Unusual animal friendships might seem to be the stuff of fiction, whether fairy tales, children’s stories or Disney cartoons. In real life, animals that would fight to the death don’t become friends, do they? The law of the jungle states that at no time shall a carnivore pass up an opportunity to eat prey, right? Sometimes nature has surprises in store for us.
The people in a village near Patok, Albania trapped a wolf and had been keeping it in a pen for years. This wasn’t a very nice thing to do to the wolf and in fact, it wasn’t even legal. But for whatever reason, they wanted the wolf as a local curiosity. Keeping the wolf fed was an ongoing problem, of course. At one point, it looked like the wolf was finally going to get to enjoy a huge feast. Someone in the village had a battered old donkey that was no longer able to do any useful farm work and some other villagers had an idea: put the old donkey in the wolf’s pen and let nature take its course. While the humanity or good taste of this idea is open to question, to put it mildly, it is after all what might happen in nature.
When the hapless donkey was herded into the wolf’s pen, everyone got a huge surprise. Instead of killing and eating the donkey — which would have been the feast of his life — the wolf immediately made friends with it. Why this happened is a bit of a mystery, but it may be that because each animal had been so badly mistreated by people, it saw a kindred spirit in the other. As word of this got around, letters and petitions started flying. Eventually, the Albanian Ministry of the Environment ordered the wolf released. Meanwhile, the donkey was transferred to a greener pasture. Word has it the wolf comes to visit now and then, always with friendly intentions.
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