Unlikely friends!

Look at the photo. What’s unusual about it? Do you know of any other examples of unusual animal friends?

Before you read

Read the text and choose the correct tense to complete the passage.

A number of recent videos on YouTube showing unlikely animal friends 1 have started / have been starting a debate about animal friendships. Lately many people 2 have discussed / have been discussing a particularly moving film which shows a dog making friends with an elephant.
Elephants often 3 show / are showing concern for their social group, but there is one extraordinary scene where the elephant becomes distressed when the dog gets injured. The dog 4 has recovered / has been recovering now and the two animals have been inseparable. The question scientists 5 ask / are asking is:

Is such behaviour normal,
or do we just want it to be?

Some say it happens when animals 6 have lived / have been living close to humans.
No one 7 has provided / has been providing a definite answer, but it seems some animals are just naturally sociable. Others, like giant pandas, 8 live / are living more independent and solitary lives.

Key

A number of recent videos on YouTube showing unlikely animal friends have started a debate about animal friendships. Lately many people have been discussing a particularly moving film which shows a dog making friends with an elephant.
Elephants often show concern for their social group, but there is one extraordinary scene where the elephant becomes distressed when the dog gets injured. The dog has recovered now and the two animals have been inseparable. The question scientists are asking is:

Is such behaviour normal,
or do we just want it to be?

Some say it happens when animals have been living close to humans.
No one has provided a definite answer, but it seems some animals are just naturally sociable. Others, like giant pandas, live more independent and solitary lives.

Unlikely friends or BFFs?


Suryia, the orangutan, and Roscoe, a Bluetick dog, have formed an unlikely friendship since their paths crossed at a reserve for endangered animals. Now they swim together, play together and Suryia even takes Roscoe for his walks.

Roscoe and Suryia met in 2006 at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, an animal reserve for endangered animals. While Suryia was born at the reserve, Roscoe seemed homeless and followed staff into the reserve.

Roscoe was spotted by Suryia, who eagerly approached Roscoe to make friends. Dr Bhagavan Antle, the reserve’s founder, said: ‘Roscoe looked really thin and a little lost so we fed him and took care of him. He followed us through the gate and ran over and found Suryia. As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing. Dogs are usually scared of primates, but they took to each other straight away. We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.’

‘They will spend a few hours each day together rolling around, swimming,’ said Dr Antle. ‘Suryia will take Roscoe for walks around the enclosure and even feeds him some of his monkey biscuits.’

Suryia is an animal ambassador, helping to raise baby primates but he likes nothing better than spending quality time with his canine friend on his day off.
“To know that animals are capable of emotions like love, understanding and caring, like we are, is quite an eye-opener,” Tony Fitzjohn, a conservationist with Wildlife Now.

They have both become animal celebrities since forming an unbreakable friendship, appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres show and Oprah Winfrey show. They have also been featured in National Geographic magazine, showing us that humans aren’t the only members of the animal kingdom to demonstrate complex emotions and traits.

How much do you remember?

Do the QUiZ and find OUT!

(1) Suryia and Rosco’s unlikely friendship has turned into a/an
unbreakable bond
lifelong commitment
ready-made relationship

(2) Which of the following is NOT true?
Roscoe looked really thin and, since it was obvious he was lost we fed him and took care of him.
While Suryia was born at the reserve, Roscoe seemed homeless and followed staff into the reserve.
They have both become animal celebrities since forming an unbreakable friendship, appearing on various TV shows.

(3) The unusual thing about their instant relationship is…
the fact that dogs are usually scared of primates.
the fact that Suryia was ready to adopt Roscoe.
the fact that Suryia even feeds Roscoe monkey biscuits.

(4) Dr Bhagavan Antle is the reserve’s
founder
finder
foundation

(5) Roscoe was spotted by Suryia, who eagerly approached Roscoe to make friends.
EAGERLY means:
very keen and excited to do something
do something unwillingly and with hesitation
do something without giving it much thought

(6) What does this unlikely pair tell us about animals?
We’re beginning to understand that animal behaviour is much more complex than we used to believe.
We’re beginning to understand that animals can form strong bonds, even though they are unlikely to become friends.
We’re beginning to understand that animals can become animal ambassadors and provide valuable hands-on experience at wildlife conservation and preservation.

source: PeopleMagazine