Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe a Blue Tick hound became friends when they crossed paths at Tigers Preserve, a South Carolina preserve for endangered animals. Now they swim together, play together and Suryia even takes the dog for his walks.
The pair first encountered each other two years ago when Roscoe followed staff from The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in Myrtle Beach home.
He was immediately spotted by the orangutan who ambled over to make friends.
Dr Bhagavan Antle, founder of TIGERS said: ‘Roscoe looked really thin and a little lost so we fed him and took care of him;
‘He followed us through the gate and ran over and found Suryia. As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing. It was unusual because dogs are usually scared of primates but they took to each other straight away. We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no-one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.
Suryia is an animal ambassador at the preserve helping to raise baby primates but likes nothing better than spending quality time with his canine friend on his day off.
‘They will spend a few hours each day together rolling around, swimming,’ said Dr Antle. ‘Suryia will take Roscoe for walks around the enclosure and even feeds him some of his monkey biscuits. When they are both feeling a little lazy they will go for a ride on the back of Bubbles, our 27-year-old African elephant.’ That was two years ago and they’ve been fast friends since. Their story has been featured in many articles and TV shows including National Geographic’s Unlike Animal Friends.
For more information on Suryia and Roscoe or the T.I.G.E.R.S. tour in Myrtle Beach, visit www.tigerfriends.com/home.html.