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Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom [Paperback]

Jennifer Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 21 2011
It is exactly like Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid . . . ” Written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, Unlikely Friendships documents one heartwarming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways. A cat and a bird. A mare and a fawn. An elephant and a sheep. A snake and a hamster. The well-documented stories of Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten; and the hippo Owen and the tortoise Mzee. And almost inexplicable stories of predators befriending prey—an Indian leopard slips into a village every night to sleep with a calf. A lionness mothers a baby oryx. Ms. Holland narrates the details and arc of each story, and also offers insights into why—how the young leopard, probably motherless, sought maternal comfort with the calf, and how a baby oryx inspired the same mothering instinct in the lionness. Or, in the story of Kizzy, a nervous retired Greyhound, and Murphy, a red tabby, how cats and dogs actually understand each other’s body language. With Murphy’s friendship and support, Kizzy recovered from life as a racing dog and became a confident, loyal family pet.

These are the most amazing friendships between species, collected from around the world and documented in a selection of full-color candid photographs.

Frequently Bought Together

Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom + Unlikely Loves: 43 Heartwarming True Stories from the Animal Kingdom + Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships
Price For All Three: CDN$ 42.52

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About the Author

Jennifer S. Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic, and she also writes for the Earth Touch News Network and other online science news organizations. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and dozens of snakes and geckos, and divides her time between Silver Spring, Maryland, and a cabin in the woods near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mutations in emotional possibility Dec 16 2013
By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER
A collection of stories about oddball animal friendships, documented with great photos. Among the 47 cases of strange affection, we have a cow snuggling with a wild leopard, a cat with an iguana, sled dog with polar bear, or a cat serving as a seeing-eye guide for a blind dog. This could be a bunch of silly anecdotes, but the collection shows that even fish, birds, and reptiles have quirks of personality that can override instinct, allowing for long-term friendly relations that break every mold. These friendships are like mutations in emotional possibility, which can lead to new social patterns among beasts and people. I suspect our first domestications of animals arose from such oddball friendships between species, which became learned behavior for the future generations of those concerned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Karl - Tiny Thought Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Looking at the majority of reviews that I have written you will quickly notice that, “One of these books is not like the others” and rather than make you guess which one it is, I will share the secret: it’s this book =:0)

Unlikely Friendships shares 47 amazing accounts of animals of different species who have formed bonds with one another. Granted, some of the animals pairing might not seem outlandish, like a rabbit and a guinea pig; however, a pit bull, cat and baby chicks or a leopard and a cow make for very uncommon friends. Some of the animals are cute and cuddly, some of them are large predators, some are basic domestic pets and others are traditionally found in the wild, yet all of these creatures have formed inspiring bonds with fellow members of the animal kingdom.

Regardless of how one defines a “friend” these creatures are proof that the desire to have a companion, the ability to show compassion and the ability to go beyond appearances, or any physical boundary for that matter, transcends logic. As is often the case, humans can learn a great deal from these compassionate companions – if we look with our hearts.

If the stories in this book don’t put a big grin on your face or give you a big bucket of “awww’s” then the lovely photos that go along with the stories will likely give even the most ‘hard-hearted’ a reason to smile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, girlfriend loved it! Jan. 11 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book. Lots of cute pictures and interesting little stories. I recommend this to anyone who likes animals and enjoys quirky stories.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely high quality book full of photos, brilliant layout and heartfelt stories. I would have left out the dates so, as a reader, I could imagine that all these lovely animal relationships were still current. But, when I see 2002 and a bird story I know that isn't the case. Other than that, it's a unique book for all lovers of animals wild and domestic. Well done!
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