A 3-legged calf and a tortoise form a most unlikely friendship on a wildlife preserve in Thailand

In 2013, a zoo in Bangkok, Thailand closed leaving an African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) named Leonardo homeless.

Luckily, the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) Rescue Center was there to help. They’ve provided medical care as well as a sanctuary to hundreds of animals with no place to go. Even better, Leonardo fit right in and was thriving not long after his arrival, spending his days roaming a secluded enclosure and living his best tortoise life.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

The following January, the Rescue Center brought in another creature – a 6-month-old domestic calf that they named Simon (Cow-ell). Simon had just experienced a bad injury when his leg got caught up in some vines while grazing with his mother.

The accident was so bad that the poor little cow had to have the bottom of his back leg amputated. He would no longer be able to keep up with the rest of the herd and would need a new place to live to get the attention he needed.

The sanctuary not only took him in but was kind enough to build him a prosthetic leg until he learned to walk on just 3 legs.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

When WFFT took him, they weren’t quite sure where to put him on the grounds. At first, they gave him an open field free of any other cows so he could get used to walking again:

“We decided to house him temporarily in a large open field enclosure within the WFFT Rescue Center where he could recover from his ordeal,” WFFT wrote on Facebook. “We had then planned to move him into a field where we house two other rescued cows.”

But then something unexpected happened. Simon found a friend in the field – Leonardo.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

“To the surprise of us all Simon the cow has formed a strong bond with the large tortoise Leonardo,” WFFT wrote in a Facebook post.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

Talk about an unlikely friendship!

Alas, the two were inseparable and the staff said they could often be seen following each other around the enclosure, sharing meals, and even resting together.

We never imagined we’d be so touched to see a tortoise and a calf snuggle together but here we are!

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

Not willing to break up the new pair of friends, the wildlife rescuers decided to let the friendship flourish.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

While the last time the story was updated was three years ago and there’s been little news of Leonardo since then, we do know the Simon is still flourishing.

In fact, in November 2017, the refuge took in another 3-legged cow named Petal that had been injured in an accident and had plans to introduce her to Simon.

And as of last year, Simon had made yet another new friend as well – a bull named Peter.

WFFT.org Source: WFFT.org

WFFT said of their sweet story:

“After we introduced them to each other back in 2017, they have formed a close bond and become brothers. They have grown into very handsome healthy bulls. Older ‘brother’ Simon takes very good care of Peter, they spend every minute of every day together whether grazing, walking, or sleeping at night.”

Sounds like Simon is quite a friendly cow!

It’s amazing to see all of the work done by the Wildlife Friends Foundation in Thailand and their willingness to help non-wild animals as well.

If you’d like to learn more about visiting or donating to the organization, you can click here.

Be sure to scroll down below for a sweet video about Simon and his very first friend, Leonardo.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Wildlife Friends via YouTube, The Dodo, WFFT via Facebook, WFFT.org

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