Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on October 9. 2012. Enjoy!
Humans aren’t the only ones who adopt babies of other species (like kittens and puppies). Animals do it too.
Non-human animals aren’t usually credited with emotions like generosity or empathy, but those are the simplest explanations for the decisions of cats, pigs, tigers, and many others to adopt babies who not only were not theirs genetically, but were a different species entirely.
One example is a cat who adopted a baby squirrel into her litter of kittens. The cat, Emmy, adopted, suckled, and raised the squirrel, Rocky, as her own. Rocky blended right in with his siblings, even learning to purr when stroked.
Another cat adopted a needy rabbit.
A golden retriever adopted three white tiger cubs in a Kansas safari park when their mother rejected them.
When a zoo decided, for whatever unfathomable reason, to take piglets away from their mother and put them with a tiger mom instead, the babies and the tiger took to each other right away.
A monkey adopted an orphaned kitten.
The examples go on and on across so many species that it is hard to deny these adoptive mothers are motivated by compassion, and perhaps even love. Animals deserve so much more credit than we give them.