Have you ever seen those wonderful stories of the dog who took in a kitty and mothered him as if he were her own? Or maybe you heard about a cat that nurtured an orphaned duckling? These stories are ever present in the animal kingdom.
One of the more popular true stories is the tale of Koko the gorilla who took in a kitten which she named All Ball. Koko, who could communicate through sign language, became visibly depressed when the All Ball was struck by a car and killed. She signed the words, “Bad, sad, bad,” and “Frown, cry, frown, sad.”
This tender story sets the scene for a collection of incredibly beautiful stories of animals taking caring of each other, despite being interspecies, in a moving new book, One Big Happy Family: Heartwarming Stories of Animals Caring For One Another.
For one reason or another, animals put aside their instinct in the name of love, says author Lisa Rogak: “Their parenting instincts defied their natural predator instincts where an encounter would typically result in injury and often death. The simple truth is that the siren call of their maternal or paternal drive was stronger.”
Check out these gorgeous photos of monkeys, pigs, dogs, cats, and other animals doing what we could only wish for as people putting aside their (often big) differences and loving each other just for the sake of it!
What we, as humans, could only aspire to be… 1 of 12
Click through for some serious, heartwarming cuteness.
The Boxer and His Kid 2 of 12
Billy the boxer's paternal instinct kicked in once he spotted Lilly the goat at Pennywell Farm Wildlife Center in Devon in the U.K.
Photo credit: Richard Austin/Rex USA
The Chimpanzee and Her Puppies 3 of 12
A chimp named Anna had extremely strong maternal instincts and always helped out whenever a resident dog had a litter of puppies at the wildlife park in the U.K. where they both lived. She loved to cuddle them and would get protective if a stranger got too close.
Photo: John Drysdale
The Chicken and Her Rottweiler Pups 4 of 12
A hen named Mabel hopped into a basket of Rottweiler puppies to watch over the young ones every time Nettle, the pups' mom, needed a break.
Photo: Adam Harnett/Caters
The Ginger Tomcat and His Lion Cub 5 of 12
A tomcat named Arnie pitched in to help raise a lion cub named Zara who struggled after she was born the runt of the litter at a zoo in Cambridgeshire, U.K.
Photo Credit: SWNS.com
The Golden Retriever and Her Bunnies 6 of 12
A golden retriever named Koa discovered a nest of wild baby rabbits near her home and nurtured them as if they were her own little puppies.
Photo: Tina Case/Rex Features
The Pig and His Lamb 7 of 12
Edgar Alan Pig was taken in by Pam Ahern at the farm animal sanctuary she started in Victoria, Australia. Edgar served as the welcoming committee for hundreds of lambs, chickens, goats and other barnyard animals, but he shared a close relationship with a little lamb named Arnie.
Photo: Alex Coppel/Newspix/Rex/Rex USA
The Foxhound and Her Fox Kits 8 of 12
A foxhound named Mama was called upon to help raise a litter of abandoned fox kits in Connecticut. Mama deserved her name; her raging maternal instincts completely overshadowed the hunting purposes for which her breed is known.
Photo: Helen Neafsey/ Hearst Connecticut Media Group
The Hen and Her Ducklings 9 of 12
When Hilda the hen started sitting on a nest of eggs in 2012, farmer Philip Palmer was looking forward to a new bunch of chicks. Turns out Hilda was nesting on duck eggs instead. It didn't seem to matter, since the ducklings regarded Hilda to be their true mother from day one.
Photo: Bournemouth News / Rex Features
The Rabbit and Her Kittens 10 of 12
When the owner of rabbit Summer brought home a litter of foster kittens, she expected her cat to help serve as a surrogate mom to the kitties — but instead it was Summer who ended up nurturing them.
Photo: Northscot Press Agency/Rex USA
The Tamarin Monkey and His Twin Baby Marmosets 11 of 12
Tom, a golden lion tamarin monkey at a zoo in England, started caring for a pair of twin silvery marmosets. Monkeys usually don't show interest in other breeds, but the twins were lucky that Tom decided to become their "manny."
Photo: Jeremy Durkin/Rex Features
And There’s Even More… 12 of 12
One Big Happy Family: Heartwarming Stories of Animals Caring For One Another is now available at Amazon as well as bookstores near you.
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