Jeffrey Dean Morgan, villainous star on the hit zombie thriller The Walking Dead, adopted a female emu and a male donkey that “fell in love” and were inseparable, according to the rescue Morgan adopted the unlikely pair from.
Jack the donkey and Diane the emu were found on a farm in Kershaw, South Carolina, abandoned with a dozen other animals including dogs, cats and chickens, after the renter moved and left them all behind. According to the nonprofit Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, the organization that rescued the pair, the two had bonded while “comforting each other” as they were kept together in the same enclosure on the farm.
According to the Charlotte Observer, when the rescue separated the two for transport, they quickly realized that they needed to stay together. The 5-foot-5 donkey “started crying” and the 6-foot-tall emu “got frantic,” the Charlotte Observer reported back in November.
Jennifer Gordon, founder of the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, says the pair act as if they’re a romantic couple. “They like to cuddle and even sleep together,” Gordon told the Observer. “We can’t separate them. Where one goes, the other follows.”
Jack and Diane quickly gained international fame after the rescue posted about the unlikely pair on social media, which is how Morgan happened across their story. Morgan tweeted Nov. 11 that he’d be “happy to take them, and keep them together at our farm.”
“They would be a welcome addition to our menagerie of happy creatures,” Morgan tweeted. Morgan owns a large farm in New York State’s Hudson Valley region, so the two now have plenty of space to roam.
Gordon admits that she didn’t recognize Morgan’s name, as she doesn’t watch much television, but she was happy to meet with him and check out his farm.
“It was clear he is an animal lover and his farm was fabulous,” Gordon told the Charlotte Observer. “I am embarrassed to say I had to ask who that was. I don’t really watch a lot of television. I definitely knew who he was when I saw the picture. I have seen episodes of the ‘Walking Dead.’”
She told the Charlotte Observer that she was overwhelmed with the response that the world had to Jack and Diane’s sweet story, but felt Morgan was the best fit because he wouldn’t be capitalizing on the adoption or adopting the two as a publicity stunt.
“I strongly felt that by allowing Jeffrey Dean Morgan to adopt them that it would take the publicity fear off the table,” she told the Charlotte Observer. “He definitely doesn’t need to adopt an animal to get publicity, and so I knew that would not be his motive in giving them a home.”
Morgan posted a few updates on Twitter as Jack and Diane were transitioning to their new home. He and his family were letting the two “settle in” and posted that they were exploring the farm while munching on apples and berries.
“Gonna give them a little time to settle in… both from drive and I’m sure… just… a hard life so far. That all changes forever today. They are home. Once they feeling secure and cool, I’ll be posting pics… I know you all are excited! We are too!” he wrote.
He posted another update on the pair later in the evening, mentioning that Diane had crawled underneath the floor separating her from Jack to she could lay between Jack’s legs on the drive over.
“One last story about J&D. When they got here today… in a 3 or 4 stall trailer… Diane had crawled underneath the door separating them and rode for god knows how many hours, laying beneath/between Jacks legs. Made me smile big. Love is an amazing thing,” he wrote.
Morgan plans to periodically update his fans with pictures of Jack and Diane, so if you are interesting in following their story, check out Morgan’s Twitter account and watch for photos.