Cross-species relationships among animals have always been a topic of interest to researchers and animal enthusiasts alike. The idea of predators and prey, or animals of different species, forming relationships that go beyond survival has been a subject of fascination for many. While some experts warn of potential negative consequences for animals, others see these relationships as a testament to the capacity for animals to form meaningful connections regardless of species.
Primatologist and evolutionary biologist Lauren Brent cautions that even though cross-species friendships might start out innocently enough, there can be negative outcomes for the animals involved as they grow older. These negative consequences may be especially impactful for the dog, who could be at risk of harm.
On the other hand, animal emotion expert Marc Bekoff believes that the choices animals make in their relationships are the same, whether it’s with their own species or with another species. Just like humans, animals are selective about the individuals they let into their lives. Some dogs, for instance, may not like every other dog they meet, and the same goes for animals forming relationships across species.
Several examples of these unlikely relationships can be found online, and they’re always heartwarming to watch. In a video from the Smithsonian Channel, a baby wildebeest treats a female lion like her mother, while in another video from Truly, an otter is best friends with both hyenas and lions. These relationships seem to defy all the odds and show that love truly can conquer all.
In the video below, an elephant and a dog can be seen playing together despite their differences in size and species. While they may seem more like rivals than friends, the fact that they can coexist and play together is truly remarkable. However, it’s important to remember that not all cross-species relationships are positive, and animals involved in such relationships should be monitored closely to ensure their safety and well-being.