Adorable Puppy Joins Many Piglets Nursing From Mother

Call it maternal instinct. A pig in Thailand was caught on video nursing a puppy by a farmer in Thailand, UPI reported on Friday. While the bunch might seem odd, mixed-species families aren’t terribly uncommon.

As National Geographic reported, some animals might adopt youngsters—even those from different species—believe they’d benefit in some way. That could mean being able to gather more food or be more protected someday or just having another buddy around. A new mother may also be hormonally drawn to orphans, regardless of species.

Whatever the motivation, it happens. Here are five other examples of animals stepping up to take care of each other. 

There are actually a lot of examples to be found of dogs nursing piglets. In 2011, the AP found Yeti, a dog in Cuba who nursed 14 piglets in addition to her own puppies.

This dog in northeastern China fed this piglet for about 40 days in 2007, thanks to a farmer who put the orphaned pig with the dog shortly after the pig’s mother died, according to Reuters.

dog and piglet A dog feeds a piglet in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning province June 29, 2007. REUTERS/Stringer

Amber, the dog seen below, adopted this orphaned piglet in 1996, as Reuters reported, taking care of it and her own puppies after an Australian farmer literally rescued the piglet from a slaughterhouse. 

Amber and piglet An orphaned piglet, cuddles up with his surrogate mother "Amber" and her pups on April 2. Stringer / Reuters

Dogs do their fair share of adopting other animals, but that doesn’t mean cats aren’t perfectly capable of doing the same. This video, shared on YouTube by the Washington Post, shows that cats can and have nursed squirrels (as long as the squirrel in question doesn’t mind squeezing into a pile of kittens).

In fact, one cat adopted a very cute puppy, as seen in a video from the Michigan Humane Society. This puppy’s mother got hit by a car when he was 2 days old, so staff at the society wondered if a cat who was still nursing would take him in. “It actually worked,” humane society customer service representative Faith O’Georgia said in a video about the experiment.

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