Like those of most humans, bullock friendships grow and evolve over time. Thomas and Mahadev—two bullocks at Animal Rahat’s sanctuary in Sangli—have seen each other around the sanctuary since 2018, but earlier this year, they clicked! Now the pair is well and truly bonded.

Animal Rahat retired Thomas, who was used to haul carts, to the sanctuary in 2012 after helping his owner mechanize, and at 20, he’s one of the oldest bullocks on site. He’s had many friends during his years at the sanctuary, like his longtime buddy Caro, whose company he still very much enjoys.

Thomas grooms his pal Caro.

Thomas looks at the camera as he stands in the sanctuary yard.

Mahadev was just a young bullock when Animal Rahat’s rescue team found him tied to a tree—abandoned, scared, and stranded in the severe 2018 Kerala flood. They scooped him up out of the water and whisked him away in their rescue boat, delivering him to a new life at their sanctuary in Sangli.

Mahadev is safe at last with Animal Rahat’s rescue team as they navigate the floodwaters to take him to dry land and safety.

Mere acquaintances before getting more one-on-one time together, Mahadev and Thomas started hanging out a bit, resulting in a beautiful, close companionship.