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NATURE: Animal Odd Couples

Kasi (Cheetah) and Mtani (Dog)
Courtesy of © Busch Gardens
Kasi (Cheetah) and Mtani (Dog)

Stream now or tune in Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV + Thursday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. on KPBS 2

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Are animals capable of feeling complex emotions? Recent observations of unexpected cross-species relationships in zoos and animal sanctuaries around the world may provide some answers.

Despite the odds, there are countless stories of the most unlikely cross-species relationships imaginable: a goat guiding a blind horse; a doe who regularly visits her Great Dane surrogate mother; a juvenile gibbon choosing to live with a family of capuchins, and so on.

Pip (doe) often visits Kate, her surrogate Great Dane mother.
Courtesy of © THIRTEEN
Pip (doe) often visits Kate, her surrogate Great Dane mother.

Instincts gone awry? The subject has mystified scientists for years. On "Animal Odd Couples," NATURE investigates why animals form these special bonds.

Informed by the observations of caregivers and noted scientists Temple Grandin and Marc Bekoff, the film explores what these relationships suggest about the nature of animal emotions.

Anthony (lion) licks Riley (coyote) after playing.
Courtesy of © THIRTEEN
Anthony (lion) licks Riley (coyote) after playing.

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As the most watched documentary film series on public television, NATURE delivers the best in original natural history films to audiences nationwide.