Zimbabwe warthog is best friends with two baboons who love to ride around on him

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I’ve got a monkey on my back! Warthog is best friends with two baboon pals who love to ride around on him and rub his belly

  • Warthog ‘Bangwe’ has struck up an unlikely friendship with baboons who like nothing more than riding on his back
  • The animals developed a unique bond when they met at wildlife rehabilitation centre ‘Free to be Wild’ in Zimbabwe
  • Bangwe was taken to centre after getting washed down river while one of his baboon friends is also an orphan

These pictures show how a warthog has struck up an unlikely friendship with two baboons who like nothing more than riding around on his back.

The animals developed a unique bond when they met at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Zimbabwe called ‘Free to be Wild’.

Baby warthog Bangwe was taken to the centre after he and his sister got washed down a river during a flood and met baboon Umfazi who had already been at the facility for a year.

Monkey business: Pictures show how a warthog has struck up an unlikely friendship with two baboons who like nothing more than riding around on his back

Monkey business: Pictures show how a warthog has struck up an unlikely friendship with two baboons who like nothing more than riding around on his back

Creature comforts: The animals developed a unique bond when they met at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Zimbabwe called 'Free to be Wild'

Creature comforts: The animals developed a unique bond when they met at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Zimbabwe called ‘Free to be Wild’

Hitching a ride: Baby warthog Bangwe was taken to the centre after he and his sister got washed down a river during a flood and met baboon Umfazi who had already been at the facility for a year

Hitching a ride: Baby warthog Bangwe was taken to the centre after he and his sister got washed down a river during a flood and met baboon Umfazi who had already been at the facility for a year

The young baboon had been rescued when she was just weeks old after her mother was shot dead on a farm four years ago.

After Bangwe’s sister died two days after his arrival, the grieving warthog turned to Umfazi for comfort – and now the pair are inseparable.

The monkey can often be found hitching a ride on his friend’s back, and the duo even snuggle up together for an afternoon snooze.

Free to be Wild founder and trainee vet nurse Baye Elisabeth Pigors, 24, said: ‘Umfazi started riding Bangwe from the early days, as a warmth and comfort thing.

Glorious mud: The young baboon had been rescued when she was just weeks old after her mother was shot dead on a farm four years ago

Glorious mud: The young baboon had been rescued when she was just weeks old after her mother was shot dead on a farm four years ago

Giddy up: After Bangwe's sister died two days after his arrival, the grieving warthog turned to Umfazi for comfort - and now the pair are inseparable

Giddy up: After Bangwe’s sister died two days after his arrival, the grieving warthog turned to Umfazi for comfort – and now the pair are inseparable

Monkeying around: The monkey can often be found hitching a ride on his friend's back, and the duo even snuggle up together for an afternoon snooze
Monkeying around: The monkey can often be found hitching a ride on his friend's back, and the duo even snuggle up together for an afternoon snooze

Monkeying around: The monkey can often be found hitching a ride on his friend’s back, and the duo even snuggle up together for an afternoon snooze

Once Umfazi the baboon started riding on the warthog's back, the other monkeys started to do the same thing - to the amazement of staff at the centre

Once Umfazi the baboon started riding on the warthog’s back, the other monkeys started to do the same thing – to the amazement of staff at the centre

‘Soon enough, the other baboons started riding him too. They have given us hours of entertainment!

‘It’s really funny to watch them play together – it’s as though neither of them realises they are different species. Of course, this proves to be a battle when the baboons tear up a tree and Bangwe is stuck at the bottom.

‘We believe the friendship was formed because they’re both very social and affectionate species, and they needed that close contact being in an unnatural environment – they were drawn to each other.’

The baboon shows off some acrobatics as the warthog takes a dip in the water
The baboon hitches a ride on the warthog's back

The baboon shows off some acrobatics as the warthog takes a dip in the water (left) while it hitches a ride on its back in another image (right)

Free to be Wild founder and trainee vet nurse Baye Elisabeth Pigors (pictured), 24, said: 'Umfazi started riding Bangwe from the early days, as a warmth and comfort thing

Free to be Wild founder and trainee vet nurse Baye Elisabeth Pigors (pictured), 24, said: ‘Umfazi started riding Bangwe from the early days, as a warmth and comfort thing- Dailymailonline

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