Animals are capable of displaying true compassion, sympathy, and unconditional love, and this is one of the countless reasons why we are absolutely in love with them!
So, while we are definitely not the only ones that feel an urge to help the needy, animals do not hesitate to take care of an animal of other species as well.
Anne Young went to Bali, Indonesia, to enjoy and photograph the magnificent place and animals there, but little did she know that she was about to experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
The amateur wildlife photographer got the opportunity to capture an unusual interspecies adoption! The amazing images reveal a monkey cradling its adopted kitten at the Monkey Forest Park, in the Ubud region of Bali.
The wild long-tailed macaque (also called a crab-eating macaque) monkey kept the ginger kitten as if he was her father, and he would always protect her from other monkeys.
The cat meowed happily in the arms of the loving monkey. The photographer explained that the monkey didn’t like it when she tried to take pictures of them, so he kept shielding the kitten from the lens.
Crab-eating macaques are highly social, and babies learn from interacting with both, their mother and other females in their large groups, which can sometimes consist of up to sixty members.
Seeing examples of interspecies adoptions is always pleasant, as they remind us that animals do not have the cultural influences we do. So far, scientists cannot explain the reason behind the practice.
Yet, some argue that one of the possible factors is the intellectual ability of an animal to take care of young ones and help them survive. In most interspecies adoptions, the adopted animal is young and has lost his mother.
Jenny Holland, the author of the 2011 book Unlikely Friendships, suggests:
“Instinctively, animals take care of the young to help them survive and therefore pass on the family DNA. So I think there’s some hard wiring in there that leads them to offer care to another animal in need. If it isn’t a relative, there may be some wires crossed, but I think the behavior comes from the same place.”
Jill Goldman, an applied animal behaviorist based in southern California, believes that the need for social companionship lies behind it all:
“In order for the relationship to be sustained, I believe both parties will need to benefit in some way. How we define benefit is another matter. Social companionship in some cases may actually be enough of a benefit so long as it is not outweighed by competition [or] threat.”
Yet, regardless of the reason, the bond between the monkey and the kitten was undeniable. It’s unclear if the kitten was a stray or orphaned, but the monkey knew she needed care and love, and he was more than happy to provide it!