I grew up in a small village surrounded by all kinds of farm animals, from chickens to cows and that has helped me understand a little bit about animals and their feelings. One of those animals, a goat, was always hanging out with a cat we had at that time. That’s when I realized that animals don’t think in terms of species, they can be friends with anyone. So whenever I see an unusual animal friendship I remember that goat and cat and it always brings up childhood memories. That is why this unusual story about the friendship between an elephant and an ostrich is a very dear story to me.
Pea came first…
Our story begins back in 2014 when Pea was rescued together with her brother Pod on an elephant rescue mission performed by David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) staff. They were both brought back to the elephant shelter to heal and get ready to get back in the wild.
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And chose to stay
Eventually, Pod got better and stronger and in the end was returned to the wildlife to continue his journey. However, Pea decided to stay with elephants since she has grown accustomed to them and she now feels like an equal part of the herd.
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Jotto joins the herd of orphans
Jotto was only one month old when he was found stuck in a well, separated from his herd. David Sheldrick wildlife trust (DSWT) staff found him and took him to an elephant sanctuary in Kenya until he gets better and can go back to the wild.
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In the shelter, he found a great friend
When Jotto was first brought to the orphanage, as soon as he recovered, he joined the herd of elephants in search of a new best friend. He found her, but she wasn’t of his own kind. It was an ostrich named Pea, to the surprise of the orphanage personnel.
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Jotto and Pea became inseparable
After that initial meeting, Jotto and Pea can always be seen together. Their friendship transcends their species, as was often the case in the animal world, especially with those animals that have grown up with each other due to different circumstances.
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They are quite the explorers
Although Pea is still in the elephant orphanage and not back in the wild, that doesn’t mean that she lacks the adventurous spirit. She and Jotto often roam the surrounding area, scouting it together like a true pair of animal explorers.
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They love to take a nap together…
Jotto simply adores sleeping next to Pea. Perhaps her soft feathers feel like a pillow to him. Also, since Jotto is still a baby practically, Pea probably has maternal instincts when it comes to Jotto. She always seems to protect him wherever he goes and she takes care of him in many different ways.
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And snuggle all the time
Even when they are not sleeping, they enjoy cuddling and snuggling. They are not afraid or shy to show their love and appreciation and that is why their friendship is such an inspiration to everyone, especially for people that struggle with expressing their emotions.
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Pea is not the only ostrich in the shelter
There are all kinds of different animals in this elephant orphanage. Even though it is created to shelter and heal elephants hurt by poachers and those stranded from the herd for various reasons, the staff here never leaves an animal behind.
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Pea loves all the elephants
Even though Pea has developed the strongest bond with Jotto, she actually enjoys the company of every elephant in the shelter and they all accept her as a part of their herd. It is actually a really big family and can serve as a positive example even for some humans. They share love, tolerance and acceptance of differences, which are all virtues that human society should value the most.
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