Biz that Gives
A Disney-Style Friendship Blossoms Between Deer and Rabbit at Florida Sanctuary
- Afra, a 4-year-old white-tailed deer, and Alice, a small white rabbit, have formed an unlikely friendship at the Chase Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservancy in Florida.
- Afra lost her mother when she was hit and killed by a car and arrived at the sanctuary about two years ago. Alice, a former pet bunny, arrived around the same time.
- The pair spend their days grazing side-by-side and their nights sleeping snuggled together, and have developed a Disney-style adorable bond, according to the sanctuary’s founder, Nina Vassallo.
Move over, Bambi and Thumper! There’s a new dynamic duo in town, and they’re melting hearts with their Disney-style friendship.
Meet Afra, a 4-year-old white-tailed deer, and Alice, a small white rabbit, who have formed an adorable bond at the Chase Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservancy in Webster, Florida.
According to Nina Vassallo, the sanctuary’s founder, Afra lost her mother when she was hit and killed by a car. She arrived at the sanctuary about two years ago, and Alice, a former pet bunny, arrived around the same time.
Now, the deer and rabbit are practically inseparable. They spend their days grazing side-by-side and their nights snuggled together.
“They watch out for each other, just like human friends,” says Vassallo. “One always knows where the other is. They may get separated for a little while, but then they always come back together.”
But Afra and Alice aren’t the only unusual animal friends at the sanctuary. Vassallo says that their African Sulcata Tortoise, Stevie, once bonded with a pig they named Wonder. The pig was being kept as a pet but was taken in by the sanctuary when the owner was evicted.
“He had parasites and he wasn’t in good shape,” Vassallo says. “We took him to rehabilitate him and then release him.”
Despite being temporary residents, Stevie and Wonder were “almost inseparable,” Vassallo says. “It was cute. They just were always together and nudging each other.”
Once Wonder recovered, he was released back into the wild. But Afra and Alice have no plans to part ways. They’re happy together, and their bond has brought joy to the sanctuary’s staff and visitors.
“It always brings us joy to be able to make an animal’s life better,” Vassallo says. “They’re close, they’re friends.”
The Chase Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservancy specializes in species preservation of critically endangered primates, mostly monkeys and lemurs.
However, thanks to these unlikely animal friendships, the sanctuary has become a magical place for visitors and animals alike.