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Odd pals at L.A. Zoo: Wild hog, bongo

UPI News Service, 02/21/2006 

Zookeepers in Los Angeles have documented an unusual cross-species friendship that has developed between a wild African hog and an antelope.

Willy, a 10-year-old, 187-pound Red River hog and his mate, Ruby, were placed in the same enclosure as Nicole, a bongo, which is part of the forest antelope family.

Ruby died of cancer last year, and zookeepers said it didn't take long for Willy to start making friendly overtures to Nicole.

Eventually Nicole stopped pushing him away and the two animals now eat their vegetarian breakfast out of the same feeder. Then they take a slow walk around their pen. Nicole leads, and Willy trails closely behind, the Los Angeles Daily News said.

After they finish walking the grounds, Willy settles in for grooming, and Nicole picks at his coat, and then lets Willy reciprocate.

They then curl up together for an afternoon nap, said exhibit curator Jeff Holland.

"I think he definitely likes her more than she likes him," Holland said.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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