Noble animals

Amal Chatterjee
10 min readDec 1, 2020

Source : Google photo of noble animals

Synopsis : Humans have mistreated animals since a very long time and sadly it continues even today so they kill the beautiful animals in many parts of the world for their teeth, fur or skin. Torture of captive animals also continues but it has to stop now. As people become more aware of the right of animals to exist ,this practice may one day come to an end.

There was a wild life photographer in Africa who was looking through the long lens of his camera and kept a lazy eye on some hippos playing in the water while taking a few photos of them cavorting. All of a sudden a huge crocodile leapt out of water and grabbed a fawn that was drinking timidly because she was obviously nervous.

Source : U tube video of hippo saving the fawn

When one of the hippos saw it, she charged the crocodile and literally grabbed the fawn out of the mouth of the croc so the croc left out of fear. Hippos are feared by most carnivorous animals because of their size and fierce nature that can cut in half a crocodile in a swift motion. You will see baby hippos stepping on the tails of large crocodiles playfully but they simply slide away so as not to risk the wrath of the mama hippo watching nearby.

The huge hippo carried the fawn in her huge mouth and gently dropped it on the higher ground where the fawn recovered in a while and rejoined her mother. The scene was captured on film by the quick minded photographer and was published in the wild life magazines but this sort of thing happens all the time in the wilderness showing that animals have compassion for the young and weak animals of other species.

Source : U tube video of animals saving other species in Africa

A lioness cuddles a fawn and licks her face and tries to feed her scraps of meat not knowing that the fawn does not eat meat. Her maternal instinct protects the fawn. A dog feeds several tiger cubs although she knows that they are not her puppies but feeds them anyway. There are numerous example of animals feeding and taking care of animals of different species that prove that they are noble and have compassion for others.

I call them noble because animals do not have vengeance like us humans and do not bear grudge. An elephant who was abused by her captor for over fifty years keeping her in chains was released through the intervention of the animal rights group in India but she only shed tears of joy and relief. She knew her tormentor but did not seek vengeance showing her gentle nature of forgiveness and nobility. ( Read my blog called Cruelty to animals here )

Similarly the black bears in India who are abused in captivity by the nomads kiss the people who rescue them out of gratitude but never do they attack their captors while we burn with rage if someone abuses us like that and seek retribution when we regain our freedom. Dolphins come to the rescue of a drowning dog and carry it on their back to the shore and there are stories of a bird carrying an injured squirrel on its back and flies it to safety. The story of Tarzan raised by the wild animals in the forest is not a myth. There are many stories of babies being raised by the monkeys in Uganda or a baby that was raised by a wolf in India. He walked on his four limbs and howled like a wolf when he was captured. He ate only raw meat.

There is a story told by a diver who was taking photos of fish and corals when he saw a tiger seal with a penguin in his mouth so he took some photos but was scared because the tiger seal known for its aggressive nature kept coming at him. Then the strangest thing happened. The seal dropped the penguin near him as a gift and waited for quite some time to see if he will accept it. Such wonderful and compassionate gesture from wild animals towards humans is not unheard of that goes to show their noble nature.

Large carnivorous animals like lions, bears or tigers often show love and great compassion for human babies and show their protective maternal instinct. Wolves protecting an injured man or a small baby by keeping them warm with their bodies is not unheard of either.

Source : Google photo of Chimpanzee feeding the tiger cub

One thing that amazes me most is the fact that the wild animals are often seen protecting other animals of different species and even feeding them. Wild monkeys eating fruits high up in trees in the forest drop the fruits for the deers and antelopes feeding below and will raise the alarm when a jaguar or cheetah approaches giving the deers ample time to escape.

Source : U tube video of gorilla saving a human kid

There is another story where a small boy fell into the moat in a zoo in the USA and was injured and unconscious. A huge gorilla that lived in the enclosure came to the rescue of the boy and cuddled him while protecting him from other curious gorillas that came to investigate. Eventually the boy was given over to the zoo keepers so there are numerous examples of how wild animals show their compassionate nature.

Source : Google photo of Jatayu who tried to save Sita ( Ramayana)

There is the story of a vulture that tried to attack Ravan who had kidnapped Sita but Ravan killed the vulture called Jatayu (story from Ramayana) so now there is a huge statue honoring the vulture in Kerala, India who tried to protect Sita and gave his life for it.

In another story a vulture spread its wings to shade the new born baby in the forest who was abandoned by her prostitute mother so the baby was named Shakuntala meaning one who was saved by the vulture.

The only animal that I can think of that is incapable of any such feelings is snake that can never be trusted. It is known that a so called pet boa will someday kill its owner and swallow him whole without the slightest hesitation or a black mamba that will strike you with the intention of killing you. Snakes are not in the business of caring for others but they do provide an essential service to mankind. They keep the rodent population in the fields under control and provide venom in snake farms for medicinal purposes so they have their usefulness. I should add here that most snakes would rather run away than to attack someone.

But I call untrustworthy people who are deceitful and cunning are like some snakes who will always let you down and try to harm you anyway they can although most snakes are harmless.

Wild animals who were saved and raised in shelters when young and later released into the forest have been known to show immense gratitude. They do not easily forget their benefactors and will recognize them years later. The movie Born free was made of a lioness who was raised by a couple and later released but she always came to visit them because she never forgot them and showed her love and gratitude this way.

We often show cruelty to our fellow humans. We try to harm them, deceive them, lie to them, mistreat them in numerous ways and even show neglect to our own relatives. Women normally do not care to raise other people’s children or even their step children but animals do. In India women do not like to adopt children even if they do not have their own but in other countries people adopt children to raise them as their own so it depends on their values that vary from country to country a great deal.

This is not the case in the animal kingdom. Have you ever seen an ostrich that digs a large hole in the sand where she puts her eggs and soon other ostriches fill the hole with their eggs as well but the mother ostrich does not mind at all and sits on all the eggs to incubate them.

Baboons, lemurs and many such animals raise their off springs collectively while the males and others go to gather food for them. A baby elephant is cared for by the entire herd that always protects it and comes to rescue if the baby needs help.

So we have a great deal to learn from the animals like their compassion for other species, their maternal instinct to feed them and raise them and protect them from harm. Animals are known to be full of emotions that they show. We can all learn from them what it means to be loyal, to be dependable and to be trustworthy. The dogs are the best example so they are called man’s best friend but many animals show such remarkable loyalty.

Sadly we mistreat the animals, kill them just for fun like the game shooters who kill the mother elephant while the baby nudges his mother and crying for milk. I have seen a huge tiger skin displayed in someone’s house that their relatives had killed somewhere that had most likely resulted in the death of the cubs as well but no one cared. The animal poaching still goes on in many countries decimating the wildlife.

There was mass slaughter of bisons in America in the past when a train load of shooters stopped the train and shot hundreds of bison for fun and left them rotting. The Native Americans only killed bisons for their meat and skin but never more than what they needed so they could not understand the mass slaughter of these animals only for fun by some white hunters. Where is the fun in killing a defenseless animal?

The British people shot hundreds of tigers in India just so that they could brag and brought down the tiger population drastically but no one cared. For them it was a great hunting trophy to have because back in England there are no such gorgeous animals to be shot. Even today they go out on fox hunt with hundreds of hunting dogs in England where it is a sport for the rich people.

We have always mistreated animals that have never meant us any harm and sadly we continue to do so in many parts of the world. I remember the angry lions in cages in El Obeid in Sudan that some kids poked with sticks through the bars for fun while their parents just looked on.

It is high time to become aware of the fact that the animals too have a right to live in the wilderness freely. They do not ask for anything from us and want us to leave them alone. They add to the biodiversity and some animals like bats are extremely useful in spreading seeds of fruits they eat to repopulate the forest trees this way. They also consume tons of harmful insects that harm crops so helping the agriculture.

It is time to acknowledge that all animals have a place in the nature .They are not only beautiful to look at but they enrich our planet in numerous ways. Sad will be our planet if we exterminate all the wild life because of our greed for their skins and teeth as trophies.

Most of all we must stop torturing them in captivity like what the Chinese do to milk the wild bears there for their bile or kill beautiful animals for their fur so that some stupid women can wear their fur coats to brag about it. There are alternatives to bear bile but the cruel practice continues in China.

Some countries like Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa are turning their poachers into safari guides so that they can quit poaching and get a gainful employment. It protects the animals and provides an alternative to poachers who out of poverty take up poaching. If India had adopted such an approach to save the Ganga river dolphins long ago, the dolphins would still be alive. They have started to do it now to save the remaining few dolphins in Benares.

We can educate our children about the beauty of all animals and teach them how to protect them, how to treat them humanely and how to raise awareness about them starting in the kindergarten schools. Such children who learn to love animals and birds will perhaps someday teach their children of the next generation how to love animals and protect them so that they will not learn to be cruel to them.

They should be taught that all animals are noble and precious.

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