interspecies love, or at least friendship

As I’ve said a few times before, I freakin’ love animals. And I love it when animals of different species love each other. Like the story about the baby hippo orphaned by the tsunami who befriended an old tortoise. Or this story about the dog and sheep who have a special relationship (purely platonic, of course). There’s a whole blog dedicated to this stuff.

While in Yellowstone, we went on a guided horseback ride through an area of the park where over 100 elk had just settled for late spring (before heading up to the cooler mountainous regions for summer). The stablehands had just told us that they had only arrived two days prior to our being there. They also told us that the horses and elk get along really well. When we went on the ride, we spotted the elk or rather they spotted the horses and us. There were so many. They were gorgeous. But if it weren’t for one of the guides we were with, the elk would have come right up to the horses, and the horses would have forgotten all about us. So the guide did her best to corral the elk. It was an amazing sight. These beautiful creatures all herded together, signaling to each other in their eerie high-pitched calls. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any pictures on the ride because if anyone dropped their camera it would spook the horses. (Image above is borrowed.)

In Waterton, Canada (the northern counterpart of Glacier National Park, Montana), I witnessed what could have been another instance of interspecies love. A bighorn sheep and a mule deer sharing a shady spot in the grass. I can’t be too sure about their relationship, but sheep usually hang out with their kind. Maybe this one was excommunicated? The mule deer in Waterton are very acclimated to humans, and are everywhere munching on people’s lawns all day long. Did this mule deer feel sorry for this sheep, who only had one horn, or was she merely tolerating him?

I’ll never know for sure.

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