(Washington, D.C. – December 22, 2010) Yankees and Red Sox. Leno and Conan. Rosie and Donald Trump. While some rivals may never get along, life occasionally throws us for a loop and unlikely species form amicable bonds. In the animal kingdon. there are some relationships that truly defy the natural order and demonstrate an “evolution” that might astound Darwin himself.
On Friday, January 7, 2010 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the National Geographic Channel celebrates peace in the new year by traveling the world in search of nature’s oddest couples in a gresh installment of Unlikely Animal Friends 2. We’ll take a fun-filled look at the astonishing relationships forged by otherwise rival species and find out how they came to be friends. The stories are rare, amazing…and often adorable!
At a wildlife rehabilitation center outside of Atlanta, Ga., a lion, tiger and even a bear live harmoniously together. The trio of animals were rescued as cubs and raised as brothers. While each has his own dynamic personality and his own set of lethal weapons, the three eat, play and sleep together. The situation doesn’t go without concern. As Craig Saffoe, acting curator of lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, explains, “I wouldn’t advocate sticking a bear in the middle of a group of big cats. However, for these individuals, it certainly seems like the most responsible action for them and their welfare, their quality of life, would be to leave them as the are; they’re bonded.”
It’s a sight you don’t see every day – a leopard and a golden retriever jumping into the back of a pickup truck. But for professional animal sranglers in South Africa, it’s the norm. As the sole survivor of her captive-born litter, Salati the leopard was adopted and raised by Tommy, a golden retriever. The bond was instant, and even Salati enters sexual maturity and begins to branch off on her own, the two remain best friends.
Meet a family who made room in their hearts and A LOT of room in their home for an orphaned hippopotamus! While out on a walk, the Jouberts came across a stranded female baby hippo that could barely stand and mursed her back to health. Now nearly 10 years later, the hippo still lives in their home, drinking tea from a bottle, eating treats in the kitchen and sleeping on the front porch – and she is still growing! The Jouberts plan to accommodate her, whatever it takes – even if it means widening their front door.
Unlikely Animal Friends 2 brings new meaning to the term “opposites attract”. Witness one of the most mysterious animal interactions ever seen in the wild – a pack of polar bears snuggling with Canadian Eskimo dogs. Each year, these polar bears migrate through a sled dog camp in Canada, but instead of attacking the canines, the bears snuggle, play and sleep with them. The ongoing relationship defies explanation and raises concerns among local authorities.
From a great Dane and a goat parading up to a wedding chapel together outside of Dallas, TX, to a sheep raising a baby elephant in South Aftica, one thing is for sure: These heartfelt stories of animals sidestepping their basic instincts are truly amazing!
Unlikely Animal Friends 2 is produced by the National Geographic Channel. Senior producer is Stevi Calandra, senior vice president of production is Michael Cascio, executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.
For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.