Otters and orangutans being animal friends

I love a good interspecies friendship, and today, I discovered not one but two zoos that have otters and orangutans in the same enclosure. Pairi Daiza, a zoo in Belgium, has placed Asian small-clawed otters and orangutans together. 

From Live Science:

"The presence of a family of Asian small-clawed otters in [the orangutans'] territories is not a coincidence," Mathieu Goedefroy, Pairi Daiza spokesperson, told Live Science in an email. Orangutans (genus Pongo) share 97% of their DNA with humans, and like their Homo sapiens' cousins, orangutans "must be entertained, occupied, challenged and kept busy mentally, emotionally and physically at all times," Goedefroy said.

"The otters really enjoy getting out of the water on the orangutan island to go and play with their big, furry friends," Goedefroy said. "It makes life more fun and interesting for both animal species, which makes it a very successful experiment."

Large male Borean orangutans always look like something from Jim Henson's creature shop rather than creatures that actually exist.

This fellow has clearly had it with the mischievous little mustelids.

But here, a younger male has a blast playing keep away with the otters.

The Singapore zoo has gibbons, in addition to orangutans, housed with otters.

The otters seem to enjoy interacting with the orangutans more than the gibbons.

Here's to animal friends.

An author wrote a beautiful tribute to his late dog disguised as writing advice