John

  2. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Quora says:

    What are the best photos of predators interacting peacefully with their natural enemies?…

    “Cross Species Adoption” The image of a tiger with a piglet companion. Apparently these two species have been found ‘adopting’ one another more than you might think. Daughter Earth [1] blog contains some of the most adorable images of different spe…

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