From cuddling with a python to playing games
with a tiger, here are 10 unbelievable stories of human animal bonds…. 10. Agee the Polar Bear Most species of bear can be incredibly dangerous,
so what would it take for you to spend a night sleeping in the same bed as one? Well, that’s what Mark Dumas, from British
Columbia, does quite regularly, and his bear of choice is the most dangerous of all- an
840 pound polar bear. Standing at 7 feet tall, his best friend Agee
has lived with him for most of her life. They share an incredible bond and Marks says
that the only people Agee likes are he and his wife. They regularly ‘wrestle’ and even pose
for pictures with Mark’s head in her mouth. This isn’t recommended behaviour around
polar bears of course, but Mark is an experienced bear handler and has worked with them for
more than 40 years. He says that he raised her as a cub and that
he knows how to read her body language and act safely around her. Agee even purrs like a kitten whenever Mark’s
around. Still, no matter how confident you feel with
them, it is important to remember that they are wild animals. These animal human bonds are remarkable, and
rare. 9. Pikin the Gorilla Primates are the closest animals in the world
to humans, so it’s perhaps no surprise that there are a number of stories of incredibly
close bonds between our species. This image, the winner of 2017’s wildlife
photographer of the year award, shows just how amazing this friendship can be. It’s of a gorilla called Pikin who, at the
time, was being transferred to an animal sanctuary in Cameroon by the Ape Action Africa charity. Sadly, she had been captured by poachers who
were planning on eating her, but she was rescued just in time. Usually during these transfers the gorillas
are sedated, but Pikin’s medicine had worn off just prior to this image being taken and,
rather than being frightened or acting violently, she woke up in the arms of her handler, Appolinaire
Ndohoudou (doohoodoo) and hugged him. The bond between these two extends much further
than Appolinaire rescuing Pikin from her captors. Appolinaire had also been forced to leave
his home in Chad, in this case because of the civil war, and had moved to Cameroon where
he dedicated his life to caring for displaced animals. It is a story of strength and compassion and
Jo-Anne McArthur, the photographer says he is thankful that the image resonated with
people and that he hopes to inspire people to care just a little bit more about animals. She says that she documents a lot of cruelty
against animals but that sometimes she is able to witness stories of rescue and friendship. 8. Dindim the Penguin You’ve probably heard tale of birds forming
bonds with humans- often because they attach to the first thing they see once they hatch-
but this next story shows how intense and integral this bond can become. In 2012, Joao Pereira de Souza found a South
American Magellanic penguin on an island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The penguin was malnourished and covered in
thick oil. So De Souza immediately cleaned it’s feathers
and found it a meal. From that moment forth, the penguin developed
an unbreakable bond with its rescuer. It soon recovered and left for its migration. Usually the species congregates to breed on
the Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile, as far as five thousand miles away. Every year, Dindim the Penguin makes the journey,
and spends 8 months on the island with the retired fisherman. De Souza refers to Dindim as one of his children
and, before you start thinking that the penguin just likes the island and the people, and
not De Souza in particular- by all accounts he’s the only person that it will let get
close. If anyone else tries to pet it, it will peck
at them. Instead, it’s far happier sitting on de
Souza’s lap, and letting him feed him sardines! 7. Chamroeun the Python When you were a child, what pet did you wish
for?? I wanted I giant panda but no luck! If you were lucky, maybe you did get your
wish but I’m not sure how many of you were allowed to have a potentially dangerous animal
that was many times bigger than you!! It seems like this might not be such a big
deal in Cambodia, where Uorn Sambath, a seven year old boy, has an unusual bond with a 220
pound python. It began when Uorn was three months old and
the snake, then a baby too, slithered into his crib. They would sleep in the cradle together, and
he even learned how to crawl alongside the snake. Um… this sounds extremely unsafe. The python has grown up much faster than the
boy, and eats more than 22 pounds of chicken a week. It’s becoming quite a financial difficulty
for the family, so they have tried to make the most of the fame that the story has generated,
and encourage tourists to visit the boy and his snake- which is now about 4 times longer
than he is tall- at 16 feet long! The boy cuddles with the python, rides it,
kisses it and they just hang out together. His parents believe the snake is a magical
spirit who understands them and protects the family from illness. Wildlife and police officials tried to take
the snake away in 2008 but couldn’t resist the cuteness of the two cuddling. Unfortunately in the most recent news that
I could find, in 2011 the python bit Uorn, who was then 12 years old on the leg. She had been unresponsive and had never bitten
before so the family decided to let the Wildlife Rescue Team take her away to a Wildlife center. 6. Humpback Whale As anyone who has been diving will know, one
of the most frightening sights you can see when you’re underwater is the distinctive
shape of a shark. Even if it’s what you’re there to see,
there’s a certain instinctive respect towards the ocean’s top predators. In October of 2017, Nan Hauser, a marine biologist,
was snorkelling in the water with a humpback whale when it started exhibiting some unusual
behaviour. Suddenly it put her under its fin, and started
nudging her in a different direction. She looked around to see what was going on,
and spotted a tiger shark circling her. The whale even, at one point, lifted her out
of the water to keep her safe. Following the incident, Nan said that there
was another whale in the distance that was splashing its tail and helping to distract
the shark from setting its sights on her. It’s evidence that humpback whales are far
more nurturing than you might initially think, and shows their intuitive protective behaviour
for other creatures- something that’s not too common in the animal kingdom. 5. Rambo the Alligator When you think about the ideal pets to have
around the house, ones with rows of sharp teeth probably wouldn’t be on the top of
your list. Mary Thorn, from Florida, doesn’t see it
as a problem, though, and even had to plead a case to the authorities to allow her to
keep her pet of 10 years, an almost 6 foot long alligator. She first adopted the gator when it was young,
and even set up an entertainment business where she would take “Rambo” to parties
and events, with her social media channels full of images of people holding him, and
him being dressed in a wide range of outfits. She’d take him everywhere with her, and
even let him ride motorcycles and ATV’s. Rambo has grown a lot since she first got
him, and the recent ruling has allowed her to keep him at her home, as long as she follows
certain rules. She can no longer take him for public appearances,
and he must have his mouth taped shut when leaving the house. The rule that’s bothered her most, though,
is that she needs to get a ‘pet’ license. She wholeheartedly considers the gator to
be a part of her family, and doesn’t think they should be seen as animals that can be
kept as pets, but should instead be considered equals. 4. The Port Jackson Shark Rick Anderson is an Australian diver who regularly
swims in the waters off the southern coast. He strongly believes that sharks are friendly
creatures, and it was while showing this to a group of students a few years ago, that
he developed a strong bond with a Port Jackson shark. It was still very young, and he approached
it and tickled it before giving it a cuddle. The markings on the sharks are as distinctive
as any other animals, so each time he re-visited the area, he would find it again and, again,
and go in for a hug or a cuddle. Now, whenever he enters the water, the shark
swims up to him! This friendship has now been going on for
a number of years. Occasionally the shark will give him a friendly
nip, but, according to Anderson, the thing he’s most concerned about is that the shark
would leave him and develop a friendship with another diver. He says he would be heartbroken if this happened,
so he ensures that he regularly visits just to make sure the Port Jackson shark doesn’t
forget who he is. 3. Kham Lha the Elephant The Save Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai,
Thailand was set up to help protect the endangered creatures from environmental pressures and,
more importantly, from illegal poachers. The volunteers work closely with the elephants
year round, and the bonds they develop with them are incredible. Kham La was rescued at 5 years old and whenever
Darrick Thompson who is a co-founder of the organisation, calls her name, she comes running
towards him like the biggest puppy in the world, calling out in excitement. In 2016, Darrick was by a river where Kham
Lha, a young elephant, was playing. He called out to her to get her attention,
but she misunderstood and thought he was calling out for help. She immediately ran through the water, sheltered
him with her body, and extended her trunk out for him to hold on to. Of course, Thompson was completely ok, but
it just shows how close a bond the two have developed ever since he rescued her when she
was very young. In Thailand, elephants are usually subjected
to brutal training and organizations like Save Elephant Foundation give them a chance
to recover and live in peace with their elephant families. 2. Mulan the Tigress In 2007, Abdullah Sholeh, from Indonesia,
took on a job that isn’t for the faint hearted- he became a nanny for a 3 month old tiger
cub. Named “Mulan Jamillah”, the Bengal tigress
was donated to a school in Malang soon after her birth because her previous owner couldn’t
take care of her. It started off as a part time job for Abdullah,
but soon became a full time position, and he spent almost 24 hours a day with her. If he’s not in her enclosure she becomes
visibly anxious, and she is only calm once he has returned. After 10 together, they have developed an
extreme attachment to each other and Andullah misses her if he is away too long. She acts just like any pet cat, but the consequences
of her being overly friendly are always present in his mind. He’s covered in scratches from when they
play, because of course, she’s a tiger!! He feeds her about 6 kg of meat a day, usually
chicken or goat- and even sometimes will feed it to her from his own mouth. Despite this protein rich diet, Abdullah says
that her favourite meal is instant noodles- something that’s kept only for special occasions! 1. Jessica the Hippo Jessica the hippo is famous around the world
as being one of the only hippos to be kept in captivity without being contained in an
enclosure. Many would argue that hippos are one of the
most dangerous animals in the world because of their size, strength, and aggressive nature,
but Jessica is often hailed as proof that they can live a more calm existence. Tonie and Shirley Joubert found her on the
outskirts of the Kruger national park when she was very young, and adopted her as their
own child. Now she has free reign of the family home,
but the favourite spot for the half tonne animal is on the sidewalk. She’s actually so calm that visitors are
able to visit the home and feed her, and she’s also starred in more than 90 movies and documentaries. Her temperament is quite unusual for hippos,
though, so if you ever find yourself near to one, you’d be best to carefully back
off- unless it’s Jessica, of course, in which case you should feed her a bottle of
juice. Thanks for watching!! Do you jhave a special bond with an animal?? Id love to hear about it in the comments!! Be sure to subscribe for more!!