Nothing inspires quite like friendship, and when that friendship is between two adorable animals who normally would be anything but close, it really tugs on our heartstrings. If animals can overcome their instincts to become besties, anything is possible!
1 - Kitten, Meet Hedgehog
Video by YouTube user: The Sorry Girls
When Harley the hedgehog met Loki the kitten, it was all curiosity, not animosity between these two. Getting to know the little pin cushion really wore this playful kitten out. Check out the video above for all the awws.
2 - My Deer, You're the Cat's Meow
Love can win over instinct—just ask this cat. He may have evolved from the same stock as lions, tigers, and leopards, but he doesn't see this young deer the same way his big cat cousins might. Just in case you think this is a one time thing, here's a movie featuring a deer giving his favorite feline a tongue bath. Now that's love.
Video by YouTube User: HoppyTheDeer
3 - What Do You Mean, Duck?
This little duckling is no squeaky toy to his best pal, Fred the labrador. According to Lisa Rogak's book One Big Happy Family, Fred found Dennis the duckling wandering alone. After a quick bath—care of Fred's large doggy tongue—Dennis and Fred knew they'd be chums for good.
4 - The Tortoise and the..Hippo?
Age, species, sex—there are no limits to motherhood, as the relationship between this 100 year old male tortoise and baby hippo show. Owen the hippo was orphaned and looking for someone to be his mother. Unexpectedly, he became very attached to the tortoise, and the tortoise seems to have embraced his job as surrogate mother with both dedication and patience.
5 - A Friendship That's Larger Than Life
Image: E! Online
We all know that the best friendships are built on common interests, and for Bella the black lab and Bubbles the elephant, their love of water may have brought them together, but the fun they have together is what keeps their friendship strong. Watch them play fetch and splash with reckless abandon here. Their joy is sure to put a smile on your face as big as an elephant's.
6 - Friend, Not Food!
Image: Adri De Visser/Caters News
Love really is blind. At least it's blind to the rules of predator and prey for this big cat and baby antelope. The lioness adopted a baby impala when it was left motherless. I mean, she killed (and most likely ate) the mother, so maybe it was the least she could do? Read remarkable story here.
7 - Companionship Is Primal
Image: Anne Young
Thanks to poet John Donne, we know that "No man is an island," but it turns out that no monkey is either. This long-tailed macaque monkey adopted a kitten in the forests of Bali, Indonesia. We all need love and companionship, even in the wild.