A monkey in southern India seems to have a serious case of ‘puppy love’ and has ‘adopted’ a homeless puppy.
The rhesus macaque has taken the abandoned dog under its wing – and now the pair are inseparable.
They are so close in fact, and their bond so unbreakable, that they go everywhere together and are the talk of Erode, Tamil Nadu in southern India.
A series of touching photographs, viewed 170,000 times on Facebook, shows the rhesus macaque feeding, cleaning and protecting the tiny puppy as though it were its own baby.
Another shot shows the monkey picking dirt and fleas off the little dog, in a cleaning session in the middle of the street.
Bizarrely, he even clutches the puppy to its chest as it leaps from a tree – as the dog holds on.
The monkey also shows its aggressive side, bearing its teeth to frighten off stray dog.
‘People who have seen them all spoke of their strong mutual affection and described their bond as the most caring thing in the world,’ onlooker Sasi Kumar told Indian news outlet Zee News.
‘To take care of a puppy in danger and protect him like a parent, their undying affection gives us a valuable lesson about relationships.
‘It seems the monkey must have lost its baby and was heartbroken. It is quite possible that it saw its own baby in the puppy and decided to protect and adopt it.’
When a bowl of food was put out for the pair the monkey stepped back and let the little puppy eat its fill first. As it ate, the monkey stood over the puppy, sheltering it from danger.
In one photo he can be seen feeding grapes to the dog. In another the monkey is seen picking dirt and fleas from his four-legged friend.
The story behind the pairing is a mystery, and quite how the two unlikely animals became such firm friends is unknown.
But although they appear happy, there are fears forest department will decide the monkey can’t look after the puppy and separate them.