From the cuddly cat who charms the big resident dog four times his size into being his protector, to the big bouncy bunny who buddies up with the household pooch, we often hear stories from our supporters about the unlikely furry friendships that have formed in their houses.
However, it’s not just in the home that these unusual friendships can form, we sometimes see it in rescue too! Come along for a visit to one of our centres for a chance to meet these guys and their perfect pals.
Barry, Nancy & Bjork
Barry, a small Kunekune pig living at our Berkshire centre had been feeling lonely. The only other pigs residing at the centre, a medium oxford and a potbellied cross, are much bigger than Barry and therefore cannot safely be housed with him. Barry longed for a companion.
Meanwhile, one of the long-standing resident goats at the centre became very ill in his old age and sadly passed away, leaving fellow goat Nancy all alone in her paddock. The animal care team at the centre had an idea. It was peculiar but it might just work… They gradually introduced Nancy to Barry to see how the pair got on. To everyone’s delight, it worked – they really liked each other and both appeared much happier with a companion in their field.
A few months later, the centre received a wonderful donation of nine baby lambs to help with the arduous task of mowing the grass. The lambs settled in quickly and staff, volunteers and visitors absolutely loved them. However, as time went on, staff began to notice one of the lambs being pushed out of the flock and becoming isolated.
Tracy Waldron, centre manager at NAWT Berkshire said: “Poor Bjork underwent a veterinary assessment that suggested she was suffering from some neurological problems, which explained her unusual craving for human attention. If left with the rest of the flock, it was likely that she would continue to be an outcast.”
“Being left on her own also wasn’t an option for Bjork, who loves company, so we were left with a dilemma. There was only one other option available; we had to see if Bjork could fit in with Barry and Nancy.
"Thankfully, Barry and Nancy are thrilled with their new friend and the three of them are flourishing in each other’s company. They also make a wonderful visitor attraction as they all love humans and people love seeing them together in their unusual multi-species community.”
Wilma, Pudding and Barbara
Wilma the goose sadly lost her mate when he passed away in December 2017, and was left feeling very sad and lonely.
A few weeks later, Pudding the Turkey arrived at our HULA centre. Someone had found her being tormented by a group of boys and had gone to her rescue, bringing her in to the HULA animal care team where she would be cared for and safe from her tormentors.
Pudding’s arrival left the team with two very lonely birds on their hands. Perhaps they could be friends? There was nothing to lose so an introduction was arranged and these happy girls have never looked back – they have been inseparable ever since!
Animal Care Leader, Emma says: “Pudding doesn’t even let Wilma go to sleep by herself, she snuggles right in with her, ensuring her best friend is safe throughout the night!”
All was peaceful once again amongst the residents at HULA… That was, until just a couple of months ago, when Barbara the duck started getting bullied by another duck she was housed with and became very unhappy.
Emma added: “With two other unlikely bird friends living happily in another enclosure, it only made sense to see if Barbara would fare any better living with them. Thankfully, the girls welcomed her with open wings and the three of them have become the best of friends. Barbara is now a very happy girl.”