World Friendship Day is a day to celebrate all the things your friends do for you. Here at Knowsley it’s not just our keepers who have formed great friendships, some of our animals have become the best of friends and we want to show you how!
#1 Elephant – The Consoling Friend
Everyone knows elephants are wise beyond their years, however, what you may not know is that elephants also know how to support a friend. These magnificent mammals have been seen to recognize when a member of their herd is upset and knows how to console their friend with gentle caresses. Not only do the herd know how to cheer up a friend, but they also know how to help a herd member in distress by forming a protective circle around them and reaching their trunks out to help calm them down, very similar to the way humans give a calming hug!
#2 Meerkat – The Brave Friend
Next on our list are some very social animals. Meerkats definitely have each other’s backs which is why we think they make excellent friends! Members of colonies all pitch in to help out by babysitting the young in the group and often grooming each other regularly, if that doesn’t say friendship we don’t know what does. Still not convinced meerkats are amazing friends? Well how about this, colony members take turns watching out for danger and essentially risking their lives to ensure their friends are warned of predators!
#3 Lions – The Affectionate Friend
It’s a hard life for a lion, endless hours of sleep, spending most of the day eating and not to mention having great hair. So how do lions unwind from such stress? It turns out just like humans, pride mates love a cuddle! That’s right, these often thought of violent creatures, maintain their friendships by snuggling up to their friends. Between sleeping, head rubbing and snuggling, when do they have the time to rule the jungle?
#4 Baboons – The Hard Friend to Win Over
One of our most popular animals here at Knowsley Safari are our baboons! Our guests love their cheeky attitude and how they joke around. However, one thing that is no joke for baboons is their friendships. It takes a baboon several months of grooming, grunting and lip smacking to create a strong friendship bond between two primates.
#5 Wolves – The Loyal Friend
Wolves are notorious for their strong bonds within their packs and when it comes to friendships their loyalties are no different. Protecting their packs is a top priority for these alpha pups, so much so that some may even sacrifice their own lives to protect their friends! If that doesn’t say I’m the ultimate friend we don’t know what does.
#6 Giraffe – The Playful Friend
Not so long ago, giraffes were thought to be a collection of individuals which moved in the same direction but nearly a whole kilometer apart! That sounds pretty lonely right? Well recently we have discovered that giraffes aren’t so lonely after all. Instead, giraffes can be a part of a social groups of up to 40! The little ones, or how little a giraffe calf can be, even engage in play fights for fun! If you need any more proof that giraffes make great friends just take a look at our very own gorgeous duo Oliver and Rigby!
#7 Zebra – The Protective Friend
Another animal we think makes a great friend, due to their protective nature, is the zebra! Like many other members of the horse related family, zebras are highly social animals, so keeping the members of the harem alive comes as a top priority. If these striped stallions ever sense danger, the group of zebras will huddle together with the youngest protected in the middle, whilst the stallion tries to ward any predators off! We wish we had a friend like that.
#8 Common Eland- The Popular Friend
This ungulate can be found in groups of up to 500. Anyone, human or not, who has that many friends certainly qualifies for our list! The Common Eland might just be our most welcoming friend, as members of their herd could join for anywhere between several hours to several months, that is a lot of new names to remember!
#9 Honeybee – The Performing Friend
We love the honeybee for a number of reasons, not only do they make delicious honey but they also dance to communicate! There are many dances the bees preform to their friends, however, the two most common are called the “round dance” and the “waggle dance.” The honeybee has successfully buzzed its way onto our list!
#10 Ant – The hardworking friend
Last but not least, we have another creature you could find in your back garden, the humble ant. Everyone knows how hardworking the ant is, but we want to let everyone know how much effort they put into protecting their colony and their little friends! These six-legged critters take on roles within their home, each role plays a part to help their friends in the colony and to make sure this group of insects live happy and healthy!