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The odd couple: How an orang-utan and stray dog became best friends... and landed a slot on Oprah

14th May 2009

Odd couples come in all shapes and sizes but the story of the primate and the canine who are best friends has proved to be a match made in showbiz heaven.

Suryia the orang-utan and Roscoe a Blue Tick hound became friends when they crossed paths at a South Carolina sanctuary for endangered animals. Now they swim together, play together and Suryia even takes the dog for his walks.

Such is their bond that the pair drew the attention of National Geographic magazine and Oprah Winfrey, who will feature them tomorrow in a special show called Amazing Animal Friendship.

Suryia the orang-utan and Roscoe the Blue Tick Hound, who are best of friends, will appear on the Oprah Winfrey show

The pair first encountered each other two years ago when Roscoe followed staff from The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in Myrtle Beach home.

He was immediately spotted by the orang-utan who ambled over to make friends.

Dr Bhagavan Antle, founder of TIGERS said: 'Roscoe looked really thin and a little lost so we fed him and took care of him

You've got a friend in me: Suryia approached Roscoe as soon as he arrived at the sanctuary

'He followed us through the gate and ran over and found Suryia.

'As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing.

'It was unusual because dogs are usually scared of primates but they took to each other straight away.

'We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no-one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.'

The orang-utan and the dog enjoy a cooling dip together

Dr Antle said the pair will appear together on Oprah's show and are 'very excited'.

'Oprah just made a special about animal relationships and National Geographic have been here to see them too,' he added.

Suryia is an animal ambassador at the sanctuary helping to raise baby primates but likes nothing better than spending quality time with his canine friend on his day off.

'They will spend a few hours each day together rolling around, swimming,' said Dr Antle.

'Suryia will take Roscoe for walks around the enclosure and even feeds him some of his monkey biscuits.

'When they are both feeling a little lazy they will go for a ride on the back of Bubbles, our 27-year-old African elephant.'

Suryia and Roscoe ride on Bubbles the elephant with handler Moksha Bybee

 

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