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.
Jennifer S. Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic. She has also written for, among others, The Discovery Channel, NPR, and The New York Times, specializing in science and natural history.
“Jennifer S. Holland’s irresistible volume features heartwarming stories of interspecies love and adorable photographs that are heart-stopping in more than one sense.”— New York Times Book Review
“The feel-good book of the summer—maybe the year—may very well be Unlikely Friendships
.”— USA Today
“Jennifer Holland documents one heartwarming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways.”
— Reader's Digest
“With aww-inducing photographs, the book highlights the most improbable animal connections.”
— National Geographic