There’s nothing quite as “awww”-inducing as an interspecies animal friendship. The newest odd couple that’s giving us cute overload is mini-horse and his best friend, a domestic goose.
The Bucks County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Pennsylvania rescued Waffles the mini-horse and Hemingway the goose from a farm with poor living conditions. Waffles is six-and-a-half-years old and has a big personality (for a mini-horse). Hemingway’s age is unknown and he could be anywhere from age one to six.
The twosome are now available for adoption — but there’s a catch: They come as a pair.
So if you want to give one animal his forever home, you must be prepared to have his bestie join you as well. We don’t want to break up these BFFs, after all!
The adoption fee is $300 for the pair. Check out the shelter’s announcement on Facebook:
The post notes that anyone interested in adopting the adorable animals can submit an application online here. Chosen applicants will then have a meet-and-greet at the shelter’s Quaktertown location.
“If you want to adopt Waffles, you have adopt Hemingway,” Linda Reider of the Bucks County SPCA told WFMZ. “And if you want to adopt Hemingway, you have to adopt Waffles. These animals were removed under a warrant from a farm. The conditions were not good.”
The previous owners of the animals have been charged with neglect and are expected to appear in court on Sept. 9. Two peacocks and 12 ducks were also rescued from the property, along with the unlikely pals.
It’s possible that the mini-horse and goose bonded from living in their dangerous conditions before coming to the shelter.
“It’s very evident when you’re in the stall with them that you don’t get in between them,” SPCA spokesperson Cindy Kelly told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Hemingway can make kind of a fuss — slap his wings, honk at you — if he feels you’re going for Waffles. It makes it kind of challenging for the medical team.”
Kelly told the newspaper that the SPCA has already received a lot of interest from potential adopters. Here’s hoping these two find the perfect forever home together!
As noted on their Facebook page, they do a lot of good work when it comes to placing all kinds of animals. In August, they adopted out 271 animals!
Unlikely Friendships In The Animal Kingdom
Do you love interspecies friendships? If so, you’re in luck. There are plenty out there that have been recorded by animal lovers, and they’re pretty darn cute as well.
For example, one famous odd couple is Owen and Mzee, a hippo and a tortoise who became friends when the baby hippopotamus was separated from his family by a tsunami. There are books and videos relating the story of this cute friendship.
Did you know that there’s an entire Tumblr devoted to capybaras and their friends? It’s called Animals Sitting on Capybaras.
There’s also an Instagram account devoted to the idea. It’s at @interspeciesfriendship, and includes images like the following:
Here are Juniper the fox and Moose the dog, a couple of Instagram celebrities featured at @juniperfoxx:
At a rhino orphanage in South Africa, several interspecies friendships have taken place between rhinoceroses and lambs! This is Marang, a boy rhino, and Elsa, a Pedi sheep.
So these affectionate relationships are definitely a thing, but why?
The Science of Interspecies Friendships
Because such relationships between different species are becoming more common, scientists are beginning to study them.
Researchers say these types of bonds happen more often when young animals are in human-managed care environments, where they can encounter animals they might not otherwise in the wild.
Some, especially young animals, have come from traumatic situations, and bond in captivity with other animals who have been placed near them for comfort’s sake.
This is probably what happened to Waffles and Hemingway!
Some say that these bonds can teach us humans something.
“There’s no question that studying these relationships can give you some insight into the factors that go into normal relationships,” Gordon Burghardt, a professor in the departments of psychology and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Tennessee, told the New York Times.
Are animals teaming up merely for companionship? Or is something more going on? There are plenty of questions scientists can delve into, such as the trust that develops between predator and prey.
But in the meantime, we can definitely enjoy the cute pictures that show how adorable it is when interspecies friendships develop.