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http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animal...asure-seekers/

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There is one other recent bit of news from the animal world that I must mention here. In what can best be explained as an act of empathy, a captive bull elk rescued a marmot who was drowning in his water trough. Shooter, a massive 4-year-old elk at the Pocatello Zoo in Idaho who stands 10 feet at the tip of his antlers, first used his hoof to draw the distressed rodent nearer to the edge of the trough where he could then reach in with his mouth. (His antlers had been in the way.) He then gently picked up the marmot and deposited the little creature on the ground. After soft nudging from Shooter, the marmot took a moment to recover from the shock and then scampered off.
You might ask what this has to do with animal pleasure. A lot.
Shooter's valiant act reveals much about an elk's capacity to think and feel. He planned, then acted, compassionately. And in showing empathy, he recognized that the marmot's life matters to the marmot. How could an elk think this? My hunch is that he has his own experience as a guide. Shooter enjoys life and he doesn't want it to end. So why should he think otherwise for a little groundhog floundering in his water trough?
How impoverished that we should view wild (or captive) animals as nothing more than savage beasts, earnestly struggling to eke out an existence. It's like beholding an ocean and only seeing the surface, when so much lies beneath. Animals have rich private lives. They are pain-avoiders alright, but they are also pleasure-seekers.
This is a great article, it's a reminder for all of us to look at the bigger picture when dealing with animals and not get bogged down by our own assumptions about what they think and feel. There is more going on than meets the eye.

And for me it's also a comforting reminder that life isn't all about struggle and hardship in the natural world.
 

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LOVE LOVE LOVE stories like this. Probably everyone here has one or more.

Thanks for posting this.
 
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