“Zebras Can’t Sleep Alone”: 58 People Share The Most Wholesome Animal Facts They Know

Fluffy, furry, scaly, fuzzy, prickly, spiky, slimy, feathery, or hairy, there is no shortage of variety in the animal kingdom. And while we may have our preferences of favorite animals based on how easily they can be domesticated, how intelligent they are, how well they hunt their prey or how adorable we find them, today we’re here to celebrate another feature that animals can exhibit: being wholesome

They might not be able to post heartwarming dedications to their loved ones on social media or bring their partners breakfast in bed on a Saturday morning, but animals still manage to show that they love and care for each other and their environment in their own special ways. Reddit user Pancakebunny15 recently reached out asking for people to share wholesome animal facts they know, and boy, did their answers warm our hearts.

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We’ve gathered some of the sweetest facts down below that might change how you view some of these species, so I’ll warn you right now, you might feel the temptation to adopt an elephant or a raven after reading this article. Be sure to upvote all of the facts that bring a smile to your face, and then let us know in the comments if you have any more wholesome animal facts to share. And then if you’re on the hunt for even more precious animal facts that might make you say “awww”, check out this Bored Panda article next.

#1

During the Australian wildfires, wombats started extending their burrows to other animals in need even including birds and reptiles and had different “rooms” set up for each species to stay safe and even started digging their “entryways” bigger for bigger animals like sheep ? ?

Image credits: VivaLaVict0ria

#2

There are reports of elephants finding humans sleeping under trees and the elephants think they’re dead. People have woken up with elephants gently stroking them with their trunk and in some cases they try to cover them with branches and sticks as a “burial”

Elephants are one of the few animals who mourn their dead and have rituals.

Image credits: Zonerdrone

#3

Mama cats can sense when their kitten(s) are having nightmares, so they tightly pull them into a hug and lick their faces to aid them

Image credits: couch_potato235

There are plenty of reasons to love animals, from the companionship they can provide us with to the joy that we receive from observing them. But we sometimes forget that many creatures, aside from cats and dogs, are out there spreading joy and positive energy all the time. Elephants, for example, are often considered one of the world’s most wholesome animals because they are one of the only species that is known to grieve the death of their loved ones. 

They have funeral traditions, such as touching the diseased elephant with their trunks, having moments of silence and covering the body with leaves and branches. These rituals to honor the dead can even last multiple days after an elephant has passed. On a lighter note, elephants are also considered wholesome due to their fear of bees. Despite how tiny bees are compared to them, they flee when they hear the buzzing sound and are always sure to warn one another when a bee is near. 

#4

I saw a video not too long ago of some research ravens given small toys to play with. When the researchers came to collect the toys the ravens hid the toys and tried to trick the researchers into looking in fake hiding spots so they wouldn’t find and take the toys away.

Image credits: HumpieDouglas

#5

Orcas have incredibly complex social structures. They have different languages and regional dialects. They have names. They sing and dance. Pods that are close and speak the same language will mourn deaths and celebrate births together, even from other pods, other families. Their young are largely taught by the matriarch(s) of the pod, and they’re able to teach verbally, rather than by showing.

This means they have *culture*. Traditions, not just instinct or patterns. One of the only animals in the world that has that.

Image credits: Anrikay

#6

In Switzerland it is illegal to own only one Guinea Pig as they get lonely

Image credits: ExponentSoda811

When it comes to the world’s friendliest wild animals, the capybara is certain to make it on the list. These giant rodents weigh about 150 pounds, but they are filled with love and compassion. They are known to be friendly towards a variety of other species, including humans, cats, birds, camels and even crocodiles. In fact, they often serve as a mode of transportation for birds and monkeys who don’t feel like walking or flying. 

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In the United States, it is actually legal to have a capybara as a pet in Texas and Pennsylvania, but if you’re looking to adopt, keep in mind that you’ll need to get at least two. They’re extremely social animals who will get lonely without a companion, and they need plenty of space to roam around, ideally with a pool or lake to wade into as well. But if you come across one in the wild, be careful not to get too close. Not because they’re likely to harm you, but because they might be hosting ticks who won’t be as friendly towards you.  

#7

Cows have best friends

Image credits: zyzioYwY

#8

In a recent study, researchers put one rat in an uncomfortably small, confined space that can be opened by another rat on the outside. The Outside Rat would figure out how to release the Trapped Rat when they made sounds of distress. Even when the researchers distracted the Outside Rat with treats, it would save a treat for the Trapped Rat when it let it out. Basically proving that rats have empathy.

Which I already knew, I love rats. They make amazing pets, clean & smart. It’s just a damn shame that they only live about 3-4 years on average. Plenty of time to break your heart, but definitely not long enough.

Image credits: Sexy_Widdle_Baby

#9

Otters hold each other’s hands when they are sleeping so they don’t float away.

Image credits: Leokina114

Another one of the world’s friendliest animals that might surprise you is the bearded dragon. Although they do not always bond with their own species, they have been known to be kind to humans. They enjoy being held by people and those that are kept as pets will often spend a few hours hanging out on their owners’ shoulders. Their diets consist of a variety of foods, including greens, fruits, leaves, meat and insects, but we have no reason to fear they’ll go for a bite of us. In fact, you can even tell how they’re feeling based on how their colors change, so you might say they wear their feelings on their sleeves (or their scales, same thing right?).   

#10

Dogs evolved the ability to move their eyebrows to better communicate with humans.

Image credits: spanishbanana

#11

Humans aren’t the only species to be found to keep other animals as pets/livestock in a way that resembles us much more than you might think. Some spiders have pet frogs. Some types of ants will raise aphids like livestock. In captivity the list expands–Like how many cheetahs in captivity have emotional support service dogs to help them with anxiety and other issues, especially in breeding programs where a happy cheetah is MUCH more likely to be able to carry to term. Even species that don’t exhibit the behavior yet show that they could if presented with the right option of pet–See elephants getting excited about cute things, and being very gentle with anything they know is smaller/weaker than them.

Image credits: GenericNerdGirl

#12

Vampire bats will share food with other vampire bats who haven’t fed in the last day or two (their metabolism means they die if they don’t eat roughly every three days). This helps support members of the colony, even though it puts the sharer at risk. It is considered one of the few forms of altruism observed in non-human animals.

Image credits: Chiropteran_Coffee57

Another friendly animal that will probably not come as a surprise to all of you pandas out there is none other than, the giant panda! These huge, fluffy bamboo eaters are known to be quite friendly to humans, despite being related to the much more aggressive Grizzly bears. And while they have thankfully been upgraded from endangered to vulnerable in recent years, after being endangered for decades, they still need to be looked out for. In fact, to preserve their national animal, the Chinese government has even created a Giant Panda National Park that is three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. (Sounds like the park and the pandas are giant!) So if you’re a panda lover, you might want to add a trip to China to your bucket list to visit these beautiful, friendly creatures.

#13

if a cat blinks slowly at you it’s giving you a hug and if you blink slowly back you can give it a hug in its language

Image credits: -cake-and-cosplay-

#14

My father in law worked for a commercial plumbing company. They got a job putting in all the water related stuff for the primate enclosures at the local zoo. While working near orangutans, they had to not leave their tools unattended, and take inventory when they left. The orangutans would try to use the tools to take their enclosure apart.

Bonus Wholesome: Years later, my son got a book on animals at the book fair. Reading it together, when we got to the part about orangutans it said, “orangutans are so smart, plumbers working on their enclosures at the (Hometown) Zoo had to be careful not to get their tools taken when working on their enclosure.”

I said, “Holy c**p, they are talking about your grandpa!!”

Image credits: middleagethreat

#15

Zebras can’t sleep alone which leads to my theory Marty spent like 80% of the Madagascar movies as a raging insomniac hence explaining his erratic personality at times

Image credits: anon

Another animal that people might not expect to be too wholesome, due to a similar species being much more aggressive, is the swan. These beautiful birds are actually quite friendly towards humans, compared to geese, as long as you don’t mess with a mother’s babies. They’re romantic as well, as they mate for life, and both partners share responsibilities when it comes to building and taking care of their nest. They also deeply love their families, so they would do anything to protect their partners and children.

#16

Cats sleep on your shoes because they are comforted by your scent. They may also sleep on your sheets or laundry.

Image credits: valiantAcquaintance

#17

Sometimes dogs in movies have had to have their tails replaced with CGI because their real ones were wagging too much.

Image credits: TheChainLink2

#18

The Saimaa seal, native to the Finnish lake Saimaa, is making a slow recovery and will likely cease from being extremely endangered in a few years. The population has doubled to 300 in 20 years.

Another sweet animal that can make a great pet is the guinea pig. They are actually rodents, rather than pigs, but they got their names due to their physical resemblance to pigs. These cute and friendly creatures make for great companions as they respond well to handling and feeding, and they love to play. They are very vocal as well, which can make it easier to determine how they’re feeling when they express themselves. If you’re interested in adopting a guinea pig, just make sure you have room for two. They need to have at least one friend, as they will become lonely without a fellow guinea pig by their side.

#19

Cats don’t meow to other cats. They meow to people to get their attention

Image credits: Grey_Gryphon

#20

Cats will knead throughout life because of when they were kittens with their mother. If a Cat kneads on you, I know it may hurt, but they see you as their parent/family and they have a somewhat deep connection with you.

Image credits: NickSlayr

#21

1/3 of all giraffes are thought to be gay or have gay relationships

When it comes to the friendliest ocean dwellers, dolphins take the cake. These incredibly intelligent creatures are among the smartest and friendliest species. They often travel in large groups called pods, as they love to stick with their friends and even play games with one another. They can be trained to perform or help the military as divers, and they have even been known to protect humans from shark attacks by scaring them away. These friendly swimmers can be found in many parts of the world, including salt and freshwater, and they can even have beautiful pink skin, as seen on Amazon River Dolphins.

#22

Dogs love us just as much as we love them.

Scientists studied their brainwaves and they showed a significant difference between being shown the image of a stranger and the image of their owner. Furthermore, the “pleasure center” of their brain shows more activity with humans than it does with other dogs

Image credits: CapaxInfini

#23

Bearded dragons wave to communicate greeting and that they aren’t a threat. When you wave to a bearded dragon and it waves back at you, you’re literally speaking the same language with the same intent.

#24

When they hear running water, beavers will automatically start to build a dam. We know this because people put a speaker playing sounds of running water next to beavers, and the first thing they did was start building a dam on the speaker.

Image credits: OkLack6837

And how could I bring attention to some of the world’s most wholesome animals without mentioning man’s best friend? We all know dogs are loyal, intelligent, loving and caring, but did you know they can actually smell our emotions? Considering that their sense of smell is about 100,000 times stronger than ours, it should be no surprise that they can smell it immediately when we become frightened. Even if we don’t notice it, our bodies start to perspire when we’re scared, and our dogs will pick up on the scent and come to protect us. Even if you’re not a dog lover, it’s pretty cool to know that they’re looking out for us whenever they’re around.

#25

deer adopt baby deer. like if a mom deer gets hit on the road, and another mom deer is around, which is likely because they are herd animals. they just like “i guess i got two now?‍♀️”. i think a lot of animals are all “not my kid, not my problem” but not deer.

Image credits: girl__anachronism

#26

Pigeons are not wild animals, they are feral. Every pigeon in your city is descended from escaped domesticated birds. You could catch and tame a pigeon just like any stray dog or cat.

Image credits: PearlStreetBlues

#27

Despite all the weirdness that is the Platypus, they are still discovering weird things about it.
Within the past two years it was discovered that platypus fur glows [blue-green](https://www.sciencenews.org/article/platypus-glow-blue-green-ultraviolet-light-fluorescent-fur) when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Image credits: the_spurring_platty

We hope your face is hurting from smiling as you read all of these wholesome animal facts. I’m not saying you should rush out to adopt a beaver or a giraffe after reading this article, but if you’re feeling more inclined to bring the pigeons in the park some bread, I think my colleagues and I have done our jobs. Keep upvoting the pics and facts that warm your heart, and then feel free to share even more wholesome animal facts down below. And if you’re interested in learning more sweet facts about animals, I recommend checking out this Bored Panda article next.

#28

Foxes aren’t as solitary creatures as people think. In fact (especially in urban situations), Vixens will often group up together and take care of each other’s babies. One watches over the kits, while the others go out and hunt.

Vixens are also known to simply adopt orphaned kits and raise them as their own.

#29

A group of ladybugs is called a Loveliness :3

#30

There’s an aquarium in Japan that has eels who are antisocial, but because of the constant exposure to people, they’ve learned to be comfortable with humans. But due to the pandemic, eels went back to being isolated creatures, until the aquarium decided to FaceTime the eels. Yes, FaceTiming eels.

They eventually went back to be comfortable to humans.

Image credits: OffBeatBerry_707

#31

English mastiffs sailed on the Mayflower:

Most people wouldn’t consider dogs that can weigh nearly 200 pounds an “essential,” but most people weren’t John Goodman.

The 25-year-old pilgrim brought his English mastiffs on the Mayflower with him, and they sailed to the New World. Though the master didn’t last long, the community adopted his dogs, and cared for them.

Image credits: Back2Bach

#32

Wild wolf packs and murders of crows form bonds over time. The crows help lead the wolves to live prey and in return and crows get the scraps after the wolf pack has eaten their fill. Crows have been seen playing with wolf pups and bringing them sticks and feathers as gifts. These same crows and wolf pups reunite as adults and do the deal time and time again. Sometimes the birds and carnivores just hang out together, supposedly just to enjoy each other’s time.

Like Hood Nature (Casual Geographic) once said, “There’s a Disney movie in here, I just know it.”

Image credits: StorytellerEclipse

#33

Elephants can detect water underground. They will use their tusks, feet and trunks to dig it out. Other animals are aware and will sit near by waiting for their turn at the water spot

Image credits: thepigfish82

#34

Domestic kittens need to remain with their mother for four months because they need education. They’ll live more than twenty years, but only if you give them proper (expensive) food and you don’t let them roam the streets.

#35

Some bees take naps in flowers.

Edit: [wholesome video of them](https://youtu.be/zTpf1Emh7zE)

Image credits: -eDgAR-

#36

Rats will help free other rats from uncomfortable position, even if it means sharing food or getting no reward at all.

Rats have more empathy than humans

#37

Bees stay in their hives and don’t go out during the winter. Since they want to keep the hive clean, they don’t excrete either.

Once the weather gets warmer, they free themselves and shower the planet with their massive load of poop.

#38

Some Sharks will let divers pet them, and then drive away other Sharks who try to get cuddly with ‘their’ Human.

#39

Similar to cats, goats have scent markers on the top of their head that they will use to rub against their favorite humans to “claim them.”

#40

Not really a fact, more whatever the opposite of a fact (as in lack of knowledge) is. A lack of knowledge with wholesome implications: I’m not aware of any animal that doesn’t like to be petted (species, individuals have varying preferences of course). You can pet lizards, fish (including sharks), a friend of mine even pet a spider and when he stopped it came closer, indicating that it wanted more. Every animal seems to share this one trait, they all want to be loved.

#41

Happy rabbits purr

#42

Crows have been known to drop hard nuts onto zebra crossings so that cars run over them cracking the nut and then waiting for people to cross to stop the traffic before retrieving said nut. Smart af

#43

A lot of animals love Capybaras cause they’re just so chill and lay around. It’s basically the animal kingdom equivalent of that one pothead you hang around because they’re mellow 24/7.

#44

Forty-five percent of U.S. dogs sleep in their owner’s bed.

#45

Moma bears sometimes takes orphan baby cubs and nurse them as if it was her own.

#46

Geese mate for life

#47

Squirrels will “adopt” orphaned baby squirrels and take care of them ❤️

#48

Dogs look at you when they’re pooping because they feel they’re in a vulnerable position and they trust you enough to protect them if something dangerous happens.

#49

Monkeys have a sense of equity! Frans de Waal did an experiment with capuchins to determine if they understand equity by setting up research involving unequal pay.

Capuchins typically prefer grapes over cucumbers, so researchers set up a simple task (giving the researcher a pebble), and had two capuchins watch each other get paid cucumbers for completing the task.

When both capuchins were paid equally with cucumbers, they only rejected their payment 5% of the time. When one got a grape and the other got a cucumber, the cucumber capuchin rejected it’s payment and become upset 50% of the time.

[Here’s a cool video that summarizes this with footage of the capuchins!](https://youtu.be/meiU6TxysCg)

#50

Male dolphins give female dolphins sponges as presents

#51

Corvids are often seen “playing” with objects, and other creatures, scientists speculate it is simply because “they like to have fun”

#52

River otters have a [favorite rock that they keep in their little pocket.](https://aquarium.org/a-sea-otters-toolkit/)
I love watching otters! 🙂

Image credits: lynivvinyl

#53

You’ve never met someone over 35 who had a crested gecko for a pet as a kid. Because they were thought to be extinct and were rediscovered in 1994.

#54

Bird recognize the voices of their mates and relatives!

#55

“Young [polar bear] cubs listen very well to their mothers, sometimes even mimicking Mom’s movements exactly. As the cubs get older, some listen better than others.”

Source: polarbearsinternational.org

#56

When a herd of antelopes is being chased by a predator , random antelopes will hop up high above the grass even though running in the ground is faster. The idea is that the predator will pursue the ones it sees and if random ones hop enough the predator will spend more time trying to pick a target and expending energy. This allows the herd to escape even though it is riskier for the individual.

#57

The insect with the longest lifespan is the termite queen, which is known to live at least 50 years, which is insane for an insect, but it is thought by some estimates that they can live up to 100 years, which would be crazy.

#58

Moths experience love at first whiff.

The female moths release species-specific pheromones that act as a signal. When a male moth catches a whiff of a female moth, he’ll travel miles to find her⁠ based off her scent alone.
Source: boredpanda.com

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