It’s pretty hard to find someone who doesn’t like animals. After all, pets are some of the most loyal and loving partners the world has to offer. But while most people have dogs, cats, or some other small domesticated animal.
there are in-fact some very unusual people out there who’ve managed to form relationships with some animals that, Still, somehow the power of friendship has prevailed and these odd couples have formed some of the most endearing, but unusual relationships on the planet.
10 Unusual Pets
Today we’re going to look at some incredible people who have made some very unique animals their best friends. All set? Let’s get it on! The Lion Whisperer! Lions, the king of the jungle, Apex predator of the Savannah, and cuddly best friends with humans?
While that might sound like an insane way to get your arms ripped off, for South African sanctuary owner Kevin Richardson, cuddling with lions is one of his favorite parts of his day to day life. Kevin was born in Johannesburg, South Africana country where lions roam freely.
Ever since he was a child, he had a fascination with lions, and as he got older he began to raise lion cubs from birth, in the process forming a loving bond as a member of the pride. Eventually, he started his own wildlife sanctuary for lions, hyenas, leopards, and other big African predators.
There he sleeps with, feeds, and even lives among lions that he’s known since they were just little Simba’s. While Kevin’s ability to get up close and personal with these big cats, he assures people that there are dangers involved and that the surreal images online of him cuddling with a family of 400-pound carnivores aren’t anywhere near the full story.
During his career, he’s been scratched, punctured, and even bitten by lions, but despite the risks, he loves the majestic predators and wouldn’t trade his job for the world. Casey & Brutus! Grizzly bears, the gigantic North American predators that strike terror into the hearts of campers and hikers the continent over.
These seemingly monstrous animals have gotten a bad reputation, and that’s something Casey Anderson is working to fix. Over a decade ago, the American man found an abandoned grizzly bear cub in Montana and began a journey to open the Montana Grizzly Encounter, a sanctuary for grizzly bears.
Since then he’s raised and formed relationships with dozens of Grizzlies, but none as close as Brutus his first cub. The now over 700-pound adult bear regularly plays, cuddles, and even wrestles with Casey and spends the rest of his time roaming freeing the Montana Grizzly Encounter, alongside several other bears Casey has saved and formed loving bonds with.
Really goes to show that you can’t judge a beer by its claws. The Wolman! If you were to believe most stories of old like Little Red Riding Hood, you might think wolves are some of the most fearsome and vicious animals on the planet. And while that may be true, Shaun Ellis however, didn’t believe the hype, and actually decided to try and join a wild wolf pack himself.
The British wolf enthusiast set out into the wilds of Idaho and found a pack of Grey Wolves who were caring for their young. By staying nearby and doing nothing but observing their ways and not bothering them, the wolves came to trust him over time, and treated him like one of their own, to the extent of even giving him the incredibly important job of caring for the pups while the rest of the pack hunting.
During this time, the pack treated him as one of their own, not just playing with and feeding him, but occasionally even fighting with him if he ever broke the rules of the pack. After the year he went back to society, which he claims was a massive culture shock.
But ever since he’s worked with wild and captive wolves, he’s earned himself the well-deserved title of The Real Life Wolman. Joao & Din dim! In media, penguins are usually portrayed as friendly and cute creatures, and as it actually turns out, they’re a lot like that in real life too.
For proof, you don’t need to look any further than the incredible story of Joko Pereira and his feathered friend Din dim. Din dim is a Magellan penguin, native tithe waters on the coasts of South America. One day Pereira found Din dim stranded on the beach, covered in oil from a nearby spill.
The man took the suffering animal home, cleaned his feathers, and fed him fish every day until the penguin regained his strength. A few weeks later Joko dropped him off on the nearest island but to his surprise, just a couple of hours later he found Din dim once again in his backyard.
The penguin decided to return to his savior and stayed with him for another 11 months. Since then din dim swims 5000km every year just to reconnect with his friend and hero. If that isn’t true friendship, I don’t know what is.
Bear Family! Many families struggle to maintain order and discipline in their homes, and this runs especially true for Jim and Susan Kowalczyk of Otisville, New York. The couple runs a 100-acre bear orphanage where they raise and care for baby bears that have lost their mothers until they’re old enough to be released out into the wild on their own.
They’re currently in charge of caring for11 gigantic Kodiak bears, some of whom weigh as much as 14 hundred pounds! One of their most beloved bears, Jimmy, has been with the couple for 21 years, ever since he was just a cub.
By raising the bears from such a young age, Jim and Susan are seen by the bears as parents and get to play with, cuddle and even wrestle with the gigantic predators as if they were just little puppies. The couple has taken some accidental scratches and punctures over the years, but that comes with the territory of living with half-ton predators. Still, in the end, it’s all more than worth it for this big bear family.
Salina & Namal! They say elephants never forget, and when it comes to acts of kindness, Namal the elephant definitely proves that old saying to be true. The cute baby elephant, unfortunately, lost both his parents and ended up in a poacher’s trap. The local sanctuary keeper, Salina, however, was able to free little Namal from the trap, but unfortunately without one of his legs.
Due to having only 3 legs, Namal has had difficulty with daily tasks and the other baby elephants in the sanctuary even wouldn’t play with him! Lucky for him, Salina worked tirelessly to help the young animal adjusts, even making him a little baby elephant prosthetic leg so he could walk more normally. Namal remains incredibly grateful and shows it by cuddling and playing with his good pal Salina every day.
Mark & Agee! Polar bears are the largest and most dangerous bears on the planet, weighing over 1500 pounds when fully grown. Still, despite their massive stature, to Mark Dumas, a polar bear is his best friend. Mark is the only human in the world to have a close relationship with a polar bear, his furry friend Agee, who he hand-raised since she was just a cub.
Surprisingly enough, the gigantic bear actually purrs when she cuddles with Mark, just like a little kitten. However, she isn’t always so sweet, with Mark saying that Agee actually gets pretty jealous of anyone but his wife who tries to get close to him, and that can, of course, lead to some aggressive behavior.
Still, when it comes to Mark and his wife, gee is still like a thousand-pound bear, rolling over for belly rubs, wanting to be petted and played with, and happily looking forward to her daily cuddles. Let’s just not get too close- for our own safety of course. Survivor Bear! It’s pretty common knowledge that you shouldn’t mess with bears.
With an average weight of 440 pounds, plus crazy strength and resilience… these animals aren’t exactly renowned for their friendliness…but unlike some bears, Stephan doesn’t exactly live up to these stereotypes, in-fact it’s quite the opposite. Stephan is a domesticated Russian bear who lives with his hero’s and owners Svetlana and Yuri in a small town in Moscow.
When Stephan was just a 3-month old cub, haunter found him orphaned in the woods, and rather than leaving him to the mercy of the wilderness, this kind couple brought the baby bear in as a member of the family. 23 years later and Stephan’s grown into a gigantic, but quite frankly very cute bear. He even helps out around the house by watering plants and has taken a liking to watch TV with his mom and dad.
The Russian bear’s diet includes 25kg of fish, vegetables, and eggs every day, but even with that monstrous diet, Stephan manages to stay in shape thanks to his love for acting in films and posing in photo shoots. Regardless of how cuddly he may seem though, Stephan is no teddy bear, and housing a wild animal like a bear will always have its risks. With that in mind, it’s pretty fair to say that Svetlana and Yuri is a pretty brave couple, with hearts big enough to house a whole bear.
Jeffrey and the Pelican! We’ve definitely seen some wild relationships today, but a man taking a bird under his wing is still pretty unorthodox. Jeffrey Condon, a seasoned fisher and ocean lover, was in for quite a surprise when a young pelican began hanging out at his campsite regularly. Jeffrey and the bird began to bond, and he soon came to realize that the bird had adopted him and his coworkers as part of its flock.
Unfortunately, that meant the pelican had never learned to fish for himself, but that was no problem for Jeffrey. He frequently takes Mike the pelican out on his kayak with him, with the bird even perching on his shoulders and cuddling with him while he catches food for the two of them. At a point, Mike even started trying to catch fish on his own, as Jeffrey often tried to show him, but unfortunately to not much avail.
Nevertheless, the Australian man won’t give up on his feathered friend, and the two spend most days bonding, fishing, or even just hanging out. I’m sure Mike isn’t too bird-brained to figure out how to feed himself, he’s probably just trying to spend as much time with his best friend as possible. Beekman! Most people run away when they come across even one bee, let alone a whole hive.
But for Norman Gary, the gene for that fear seems to miss entirely. Today he’s what’s known as a bee wrangler, bringing bees any time they’re needed for Hollywood projects like movies or commercials. Norman has such a connection with his bees that he can actually cover himself in over one hundred thousand bees with little more than a flick of his wrist.
Although he assures us that bees aren’t naturally aggressive and would prefer to not sting people when given the chance. Usually, just one sting is enough to keep people far away, but Norman just keeps coming back for more.
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