An unusual and heartwarming friendship between two animals who would normally fight to the death is something found only in fairy tales, children’s stories, and Disney cartoons — but never in real life, right? Is it not the law of the jungle that a carnivore shall at no time pass up an opportunity to eat prey? Perhaps, but Mother Nature does love surprises…
Some people in a village near the town of Patok, Albania trapped a wolf and kept it in a pen for several years. Not only was this a cruel way to treat a wolf, it wasn’t even legal. Regardless, the villagers wanted to have the wolf as a local curiosity. One practical problem was keeping the wolf fed: wolves eat a lot and require plenty of meat in their diet; it runs into money. At one point, it looked like the wolf was finally going to enjoy an enormous, meaty feast. There was a battered, long-mistreated old donkey that was no longer able to do any useful farm work. Some villagers had an idea: why not put the donkey in the wolf’s pen and let nature take its course?
When the unfortunate old donkey was herded into the wolf’s pen, things didn’t go quite the way the villagers expected. Instead of killing the donkey and having the feast of his life, the wolf promptly made friends with it! Nobody knows why this happened. It may be that the two animals, both of them mistreated by people, saw each other as kindred spirits.
Word of this got around and before long, letters and petitions were flying. At long last, the Albanian Ministry of the Environment stepped in and ordered the wolf released. The donkey was also rescued and transferred to a much greener pasture. It’s said that the wolf will drop by to visit occasionally, always with friendly intentions.
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