It’s typical for similar animals to befriend each other, but an even rarer occurrence is when two, completely unlike animals do the same.
Israel’s Safari Zoo is home to a female Indonesian black macaque that seems to have befriended a chicken. Despite the strange attraction, the bond between the two animals appears to be inseparable.
Image Credit: AP
The monkey goes by the name of Niv and does with the chicken what you’d expect her to do with her young. She holds it in her arms, grooms it from time to time, and sleeps with it at night.
Perhaps it was Niv’s maternal instincts kicking in at an older age, or maybe she was just lonely and wanted a buddy.
Whatever the cause, the mystery behind the unlikely friendship may never be solved, but that doesn’t take away from the cuteness factor.
According to the zoo, the origin of the chicken is unknown. It reportedly wandered into the Niv’s enclosure when it was a wee chick, and since then, the two continued to grow closer to each other as time passed.
The spacing between the cage's bars is far enough apart that the chicken could leave at any time. Nevertheless, it chooses to stay with the monkey, which highlights how real the bond is between the animals.
The zoo hasn’t named the chicken just yet, but if it continues to stick around, that could change. Until then, zoo-goers can see Niv and her chicken companion while they visit.
Although interspecies companionships are rare, this isn’t the first time it has happened. Back in 2015, a fearless goat that was supposed to be a meal for a tiger in a Russian zoo became friends with the large cat instead. Likewise, a monkey from India adopted and cared for a stray puppy just last year.
Some believe that interspecies companionships like this one are more common among domesticated animals, but no scientific evidence currently supports this hypothesis.