The most unlikely partnerships have been recorded between various animals of different species. Why animals would offer help to other species poses an interesting question.
The first example I wish to proffer concerns a case I saw on television. A certain family owned a dog which went blind. This unfortunate pooch then found that, whenever he left his box, he would bump into things. This reached a state where he would not leave his box at all.
Then the family acquired a cat. This altruistic beast at once took charge of the dog. It led it about the house and around outside, so that it bumped into things no more. It was, if you like, a 'guide cat'. We all know how dogs and cats generally feel about each other, but this cat did not let itself be impeded by the inter-species barrier.
A naturalist in Ireland observed a very curious case of a stoat and a fox which had teamed up for purposes of hunting. As stoats are particularly ferocious animals and foxes are not always noted for geniality, this was a most interesting partnership indeed.
What about wild animals seeking human help? A noted Devon naturalist once came upon a stoat which, instead of fleeing into the undergrowth, remained there as he approached. This was certainly atypical behavior. Then the naturalist saw the stoat had a thorn in its paw. It must have reckoned the human was the only person who could remove it, which he eventually managed to do, sustaining a number of bites in the process. This is, if you like, a real-life version of the story of Androcles and the Lion. Certainly, no stoat would have stayed near a man in other circumstances.
If you have any stories of inter-species action or wild animals seeking human help, I would very much like to hear them.
Thursday, 18 September 2014
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