An unusually touching story of soothed loneliness went viral this week, when a sad rhino with an unexpected pal made headlines.
Apparently, animals at the zoo in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi aren’t allowed to be lonely, even if this means that they fraternize with unexpected friends.
Tbilisi Zoo spokeswoman Mzia Sharashidze said female rhinoceros Manuela got depressed after the death of her mate. She then became aggressive, so they tried putting zebras in with her. The zebras, however, were aggressive with Manuela in return.
Next they tried goats, but the goats ran away.
And then came the donkeys, which had an instantly calming effect, according to Sharashidze.
Manuela’s not alone in her unorthodox companionship there either. A neighbor, lion cub Shamba who was neglected by his mother, lives happily with a puppy.
Sharashidze said they “are watching how long the friendship will last.”
And what a refreshing reminder to stay open-minded when it comes to making new friends.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman