Humans have the ability to understand and even share the feelings of others. For most of us, it’s what makes us unique and different from animals.
However, if you ask experts, they’d say otherwise. Like humans, animals can display empathy towards other animals.
A goose that was found sheltering a puppy from the cold proves how animals can care for each other during tough times.Facebook/Suzanne PadaPetra Source: Facebook/Suzanne PadaPetra
Their photo went viral sometime in 2019.
A post from a Facebook user showed the goose sheltering the puppy with her wings. If it wasn’t for the goose’s quick thinking, the puppy could have died from the low temperature in the area.Facebook/Suzanne PadaPetra Source: Facebook/Suzanne PadaPetra
The post said:
“The man finds a goose that was shaking with cold stuck to a pole in Montana. The goose was sheltering with her wings a puppy that was about to die frozen. We have so much to learn as a species.”
The two animals have never seen each other before. They have never formed any bond prior to that day.
However, upon seeing how distressed the puppy was, the goose’s maternal instinct kicked in. She immediately took the poor puppy under her wings and kept him warm. The puppy found comfort and fell asleep.
A passer-by saw the heartwarming scene and decided to take a photo.
It’s a rare sight. You don’t always get to see a goose looking after a puppy on ordinary days. Plus, it’s just so inspiring.
Even though they are different, it didn’t stop them from forming a caring bond in such a desperate time.Unsplash Source: Unsplash
As humans, we can learn a thing or two from this pair. In times of need, we shouldn’t judge or hesitate to extend our hands and offer help to other people and even animals.
Animals can show empathy.
Contrary to what most people think, animals showing empathy towards each other is common, particularly if the animals are observed in their own habitats.Unsplash Source: Unsplash
One study was able to prove that rats can empathize with their friends. In the said study, the rats did the unthinkable and saved their friends from drowning.
When one of the rats got soaked in water, the other rats immediately learned how to use a lever that would allow his friend to get to a safe and dry area. Apart from that, the rats also did not hesitate to choose the lever instead of their treats. They willingly dropped the treats so that they can pull the lever and help their friends.
The study suggested that for the rats, their friends’ safety and welfare were more important than the treats they have.
Animals can also feel empathy for humans.Unsplash Source: Unsplash
A New York Times article shared the story of Benjamin Stepp, an Iraq veteran who suffered from a traumatic brain injury and several other injuries that left him with chronic pain after two deployments.
During one of his lectures, he became agitated. The only being who noticed it was his service dog named Arleigh. He quickly jumped into his human’s lap and comforted him. Benjamin was struggling emotionally and his dog knew that. He was able to feel his owner’s pain and helped him recover at that moment.
What’s more impressive was the fact that no other humans present in the room realized what’s happening to Benjamin.
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