Friendship
Every day, this elderly man waits by the water for his best friend to crawl out and greet him
Every morning, he goes out to wait for his buddy to emerge.
Jenny Brown
12.10.22

Fate works in mysterious ways and friendships can grow in unexpected places.

This time, we get to take a look at another unusual friendship between a man and a mammal that loves hanging in the water.

Their story caused quite a stir all around the world.

The old man only needed a fish to get the animal to fall in love with him.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

It was when eastern Finland was enveloped in white that the 65-year-old Seppo Laamanen met a new friend.

The man lived alone in his house in the woods near a town in the Punkaharju municipality.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

One day, as he opened his door, he found a malnourished otter sitting on the porch, begging for food.

He knew that the otter was trying its hardest to survive the harsh winter.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

That is why Seppo decided to help the poor otter by feeding him with some fish and small worms.

Ever since that encounter, the small otter began visiting Seppo’s house almost regularly.

The man would wait for the otter to return.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

Every day, Seppo would wait on his porch just in case the otter came back to hang out with him.

It was less lonely at his house when the otter was around.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

Sometimes, the otter would stay to nibble at his food. On other days, he would run back into the water after getting it.

Perhaps the otter wanted to share the blessing with his otter friends.

The otter has never disappointed Seppo because he always comes back.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

This became a habit for both of them and they eventually became comfortable with each other. One day, Seppo came up with a name for his otter friend – Iivari.

And you know it’s getting pretty serious when a person gives them a name.

People who heard about the pair have started visiting their home too!

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

The story of Seppo and Iivari’s adorable encounters spread throughout Punkaharju, and they would often get visitors who wanted to witness their unusual friendship.

However, Iivari is quite timid when Seppo gets some visitors.

The otter would burrow a hole in the snow and refuse to come out unless Seppo called him.

In fact, the otter would only respond to Seppo’s commands which is pretty impressive when you think of it.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

Their story didn’t just spread locally, however; it also spread across the world.

The YouTube channel Story Trender helped spread the story through a video that reached two million views over the span of four years.

And who knows how many more will eventually come across their story.

Seppo never expected his story to go viral.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

Seppo never expected that showing a simple act of kindness towards a hungry otter would resonate with so many people.

He never once expected Iivari to become his friend or for their story to be heard across the world.

Surely, the 65-year-old man was just happy to have a couple of interested folks to visit and cure some of his loneliness.

YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - StoryTrender

Their unique friendship is something that you won’t see every day. Hopefully, it lasts a long time too.

Click the video below to learn more about this man’s heartwarming friendship with an otter.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jenny Brown
[email protected]
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at [email protected]
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