We all have some clarity about the meaning of friendship. Friendship is usually defined as a mutual feeling between two individuals who do not belong to the same family. Everyone at some point in our lives has established bonds with others involving affection, trust, honesty, acceptance, support, and even complicity. That’s friendship! It is a fairly common interaction between humans.
Many animals, especially those who are stray, lonely or in captivity, seek a human or another animal of the same kind, or of a different species, to adopt as a companion, a friend or a pet, and establish with them bonds involving loyalty and extraordinary affection. Visit this link
and see some surprising examples.
One such case is Lucy Temerlin, the chimpanzee who was raised as a human
by Maurice and Jane Temerlin in their home at Norman, Oklahoma. Lucy was definitely not a pet, she was raised as a daughter
and besides being taught sign language and how to dress herself, she sat with the Temerlins at the dinner table and learnt how to use flatware. Lucy was also given the opportunity to a have a pet. She was introduced to a kitten. Following some initial rough encounters, both chimpanzee and cat adopted each other and established a long lasting bond of trust and affection.
A similar story is that of Koko, a female gorilla
who adopted “All Ball”, a Manx kitten (a tailless cat breed) as her pet. Koko was a remarkable primate; reportedly she could understand more than 1,000 signs of American Sign Language and approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. When Koko’s kitten was accidentally killed by a car, she expressed her grief with a sequence of signs meaning "Bad, sad, bad, frown, cry, frown, sad". To alleviate her affliction, Koko was offered two new kittens to be her companions whom she also adopted and adored tenderly.
On the subject of friendship and affection among animals, I came across this photograph of two Rockhopper penguins
that, in crossing their path in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, seem to greet each other with a bow and a "hand-shake". Are they making friends?
Perhaps, we are going a bit too far… What do you think? Can animals have and express human-like emotions?