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20 Unusual Animal Friendships That Will Amaze You

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20 Unusual Animal Friendships That Will Amaze You

As humans, we try to be careful about who and how we pick our friends. We learn this at an early age, and try our best to make sure we’re choosing friends with the same values and goals, as well as someone who lift us up. You try hard to make sure you show your friends the best of who you are, and hope they let their true colors shine bright too. Overall, picking and making friends can be a hard affair.

For animals, given the right scenario, they get to skip all the games we humans play. They see straight to the greatness of each other’s hearts. Granted, just like finding your own best friend, animals have to be given the right opportunity to get to know each other and bond. When this happens, it’s one of the most beautiful things we can see. It provides hope and inspiration that maybe one day we’ll be able to be just as blind to what the outside looks like and just see the beauty within.

Here are 20 animal friendships to help brighten your day.

Tiger Labs

    This South African Labrador, Lisha, is well known for her mothering skills at the Oudtshoorn’s Cango Wildlife Ranch. Over the years, she’s bridged the trust gap between cheetahs, pot-bellied pigs, a pygmy hippo, a barn owl, and (more recently) these two tiger cubs.

    Pondi

      Meet Indigo and Poldi, a friendship which warms your heart to no end. Indigo, the shepherd, and her little owl friend were captured in this photo series by photographer, Tanja Brandt.

      Tiger and Pup

        The little tiger cub, Zoya, befriended a zoo employee’s dog after she was rejected by her mother. The duo is exactly the same age at three months old, and play together in a special enclosure at the zoo.

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        CHeetah

          Brought together in Busch Gardens when they were both three months old, Kasi (Cheetah) and Mtani (Labrador) have no idea they wouldn’t normally be friends. Raised together in a special environment designed just for them, the two have been happy siblings into adulthood.

          LIttle Family

            On a farm in Texas, this odd little family shows the true meaning of family, and how it can consist of all types of creatures – great and small. The Siamese Cat plays mama to her little flock of chicks, while she snuggles up with the pit bull who play the father figure to the small family.

            Roo and Penny

              Being a part of the same species doesn’t matter, especially when you’re the best of friends like Penny and Roo, a two-legged Chihuahua. Penny is a Silkie Chicken who met Roo when he was brought to the animal shelter after being abandoned in a local park. Cold and wet, Penny took it upon herself to help warm him up. The two have been together ever since.

              Lion Tiger and bear

                Leo, Sher Kahn, and Baloo–a lion, tiger, and bear trio–were raised together as cubs and later rescued together from a drug baron’s home. When they were moved to Noah’s Ark Rescue Center in Locust Grove, GA the keepers decided to keep them together. Now the three live and play together, regardless of the their differences – and happy as ever.

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                Elephant and dog

                  Meet Bubbles and Bella, a happy pair despite their size differences. Bubbles was brought to the US after being rescued from ivory poachers.

                  Giraffe

                    Bea and Wilma share a 65-acre enclosure at Busch Gardens. With enough space provided to them, they are hardly forced to spend time together, but the two are closely connected and rarely apart.

                    fox and dog

                      Tinni met Sniffer, a wild fox, in a forest in Norway. Now Tinni’s owner, Torgeir Berge, does his best to keep up and let the two play together as often as possible, allowing him to catch their happy moments on film.

                      lion and dog

                        Milo, the Dachshund, adopted Bonedigger when the lion was just a cub. Now, 500lbs later, Bonedigger is still spending his time with the little dog. Apparently, this little puppy’s heart is bigger than the little cub he cares for.

                        Bambi

                          No one really knows the story behind this wild pairing, they were captured on film by a wildlife photographer. Regardless, the real life images of Bambi and Thumper will warm your heart.

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                          hedgehog

                            Love knows no bounds. This mama cat took in this little hedgehog (and about 3 of his siblings), alongside her own kittens, when they were orphaned. The little family bonded and can be seen snuggled together on various blogs.

                            Blue Tick

                              Suryia and Roscoe are two you might recognize from last year’s Super Bowl Android commercial. Roscoe, though not endangered like Suryia’s orangutan brethren, lives with his best friend at an endangered species reserve in the US. Roscoe followed Suryia and her handlers home and, seeing as it appeared he didn’t have anywhere to go, they adopted him into the little family. The orangutan and blue tick hound have been fast friends ever since.

                              Tiger Monkey

                                Anjana, the Chimp, has helped her caretaker, China York, with more than a few orphaned babies. These two white tiger cubs were separated from their mother when the enclosure flooded. Luckily for them, they’ve been adopted by a US Animal Reserve. Her generosity of heart just shows how love is a universal language between not only humans, but all creatures.

                                Froggy Friend

                                  Every year in India, monsoons flood parts of the country. Thanks to a froggy friendship, this little mouse managed to keep his head above water. The little guy’s friend kept him safe when the rains arrived early that year.

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                                  Polar Bear

                                    It was a total surprise to photographer Norbert Rosing, when this polar bear arrived on the scene. Usually, a polar bear would mean the end to the sled dogs tethered nearby, but not in this case. After a friendly greeting was exchanged, the two spent the afternoon playing, wrestling, and cuddling.

                                    Sheep

                                      This young elephant snuggles up to his pen mate, a sheep. Themba, the baby elephant, lost his mother when she fell down a cliff. He was later rescued and taken to a reserve, but after he refused to nurse from a foster mother he was hand-fed in order to remain healthy. His first meeting with Albert the sheep was a bit over-zealous, forcing the sheep to take shelter in a special enclosure. However, the baby elephant’s curiosity and gentle trunk touch soon coaxed his newest herd mate out, and they’ve been together since. Exploring most days with Themba’s trunk across Albert’s back.

                                      Black Swans

                                        It’s a regular scene at Shenzhen Safari Park, where these black swans line up everyday to feed their carp friends. It didn’t take long for the carp to figure out what was going on, and now they line up to receive not only from the swans, but also the caretakers. The swans have taken care of their watery friends for over ten years.

                                        kitty bear

                                          No one at the Berlin Zoo knows the story behind the little black stray who suddenly showed up in the bear enclosure, but one thing is for sure, the two are the best of friends. At one point Maeuschen was separated from her kitty friend–nicknamed Muschi–and pined for her so much that the cat had to be returned to the elderly bear. While the bear was missing her friend, the cat was missing her just as much, until zookeepers took heart on the two and reunited them in the bear’s internal enclosure while the external pen was enlarged.

                                          Conclusion

                                          Even the years couldn’t separate most of these friends. The above example of animal friendships set a beautiful example of how friendship and love is a universal language. The beauty of the heart and soul shines through, despite how nature would label them.

                                          More by this author

                                          Jenna Anderson

                                          Jenna is passionate in helping people find their personal power through movement and healthy life style choices.

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                                          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                                          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                          Warming up

                                          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                          Stay hydrated

                                          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                          Meditate

                                          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                          2. Focus on your goal

                                          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                          3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                          4. Understand your content

                                          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                          5. Practice makes perfect

                                          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                          6. Be authentic

                                          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                          7. Post speech evaluation

                                          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                          Improve your next speech

                                          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                          • How did I do?
                                          • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                          • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                          • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                          • How was the flow of the speech?

                                          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                          Reference

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