How close is too close?

***I watched the above video about a pride of African lions and cubs that accepted a man into their space. He plays with them like they are kittens or playful puppies. It almost goes wrong when a hyena gate-crashes the party. The lions start to get cranky and the man has to make a hasty exit.

I think most of us like to have some connection with other species – dogs and cats tend to be the most popular. What is it that drives some people beyond the safety barrier and put themselves at risk? Australia’s Steve Irwin is a good example of someone who died doing what he loved most – getting up close and personal with wild creatures.

We domesticate animals and yet sometimes we forget that they are still animals. There are awful cases where a family dog has turned on its owner or a member of the family, with disastrous impact for all concerned.

On the other hand, we use other species to our benefit. I think of farm dogs trained to round-up the sheep or cattle. They are working dogs and not pandered to like pets. They have a role and it generally doesn’t include sitting on the couch!

There are people who collect reptiles and yet others who are fascinated with dangerous spiders. People try to outsmart the bulls at rodeos and horses and grey hounds are used for our sporting pleasure.

I have experienced some amazing encounters with creatures who are just as curious about us as we are about them. For example I once found a bird on the ground and I thought it couldn’t fly so I picked it up, sat it on my car seat, and drove home with it. On the way it must have tired of car travel and flew out of the open window. It was quite a special experience.

*** For my creative writing group, I was finding it difficult to come up something on the designated topic – it had to include something about African wildlife – so here it is 🙂

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6 thoughts on “How close is too close?

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