There’s a beautiful phenomenon in the animal kingdom when animals in need come together and make the best of friends, even when they’re species that normally would not get along.
Sometimes, as in the case of “The Fox and the Hound,” those friendships fade away as the critters mature. In other cases, the bond is stronger because it’s one of mother and child.
Hens, for example, have been known to adopt other smallish animals. Some hens are especially broody and will adopt anything that moves and is roughly chick-sized, though they’re not too particular about that.
Kittens seem to be one of the most frequently mothered babies for chickens, probably because of the prevalence of barn cats.
Baby ducks and chickens will also imprint on humans if people are the first thing they see when hatched. It seems fairly sensible that if someone takes care of you when you are in your most fragile state, they’ll continue to protect and care for you, and that trust is built into many baby animals.
Dogs are a little trickier when it comes to adopting babies of other species, especially for hunting breeds, as they’re bred to track down and eradicate other animals. But for some of them, the mothering instinct is still stronger and leads them to nurture creatures that they would otherwise kill.
Beagles were bred to flush out small game animals such as rabbits. Their keen sense of smell makes them excellent hunting hounds and their trademark baying lets you keep track of their position.
But Molly, a beagle from Australia, has a different game in mind. She should have been looking forward to frolicking with her pups on the expansive cattle ranch her owners run, but instead, she tragically lost her entire litter.
A mother with no babies, Molly needed something to take care of, and fortunately for her, she found something that needed her care: a baby possum!
“They’re an unlikely pair,” admitted her owners Sara and Elle Moyle in an interview with 9News, “and I think that possum thought Mol was her mother and vice versa.”
“They’ve been inseparable ever since.”
The possum is nocturnal, complicating their relationship a bit, but it’s nothing Molly can’t handle. While the possum (named “Poss”) sleeps in a tree during the day, Molly lies underneath it, waiting for her little gray puppy to climb down from the tree and join her.
“Molly just sits under the tree where she’s sleeping and just waits for her,” Elle said.
“It’s certainly uplifted her mood, they both needed each other I think so it’s been a fantastic relationship,” Sara added.
While the baby possum may one day strike off on her own and never look back, for now Molly and Poss are certainly enjoying their time together.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.