We’re sure that you’ve all heard of some pretty wild friendship stories between animals, but we can bet you’ve never heard one as crazy as this one. Lions are the kings of the animal kingdom as they are vicious hunters that stalk their prey – no matter what size. So when this huge lion became friends with a couple of dogs, everyone at the zoo was pretty stunned. You’ll drop your jaw at #13! If you’ve never seen a puppy and a lion living together then you’re in for a treat! You won’t believe how strong this friendship really is…
20. The Mighty Predator
Image: National Zoo
Lions are ferocious animals that rule and defend their territory. Weighing in at a few hundred pounds or more, the lion is one animal that no one wants to mess with or be left alone with. After all, we all know how that would end up.
19. Meet Bonedigger
Meet Bonedigger, a rescued lion that lives at the Greater Wynnewood Animal Park in Oklahoma. With a name as terrifying as Bonedigger, one would expect that this lion would be a ferocious beast but that couldn’t be farther from the reality. So what makes Bonedigger so special?
18. Unexpected Surprise
Sometimes it’s best not to judge a book by its cover or in this case, its size. Here’s a funny story of how one gigantic lion became friends with the most unexpected animal. You won’t believe just how close-knit this friendship is!
17. Grumpy Little Lion
You see, Bonedigger used to be a grumpy little lion when he was younger, and the zoo always had trouble finding him a perfect companion. In the past, he not only refused to ‘move in’ with another lioness, but he also refused to bond with other animals from his enclosure. But Bonedigger began to strike up an unusual bond with the zookeeper, Milo, and other small animals from the zoo.
Suddenly, three dachshunds began to show an interest in Bonedigger and no one knew how to react…
16. Unusual Roommates
When Bonedigger was just a cub, Milo and three other Dachshunds, Angel, Abby and Bullet, noticed that the cub wasn’t very friendly. For some reason, they immediately wanted to stay by his side. The dogs wanted to be his protectors, but no one knew how the lion would react. After all, they are hunters. But what happened soon after surprised everyone!
15. Bonding Moments
So the Dachshunds were brought into the cage and allowed to hang out with Bonedigger. So did the cub eat them alive? Swallow them whole? Tear them to bits? Nope, they surprisingly got along really really well.
But little did they know just how much this bonding experience would begin to grow…
14. Abby’s Connection
Abby was only a pup when she was brought into the cage with Bonedigger and the two grew up together and formed the closest bond of all the Dachshunds. “Bonedigger gets along with all four of the wiener dogs,” one park employee said, “but Abby gets away with a lot more.”
So what are the living conditions between the lions and his puppy pals now?
These days, the Dachshunds and 500lb Bonedigger are living the roommate lifestyle in the animal park cage. Sounds kind of like an episode of Friends, doesn’t it? You’ll fawn over just how attached Bonedigger is to one of the wieners.
Image: Relay News
Eight-year-old Milo and enormous Bonedigger have grown attached at the hip and you can often catch these two hanging out together and giving each other kisses.
“I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like this bond,” he said in an interview. “They’re always just loving on each other.”
Check out some of the cutest moments caught on camera!
11. Feasting On Dinner
Take a look at Bonedigger sharing his dinner with the dogs. Have you ever seen a happier family meal? The lion happens to treat the dogs like they were his own cubs and you’ll fall in love with some of their other family activities.
Image: Honest To Paws
The lion and the Dachshunds regularly play together as well! “Believe it or not, I think the weenie dogs overpower him,” Bonedigger’s caretaker said. “One minute they’ll be running around the house, chasing him, and then the next minute, he’s chasing them—so they reverse roles.”
They even groom each other, as you’re about to see in the following pictures!
Since Bonedigger sees the Dachshunds as his own offsprings, he takes care of them in the same way. Bonedigger often goes out of his way to remove any fleas that he sees on their coats and often grooms them. But he’s not the only one that is infatuated with his roommates. Take a look at Milo’s funny behavior!
Image: Honest To Paws
They often say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it seems that Milo has been following in that saying! “Milo does his best to copy Bonedigger when the lion tries puffing to communicate with other lions in the park,” says Mr. Reinke.
The duo really does have a special love for one another. Check out how Milo helps keep Bonedigger’s smile sparkly clean!
7. Little Helper
You wouldn’t expect that Bonedigger would be the only one taking care of everyone’s hygiene. Milo certainly appreciates the flea removal so he returns the favor by helping to clean the lion’s teeth! The friendship between the lion and the dogs is so inspiring that it’s left us all reevaluating our own friendships.
So how does Reinke feel about all of this?
6. The Zookeeper
Bonedigger and his zookeeper, John Reinke, had an unusual bond. You see most animals don’t really get so close to their zookeeper, but these two had a different relationship. He and Bonedigger had a lot in common. This established the foundation of their close bond…
Reinke had hand-reared Bonedigger since he was a just a cub at the animal park. Reinke realized he had animal whisperer skills! “Bondigger’s like a dog and when he hasn’t seen me for ages he gets all excited and runs up to me,” Reinke happily said.
4. Blown Away
Image: Honest To Paws
Reinke never expected that such an unlikely friendship would occur. When he was bottle-feeding Bonedigger as a baby he never thought something so miraculous would occur and that he would be alive to witness it. Bonedigger, in fact, helped save Reinke’s life.
3. Life Saving
Image: Honest To Paws
While living on the wild side of life, Reinke injured his legs. “That was another low moment for me because I value my independence highly,” added Mr Reinke, “Bringing up Bonedigger and Tony helped me recover, especially my relationship with Bonedigger.”
2. Lifelong Friendships
“This friendship between an 11-pound wiener dog and a 500-pound lion is the only of it’s kind in the world ever seen,” Reinke stated. He feels proud to have raised Bonedigger and these days he’s the only other person that is allowed to go inside the cage. Bonedigger is very territorial and protective of him and his family of pups.
1. Happy Family
Image: Honest To Paws
So, were we right? Have you ever heard of an animal friendship quite like this one? This one definitely takes the cake and it is so heartwarming to see such a beautiful and caring friendships between unlikely animals occur.
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