Human beings have been fascinated by their fellow-creatures for as long as any other species. For millennia, we have loved animals and hunted them. Why? But why? It’s thrilling. There is nothing like the excitement of seeing a large animal in its natural habitat for the first time. The thrill of seeing big cats, bears, deer, eagles, and owls in their natural environment is thrilling. Although it is dangerous to do so in the wild, we enjoy watching them unassisted, with our breath in our throats, and our hearts full of wonder. It can be life-altering to witness the power and majesty of these amazing creatures just once.
It’s rare to see large animals in the wild. This makes them so special. We love going to zoos to see large animals that we have never seen in the wild. The same excitement can be felt even if they are in captivity. Curiosity. What does an animal do when they aren’t looking? What do animals do when they are happy, sad, or scared? What do they hunt? How do they eat? And what lessons can we learn from them about life? Many of us want to know more about animals and how they live.
We want to understand how animals are similar to us, and how they differ from us. Perhaps if we had all the information we needed about other animals, it would be easier to understand ourselves as a species and get a better understanding of our origins. Zoos and other animal facilities are great places to learn about and observe animals close-up. Some zoos allow you to shadow a keeper for a day. It is hard to find someone who would not love the chance to learn more about rare and common animals.
You have a sense of wonder. Do you remember a favorite animal as a child? One that was so special, beautiful, unusual, powerful, or special that you believed it must have magical powers? Many of us fell in love with the expressive beauty and power of horses. Others were drawn to bizarre and unusual animals such as elephants and giraffes. Some others were attracted to powerful hunters like lions and wolves. In our hearts, we’ve always wondered what it would feel like to fly like an eagle or a monkey or run like a cheetah. Animals, from the largest whales to the smallest amoebas have always inspired awe in us.
Animals have extraordinary abilities, and their physical abilities are often beyond ours. Animals have inspired us as a species to learn how to fly in planes, and to go under the water in submarines. But we cannot do this with the grace of birds or fish. Perhaps that is why many people are concerned about protecting animals from poaching and pollution. We would also lose humanity’s wonder and inspiration if we lost the vast diversity of animal species that inhabit our planet. It’s about making a connection. Many people have loved pets, whether they were a dog, cat, horse, parakeet, or hamster.
Anybody who has ever owned a pet knows that animals can feel and communicate with each other in their own ways. Many of us love the bond we have with our pets and believe it is possible to build a relationship with any animal no matter their differences. We long to forge bonds with lions, tigers, monkeys, horses, and communicate with whales and dolphins. When a fierce bird of prey land on our arm, a cat snuggles in our laps and a horse smiles at us as if he is greeting an old friend, or when a cat licks our hands. Animal-lovers will tell ya that animals are wonderful friends.
They don’t lie, judge, or hate. No matter what reason you have for wanting to connect with an animal, the majority of our species does. We, humans, feel less lonely when we communicate with animals. It’s difficult to pinpoint why we love animals. Humans have wanted to be as close as possible to animals since childhood. Animals have always captivated our hearts, enthralled our imaginations, and sparked our emotions. This partnership will last as long as humans and other living creatures share space on Earth.
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