Life of Pi

Have you read the book-now-turned-movie, Life of Pi? A few years ago, it was one of my favorites. It’s about a 16-year-old Indian boy’s passage to start a new life in America aboard a freighter that shipwrecks in the Pacific. (He’s traveling with his family to move their zoo to another country.) He manages to secure himself on a life raft … but with an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger. (You’ll have to read the book or see the movie to see how it ends.)

It seems a bit like this story I found on the Helped by Animals Facebook page featuring INCREDIBLE inter-species relationships that are formed when one (usually young and helpless) animal is put in life or death circumstances. (Make sure you visit their page because the photos and stories will warm your heart to its very core.)

This one below is udderly amazing. Not only does a predator quit being a predator, but its prey quits being afraid and in fact shows the predator care and love.

“The leopard crept through the sugar cane on an October night in 2002, seeming to search for something. She found a cow tied in a field, the way villagers keep their livestock in this dusty farming community. The cat didn’t harm the cow, but villagers worried about its predatory instincts, since they, too, were sometimes in the fields at night. They asked the Forest Department to remove the leopard to a wildlife sanctuary nearby …

And so the trappers came, and soon found themselves observers of an unexpected interaction. Wildlife conservationist were involved in several attempts to capture the leopard. The cat returned to the area nightly, often many times a night, but not as a predator sniffing out a warm meal. Instead, she came to be embraced. She approached the cow tentatively, rubbed her head against the cow’s head, then settled against her body. The cow would lick the cat, starting with her head and neck, cleaning whatever she could reach as the cat wriggled in apparent delight. If the cow was asleep when the leopard arrived, the visitor would gently awaken her with a nuzzle to the leg before lying down and pressing close. Other cattle stood nearby, but the leopard ignored them. The chosen cow seemed pleased to give the leopard her nightly bath.
For almost two months the cat showed up around eight in the evening and cuddled with the cow until the first hint of sunrise—as if hiding their strange tryst from the glare of day. The cat stayed away for several weeks. Then on the last night the animals were seen together, the leopard visited nine times before wandering away from her friend for good. Rohit Vyas suggests that the leopard had been young and motherless when it first strayed into the village, using agricultural fields as a pathway from a distant forest. Perhaps a curious lick between cat and cow stirred the domestic animal’s maternal instinct. The leopard sought the cow’s warmth for a time, but once she reached adulthood, her need for motherly affection diminished. She moved on. Even with such a plausible explanation, “This relationship was unimaginable,” says Rohit. “We were all spellbound by it. Who would expect a carnivore and hunter like a leopard to show love and affection toward its prey?”♥
Source – The Times Of India & Unlikely Friendships

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Gosh, this is so amazing and heart warming. I think it shows how we do not fully understand animals and their connections to other forms of life. It is stories like this that remind me about trying harder to be a vegetarian.

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