Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

Jennifer S. Holland
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 13, 2012

No one loves anthropomorphisization more than me. So Unlikely Friendships is just the kind of book I like to savor over a warm mug of cocoa. Holland describes “friendships” between species, sometimes even predators with prey. Everyone knows about the gorilla Koko and her kittens, which are included here. But my favorites include the hippopotamus and the pygmy goat (seriously, what’s funnier than a goat standing on a hippo?), the macaque and the kitten, the elephant and the stray dog, the salty dog and the dolphins…oh, never mind, they’re all my favorites! 

With only three to four pages devoted to each pair, Holland only briefly describes how the friendship was formed, quotes from the animals caretakers or animal behaviorists, and how the animals fared when, for some, separation became necessary. In the introduction, Holland says “I describe the unions as friendships, knowing that we can’t truly explain what emotional strings bind our nonhuman kin but assuming that there is some parallel to our experiences.” 

This is a really fun book that can be enjoyed by anyone, but will mostly appeal to pushovers for furry faces.  

Reviewed by Helen H.
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