Throughout the ages man has shared this spinning orb with many a creature, successfully taming beasts in order for them to make our lives a little easier, horses to pull the heavy plough, dogs to sniff out drugs, pigs to sniff out truffles. This always works best when we as humans respect the animal and their way of life. We have tried the brute force way of keeping animals on our side but for the most part this has resulted in many deaths, both animal and human.
Dogs for example, fit into human life very well. They are pack animals and as long as they know where they are in our pack they are pretty much happy. Humans for the most of our existence have not even thought this way, it is only through advances in dog behaviour studies that we are even aware this is the case. In fact there is strong evidence to suggest that dogs have adapted their natural behaviour to integrate further into the human unit. Barking for example, your family dog or indeed any dog you meet will be able to bark in numerous ways, a playful yip is much different from a go away or I’ll bite your balls bark. On the other hand wild dogs and indeed Wolves in the wild are largely mute aside from the odd howl or growl.
I like Wolves. I like to watch them on TV and if there is an opportunity to observe them in their natural environment from a distance I will. There is however in my home town no less a Wolf Sanctuary. Here you can stroke the tame Wolves like they are a domestic dog. I’ve never been, nor will I. I have no wish to pet a “tame” wild animal. An animal which still has the instincts it was born with, no matter how well it has been trained or hand reared it is still a wild animal. To disregard this fact is showing a huge amount of human arrogance.
Just last week a woman was attacked by two hand reared Cheetah’s at a South African Zoo. To be fair to the woman involved she did save a child from certain death but she was queuing up to get her photo taken with a cheetah. I’m not sure if cheetahs like having their photo taken, I guess if you were to ask them about the local Snappy Snaps they’d direct you to the local crocodile. Cheetahs are wild animals, born to run, hunt, reproduce and sleep. Not pose for something that will look good on Photostream on your Apple TV. An enquiry is ongoing at the zoo as I write this, however the usual outcome to such an event is that the animals that have had the bare faced cheek to protest, pay with their life. This is a shame because the incident occurred due to human arrogance and disrespect.
Channel 4 (In the UK) have been running a series called Foxes Live. On the most part it has been brilliant, full of great footage and information about the UK’s fox population (No mention of Samantha yet.. but there is still time) However some of the tweets the show has received have shone through as examples of the wild animal disrespect. I have no issue with people feeding foxes. I do have issues with people complaining that the fox they fed, came back and raided their bin when there was no food there. I also have issues with people leading the fox into their houses.
A fox is a wild animal. It will gladly take food for itself and its offspring. It will not respect the sanctity of your home or indeed your wheelie bin. It is not tame, it may bite. If it does it’s your fault.
The world around is a beautiful thing. The animals which we share the planet with are all just trying to survive. They are not there for our entertainment, even domestic pets need to be respected in order for the relationships we have to be mutually beneficial.
Now enjoy some fox cubs!