5 Mama Animals Adopt Babies of Different Species

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.


Related Stories:

Happy Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

This Valentine’s Day Adopt Your New Best Friend!



CJ Barva
CJ B.4 months ago

These stories are truly amazing and we need to start giving all animals more respect, compassion and understanding. This goes to show that we often underestimate them and they can teach us so much if we pay attention!

Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Diane Wayne
Diane Wayne1 years ago

truly amazing, thank you.

Angela K.
Angela K.1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Miriam O.

THANK YOU for your time and for posting! Awesome!

Lauren K.
Lauren K.1 years ago

I don't know about the others, but with regards to the tiger 'adopting' the piglets, please read this link here: http://animalwelfarists.tumblr.com/post/75148569843/as-often-happens-this-items-appears-to-be-a-case

For those who don't want to go off-site, I have also posted here: http://www.care2.com/news/member/100041282/559441

Thank you.

Spread Harmony
Spread Harmony2 years ago

What's it like to be an animal in contemporary society? This experimental documentary explores the humans relationship with animals. Animals as companions, food, curiosities and entertainment are included as the camera drifts through a zoo, museum, farm, a meat packing plant and some living rooms.


Jay Bauder
Jay B2 years ago


Jay Bauder
Jay B2 years ago

Seen this a lot before. Come really unexpected connections

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.2 years ago

Animals are amazing and these stories are no exception. They do have their own emotions and instincts. Not too long ago this was also shown by a goat who stopped eating until his burro friend was returned to him.