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In 2000, zookeepers and guests at Berlin Zoo were taken aback when they found a black house cat inside the enclosure of an Asiatic bear named Mäuschen. They fear that the cat, which they would later name Mushi, would lose her life right in front of their eyes. But what happened seconds later surprised everyone.
Early in the morning, when a zoo employee was making sure Mäuschen had enough food, he saw the cat sitting on a branch up in the tree. Although it was a little odd, the employee didn't think that the cat would come anywhere near Mäuschen.
Soon Mäuschen noticed the cat, and it seemed that she became interested and approached the tree which the cat was sitting in. To everyone's amazement, instead of fleeing, Mushi jumped off the tree and into the bear's enclosure.
Everyone held their breath as the cat came near Mäuschen, however, the bear was not aggressive at all. It seemed that she was instantly smitten with the small cat. Soon after the two friends became inseparable. However, this was not even the most bizarre part…
In 2007, the Berlin Zoo wanted to make Mäuschen more comfortable by expanding her enclosure. That meant the two best friends had to be separated while the construction was going on, which caused an unexpected reaction between the two.
Neither of the two understood what was happening and felt visibly upset. Mushi would sit outside Mäuschen's cage all night and refused to leave. The zookeepers felt awful to see the best friends suffering like that, and they decided to make things right.
Once the construction work was completed, the pair were reunited. They were overjoyed to see each other again and now have a much bigger place to play around together.
One would never normally see a bear and a cat hanging out together as an inseparable pair, so naturally, people from all around came to see Mäuschen and Mushi, and they began to ask questions. One of the most frequently asked questions is where Mushi had come from in the first place.
Although everyone tried to trace Mushi's origin and find out how she made her way into the zoo, no one seemed to know the answer. Meanwhile, people found it even more fascinating that why the pair had formed such an unlikely friendship when Mushi's instinct should have told her to leave.
Zookeepers believed that Mushi maybe was destined to meet Mäuschen and become friends with her. Their friendship tells us that even people of different races, personalities, or cultural backgrounds can become friends. But they were not the only interesting pair at a zoo.
Mäuschen and Mushi's friendship was rare but not unique. Amazingly enough, another bear and cat friendship was found at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary in California. Their story is a bit different but also heartwarming.
This time the story also started with a black cat, whom the workers would later call "Little Bear", found her way inside the zoo's bear enclosure. Much like things in Berlin, the two got along instantly and became best friends. But this cat had a different character.
Workers say Little Bear was quite a sneaky cat at first. She would sneak into the bear's enclosure every morning and steal some of the food that zookeepers left for the bear. Later when the employees found out what she was doing, they started leaving cat food for her every day.
Workers at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary were taken aback by the unusual relationship between the two animals. Jill Faust, a senior lead zookeeper in Folsom City, claimed that it was unlike anything that she had seen in her whole career. Although many employees couldn't understand this peculiar relationship, they decided to do their best to protect the pair.
The bear in this story was a 500-pound black bear named Sequoia, one of the largest animals at the zoo. While Sequoia didn't appear to be aggressive, the workers kept an eye on her in case the cat was in any danger.
When people heard of the story, visitors started pouring into the zoo to witness the adorable relationship, which helped the zoo financially so they could provide more for the animals. But would Little Bear and all the other animals at the zoo be comfortable with so many people around?
Animals at the zoo didn't seem to be bothered by the visitors. Little Bear was still wandering around or relaxing under the tree in the bear's enclosure like she was a bear herself. Maybe she actually liked all the attention she was receiving.
The cross-species friendship Muschi and Mäuschen and Little Bear and Sequoia have is undoubtedly strange, but also adorable and heartwarming. We hope their relationships will grow stronger in time.
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