Human–animal marriage

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Human–animal marriage is not recognized in law by any country, although attempts to marry animals have been recorded.

Historical cases[edit]


In January 2004, a woman known as "The Mad Cat Lady" married both her tabby twin boys Lugosi and Spider via, from whom she then received an (unofficial) certificate of marriage. She and her cats have since been featured in various newspaper articles including The Sun[1] and Metro.[2] She told "I realised no human had ever or could ever make me feel as happy and loved as them."[2]

In May 2010, a German married his cat when he was told by his vet that the animal would soon die.[3]

In June 2013, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld announced that he wished to marry his cat Choupette. He said in an interview with CNN, "There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals… I never thought that I would fall in love like this with a cat."[4]


In June 2010, 18-year-old Indonesian man, Ngurah Alit, was forced to marry his cow after he was found having sex with it. The man had believed the cow to be a beautiful woman.[5] He then became a widower when the cow was drowned in the sea to symbolically cleanse the village of the act of bestiality committed there.[6]


In June 2003, a nine-year-old Indian girl of the Santal (or 'Santhal') tribe of Khanyhan, near Calcutta was formally married to a dog, in order to ward off a bad omen. The wedding was attended by more than one hundred guests, who danced to the beating of drums and drank home-made liquor. The girl told Western press, "I have no regret in marrying the dog. I will take care of this dog who was stray and survived on left-overs," tribal elders added she was free to remarry a human in future as an adult.[7]

In November 2007 a man in southern India married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony as an attempt to atone for stoning two other dogs to death – an act he believes cursed him. Selvakumar, 33, told the paper he had been suffering since he stoned two dogs to death and hung their bodies from a tree 15 years prior.[8]

In February 2009 an infant boy was married off to his neighbors' dog in eastern India by villagers who said it will stop the groom from being killed by wild animals. The boy will still be able to marry a human bride in the future.[9]

On November 30, 2010 an Australian man married his best friend, a five-year-old Labrador.[10]

In February 2011, a Ghanaian woman, Emily Mabou, 29, married an 18-month-old dog; the ceremony was attended by a traditional priest and local villagers.[11]

On March 11, 2014, a 47-year-old woman, Amanda Rodgers, married a dog.[12]

In September 2014, an 18-year-old woman, Mangli Munda, from Jharkhand, India married a stray dog named Sheru in a ceremonial marriage to ward off a curse on her.[13]


In January 2006, British woman Sharon Tendler in Israel married Cindy, a male bottlenose dolphin. Cindy was taken in 1990 from the Black Sea to the Dolphin Reef dolphinarium in Eilat, Israel, in the Gulf of Aqaba.[14] There, Tendler saw him during a show. She continued visiting for 15 years before she requested permission for the "wedding" in 2005.[15] Permission was granted and the ceremony was held on December 28 of that year.[16] Tendler stated that "the peace and tranquility under water, and his love, would calm me down,"[15] and that she loved him.[17] Tendler herself admitted that the marriage had no legal standing[17] and that the ceremony was, in her own words, "a bit of fun" after her friends joked about her being single at the age of 41.[18] The marriage was non-exclusive. Cindy was the father of all of the dolphins born in the sea,[19] and Tendler kept open the option of "marrying human", but was strictly a "one dolphin woman".[17] As Cindy is normally a woman's name, it has been mistakenly stated that the marriage was a same-sex marriage.[20] After three weeks of poor health, Cindy died on June 18, 2006, less than a year after the marriage.[19]


In February 2006 a Sudanese man named Charles Tombe caught having sex with a neighbour's goat which was subsequently nicknamed Rose, was ordered by the council of elders to pay the neighbour a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($75) and marry the animal.[21]


In May 1998 the The Jerry Springer Show had an episode titled "I Married a Horse!". The show was ultimately not aired by many stations on the planned date, apparently due to concerns about the acceptability of broadcasting an episode in which a man admitted to a long term emotional and sexual relationship of this kind. The man and his horse later participated in a British documentary on the subject.[22]


In June 2006 an Indian woman from Bhubaneswar, Orissa, fell in love with a snake and was married to it at a "traditional Hindu wedding celebrated by 2,000 guests".[23] She claimed that a bond of understanding existed between the two. The woman had previously been ill, and recovered upon offering milk to the snake, at which time she fell in love. She later "converted to the animal-loving vegetarian Vaishnav sect whose local elders gave her permission to marry the cobra.".[24] A 2007 investigation by Harper's magazine journalist Mischa Berlinski suggested that the snake may not even have existed, and that the incident may have been stage-managed as part of a local power struggle between Vaishnav religious leaders.[25]

Folklore, myth, and popular culture[edit]

A Chinese folktale, sometimes known as The Silkworm, tells how silk originated following the King's daughter spiritually marrying a horse, in completion of a promise made in times of trouble. In the tale, the princess was reborn as a silkworm, a creature whose appearance and mannerisms superficially were said to resemble that of a horse. (From Chonsol Ttara Samch'olli, retold by Heinz Insu Fenkl) [26]

A Cheyenne myth "The Girl Who Married a Dog", states that the group of seven stars known as the Pleiades originated from seven puppies which a Cheyenne chief's daughter gave birth to after mysteriously being visited by a dog in human form to whom she vowed "Wherever you go, I go".[27]

In some parts of Celtic Ireland, Sudan (often called "sacred kings") had to wed the local goddess of the land. A druidess was usually chosen to represent the land goddess as the king's wife, but one mythological king in Donegal is said to have married a horse, a representative of their local goddess.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Holy Catrimony". The Sun. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Woman marries her two cats – and she has the certificate to prove it". Metro. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "German man 'marries' his dying cat". BBC. 2010-05-03. 
  4. ^ "Karl Lagerfeld says he wants to get married... to his cat". The Independent. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bali Teenager Passes Out Marrying Cow He Had Sex With". Jakarta Globe. 12 June 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Man forced to marry cow faints at wedding". Metro (British newspaper). 14 June 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Girl weds dog to break 'evil spell'". BBC News. 2003-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Man in India marries dog as atonement", MSNBC (MSN) 
  9. ^ "Indian boy marries dog to ward off tigers", MSNBC (MSN) 
  10. ^ "Australian Guy Marries His Dog". Newser. 2010-11-30. 
  11. ^ "Woman Marries Dog In Ghana". Ghana Web. 2011-01-11. 
  12. ^ "'I Am Totally Her Bitch' Says Woman Who Married Dog". Huffington Post. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Moye, David (3 September 2014). "Mangli Munda, 18, Marries Dog To Ward Off Curse". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "The Dolphins". Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Woman weds dolphin", The Age (AU), December 30, 2005 
  16. ^ "Woman marries Dolphin", Anova, archived from the original on Jan 1, 2006 
  17. ^ a b c "Woman marries dolphin", The Age (AU), January 2, 2006 
  18. ^ "Fishy tale of woman who 'wed' dolphin", Ilford Recorder, January 5, 2006, archived from the original on September 30, 2007 
  19. ^ a b "Dolphin married to British Jew dies", Ynetnews, June 18, 2006 
  20. ^ O'Reilly, William ‘Bill’ (January 6, 2006), "Talking Points: The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day", Fox News 
  21. ^ "Sudan man forced to 'marry' goat". BBC News. 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  22. ^ "Springer's latest: 'I Married a Horse'". The Cincinnati Post (E. W. Scripps Company). 1998-05-21. Archived from the original on 2004-04-06. 
  23. ^ "Orissa woman marries snake". The Times of India. 2 June 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "Charmed woman marries snake !". Hindustan Times (Bhubaneswar). Agence France-Presse. June 2, 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  25. ^ Mischa Berlinski, "Woman marries snake: A peculiar Indian love story", Harper's, Nov. 2007, pp 41–52.
  26. ^ The Girl with the Horse's Head or the Silkworm Goddess
  27. ^ The Girl Who Married A Dog
  28. ^ "Celtic Social Classes". Roots of the Ancients. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 

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