Interspecies friendships are real!

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    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Tiger cub and baby orangutan

    These two guys were abandoned by their mothers after birth. They were animal orphans with no one -- until they found each other at Indonesia's Taman Safari zoo. They are basically what the song "Livin' on a Prayer" was written about.

    Credit: The Daily Mail

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Leo the terrier and his kittens

    Oh, wondering who this guy is? Well, it's none other than Leo the Terrier: Hero dog. Leo risked his life to save a litter of newborn kittens from a house fire in Melbourne, Australia. He had to be revived with oxygen and heart massage because he literally died while saving his cat friends.

    Credit: The Associated Press

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Owen and Mzee

    Owen the baby hippo was rescued in the Indian Ocean in 2004. Then he was bunked with Mzee, a 130-year-old Aldabra Giant Tortoise. The pair ate, slept, swam and played together until they were separated so Owen could have a bigger enclosure. But their love was so real and strong and true that it inspired a New York Times bestseller.

    Credit: Interspecies Friends

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Golden retriever and tiger cubs

    What is that dog doing with all of those tiger cubs, you ask? It is being a hero, that is what. These tiger cubs at Safari Zoological Park in southeast Kansas were abandoned by their mothers -- until Isabella the golden retriever stepped in and saved their tiger lives.

    Credit: The Associated Press

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Luna the whale and a dog

    Luna should want to eat this dog, but she does not. Why? Because animal friendships conquer all!!!

    Credit: Interspecies Friendships

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Cashew and Libby

    Cashew, a yellow Labrador mix, went blind and deaf due to old age. Then Libby stepped in, leading her canine friend around and watching over the dog while the two slept side-by-side until Cashew's death years later.

    Credit: Interspecies Friendships

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Otter and goat

    Look, I honestly do not know the origin story of this pair. But from the looks of it, they probably met at a fundraiser for the Trevor Project or while distributing disaster relief supplies post-Hurricane Sandy. But that is just my guess.

    Credit: Interspecies Friendships

    Interspecies friendships are real!

    Rex the dog and a baby kangaroo

    Rex came across a dead kangaroo in the road in Victoria, Australia. One of its joeys was alive in its mother's pouch. So Rex rescued it, took it home, and dropped it at his owner's feet. Now they are best friends and the joey literally owes Rex its life, but I bet Rex is always like, "Oh, it's no big deal. You would have done the same for me."

    Credit: Interspecies Friendships

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Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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