Here’s a look at the most likely of animal interactions — those that hew closely to predictable predator/prey relationships. As you might expect, the majority of these animals have never met and have no particular bond with one another, although we can guess that if they were to ever meet, their reactions would range from general indifference to outright hostility, as this is the way of all things.
Here are a cat and a baby duck who have never met.
Here is a baby elephant who has never bonded with a sheep after his mother’s death.
All over the world — every day — animals you would never expect to meet never meet. They go about their normal routines, interacting only with the animals it makes sense for them to interact with. Here is a deer that has never deviated from its typical behavior by helping a mother bird guard her eggs.
Unlike in the popular movie, this fox and hound are not close friends.
They have never gambolled together in a sunny field. They will never be torn apart by social forces and angry farmers outside of their control. Never will the fox sigh dreamily to the hound, “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we?” because they do not know one another, and because we live in a world without magic.
Here is a baby bear that has never snuggled with a tiny, warm piglet.
Here you will see a picture of a turtle who was raised by other turtles. They died, as turtles do, and he continued to live until he died, without ever riding adorably across a flooded river on the back of a friendly hippo who helped to raise him, despite their many differences.
Here is the hippo, who has never touched a turtle, except perhaps once by accident. They have no relationship whatever to speak of.
All over the world, animals are eating and ignoring each other, “friendship” being a human construct that does not enter into their daily struggle for survival. They would eat you too, given half a chance. If the hills beyond your home were just a bit more wild, if you wandered just a bit too far afield, if your glasses slipped from your breast pocket and you stumbled for just a moment, they would eat you too.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.