Elk Stuns Idaho zookeepers…

Zookeepers at Pocatello Zoo, Idaho, were worried when they noticed Shooter, a four-year-old elk, acting strangely at his water trough.Baffled, they watched as the animal – which is so massive some keepers are afraid to even enter his enclosure – tried to dip his hooves into his drinking trough, before attempting to dunk his whole head in the water. But they were amazed as 10ft tall Shooter lifted his head from the trough clutching a tiny marmot – a kind of large squirrel – between his jaws.

Mammoth: Shooter the elk stands 10ft tall from his hooves to the tip of his antlers

To the rescue! Shooter pulls the hapless marmot from his water trough

The gentle giant placed the hapless rodent down and nudged it with his hoof, as if checking it for signs of life, before calmly watching it scamper off into the bushes.

Zoo staff caught the entire rescue on camera. It really was amazing, said Kate O’Conner, Pocatello ‘s education co-ordinator. Shooter is such a huge animal – he stands at six feet tall without his antlers – which are another four feet, and he’s pretty scary.

Some of the staff don’t like going in his enclosure with him – he’s punctured car tires with his antlers before, so to see him being so gentle with a little animal was heart-warming.

We all know he’s a real character, but I think he must have a soft side we didn’t know about.

He was trying to dunk his head in the water, but his antlers kept getting in the way.

Nobody could figure out why he was trying to get his head in, and then he started dipping his feet in. We were all completely confused, until we saw the marmot in his mouth.

I think he had nudged the animal away from the edge of the bucket with his antlers and hooves so he could reach it with his mouth without his antlers getting in the way. It was very sweet.

Down you go: Shooter gently lowers the tiny rodent to the ground

Safe, but soaked: Somewhat shell shocked, the lucky marmot seems happy to be back on dry land

Zoo keeper Dr Joy Fox added: We think Shooter sensed that the animal was in distress and decided to help. The zoo plans to auction off Shooter’s incredible antlers when they are shed later in the year.

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371 Responses to Elk Stuns Idaho zookeepers…

  1. Shirley says:

    Loved this…

    • Frederick says:

      Maybe he just doesn’t like anything swimming around in his drinking water.

    • Missy says:

      As I sat here and read all the responses to this beautiful and warm story…I realized how SOME OF YOU ARE JUST SO WRONG, Animals have souls, compassion AND feelings. Why do I KNOW THIS? 2 weeks ago I had major surgery. Still feeling very sick and incapacitated….my kitty “Miss B” has NOT LEFT MY SIDE. She is right next to me always…spreading her love. ….Some of you “get it”…and some of you don’t…

      • Yes, it is a beautiful story…too bad others do not see the true beauty in animals – instead of capturing their outward beauty in photos or video they would rather extinguish their lives by hunting and killing them.

        I love Henry Beston’s take on animals: “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals… In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”

        And Matthew Scully’s view of how we should treat all animals: “Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind’s capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don’t; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us.”

        • David says:

          I had Henry Beston’s quote on my office door while I worked on a graduate degree in zoology and still believe in it. I’m also a bowhunter. I think a Disney view of life is a form of nature hating. Nature has always agreed with hunting. Death is her greatest invention. But modern man thinks there is a free lunch. It is precisely this alienation from reality and the circle of life that has brought man to the brink of catastrophe. And btw, hunters and fishermen/women are the true conservationists. Fact.

          • Jerry says:

            So true

          • That is not a fact. Sportsmen created the word and the description and it’s still not a fact today. You know what you believe, what you CHOOSE to believe. As a bow-hunter I’m certain you need to seek all the reassurance you can create in your small minded world to justify your cruelty.

            I’ll not fight against legal hunting by the code of ethics proclaimed. Per your own ethics, “quick-kill” is high on that list. Bow-hunting is the polar opposite of a quick kill. You know this. So you pick any warm fuzzy quote you want, but it doesn’t change the truth.

            Think about that next time you’re letting a gut shot animal “lay up and bleed out for 30 minutes”.

            Nature would never, ever agree with THAT. And neither does the public majority. They just don’t know. yet.

          • Pamela W says:

            Nonsense, David. “Modern man [and thanks for leaving out half of the population] thinks there is a free lunch.” A free lunch of what? Not all of us eat corpses. Not all of us think it’s okay to sentence an animal to death because we like the taste of his/her flesh. Furthermore, repeating the fallacy that hunters and fishermen/women are conservationists is offensive. That’s like saying child molesters are the truest advocates for children.

            Perhaps you’ve come across biologist E O Wilson’s musing on the human condition: prehistoric emotions (kill. KILL!!!); medieval institutions (state & fed “game” agencies); god-like technology (self-explanatory). I guess you’re motivated by hunger for power and determination to declare your dominance and mastery over other beings. What an ugly world you live in.

        • Rick says:

          I have to wonder how the people who are so quick to condemn contrled harvest of big game feel about watching the animals starve from overpopulation or see farms desimated crops as the herds move from to farm. There is a balance and though humans aren’t perfect in managing I believe we work to improve conservation. We could all argue morality but it is simply a choice. thank God I live in a country that gives me that choice. I am a member of a family who rely on the meat from year to year. It has been that way for generations as a native of the Great state of Idaho. I am a believer in humanity so I practice quick kills to minimize suffering. I guess many can judge me for that but the Judge comes at the end and I will meet him without many regrets in this matter. Don’t make something beautiful like the article itself into something ugly people.

          • Rick, I’m TRULY grateful that you abide by proclaimed ethics of quick-kill. As such, however, you are becoming a minority that’s going down with a shipload of unethical practices sanctioned by an Institution that would rather have your money than your sportsmanship.

            It is not my place to judge you, and I won’t. I only ask that you personally fight to enforce those ethics across the plethora of activities sanctioned today in the name of “hunting”.

            I must also disagree with the “kill to prevent starvation argument”. This has been used for nearly 50 years to appeal to public approval and it’s now so dis-proven, along with the genetic damage done to over 50 game species, that we truly must find a better management program that follows natural selection – not manipulated population control with trophy status. Using strictly CRE science to manage (and increase) game populations is backfiring and management leaders are too much about “budget” today to address it without fear of exposing their mis-managed science and angering hunters.

            Hunters, like yourself, are the fastest, straightest path to cleaning up a mess made from greed and consumption (and panic over a declining hunting populous).

          • Rick says:

            Interesting, Kaththerine you judge and claim not to that was good. I am not sure where you get your information but more power to ya. I know not think that population control is important. Natural salection is indeed in motion, I am in my place in the food chain. I harvest to eat. Again I am in a country, That I served , that gives me a choice. I sleep well at night knowing that I will go on with my herritage of hunting and teach it to my 2 younger children as I was taught by my elders. Its acceptable when done right. Have a great day and thanks for your opinion.

          • Rick, I don’t think I judged “you”? Let me know specifically what I mentioned that you question the validity of, I’m happy to provide bona-fide references starting with CA Fish & Game site denoting that non-hunted refuges exhibited none of the over population that was expected (hoped) for – (white tail deer specifically).
            CRE science is denied by hunters yet is exactly what is used by F&G management to ensure high birthrates. Each state, especially the larger highest hunting states, compete for Pittman-Robertson weapon tax dollars… If you think ensuring high populations of game animals isn’t their priority, please do some research!
            So…. is hunting preventing bambi from starving? No way, I’m sorry, but by and large wildlife management priority #1 is ensuring large populations. They spend millions on software programs ensuring this. Were I one of millions injured in the auto collisions that result from this excess population, I’d be mad! But Rick, I feel it’s also prudent for any one who would call themselves a conservationist to know the facts. Don’t be just a tool for their paychecks – make them do it right, is all I’m saying.

      • Dublynn says:

        I have 2 cats, and they are truly my babies. The other week I was really, really sick. Fever of 104, body aches, migraines, sour stomach. I was miserable. When I didn’t get out of bed at my usual time my girls (who are usually up in the living room before I get up) came back into my room. Isis climbed up and sat on my hip and stared down at me like, “What’s wrong?” While Nefertiti sat in front of me, reaching out to poke me every few moments. As soon as they realized that I wasn’t up cause I didn’t feel good, they too never left my side. Isis laid down on top of me, Nefertiti continued to be beside me. When my fever would spike, Isis would sit up and start trying to groom my face to wake me up and tell me it was spiking again, Nefertiti would start poking me. They were my little nurses! They know, oh yes, animals know. Just as you said, Caring. Compassionate. Shooter HELPED that poor marmot, he didn’t “just want it out” of his drinking water.

      • Missy says:

        Heather and Dublynn: Thank you for sharing those 2 LOVING stories. You BOTH “get it”….Be blessed! (But I think you ALREADY ARE!)….Merry, Merry…from Missy

        P.S…Dublynn: Heres hoping WE BOTH get better soon! 🙂

      • Jen says:

        If the elk was just worried about something in his water he would not have been gentle with the rodent, he could have just crushed it after he removed it from the trough but he let it go instead.

      • Daviey says:

        sorry, but do you eat meat? it aint any different.

      • J says:

        you are soooo right………they know everything.ANIMALS ROCK MY WORLD

      • Diane says:

        My dog and cat are best friends. Recently, the dog suffered, badly, with rocky mountain spotted fever. Her back legs were weak, she couldn’t get up on her own, walk or stand without help. That terrible night, before getting to the vet, the cat curled up on the dog’s back legs, which she’d never done before. I’m convinced the cat was comforting the dog in her hour of need. There really is no other explanation.

      • Mary says:

        I get it. There was a story on the news this morninh about a young girl who has a weird affliction that made every muscle in her body stop working and she was only gettint worse until her mom brought her dog…ANGEL…to the hospital to see her. She didn’t even relize she was petting the dog and today she is up walkng and doing everything a young girl should. And she only got better because of the dog. Now their dog…Angle…goes to hospitals to try to help other people, so their are soles in all of God’s creatures.

        • Marjorie says:

          I saw that special too! It was beautiful to see how that sweet dog helped that little girl’s recovery!! And I was thrilled to see that the mom ‘got it’ and decided to give back the same way by getting her dog certified as a therapy dog!

        • scott says:

          You need to read Nancis story about souls and who we are. I know itll help everyone understand about this subject. It is almost identical to what happened to me when I passed for 20 minutes. Nanci danison: Backwards books. Youtube as well.

      • Martha says:

        AMEN Missy!! I think some people are the ‘heartless’ ones. My Ginny gets so upset when I cry. She looks at me so lovingly with her big brown eyes like she wants to do something to comfort me.

        I also saw a story on GodVine about a dog that went on a highway and pulled a black plastic bag off the road and took it home. He whined and cried and would not leave it until the owner opened it. Inside was blood, guts, and two remaining injured but live kittens. Somebody had tossed them out on the highway and they had been run over. That dog went totally against what is believed about dogs and cats being enemies and rescued them. I also had my cat abandon her babies, but my too dogs adopted them and took care of them. One even got milk to feed them!

        All animals are God’s creatures, and when compared to many human beings that I know…I prefer God’s creatures.

  2. Mary Thomas says:

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing. We used to visit the Pocatello Zoo when we lived in Pocatello.

  3. Serena says:

    He knows what it’s like to be helpless and caged and that gives him compassion for those in like situations …

    • Julie says:

      Don’t be silly Serena! You are putting human thought processes onto an animal. Animals act instinctually, add a mix of natural animal curiosity bearing no ill will, plus the fact that he wanted to remove this critter from his drinking water, and there you have it!

      Besides, even though Shooter is kept in captivity he looks content and well looked after, and judging by the wariness of the zoo keepers Shooter sounds far from helpless!!

      Being an animal-lover isn’t all about being ‘fluffy’ about things, it’s about understanding how the natural world really is and respecting that.

      • Altruism, empathy & compassion are not unique to the human species. These traits are well documented in non-humans as well. Many ‘scientific’ studies of various species have shown animals to act outside of what can be called ‘instinct’. There is a spark of the divine in all God’s living creatures.

      • Dave A. says:

        Very well put, Julie. All this “warm and fuzzy” silliness about how “compassionate” animals can be gets quite tiresome sometimes!!

      • darryl says:

        julie ….hate to break the news to you were animals too!!! more educated and developed sure…..but our ancestors were once wild savages,
        Is it rediculous to think your cat or dog sense when your sad and try to comfort you? that would be almost human like …must be silly.

      • n7qvc says:

        We are not animals, we are Humans. There is a difference. We did not evolve from an ape man; we are created by Our FATHER who is in Heaven. God Made Animals First Genesis 2.24 then God made man Genesis 2.26

        • Joann Petre says:

          Yes there IS a difference Mister….in my book animals are BETTER than people. Humans are the slaughterers and murderers. I wouldn’t brag about being a member of the human race these days.

          • Katlyn says:

            I have to completely agree with you Joann. I think it’s so very sad to feel sickened by our own species but all the violence, destruction, hate, cruelty, selfishness, lack of both knowledge and faith in God, and the indifference people show to all the suffering and horrible things going on in the world these days, makes me more than just a little ashamed of being a member of the human race. Animals are far better than people in my book as well.

        • Lynne Cliborne says:

          PLEASE ! what a simplistic view, is this where your mind stops! from Lynne

        • Grow a pair of eyes and start looking at this world without preconceived ideas you have been taught.

        • Grow yourself a new pair of eyes and stop looking at the world through eye contaminated by thoughts of others taught to you. Use your own brain and look at things the way they are! Animals do things we are unaware of all the time. They are mute, but not stupid.

      • Dolebiscuit says:

        “We are not animals, we are Humans. There is a difference. We did not evolve from an ape man; we are created by Our FATHER who is in Heaven. God Made Animals First Genesis 2.24 then God made man Genesis 2.26”

        No, we evolved from “ape men” that originated in Africa. There’s tons of proof for evolution man, even the Pope doesn’t deny that.

        • n7qvc says:

          Could you show me this proof please? send me a few links.

          http://www.youtube.com/user/ppsimmons#grid/user/F95949699306D21A

          DESTROYING EVOLUTION (With Real Science) These films together – DESTROY the Evolution lie and the idiotic pseudoscience they pass off as FACT. The Evo-heads hate them – but rational, scientifically thinking believers of Creationism find them refreshing, insightful and useful in talking to others about the delusion of evolution. EVOLUTION – What do the Experts Say? QUESTIONS for Evolutionists – Very Embarrassing EVOLUTION – A Theory in Dilemma EVOLUTION – Is “SILLY!” – A Teaching For Children THE BLIND WATCHMAKER – Is Insane! EVOLUTION – A Decision Of Ignorance ( The DEMISE of Evolution!) VOODOO SCIENCE – Evolution’s OTHER Name! PROVEN! Lies-Fraud-Deceit – The Dilemma of Evolution REVEALED! Evolution is Foretold in the Bible! Is RICHARD DAWKINS – “STUMPED?” “IDA” – Missing Link or Missing Science? The ANTI-SCIENCE – Evolution! The Thrill Is Gone! Poor, Poor IDA! Evolution And The Fabled Mutations – THE TRUTH Dinosaurs – Man and The Bible INCONVENIENT SCIENCE – THE AGE OF MAN

          • jhgonzo says:

            Are creationists STILL mixing up evolution and cosmology? Evolution explains how life on this planet came to be; cosmology looks at the bigger picture outside our planet. They are not one and the same.

            Evolution is not only fact, it’s been witnessed! Unless microorganisms aren’t “alive” enough for you, in which case you should probably stop referring to yourself as a “rational, scientifically thinking believer.” (Edit: I see that quote is from the YouTube page, not from you personally, but you posted the link so I’m still justified in addressing YOU, n7qvc!)…and there’s the whole issue of domesticated animals like dogs and cattle, artificially selected, but still pertinent in the grand scheme of things, for if humans can “change” a species into another, certainly nature can do so over a time span thousands or millions of times longer!

            Proof of evolution is everywhere around you, good sir.

          • n7qvc says:

            Your telling me that a life form from out of no where, split in too, then started procreating with it self and then became two sex’s and survived on no food source, then from there it became all sorts of differ critters? from a pool of gooooo? All the building blocks of Life just came from no where? water, air, plants, animals, man, LOL you have a bigger imagination than I do. if you time travel billions of years ago.. the size of the sun would have been bigger than the distance now to the sun. this is called thermal dynamics, http://www.icr.org/article/sun-shrinking/ I’m no genius as you can tell. but You have more faith is Evolution than I do. Evolved from what?? what evolved??? from what??? You post this” humans can “change” a species into another, ” What are you talking about.. this is crazy…

          • jhgonzo says:

            First off, sexual reproduction hardly sprang from the loins of bacteria…it wasn’t until survival necessitated such procreation (as in the case with passing on immunity) that “doin’ it” became all the rage, but the fact that not all organisms reproduce in this manner (in fact, a small number of all known species on) should be evidence enough.

            Antibiotics apply selective pressures to bacteria, thus causing them to evolve. Every domestic dog is Canis lupus, and every breed can interbreed with the original Canis lupus, the wolf (but not with hyenas, foxes, etc.). Beef and dairy cattle have been selectively bred for features that nature would *probably* select AGAINST (that is, what WE find desirable in our meat — though I’m a vegetarian, so can’t comment much on the appeal in that regard — like oversized flanks and loins, would certainly be detrimental to the animal’s health in the wild!). I probably phrased my earlier comment misleadingly, as only the bacterial example is really an observable change in species per se, but I haven’t seen a convincing argument that shows how humans can influence genes in this way, yet nature cannot.

            Dawkins gave a brilliant analogy of how evolution IS science and NOT “just faith,” like creationists love to claim — he used a crime scene detective as analogous to evolutionary scientists; whereas the former pieces together something like an unwitnessed homicide using environmental clues, so biologists analyze the progression of life on this planet, both using a variety of tools and methodologies.

            I’m not here to try to convert any creationists (although I know it’s possible, coming from a creationist background myself), and I realize the futility in these debates. Just wanted to clear the air as far as these claims that “Darwinists” have just as much blind faith as the spiritual.

            Oh, and I never commented on the original elk story — marvelous! Nature can seem callous and cruel (and she is), but altruism can be found, even the kind devoid of an expectation of reciprocity as this story seems to indicate. We obviously both care deeply for creatures of the earth, and with that I will make my exit and wish you all the best.

            I also welcome comments on my blogs from all faiths (or lack thereof). 🙂

        • Meg says:

          There are also current living examples of evolution in action. The Galapagos islands have experienced pretty serious drought and during this drought time, scientists living on the islands who were studying the finches saw evolution in action. They saw the breeding selection, the beak style and other features change as a result of the environmental changes. This book is called The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner.

          • n7qvc says:

            As I recall it was something along the lines of beaks adapting to harder seeds in times of drought, and then the beak adapting back to softer easier seeds in times of plenty which proves evolution is false because they didn’t stay where they had evolved to because evolution did not and does not happen. It’s probably good a thing the finch was able to adapt back to the original beak, otherwise the poor lil finch-isaurus would have starved when it needed the original beak back. Not to mention its still a finch and not a swan and looks exactly like it always has. A Finch with a different shaped beak.

      • Julie says:

        I absolutely agree that animals are capable of altruism and we can certainly learn from that. They show affection, look after their own and grieve a loss, they even risk their own lives to protect another.

        Whether you believe in evolution or creation, you have to accept that nature can be brutal. It is for animals own protection that their emotions & thoughts aren’t as ‘devoloped’ as ours, otherwise how would they cope with seeing their offspring being killed & eaten right before their eyes for instance, or fighting for their lives from a predator sometimes literally for hours, then dying a slow & painful death, or worse being eaten alive …sorry don’t mean to get gorey but it’s not Disneyland out there.

        @ Daryll, don’t worry you’re not breaking any news to me, I’m well aware that humans are technically classed as mammals, but whether we consider ourselves to be animals or not – what was your point?
        I know cats and dogs sense our moods, I have a cat & dog myself, I never said they don’t have emotions, and if you are striving to say that animals are human-like then you are doing them an injustice; Animals exhibit more loyalty and honesty than most humans, in my opinion.

        The point I was originally trying to make was that when Shooter pulled that marmoset out of the water he wasn’t thinking “I’ll save you little fella because I know what it’s liked to be trapped in a cage”, as Serena suggested, he didn’t go that thought process did he? He just reacted in an instinctual way, albeit a ‘kind’ one.

      • Lisa Del Sordi says:

        Julie, you’re a complete moron!
        I’m thinking Shooter has more compassion and brain cells than you…

        • Dave A. says:

          Lisa, we’ll see how intelligent YOU are. What you’ve written here is known as an “ad hominem” attack, and it’s not a positive thing to do. Can you tell us what that means without looking it up first?

      • philip brooks says:

        Julie that animal was gentle not just getting that little critter out of the watrer,he rescued,I teach wilderness survival and know animals do have emothions and feelings.so Serena isnt as silly as you think

      • John P. Owen says:

        Oh Yah? You should see him do CPR!

      • Elkywelky says:

        He didn’t want it making a mess in his water.

      • You sound like you think you know a great deal, Julie. Your prideful, cocky off-the-cuff explanation of virtually all animal behavior is a human trait animals definitely do not share, and I am grateful for that.

        I work with animals, have horses and dogs, and while the great majority of their behaviors are instinctive — as with many humans, sadly! — I never cease to marvel and be truly blessed by generosity, sacrificial behaviors, compassionate gestures, and amazing bonds between both same-species animals and other-species animals (like the tremendous bond shared between a dog and a chimpanzee, both of whom were previously sort of homeless/disconnected).

        The gentle removal of the hapless marmot by Shooter certainly is enjoyable, and only God and that elk know what was going on in the mind of the elk, but his gentleness indicates an awareness of the fragility of the marmot. He could just as easily — and more characteristically — have pawed and stomped on the unusual creature he pulled from his water.

        A little humility and an open mind to things we can’t always explain doesn’t make us fools; indeed, those things demonstrate true wisdom.

      • Boris Badenoff - E-Ville Conservative!!! says:

        All you meanies that don’t think animals have feelings need to meet my pet Garden Slug. “Sluggo” and I spend many a day, sitting around the TV watching football, eating Cheetos and other things, supposedly reserved for human beings. Just last week, in church, the Sunday School techer and Sluggo got in a heated discussion about whether he had a soul or not. Sluggo won. This week, Sluggo will be reading the “Night Beofre Christmas” to the poor little kids at the orphanage and he tythes 10% of his slime to our church, every week. :8-P

        • Laurie says:

          That is funny! I can’t believe this neat story has caused so much fighting between you people! The human race is supposed to be more intelligent; but if humans weren’t on this earth it would be a much cleaner, well balanced planet without all the death, destruction and pollution. You tell me who’s the most intelligent.

      • Susan Pfeifer says:

        He must have created some idiots too, Genesis 2.222222

      • Its da truth says:

        If you’ve watched animals with their young it is clear that they care, that they feel love and suffer grief. Unlike humans, they are not vindictive, greedy and excessive, they do not lie and make up silly stories to explain their existence, neither are they destroying the planet.

      • Ted says:

        “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
        ― Albert Einstein

      • Ted says:

        “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
        ― Albert Einstein

        Instinct is intuition. We should be so lucky to have the courage to let go of our EGO and trust our instincts and intuition.

      • Peter David says:

        You get that evolution happens all the time around us, right? When doctors talk about a strain of a virus changing and adapting so that certain medications are no longer effective at killing it, that’s evolution right there. So to dismiss evolution as an untenable concept is simply ridiculous when we have concrete examples of it occurring right now.

        PAD

      • animals do not just react instinctively. See Michael the other signing gorilla friend to Koko. He remembers when he was captured and his mother was killed. He even drew a picture of it with lots of red paint. He signed to his trainers about it. Tell me that is instinct. Animals are smarter and more caring than we humans ever could hope to be.

      • scott says:

        Uhh, thats a good theory. But since everyone here knows there is no real way to measure this idea of what animals can and cant do, why dont we all just go with what we see and let each individual develop their own theory and let them live with that? Your never going to be right or wrong because no one can prove or disprove. Fair to say?

    • Marjorie says:

      When I volunteered at the Pocatello Zoo a number of years ago, almost all the animals were rescues and would never have survived in the wild because of their injuries (generally inflicted by people) or their inexperience at living wild (because they had been removed when very young, again by people). Would it be better to have them destroyed or to use them to educate people about wildlife?

      • Misty says:

        Excellent point… places like Pocatello try to undo some of the damage our human blundering creates… as well as educating others so that the same mistakes can be avoided in future.

    • Bob says:

      n7qvc: If you’re such a believer in the Book of Genesis, I have a question for you: If Adam and Eve only had sons, where did the rest of us come from? Looks like some Biblical incest, huh? I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and even the priests there believe in evolution.

      • Candice Brill says:

        Genesis 5:4 says that “and all the days of Adam after he begat Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters.” that’s a lot of time to have children!

      • n7qvc says:

        That’s why I’m not a catholic, If you study the bible you will find your own answers. I’m a believer in the entire Holy Bible, Adam and Eve live some 900 years after the fall. There is not account of how old they were before the fall. However it seems that in that period of time they could have had some daughters. The Roman Catholics are a part of the Anti-Christ, Teaching you things not of the Bible. It would seem that the 12 years you spent in catholic school were wasted. There is Power in the Truth. Gods Word will not be Mocked, Learn the truth my friend, It will surly set you free.

        2 Peter 3:3-9
        King James Version (KJV)

        3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

        6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

      • There were Adam’s first two wives both made by god from the same clay he was made from. First was Lilith, and the second had her name and existence removed from the bible by god.

      • scott says:

        Read Nanci Danisons Backwards books. Also on you tube. I had no idea about what catholics believe or dont believe on that subject. Interesting. Thought all religions just went by the book.

  4. Helen says:

    The critter is a Nutria (we have more then our share here in Oregon)

    • Patti Socal says:

      The zookeepers know what the little critter was, and it is not a nutria. Marmots may look similar, but they aren’t the same. I am from south Louisiana, have seen them all my life, and we are overrun with them. They were introduced to this country at Avery Island, LA, and escaped during a hurricane.

    • NoAdditives says:

      Definitely not a nutria. Having lived in Eugene, OR for many years I got close to plenty of them. They look like giant brown guinea pigs, they keep their heads low to the ground and generally have a grumpy demeanor. While the animal pictured looks similar, it is not a nutria.

  5. T.Moore says:

    People think animals are dumb!

  6. Elvie Chan says:

    some animals show compassion that shame us humans… Human beings belong to a specie that kills their own…

    • Denny says:

      some animals do too..its a cold truth…google it!

    • Celia Partridge says:

      There are many male animals that kill newborns and youngsters to bring their mothers into heat so that they can mate with them. Others are killed in battles for females. And don’t forget the black widow. Positively inhumane!

      • Jim Kratzer says:

        “Female Black Widow is ‘inhumane'” – possibly because the female Black Widow spider is INHUMAN?
        Duh…
        Ladies and Gentlemen, CHILDREN –
        Get with the PROGRAM here; these are WILD ANIMALS we ae discussing here, NOT domesticated, or even SEMI-domesticated ones!
        Missy, with your Kitty who never left your side for 2 WHOLE WEEKS after your major surgery? DOMESTICATED CAT! (BTW: Did you move the litter box in bed with you?) I’ve BEEN OWNED by Cats and Dogs (NEVER think you own them) before, and there is a VAST difference between them and what lives and SURVIVES in the wild.
        Grow UP, BABIES! Nature is a MOTHER, and will teach her children WHATEVER they need to survive in a harsh environment. If Shooter can get along and LIVE by letting a little marmot get away, wet, cold, scared, but alive, then Mister Marmot gets away – hey, Shooter doesn’t eat Marmot anyway, so it’s no big deal to Shooter. But – if Shooter is THREATENED by that Marmot – DEAD MARMOT.
        And the same goes for ANYONE ELSE. Don’t bet YOUR life on it, any other way.

    • Katlyn says:

      I agree with you for sure Elvie, but there are animals known to kill their own, for example wolves kill other species just for the joy of killing, and have been know to kill their own for personal gain as well… just saying.

  7. Wow, I love this. I think most animals have this unique ability to help fellow creatures. I love elk and deer and have watched them, in the wild, do things you wouldn’t believe to help another species. What I can’t stand to see is the wolves taking them down, one by one and Not eating them. Just makes me sick inside. Love shooter.

    • Carole says:

      Excuse me. When have you “seen” this behavior by wolves? Please document, factually, your assertion.

      • Mitch Powell says:

        Just go to Idaho you will SEE it… They do and Will continue to “Sport Kill” it’s been documented, it’s been proven time and time and time again… Go to google wolf kills and just look at all the pictures of wolf kills that are NOT eaten… only a few bite marks, How about the Doe wolves killed, ripped her soon to be born fawns out of her stomach ate they’re hearts but touched NOTHING else !! Carole, look around on the net, or take a trip to Idaho you can SEE it everyday there !!

      • Tami says:

        Is it sport kill or do they feel this animal is a threat? Deer are dangerous, much less elk. These wolves might be defending their territory and their young. I wouldn’t necessarily assign ‘thrill kill’ to an animal. There might be reasons.

      • Margo Roberts says:

        @Mitch Powell, actually, just because the wolves do not eat the entire carcass at that precise moment does not mean they are done with it. Odds are they have been spooked from their kill if they leave it, or then intend to come back to it again later. Also these carcasses DO NOT go ignored. People stupidly stick their noses in where they should leave well enough alone. Other animals also eat of the carcasses. So please do not attempt to explain to others you truly do not understand

      • Elkywelky says:

        It’s been ‘proven’ by IDIOTS on snowmobiles that don’t take into account that an elk is much bigger than a wolf, and a wolf will eat the ‘tenderest’ parts first, leaving the rest for later, unless a cougar claims it first. it is ‘documented’ by idiots who know NOTHING of the nature of…well…nature.

      • Moi says:

        I have seen wolves kill horses eating the insides and off they go! They are not doing it to protect their area they were doing it for fun! 17 wolves and the pack mentality kicks in. 1 meanass wolf and the rest will follow. Happens with other pack animals as well including people! Humans have not all evolved at the same pace. The elk story is pretty cool whether he was trying to help or was just bored and found something to do! If the critter could talk I bet he would be thinking it was some sort of miracle! It would be good to think that maybe there was a higher power helping out. Merry Christmas all!

      • M.Reinke says:

        Thats harass. Wolves are awesome. I wish I was a wolf.

      • M.Reinke says:

        *badass*

      • Katlyn says:

        Carole, I live in Montana and have personally seen this behavior by wolves, as have many other Montana residents, with both cattle and elk/deer as well. This has been documented.

    • Debbie Jaco says:

      Leilani,

      This is natural behavior by wolves. You are placing human emotions in your judgment of their behavior.

      • Ben Petrone says:

        Leilani ;Mitch is right i agree with her animal rights people dont like to hear the facts.i would personally shoot every wolf i see that kills wantonly.It is my natural behavior to hunt .have you ever witnessed a wolf pack bring down an animal and start eating it when it is still alive.I dont know where you live but you would sing a different tune if a wolf or coyote attacked you dog and started eating it alive as you watched.I personally shoot every coyote that i see .Coyotes kill whitetail fawns. I have a friend that set up a trail camera nexe to a coyote den .He counted 32 fawns that she killed to feed her pups..I use to run an animal rescue center .coyotes and domestic dogs woud try to break in the fenced area of the rescued animals.I shot many a dog and coyote ,by the way it was all done legally .I shot one dog inside the fenca area but not until he killed 4 rescued fawns .What say you ?:)

      • Leah Ayers says:

        DONKEYS are good protection for farms etc.. they are known to charge intruders like coyotes etc.. Good investing in a donkey who needs home. Wolves & Coyotes eat animals while still alive??? I thought they killed 1st. We witnessed a pack of pet dogs encouraged by owner (with his 8-9 yr old daughter with him) in Mexico to kill a cat he shook down from his small front yard tree. It was not a quick kill. we witnessed while biking thru neighborhood on off-cruise excursion. will never do that again. Ruined our vacation.

      • Leah Ayers says:

        Sounds like what domestic & outdoor cats do …. hunt for sport. Even the indoor kitties who are fed well & too much by many owners still kill for sport. I see it in my yard.What a waste for nature & migrating rare bird species. Wish they would be REAL owners and keep their cats in, oh no that’s too much responsibility. They’d rather be a burden on neighbors and let their cat pee/poop in their garden & deck furniture.

      • Christena says:

        Alot of times they will “run down” an animal too, just to exhaust it so it won’t give up much of a fight when brought down. I was raiased in North Idaho. Seen it there and I have seen where I am now here in New Mexico.

      • Cindy M. says:

        Ben Petrone Says:

        “Coyotes kill whitetail fawns. I have a friend that set up a trail camera nexe to a coyote den .He counted 32 fawns that she killed to feed her pups..”

        I personally would much rather see a coyote kill a white tail fawn to feed her young than to see that deer’s carcass laying on the side of the road after being mowed down by an automobile or semi truck. Are there any statistics out there about the annual slaughter of deer by auto that happens every year because we’ve decimated the wolf population in this country?

      • Elkywelky says:

        What is it with fluffybunnies who attribute ‘human’ characteristics to animals, and completely ignore that nature isn’t pretty? How do you people think wolves get fed? Go to the store and buy wolf chow??? As to Ben’s post, would you EAT the wolf if you killed it? You’re claiming it’s in your ‘nature’, but in real nature, not the one you see on TV, all carnivores kill to eat. End. Period. They do not kill because that animal called me a name, or looked at my woman wrong. Ben admits that he kills wantonly by ‘man’s law’, which is far from NATURE’S law, and I’m guessing he does NOT eat what he kills. Quick kills do not happen in nature, sorry. That is how it is. I’m a touchy-feely animal person myself, but I also know that nature should NOT be tampered with, and people keep doing it and wonder why things are so messed up! Christena, of course they will run it down, or exhaust it, it makes it easier to kill, as well…they’ve gotta eat too! They don’t grocery shop, and they are not vegetarians!

      • ericagott says:

        I agree, this is natural behavior. As to why they kill and eat the insides, I believe it is because the organs are the most nutritious part (full of fat and nutrients). Even the Inuit would eat the fattiest parts of the caribou/reindeer they killed, and give the dogs the lean meat. Nature doesn’t allow waste. Many animals and organisms feed off carcasses. THAT’S nature. And wolves and coyotes are the natural predators of deer. The fawns and the sickly are the ones easiest to take down. Mama coyote needs an easy kill to be able to get back to her pups fast. We have killed off the deer’s natural predators. This is such a shame. God (or Nature) put them all on the earth for a reason. Only humans think they know better.

      • Koda says:

        I have chickens in my backyard many of whom I love a great deal but I also live in the northwest and see my fair share of animals that want my hens. Its natural for a cat to hunt and in the wild when you kill an animal for food you may have seconds to eat before another animal comes and steals your kill. They want to live not make there food as comfy as possible in there death. I’m 15 and I do farming I know life and death, how do you think the meat ended up at the store look at how they have treated the animals there. Its not pretty, I would rather die by starving wolfs than live the life of an animal ment for human food. I have also grown up in the wood around my house. Nature is not pretty, its not kind its, survival of who can find food for themselfs. If a 15 yearold already knows this than many of you need to work on a farm for awhile. It will open your eyes.

      • oh aren’t you the big man then Ben…You are a first class murdering wanker who knows shit all about nature and wildlife…but thats understandable because you are an ignorant human…the most disgusting species on earth…..really your time would be better spent culling humans who prey on defenceless animals

  8. Oh, what a fun, inspiring story!

  9. ziggie says:

    That is so sweet, see..just leave nature his course

  10. Patti Socal says:

    What a kind thing for the big guy to do. He knew that little fella was in distress.

  11. Candice Dulin says:

    Perhaps we could all take something from this story and apply it to our daily journeys?

  12. David Kaisler says:

    Why can’t we treat animals like this instead of killing them?

    • Dan of the North says:

      Because we’re not herbivores.

      And they’re tasty.

      • Promise says:

        Yes, but unlike other carnivores we don’t have to kill herbivores. We can go to a store like civilized human beings we SHOULD be and be looking out for the creatures as the Elk did. 😉

      • Richey says:

        I think a better answer is “because we are self-deluding hypocrits with no moral character.”

        And I’m sure people are tasty too.

      • don says:

        yes we can go to the store,,,,,, WHERE DOES THE FOOD COME FROM AT THE STORE,,,,,, SOMEBODY STILL KILLS IT,,,,,,as hunters we help control the population of these great creatures ,,,, if you hit one on the road you would say we have to do something about them ,, there are too many,,, this is an argument that has gone on for years ,,,,, it takes all kinds to make the world work and no one is totallly right but don’t hate a hunter and hunters don’t hate vegitarians after all most of what we hunt are veggies,,,,, but all are still steps and needed stepps in our lives,,, and yes i think the elk just wanted something out of his water that would contaminate it,,,,, i have seen horses do the same

      • Dolebiscuit says:

        “I think a better answer is ‘because we are self-deluding hypocrits with no moral character.’

        And I’m sure people are tasty too.”

        That’s a terrible answer actually. Every single one of our mammalian ancestors has been a meat eater. That’s what lead to increased brain size, and the intelligence we humans now possess and enjoy today. Even if you were to take humans out of the picture completely, and leave the entire planet to the rest of nature, animals would still be hunted and killed every single day–the old, the weak and the young are often the first to go. All the other carnivores and omnivores on the planet still need to eat too. Or are you under the impression that the lions, tigers and bears learned the art of meat eating from us? Eating other animals is a part of nature, and as we are animals ourselves, we are not above nature, nor will we likely ever be.
        There is nothing morally or ethically wrong with eating other animals. However cannibalism is an abhorrent act, and is as counterproductive to furthering our species as war and murder. And to be honest, I bet most people taste like shit.

      • Leah Ayers says:

        I laugh every time someone says meat is tasty…. yeah WITH all the spices, rubs, sauces covering it up. I eat meat occassinaly. but less and less. I’m not big fan of the bland taste. Ever have Raw, un-seasoned meat? How tasty is it? Only a true carnivore like tigers & lions would think un-seasoned meat is tasty. Humans have to smother it with season to eat it.

      • liz ktty says:

        my father fed me raw hamburger as a child, it was delicious.

      • Cindy M. says:

        I’m not above eating raw meat. I love sushi, tartars and often take a taste of raw hamburger before making meatballs out of it. I don’t find the taste of raw meat bland at all. It is what it is.

      • @dolebiscuit,
        Our increased brain size was Not from eating meat. It was from cooking and eating grains, and other veggies which turn into starches. Our increased brain size is unsustainable without the sugars from the starches. We would have to eat about twenty times as much raw food to get the sugars our brains need to run on. Hardly conducive to running down prey, if you weigh so much from eating all that extra food just for the sugar production.

  13. Jan Fryer says:

    That’s amazing.

  14. Pamela Barrows says:

    Am I the only one who thinks he was just trying to remove a foreign object from his drinking water?

  15. Robbin Ward says:

    I belong to the Elks National Foundation, and it brings to light our motto. “Elks care and Elks Share” Truly touching.

  16. Jeanie Barber says:

    Shooter’s intelligence with compassion helped the little marmot and also kept his drinking water marmot free.

  17. curiocache says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Whatever was Shooter’s reasoning, he was a guardian angel-elk to that little guy… right place at the right time!! Wonderful!

  18. So amazing when you see something like this in the animal kingdom. Found it being shared by a friend on FB and I’ve reshared it as well. 🙂

  19. H.K. (Bunny) Litchfield says:

    What an amazing animal (the Big Guy, of course) for saving the little fell’r. Thanks ever so much for posting all the pics!

  20. Beth Hargett says:

    What an awesome story!!!! 🙂 Definitely made me smile!

  21. Lisa Preston says:

    Marmot’s friends will never believe him.

  22. Dan says:

    THE real life ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE

  23. cb says:

    maybe the elk is aware of how fucked up we humans (no, not you or me of course) have already made our planet, and that any hope of survival of any species will have to come from inter-species efforts to survive the rapid decline of the ecosphere.

  24. cb says:

    thanks, politicians, esp. republicrats

  25. Mitch Powell says:

    I had seen this once before and thought it to be truly awe inspiring !! Thanks for sharing it again !! Enjoyed it then, and enjoyed it again..

  26. Dana Gronau says:

    All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.

    for Shooter….

  27. Edie says:

    IN all the extreme dilema in a busy chaotic world, this is soft , warm and comforting. Thanks for sharing

  28. don says:

    has anybody wondered how trhe marmot got in there,,,,, solid steel walls on the out side too,…. maybe that was the second time the poor little guy got picked up,,,, maybe the little toy was just getting cleaned up after a playtime and only the tail end of playtime was caught on film

    • meh says:

      Perhaps Shooter was giving him swimming lessons? What the heck – everyone else is anthromorphing this story – may as well have fun with it.

  29. Dr Moose says:

    With a handle like mine, I have to like this! 🙂 Thanks for sharing it.

  30. I can believe this, and it is wonderful and amazing. My dog once led me to another dog in the woods, an old guy who had somehow gotten all four legs stuck in slats between planks on a bridge and was stuck there, helpless and freezing. It took help from the local fire company to get him out, after which the SPCA took him to a vet and contacted the owners. But if my dog had not found him and stayed with him, barking for help, he would be dead.

  31. Jeannie says:

    Not at all surprised as animals have that built in sense…Beautiful to see it

  32. LauraT says:

    Elk, deer, bears, cougars, wolves and many other wild creatures were here long before us and this beauty shows us that even after losing his freedom, he still has the care and compassion for others as demonstrated in the pictures. We move into their territory, disrupting and even destroying their lives and still that is not enough for some. Too many times we hear, see and read about stories where a wild animal comes into it’s own territory and is now killed because someone freaked out. A home owner walks into their back yard which was recently woods and wild country, sees a wild animal and the animal loses its life. In many ways we are not the better species. Many in our society has lost the care, respect and compassion of others.

  33. Jen says:

    Great Job he did. We put a piece of untreated 2×4 in our water troughs just for this reason to help the birds, squirrels and such if they fall in.

  34. macmarlen says:

    To add to Dolebiscuit’s comment about animals killing animals (generally called “the cycle of life”) please read a book called AMORAK written and beautifully illustrated by Tim Jessell. It is actually a children’s book, but one which we all can benefit from reading. In Inuit, “amorak” means “spirit of the wolf” – and the story is based on an ancient myth/legend that answers how the wolf and the caribou came to be brothers. The interconnectedness of life is beautiful to imagine, but sometimes hard to accept in its reality. Read this book!

  35. Cool, glad someone was there with a camera to capture this drama 😀

  36. Debbie says:

    Brilliant! You could never convince me that human beings (such as they are) are the dominate species on the planet. Wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing. Blessings, D.

  37. Tammy Aubert says:

    AWWWWWW! see how gentle a giant can be? And they are not even human! Whats that tell ya? I love stories like this!

  38. Alan Seeger says:

    That’s really amazing. Thank you for sharing this.

  39. April Taylor says:

    This is such an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I can not wait to read this article to my 5 yr old son, he will love it!!!

  40. Sojourn says:

    Time and time again they prove humans to be fools. This is only a small caught on camera example. How much don’t we see?
    Wolves are resource hunters, known to kill and stockpile food. People think they kill just for the sake of it because when they come across carcasses the Wolves are gone. Well guess what? They smell you from a mile away and run. Come back in a few days. What they don’t eat feeds the food chain. NATURE FOR DUMMIES. Now go shoot your Elk.

    • dean crombie says:

      yes, wolves stock pile food as much as they can kill,why do you think they were exterminated to begin with, primarily by ranchers that would have dozens of catlle killed and left lay,they have in fact devistated elk herds where they’ve been re-introduced. all habitats have been damaged due the the overpopulation of us humans as well,our remaining habitats certainly wont sustain the populations of any species that they did 100 yrs ago.
      having raised 3 different wolf malamute mixes I can say they are a amazing animal as are they elk that I have hunted (for food btw)since i was 12.
      the equalizer in all of this is how we manage both species,are our dfg’s doing the jobs we pay them to do.

      • Elkywelky says:

        Actually, when you check records, there haven’t been THAT many cattle kills, except usually by sick or wounded animals that can’t hunt normally. Too many other kills were being blamed on wolves (wild dogs, bear even, and cougar–but cougars are MUCH harder to find). And I’d like to see your resources on the alleged decimation of elk herds. I’ve seen absolutely the opposite.

        • Katlyn says:

          Elkywelky, perhaps you aren’t checking updated records? I like and agree with all of your posts for the most part, but i can’t agree with you on this one. We have had a pretty big problem with cattle kills that were most definately done by wolves here in Montana. We also have a documented decimation of elk herds here, also done by wolves. Of course we can attribute some of those kills to bears and mountain lions, but both ranchers and hunters here can tell you from personal experience that wolves can be held accountable for the majority of our cattle and elk losses. I have also heard Idaho has had many issues with it and some parts of Wyoming as well. My family hunts every year and in the past couple of years elk numbers have most definitely been way down from years past. Wolf tracks now cover area’s where a few years ago there was only elk and deer sign. We depend on the meat we get from our hunts and the wolves have made it very difficult for us to fill our tags the last couple of years. It has become such a big problem that the USFS has offered a $100 reward for every photographed wolf kill, and they have just extended the season until February.Here are some links and quotes on the issue.
          “The herd is closely watched by the public because of its interaction with wolves. Both sides of the debate over wolf reintroduction have used its numbers as evidence of either the positive or devastating affects of wolves.

          In 1995, the year wolves were reintroduced to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the northern Yellowstone elk herd numbered 16,791.

          In 2009, biologists counted 6,070 elk in the herd.

          Last month, biologists counted 4,635 elk.

          All told, the elk population has declined by 70 percent in the 16 years since wolf reintroduction.” -Montana Outdoor Radio show

          “Gray wolves killed livestock in Montana at the rate of an animal per day in 2009, stirring a backlash against the predators in rural areas and depleting a program that compensates ranchers for their losses.

          The sharp increase over 2008 livestock losses, reported Thursday by state officials, was fueled largely by a wolf pack ravaging 148 sheep in southwestern Montana near Dillon in August.

          “They are beautiful creatures, but they’re also very deadly. They’ll go out and hamstring a bunch of animals just for fun,” said Barb Svenson of Reed Point, whose family ranch lost more than 30 sheep in attacks over the last two years.

          “They’re killing our income,” she added.

          Wolves attract particular disdain because of their viciousness — many killed animals are left uneaten — and because of historic prohibitions against hunting the predators.

          About 1,650 wolves roam the Northern Rockies, most of them descended from just 66 animals introduced to the region in the mid-1990s by the federal government.

          Montana and Idaho launched inaugural wolf hunts in September, in part to put the fast-expanding population in check. The hunts came just six months after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took wolves off the federal endangered species list.

          It’s uncertain if the hunts will be repeated. A pending lawsuit from environmentalists could put wolves back on the list by late spring or early summer, said attorney Bob Lane with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

          The suit is before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy, who overturned the federal government’s first attempt to strip protections for wolves in 2008. Legal arguments in the case are due by the end of the month.

          If the environmentalists lose, Lane said his agency would likely increase Montana’s wolf hunting quota. It was 75 wolves in 2009, although only 72 were taken.

          Hunters in Idaho, where the season continues through March, so far have taken 142 wolves out of a 220-animal quota.

          About 300 more wolves were killed by ranchers and wildlife agents in the Northern Rockies in response to livestock attacks and by other causes.

          Wyoming’s 300 wolves remain on the endangered list.

          Meanwhile, 365 sheep, cattle, horses and dogs killed by wolves have been tallied in Montana for 2009, said George Edwards, coordinator of a Montana program to compensate ranchers who suffer losses.

          That’s up more than 50 percent from 2008.

          The animals’ owners have been paid $139,000 for their losses, leaving only about $25,000 remaining in the state’s compensation fund. Legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, could soon boost the fund with federal money.

          State and federal officials estimate that only one in eight wolf kills are confirmed. For many of the rest, proof needed to justify compensation is never found. Many sheep and cattle grazing on public lands in wolf country simply go missing.

          “We don’t assume this is going to go down or get less expensive,” said Elaine Allestad, who chairs Montana’s Livestock Loss Reduction and Mitigation board. “We assume we are going to have more losses.”

          — Associated Press, L.A. Times

          The first link below from http://www.norcalblogs is the best one I have found showing proof and the creator of the sight explains that he isn’t just spouting off on something he knows nothing about. Please check out this link in particular.

          http://www.norcalblogs.com/gate/2010/08/photograpkic-proof-that-wolves-do-kill-without-wating-their-prey.php
          http://shilohtv.com/?p=5935
          http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/idaho_fg_wolves_hitting_north.html

          • Katlyn… I’m sorry, but much of what you just said is utterly bogus propaganda. Ranchers have always been legally allowed and fully capable of protecting their livestock from predators (since days when there were a heck of a lot more than today!).
            Sharp increase in predation from 2008? And what are those stats standing against, the years the wolf was practically exterminated?

            Hunters using ranchers as their excuse to kill wolves is PATHETIC. Only one in 8 wolf kills are verified? More fed money to compensate ranchers coming soon… this whole game reeks of greed.

            Here’s a plan – how about we allow those states management agency to have some extra P-R dollars and they can stop crying over having to sell a few less elk tags a year! How about you tell them to stop allowing out of state city-boy hunters to come kill their trophy, with their guide holding their hand – oops, did we just hurt the guides too? TOO BAD! This isn’t about you, or them, or any one lobby. It’s about what is right.

            Hamstringing herds just for the fun of it, then walking away? Show me video proof of that one, please?

            Wolves keep herds on the move and healthier in every way HUMANS and conservation piss-poor management has failed to. Yeah, it means your family may have to work a little harder to hunt one down. But making it sound like your family will go hungry because they can’t find a couple elk a year to survive… Come on. Walk a little farther and stop fighting to protect only yourself and the coffers of game management.

  41. Carol Kotze says:

    This is wonderful, Animals are wonderful. And humans are the cruellest living being on earth.

    • Yes, increasingly, I believe this. For what we do to other humans, to animals and to the planet. And often done without a second thought.

      • dean crombie says:

        clearly you havn’t spent much time in nature,the pecking order process of eliminating the weak takes place in all species including humans,except that we do choose which weak to eliminate nature doesnt care ,ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE

  42. lokieid1111 says:

    most of you people are personifying that animal to much.
    and even if he did take the minimal effort to save the filthy rat, how can it possibly compare to the altruistic and generally selfless deeds your neighbor bob and shelly do every day.

    its a good story, everyone likes to see animals act like people. but when you compare a freaking big deer to being a shining example of human compassion.. kinda makes me sick inside.

    • Missy says:

      gimme a break…humans don’t have any damned compassion. they kill and eat other animals even though it is well proven human can be vegan. it makes me sick that humans are so needlessly murderous.

      • Elkywelky says:

        Maybe you have no compassion, but we are still animals, and people are still going to eat other animals. It is also proven many animals can be vegetarian/vegan, as well. I don’t see THEM choosing this allegedly ‘compassionate’ path. Except cats—they cannot do a vegetarian diet, as they need the taurine in meat, or they will go blind.

    • Esther says:

      finally some sense! humans are the highest form of life! amimals are amazing, but G=d created us people to be higher than them. We have the power of speech, and more than that, the power of choice, to do good or bad! No other living thing on the planet has those ….

      • Elkywelky says:

        Really? No other animals has the power of speech or choice? Don’t read much, do you? Never heard a cat meow, or a dog bark? That is their speech. Just because it’s not ENGLISH? So that would make anyone of any other language pattern an animal? (we are animals, by the way…though many would pass better as vegetables or minerals). Animals do not do bad…they go by nature. Just because it’s not what you would choose to do. But, they can choose to do something we might see as good, as Shooter has done, or he could have been INDIFFERENT and let it drown. And people who can’t even spell ‘god’ are really annoying.

      • Meg says:

        It has been proven that many animals have ‘speech’, prairie dogs for example have been observed to make specific sounds for specific things. Human in a red jacket for example. Crows have also been observed to be able to pick specific people out and warn one another about that person if they are deemed a threat. They are not using telepathy so it must be verbal communication. Humans are not the highest form of life, I don’t even know how you can say that. God didn’t create us to be higher than animals, we decided that for ourselves, and we are doing a damn good job of destroying whatever life is on the planet that God supposedly gave us so that we can prove once and for all that we are the greatest (only) living thing left, if we make it that far. And believe me my dog chooses to steal food every time he has a chance. He also chooses to lay on the floor outside the kitchen when I am making pancakes because he knows if he begs in the kitchen he won’t get one. So are you saying it is a coincidence that he does this every single time I make pancakes, but when I am cutting up the odd avocado he will steal it in a heartbeat if I am not looking. Ridiculous. Get yer head out yo Bible and look at the real world.

      • Val says:

        Hehehe. You should hear the squirrels who visit my backyard every time my dog chases them up a tree or fence. Oh do they yell at him. Certainly sounds like speech to me. Makes me wish I could understand them 😉

        • Joann Petre says:

          Esther if being able to talk makes humans “superior” then may we all be struck dumb – starting with you, of course. I am SO sick of people using biblical quotes ad nauseum to tell everyone that humans are “the higher” species – yeah and the only one that kills and tortures for fun….Humans are truly the scourge of the earth.

    • Joann Petre says:

      most animals ARE better than people….if all you see is a “filthy rat” as you so eloquently put it – I feel really sorry for you and any helpless creature that crosses your path, lokieid1111 – you are a very sad example of a human being….The cruelty of human beings FAR surpasses their kindnesses. That’s a fact.

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  44. mike says:

    So many peeps view of this .Reality is both animals are safer there then outside as one would of been shot by a hunter and would feed many (as it should be) 2. the other would of been killed and eaten by a bird of pray or ran over by a car. This was no more then a great moment and we should remember it.And stop putting our feelings about animals in capitivity in it .Big cats,Lions,Tigers are almost exstinct because they cannot be protect in the wild and sadly only zoos are there hope to survive

    • Elkywelky says:

      Oh, for crying out loud! Nature is nature for a reason. Wild is wild for a reason! Animals eat animals, including humans! Go off into the wild by yourself, as a basic animal—no tools, no weapons. A bear might eat you, because you are meat! You are food! A cougar, perhaps? A wolf? To another carnivore, you are just another package of meat, and they WILL eat you without all this ‘human’ thought processing. You. Are. Food.

  45. Denny says:

    Ok Kids ,read every entry….now its nap time..go get your blankies lol

  46. Denny says:

    Oh…..Merry Christmas!

  47. Gail Adams says:

    This is a really cool story!

  48. Cindy W says:

    I like the fact that the magnificent animal was portrayed as rescuing the poor little animal rather than just wanting to keep the intruder, like a fly, from spoiling his water pan. However, the elk was gentle in setting the little creature free. He is truly a giant, gentle beast. I really love this story.

    • meh says:

      I recently had an experience just like Shooter’s. A fly landed in my wine. I could see it twitching. I wasn’t about to take a drink with that twitching fly in my drink (ewwwwww!), so I tried to get it out with my fingers. It kept slipping away, so i got a spoon and was able to remove the fly from my wine, and I set the fly-laden spoon down on a napkin, hoping the fly would just go away. It didn’t move, and i didn’t want to squish it between my fingers – EWWWWW! – so I flicked it away. I’m really glad i have more control over my wine supply than Shooter has over his water supply.

      Oh, by the way, why is a marmot intruder better than a fly intruder?

  49. What a great story! Thanks for sharing it. Lucky little marmot! 😉

  50. You know, a recurring theme here is ” you are putting human emotion on animals.” animals don’t have emotion? you are shitting me!? you obviously have never seen animals be vicious, angry, loving, or jumping around being just silly.
    All animals have emotions just like we do. I am pretty SURE they are JUST like us but they have different, purer, goals in their lives. I am also sure shopping at Target is not one of them.
    I commend this Elk for taking the time to save his fellow creature even if it is just to get that oily Marmot out of his drinking water.

    • Missy says:

      damn straight! what are they morons? never known a cat or dog?

    • Robin says:

      This has been a very interesting thread. On one hand, I understand the “don’t put human emotions” to this situation. I have found drowned rats in my horse’s water buckets [my ponies didn’t save them]. But this story did bring tears to my eyes, as one lovely reminder that no matter what the cause [instinct or gaff], we need to try to take care of each other. Merry Christmas!

  51. dean crombie says:

    im sure this elk is overwhemed wit joy @ being commended

  52. Whymilikethis says:

    Its vitally important that when filling large water tanks such as the one in the photo, to leave an object within it so that little critters have something in which to float on or stand upon so they can get out of the tank.

  53. Dick says:

    And people always tried to say that animals didn’t have emotions. Silly humans. Are you really that selfish? That’s the spirit of Great Father at work and I don’t mean Jehovah. The stag is one of his many images. Blessed be. )O(

  54. Ben Petrone says:

    Not a marmot not a nutria it is a praire dog.i ust to have them in my rescue center

  55. Devin Schmitt says:

    Interesting that people think animals don’t have feelings. Animals shriek when in pain. They run from danger in the wild.Mostly human.
    A few comments at the beginning of this thread are very ignorant. Simply removing the little creature from its drinking water? I have to laugh.

    Understanding that animals have feelings are a stretch for many people. Especially those that hunt animals. If animals had feelings. One would have a guilty conscience. We couldn’t have that now could we? Yes. Animals use instinct. But so do humans. If I were to whack someone in the head with raw celery. INSTINCT takes over and said person would move to block it. Instinct is also nursing young? Bet humans do that…..
    So to all of those who want to put a label of “lesser” on animals. Obviously it is you who lack compassion. NOT the animals.

    • dean crombie says:

      like the boar grizzly killing its young if the sow isnt there to protect it.
      or the cow elk abandoning its young if its sickly when born.(as with all deer)
      the rat community becoming cannibalistic if food or water isnt plentiful.
      with nature its the rule not the exception,its called preservation of the species!!!
      where as most attrocities in humanity have come from a few disturbed people instilling fear in the masses often in the name of religion.

      as for hunting animals genius,wev’e destroyed the habitats,if the populations arent controlled they become larger in numbers then the habitat will support ,overpopulation,starvation,extinction proven in california when f.o.a and sierra club pressured the fish and game cancel all black bear hunts for 2 yrs in the 80’s,i personally tracked starving bears finding pine needles in their scat(0 nutrition factor and not their normal diet) .fish and game spends millions every year to determine how many tags can be issued for the optimum survival of the species,oh and btw 82% of the money for the wildlife programs come from the hunters license and tag fees.

      the black bears brush with extinction in california in the 80’s was largely the fault of the opinions of uneducated tree hugging morons like yourself!!!

      • wild rescue says:

        Black bears DO eat spruce needles. Not for nutrition, but to stop from excreting during the winter sleep. (not true hibernation either, but a sharp slow-down in metabolism)

        • dean crombie says:

          they dont normally eat spruce needles in june ,when there is nothing but spruce needles because the grubs berries etc are gone they will eat anything in sight ,finding nothing but pine needles in their scat its obvious whats going on.
          and it is still termed hibernation although its not a continual winter sleep as people think.

  56. Dave Lasayko says:

    Who is to say animals don’t have feelings and can’t think? They were created before man was through the breath of life by our creator. Never question the will of God carried out by humans or by animals. The truth will set you free.Believe what you think is the truth in your heart. Don’t let others do your thinking for you which in my opinion is the major problem in our country today.

  57. Jackie says:

    OK, the elk pulled the little beast out of the water. I believe that was instinct, the elk did not think “I’ll save this little guy from drowning”. No way. However, I do find it interesting that he nudged it. Was it to make sure it was alive? Or was it just in his way? Instinct or miracle? It’s whatever you believe.

    • meh says:

      Thank you. “Believe” is the key word here. So many Bible bangers are intent on establishing and defending their beliefs as fact.

  58. Ann says:

    This was a really nice story. I’m glad the elk got the little critter out of his water trough. Even my little dog has tried to get things out of his water dish – even if it was just a spider – he would use his paw to try to get it out before drinking from the dish — and I clean his dish every day, we just live in the country where we have lots of mice and other critters getting in the house..

    • Thom says:

      All arguments aside, this is actually a really cool story. You hear about things like this happening, but it is hardly ever captured on film. Take it as a great story and enjoy it and smile.

  59. Pete says:

    Animals have the same pat of the brain for emotions. They just don’t have the same logic, so can’t work out why they happen, but they still have feelings.

  60. vickie says:

    how did that Marmot get in there if it couldn’t get out?

    • Elkywelky says:

      It may have climbed up one of those posts and fell in.

    • gardenman13 says:

      I observe this kind of distress often, especially so in birds and rodents. For example: a Whistle-Pig goes for a drink of water in the bottom of a steep-sided watering trough- and then cannot get itself out- and the animal eventually dies/drowns. Its calls of distress can attract many dissimilar species to its predicament as it is a universal alarm call. Yet, that instinct to alarm does not necessarily mean that the animal is wholly aware or ‘hopeful’ that its calls will garner a response. I have also observed similar behaviors with dissimilar species (such as in the Elk/Marmot scenario) as well as within same or similar similar species. I do not believe I ever interpreted that as ‘human’ or ’empathetic’ behavior or as anything other than what it simply was. I also simply do not comprehend how people cannot seem to fully integrate the varying and (seemingly) disparate ideas, beliefs and truths regarding the essential nature of animals (expressed in this thread and elsewhere) and come to the same conclusion.

  61. Joy says:

    A lovely story! Thank you so much.

  62. kari says:

    This just warms my heart! It’s nice to hear good things in the news. This just proves animals have more smarts than people give them credit for

  63. Limoges says:

    Actually, we are ultra-organized colonies of bacteria, as is all of life on earth. As for what makes us “human,” Robert Sapolsky can tell you, and his Stanford lectures are, amazingly, free online.

  64. kris says:

    Thank you for sharing. It is nice to see something heart warming…not so nice seeing all the crazy comments. Why can’t we just let something so touching stay that way…why ruin it?

  65. MaeMae says:

    I highly recommend everyone check out a movie that discusses this very issue… the “consciousness factor” of plants & animals.. and humans!
    You will be pleasantly surprised… especially the ending.
    It was “lost” for 20 years but has recently emerged again – on NETFLIX and also at this link:
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-secret-life-of-plants/
    (Excellent Stevie Wonder soundtrack.)

  66. Richard says:

    An animal is the same as we are subconsciously. That’s why they dream like we do. Only the conscious mind is different.

    “Why did the bull elk carefully pull the marmot out of the trough when he could have killed it and accomplished the same result, and he could have placed it on the ground and then trampled it, but he didn’t?”

  67. Kd says:

    Is Shooter a Rocky Mountain Elk or a Roosevelt Elk?

  68. Cindy koepfer says:

    Awesome story, thank you for sharing. It was very nice reading a good animal story for a change. Something we need more of.

  69. Marian Kelch says:

    This is amazing how God’s creatures care for one another.

  70. David Angell says:

    I have to learn to just stop at the end of the story, and not read all the moronic bickering that follows. 2012 resolution.

  71. Makeshift Man says:

    Has nobody considered the Elk didn’t want a marmot shitting and dying in its only source of water?

  72. John says:

    Don’t let the bickering and fighting distract you from the spiritual message in this story. This story is about the power of grace…

  73. gardenman13 says:

    I assess this simply as a situational secondary transference behavior- which behavior is normally and typically conveyed within the hierarchical boundaries of same-or-similar species’ parental-juvenal protective react-and-response modes -that an animal [of a differing species] might or would (or has shown to) exhibit toward its own [or supposed] [or: perceived] offspring (or relatives) in an immediate, distressed, and/or life-threatening scenario. I would never term this as ’empathetic’ behavior.

    In other words, I do not concur or agree that this behavior is [related to] [a] human behavior: it is simply [an] animal instinct; yet neither do I disparage or hold the one over the other: they are simply independent, whole- that is, complete – and separate systems of bio-cosmologies.

    Suffice to say, it is perhaps wiser to not assume that one understands the animal instinct or the animal ‘way’.

    Please also see: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2009/03/what_do_humans_owe_animals.html.

  74. Pixie says:

    Ladies and Gents.
    You all have Some Good points, and we are all entitled to our own opinions.
    But, I for one know of the compassion that many animals have.
    Having been involved with rescuing ferrets, I have witnessed many acts of compassion between them. I have also been on the receiving end of that ccompassion. One of my earliest ferrets would lay on my pillow with his two little front paws on my forehead each time I had a migrane, and would stay there til it eased.
    I watched as two ferrets took over the care of another ferret when its cage mate passed, they forced the other ferret to eat, and to come out of the cage at play time.
    in my experience most animals have more compassion in one little paw than most people have in their entire heart. But that is just my opinion
    Blessed Be
    one and all

  75. kimberly says:

    This is a wonderful, loving, compassionate story. Instead of turning it into a pissing contest, or trying to prove your intellectual capacity is above that of a peanut, enjoy the dang story.

  76. Mariaan says:

    I love stories likes this,there are many.I believe all animals are capable of compassion just like us.

    About eating animals…I do not believe it’s wrong,but the way we humans do it is the sin.Just look at how we produce our meat(comercial farming) it’s absolutely disgusting.If we cannot treat animals and our food with respect why are we suprised at human rights violations,why are we suprised that our species are afflicted by disease and unbearable suffering?We cultivate and nurse the evil that is consuming us.Our children will live in the hell we are crearting for them as we do in the one that was created for us.

    • dean crombie says:

      I personally believe the only sin in consuming other animals is in waste,Ive hunted for over 34 yrs both professionally and as a means to fill my freezer,I was raised “if you kill it you will eat it”as have my children and will my grandson be,actually i believe its much healthier to eat wild game as opposed to our domesticated feed,its much leaner and free from the chemicals we fill our food supplies with.

      in many ways our advanced civilization has hurt us,the native americans here before us wasted nothing,instead of learning from them we exterminated them or forced them into our beliefs,much the way all religions do with all other religions today.

  77. Manoj says:

    What a simple and beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

  78. Dusty Neil says:

    Oh guys and gals. God bless you all. This was meant to make people happy not say who is right and wrong about animal and man.:) Find the goodness in this. If you have to go to the top again and read what happen and forget about the comments please do and God Bless 🙂 Dusty Neil

    • Barbara Newman says:

      Amen! Thank you Dusty. What a truly amazing story. Reading all these comments made me feel like I was sitting in a laboratory of human behavior. 😉 This really brings into perspective the beauty of the elk’s compassion on the defenseless marmot. God bless you!

  79. Dusty Neil says:

    Oh guys and gals. God bless you all. This was meant to make people happy not say who is right and wrong about animal and man.:) Find the goodness in this. If you have to go to the top again and read what happen and forget about the comments please do and God Bless 🙂 Love the story. :)Dusty Neil

  80. colleen says:

    I’ve witnessed many unusual animal bondings and behaviors. When animals feel safe they appear to have a capacity for gentle behavior. My dogs and cats snuggle and play. My cats love to perch atop my horses. I’ve witnessed wild birds playing with my cats over and over. And they both seem to enjoy the game. The coyotes on our farm site sit in the distance and watch me lunge and play with my horses and then when I ride the horses they follow. They are curious and don’t feel in danger. Animals have a capacity for many things, the fact that we have not witnessed something does not make it untrue. My horses have displayed a wide gamut of behavior, from destructive to amazing gentleness.

  81. RW says:

    I just think that Shooter, as a vegetarian, did not think that marmot soup was very appetizing. haha

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  83. Iluvdux says:

    Having a little farm, I have learned that all animals play, have compassion for others and also will kill for fun or gastronomic pleasure. How far from the land most of the posters here are to make some of the uninformed comments. I’ve seen my dog take a mouse from the cat and protect it. Another dog tire of the cat’s mouse play, get up, give the mouse the kill shake and drop it back in front of the cat. I’ve seen my dog chase and kill a rabbit only to bring to me, nudge it and expect me to fix it so they can play some more. I’ve seen my horse lay down in his hay next to a tiny dwarf rabbit that shared its pen and stroke it with his huge nose. One dog who loved to sneak in and chase my horse all over the pasture, laid by her side after she died (of natural causes) for two days until the back hoe came and then stood on top of her to keep her from being buried. Chickens killing and eating their fellow sick friends as well as leading around and cooing to blind ones.

    All of our animals from chicken to horse can understand distress, verbal and behavioral in other animals. I have seen them react to this stress in every way imaginable. I expect the elk did the same. He knew the marmot didn’t belong in the water, could see and hear it was in distress and got it out. And it may have been his little buddy. Being in a small enclosure, any animal hanging around would be likely give him a little entertainment and become his pasture mate.

    • gardenman13 says:

      This is the most wonderfully-written and beautifully-astute comment I’ve read here. It comes from an experiential-observational viewpoint from one in the know, just as I myself have experienced and expressed. It captures the essence of animal-ness, yet does not preach or assume to comprehend it; it gives a plain and simple answer to an event [in reality quite-more-common-than-you-think] or occurrence that we as humans in our complexity either confuse, or attribute and attach our own beliefs, attitudes, ideas and mores to than we need to or should. Thank-you for this informative and observant commentary.

    • Richard says:

      A very good observation….

    • Thank you so much for sharing! God bless you 😉

  84. Eric Buhrer says:

    For what it’s worth, my vote is that the entire anthropomorphic argument about whether Shooter the Elk was exercising animal altruism or enlightened self-interest is supremely silly.

  85. dean crombie says:

    attacking he attack hmmmm

  86. Dirty Dave says:

    After reading ALL the above comments,i say this, taking from all the remarks-i have come to the conclusion that ‘ SHOOTER” The Elk, HAS HAD IT BEING CAGED UP!!!!He knew the cameras were on him ,that he has a bad rep, and decided to show compassion to a little rat in his water….and saving it would lower the guard of the zoo keepers tending him! Therefor allowing him the chance to skewer the next meateating Bastard that entered his enclosure!!! SO THERE!!!WHAT A BUNCH OF BORED/BORING People we must be to try and figure out why some damned elk in a cage does what it DOES !!!!!!GET A LIFE!!!

  87. Bonnie O says:

    have a woman friend who lives alone and far out in the country. She returned home one evening to find one of her young colts not returning to the barn…in the darkness she went looking and found it injured. As she struggled to get the colt up out of pasture and back to the barn an old gelding, without being asked, positioned himself behind the colt and helped to push the colt to the safety of a lighted barn…one of several examples I know to be true…Another, in my mourning for my mother my dog Paddy would get under my head that was buried in my hands and push me to stop weeping…Come on folks

  88. Paulette Kirby says:

    An intentional act by the elk. Interesting comments and dialogue. I am not surprised by this act. We do not understand other species, even though we think we do. To think that because we do not understand, that we think we are ‘more intelligent’, is what I feel is absurd.
    Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed this story and the photos of these creatures.

  89. Ironically, to those saying animals are incapable of complex thought processes, it was often assumed that ancient man was less intelligent and had differing thought processes too. However, research has shown that in many (most, almost all in fact) ancient cultures human brain cavities were nearly the exact same size. This means that complex thought processes were happening all of the time. The same emotions and thoughts we have today were had in their equivalent for the day.

    Who is to say what is going on within an animal’s mind unless you can talk to animals? Nobody, that’s who. Call it instinctual, but there are instances where lionesses have saved impala from death and tried to hold on to them as though to raise them. There are instances in which a chimpanzee kills for no reason other than to kill and takes the whole family group with him/her in doing so. There are instances in which a tortoise can befriend a hippopotamus and in which Elks pull marmots out of water trough with no known reason. Compassion, thought, self-awareness, and other such traits are only “human” if one chooses to limit his imagination and in doing so, ignore what is to be seen in the world and in our FELLOW ANIMAL’s behavior.

    For those unwilling to recognize that humans are animals, recognize that the God you refer to, if you insist that he created you in his image and insist in his existence, most likely created all of the animals and plants as man’s equal as it is stated in Genesis in the Garden of Eden. Do not deny or decry pieces and parts that don’t “sit well” with you and enthuse on other parts and pieces that seem to support your case when taken out of context by lack of consideration for those other parts. I am not a believer, but that should not matter in an intelligent conversation. Neither were many of the greatest minds in history that have improved existence for so many. So I ask, why is it not possible for them to have the same basic thought processes that we do? When my cat comes crawling into bed with me and rubs her head on mine (supposedly spreading her scent on my head through glands in her jowls or thereabouts), with no reason whatsoever except in expectation that I will scratch her chin and belly, why can it not be because she seeks the same emotional need fulfillment that I receive from her? You cannot on one hand call animals intelligent and on the other call them lacking in compassion, emotion, thought process, or any other trait associated with intelligence. That presents a conundrum of unspeakable proportions.

    In other words, enjoy the story of the Elk who saved the Marmot’s life and stop cajoling about who is right or wrong because even if you are right, you can’t be sure if your right or even close to being sure. All your doing is creating contention, but what did I expect from a religious forum.

    • dean crombie says:

      ive been searching for a entry that said animals are incapable of complex thought process,cant find 1,however many comments saying they dont posess “human thought process”

    • gardenman13 says:

      The key element that this writer has incidentally touched upon- yet which logically and utterly transforms the entire system – is this:

      “…if you insist that he created you in his image and insist in his existence, [he] most likely created all of the animals and plants as man’s equal as it is stated in Genesis in the Garden of Eden.”

      That statement is correct, if indeed, one concurs (or believes as I happen to believe) with that Biblical account. Yet the missing key element, the entire hinge-point which explains the apparent, obvious disconnection with the animals and which also informs us of the difference from that moment to the present, is that everything has fallen out of place: That balanced system was lost to us AFTER the Fall from the Garden. THAT is the key. Thereafter, we began to eat the animals. They lived in fear of us. We were then tasked to ‘steward’ over them, which was never necessary before in Eden. We thereafter no longer spoke the same language, nor understood each other, nor were in the fullness of the harmony that once was. This is the extreme sadness and reality of this world. We may view remnant vestiges in our daily walks with our animal brethren of what was once supposed to be, a glimpse into the wonderful accordance of equilibrium with all creation, and we may see and experience ghost images of that relationship (with our beloved animals- and other humans, for that matter) which was destroyed- but it has never been the same.

  90. daniel says:

    Why is that massive beautiful elk in captivity? It should be in the wild so I can hunt and eat it. And share the harvest with friends and family.

  91. Catherine says:

    God created man to take care of the beasts of the field, to respect his creations. The Word states that He “created them for our great pleasure”. I believe that He could create nothing that does not in some way represent His great compassion and love. The Word also states that He takes notice when a sparrow falls from the sky, but better yet “If I the creator of all things clothes the flowers of the fields and feeds the sparrow, how much better would I cloth and feed you, my beloved.” We should respect all things He created more so each other because He created us to be masters over all He has given us, and be humble, compassionate and thoughtful to all these great gifts.

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    • n7qvc says:

      Wow Wow wow.. This reply you wrote GardenMan saddens me, for God did create a perfect world, a perfect place that included plants and animals for you and I to live with in perfect harmony. It saddens me to know what once was in the Garden and how wonderful it must have been. There is a Silver Lining in the story. God has Already Won, Thru His Son Jesus Christ. One day, and very soon. It shall be as it was before the fall. Sin will be removed. The Blood of Jesus Christ has redeemed us all. The Gift has been given. Please except the Gift of salvation so you and I can experience what God intended for us. Heaven is our true destiny.

  93. Joe Mette. says:

    Ok-interesting thoughts-I believe different animals have different levels of intelligence-as designed by their/our Creator-OF COURSE mammals-have more than lower forms such as birds or other forms but all have some-how else do you explain the close relationship they can have as pets or not with their owners or keepers-some people have stronger rapport with them due to their feelings & treatment toward them as well-look at Noah & his gathering the animals for the Food-of course GD sent the animals to him-thanks!

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  95. mammy's girl says:

    What a GOOD boy Shooter is. Animals do have brains and apparently CAN reason sometimes. A dog knows all the words a 5 year old knows. Some of you don’t have even that ability.

  96. BING says:

    Most Ranchers out West have little ramps to let rodents and such out of the water troughs should they fall in (mainly so they do not foul the water). I am amazed that a zoo would not already have something like that…Here’s to a pretty amazing Wapiti, I would definitely say he is a ‘Shooter’!

  97. lightcrafter says:

    Cool real life story.

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  99. Damien says:

    Stop trying to apply human logic to animals such as wolves, elk, and yes, even marmots. They just don’t have it. They have their own, completely different thoughts and feelings. You look at a wolf taking down it’s kill and say “that’s wrong”…wolves have no concept of ethics or what’s “right” and “wrong”, they do what they are INSTINCTUALLY led to do. It has absolutely nothing to do with your abstract (and mostly made up, anyway) concept of what’s right and wrong.

  100. Kenny says:

    Hey, kinda like Rocky and Bullwinkle.

  101. Michele Gawenka says:

    Return the favor, Idaho zookeepers. Why is this magnificent animal trapped???

  102. john koleszar says:

    To elkwelky…The “Yellowstone elk herd numbered 20,000 animals in 1996. After the re-introduction of Canadian wolves into that area, the USFWS claimed that they would take no less than 5% and no more than 30% of the elk herd as a food supply. In the most recent head count compiled in January of 2011, the USFWS and the Game and fish departments came up with a number of 4100 elk still left in the herd, a reduction of almost 80%. Wolves do not kill only the sick and the weak. They do kill for pleasure/inherent need to keep their skill levels intact. Balance that was available in the 1800’s is not possible today. Human intervention, destruction of habitat, migration corridors being blocked all have led to smaller and more condensed populations of wild ungulates. Hunters, who by the way pay an inordinate amount of money through self taxes, tag fees and licenses are permitted to hunt these beautiful creatures in a very regulated manner. Taking of some so that the majority have enough food, water and habitat are critical to keeping a balanced herd for future generations. To those who do not hunt, no explanation is possible, to those who do, no explanation is necessary. I love to hunt and have done so almost all of my life. I do not relish killing an animal, but when I do, I try and consume all that I can, and distribute extras to those who can use it. I take great pains to make certain that when I do attempt to harvest an animal, I do so with as much certainty as possible that it will be a fast and relatively painless death for the animal. I know there are those who will read this and poke at the notion of a painless death. I have witnessed mortally wounded animals that I have called to through a mouthpiece that sounds like a cow elk in estrus. Those animals rather than fleeing, will actually come back towards me to try and find the attractive sounding cow elk. The power of the sex drive during the rut is so intense, that an arrow will not be felt by these massive creatures. Even to their last amount of energy, they will keep trying to find that elusive cow. If you have never been deep into the wilds and watched the drama of real life, then your comments are mere speculation. JK

    • dean crombie says:

      well put john

    • Foodtech says:

      John, you don’t relish killing animals but you love to hunt?? What do you think hunting is? It’s killing animals. Usually it’s for fun, unless your local grocery store has run out of meat? Don’t try to sound like it’s for anything more than the pure pleasure of shooting a helpless creature. If it were you’d be hunting with a camera instead of a gun.

      • Not sure who said “sportsmen and women are the true conservationists”? I think that it’s pertinent to remember that sportsmen virtually created the term and thereby its very definition. This is the epitome of self-declaration.

        I’m not going to tell any ethical (fair-chase, quick-kill, per again your definition of “ethical hunting code”) to go to a grocery store and buy factory farmed meat.

        However, if you think you are remotely ethical but you are a Bow-hunter? You are an idiot. The .23 was banned for killing deer decades ago because it was deemed NOT ethical. A primitive weapon like ANY bow and arrow is the polar opposite of quick-kill! Over 50% of arrow hit animals are never found, and we all know by now the gory details about “letting an animal lay-up, or bleed-out, for at least 30 minutes after hit”.

        THIS is the crap that is taking the Institution of hunting – of all self-proclaimed conservation management – down the tubes. Throw in canned hunting, trapping, hound dogs, baiting, killing contests… and the leaders and “sportsmen” can’t blame anyone but themselves because they break their own code every single day they allow such crap to remain sanctioned (organized, legalized animal cruelty in violation of state statutes).

    • john koleszar says:

      As I said, for those who do, no explanation is necessary, for those who do not, no explanation is possible. I thrive on being “out there” placing my skills (yes it is a skill to get within 20 yards of a large animal) and trying to get as close as possible to them. I often take my camera and shoot pictures. That said, I also thoroughly enjoy elk steaks. As a consumptive user, and as a conservationist, (I help in 4 different organizations that raise over $1,000,000.00 per year for habitat improvements, which by the way benefit both game and non game species) we are part and parcel of the ebb and flow of life. If there were no hunters, the landscape would be totally different. Hunters in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s helped pass several Federal laws which taxed the hunters and fishermen so that agencies both state and federal could take care of wildlife. I have spent thousands of hours working on projects, banquets, and surveys for wildlife. in 26 years, I have taken 3 elk. How much have you given back to wildlife? Your sanctimonious stance is understood by my brethren for what it is….. a naive outlook on a subject that you know virtually nothing about. I have hunted thousands of hours and have enjoyed every one of them. It places me as a predator against a wild animal that has no steroids, no massive infusions of growth hormones and is not slaughtered in a massive food processing plant. I would suggest that the “Disney Bambi” crowd spend a week-end alone in the mountains attempting to see wildlife. When you do….. Thank a hunter. Hunting has never been associated with killing since game laws came into effect and probably before then if Roosevelt and others can be believed. So Foodtech…. I think you and I will always disagree, but please, if you think hunting and killing are the same, you have shown the capacity to be totally ignorant. J

      • John, the “pay to play” conservation model that was implemented in the 30’s is completely archaic today. The weapon tax (Pittman-Robertson Act) couldn’t get passed today if every 12.5 million hunters lives depended on it. This tax exceeds $300 million a year and states “qualify” for their piece of this pie VERY strictly based on hunting promotion, hunting tag sales, size of state…

        This would all (still) be fine except that roughly 50% of this weapon tax today no longer originates from sport weapons. That means that over $150 million a year is doled out to hunting promotion by NON-consumptive stakeholders/tax payers. Where is their voice in wildlife management?

        It’s not hunting I have issue with (because that would be a waste of my efforts) here is what my problem is with the “Institution” and what ya’ll claim as your heritage: It’s the lies. Moreover, It’s all the other blood-sports that go along hand-in-hand, sanctioned by wildlife management (which is first and foremost about hunting, which is killing, which pays their salaries) We have too much proof, albeit mostly swept under a rug, proving that non-hunted refuges have exhibited no over-population of game animals. (See CA F&G page). We also know full well that CRE science is why heavily hunted popular states maintain high OVER-populations of genetically impaired deer and other popular game tag sellers.

        I’ll bet my last dollar you do not condone canned hunting, right? How about baiting by hunters? Dogs allowed to shred captive live animals (aka, “blooding the pups”)? Snapperfest (IN event where turtles necks are ripped from their spine/shell)? Penning, where dogs chase enclosed wildlife? Steel jaw traps? Seven day trap check laws? This list goes on and every “ethical hunter” I’ve ever met says they don’t condone this, that this crap “ain’t huntin”. No debate there!

        But where are you? Where is your voice at the wildlife meetings standing up against your brothers, who also call themselves hunters and demand the same rights as you? Where is this all-so-ethical team while the NRA has filed legislation to KEEP toxic lead ammo alive and well, poisoning our wildlife and water ecosystems?

        This is what “hunting” is becoming, and if it doesn’t start to clean up its own act, so to speak, the Institution can’t keep blaming “anti’s” for killing the sport, sorry, I mean “hunting” the sport. 😉

      • Foodtech says:

        Bottom line is you kill animals for fun. I’ve been studying nature for 40 years. Probably before you were born, so don’t try to feed me your bs. And don’t try to tell me what you do is sport. It’s a sport if the animals can shoot back. What you do is called massacre, plain and simple. Very few people in this country have to hunt for food. They hunt because it gives them power. Pathetic.

  103. cindy says:

    One of GODS creators!!!!! How precious.

  104. Rita says:

    good comments Julie. It’s scary seeing how “un” science educated people are. I am assuming they are americans but I could be wrong. Americans rate really low world wide in science education. even though they consider themselves such a superior society!

    if you believe the nonsense of the bible folks you are starting out with cloning. if eve was made from adam’s rib. (what a silly notion) that would essentially be the first clones. and THEN with Eve being the only female, she must have procreated with her sons to produce more humans. how can people be stupid enough to believe this crap instead of the evidence that surrounds us regarding evolution?

    wow! so little understanding of biology, physiology, psych, ethology, etc. I wonder what’s behind the US govt’s deliberate deprivation of logical scientific education?

    • dave says:

      where does the government deprive the teaching of sientific education. In most schools sience of evolution is taught. The last i heard the state of Kansas is the only place that legislates both evolution and creationism be taught. Although i am sure people smarter than me can point out other places as well.

  105. that real Mother nature.

  106. Kathy Lee says:

    Unbelievable. I’m referring to the story about the elk, not all these unrelated comments. I’m an American and while my knowledge of general science may be limited, I recognize something amazing when it’s right in front of me. The gentleness shown by the elk had me sitting here with my mouth open and just shaking my head. Again, unbelievable.

  107. neil tanner says:

    MMMMMMM Elk burgers!

  108. pcMike says:

    Both animals look very tasty to me!

  109. Aww, that is the greatest thing ever.

  110. This is just beautiful! I wish people could be as caring as this majestic beast! What a wonderful thing I wish I could have witnessed!

  111. Lynn says:

    Why do people have to be negative in this world. Who does it hurt to think think animals have feeling or not? Its a cute story and hope it brightens peoples day!

  112. Deb says:

    Id say this animal hadca heart and knew the rodent was to be in there but it’s not in there nature to help like that so its something special to see when it does happen

  113. Troy says:

    The article number of the article listed is 2009820, That is when it was first published…. August 20th 2009. I read it then and I’m reading it again now. It is in fact sign that animals have compassion. It is a great inspiration to old and young alike. How it led to all the above debate is beyond me, it is simply an aspiring animal piece. Take it for what it is and quit trying to stir contraversy.

  114. Sage D. says:

    Some of these posts don’t seem to meet the point. It seems some here are more interested in the primal fight or flight of it, and may not look at it as though there is a positive and caring side to the story. I’m not one to judge, it just doesn’t seem like a Christian thig to post, about who’s right or wrong, and replying, to then bring upon contraversy, and myself to reply with such of the same tones. What a wonderful story for us to enjoy and learn upon. The story of care and sympathy. It’s obvious to me that animals do have a concince. And adornes it’s beauty.

  115. David says:

    These Christians who use the “word of god” to justify their cruelty to animals makes me sick to my stomach. All creatures are sentiant, have emotions and thoughts, no matter if they are of the same leval as humans. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves and ignoring the evidence in front of them.

  116. Suzie Q says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake! You people have taken a perfectly charming video and turned it into a debate. Yes, animals have emotions, but they do NOT have thought processes. They do NOT have the power of reason. They act instinctively–end of discussion. And that includes our domesticated dogs and cats.

    Now, can we just get back to enjoying the video for what it’s worth??

    • Suzie, I’ve spoken here about my experiences living with wild animals, those releasable and not. To say with such conviction that animals do not have thought process is just ludicrous, I’m sorry.

      One quick example… I’ve witnessed my raccoon pull an X-tra large dog carrier across the entire room to enable her to get on the TV shelf. Are you certain that isn’t a “thought process”, merely instinct? When she stood on the shoulders of another one the other day to reach something, not a calculated move? Sorry, Suzie, they don’t only certainly have such thought process, they have them every day.

      The elk didn’t just have compassion/emotion – he didn’t just watch the marmot drown and feel bad. He deliberately took action to remedy the situation.

  117. Melinda says:

    I once watched a Prairie Dog gently try to carry it’s baby that had been hit by a car in the middle of the road. It was obvious that the baby was dead, but the mother was trying to drag it off the road. There was no reason for this behaviour other than I believe that she was grieving for her baby and wanted to move it out of the road. Reading too much into this; maybe so but I prefer to live in a world where we look at animals in a more gentle and kind manner.

  118. Charlene St. John says:

    Humans take note! A great story of compassion! Rivals the film of the dog pulling another (injured) dog off a busy highway.

    Question: Is there a differently shaped water trough available for Shooter? Obviously, he sometimes feels the need to ‘get right in there’. And since I will guess there is no river or pond in his enclosure, I’m thinking he would play and splash in a more accommodaing water receptacle. Might be great fun for everyone.

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  120. Wildwoodapp says:

    Julie, You nailed it. Some animals react to death and injury to other creatures, but that does not mean they understand it. It is the fact of their very innocence of what is happening that tears at our heart strings.

    Do we really understand it ourselves? I don’t think so., we just know it is inevitable.

  121. Really cool story – thanks for sharing!

  122. Jen says:

    This is so amazing. Anyone that says animals don’t have feelings or aren’t smart do not know what they are talking about. My basset hound knows my cat isn’t supposed to be outside. Anytime Simba gets out, Molly nudges him back towards the house. In the house Molly avoids Simba because Simba tends to be a bully. Animals are a lot smarter than people think. Animals do have feelings, they do care about their owners,I just wish some of these owners would care about their animals.

  123. Joe says:

    Animals are awesome and they do have a sense of when something is wrong. My dad’s appendix burst when he was on a job site in the middle of nowhere. He was simply sitting eating lunch and became overly lethargic. His companion, his loving Manchester Terrier, could sense that something was wrong. The dog began whining and then tugging on my dad’s coat sleeve. It managed to bring my dad back to full awareness so that he was able to make his way to his truck and drive himself to help. The dog most likely saved my dad’s life. Without him my dad would have drifted off into unconsciousness and died alone to be found by my mom when he didn’t make it home for dinner.

  124. dave says:

    watch the nature channel for a while. Obviously animals think, have feelings and like to play. Both wild and domesticated animals exhibit the same kinds of characteristics. They both hunt and play. Is it out of charicter for a wild animal such as this elk, who some feared because of its wild behavior. puncturing tires and in one case injuring a zoo keeper, to act in such a compassionate manner, no. Is it normal, no. Is it more common than we suppose in the wild, maybe. All the bible qouting, evolution, creationism argument is dumb and really does not apply to the story. Also to those who use GODS name to make a point yet cant spell it is even dumber. Its a warm hearted story making one more of many appearances on the net. Enjoy the moment. Merry christmas to all have a great holiday season. May next year be a good one for all.

  125. Lee Bercegeay says:

    Oh come on! can’t people have heartwarming appreciation AND humor about the same thing at the same time? JEEZ

  126. Tom K says:

    Oh yeah…..nature is all warm n fuzzy n cuddly. It’s especially nice as winter comes and the in the northern area the deer yard up in areas where conifers provide protection from the elements and food is close by. Watch as does will drive off their fawns (almost 8 months old) in an effort to get to the food. They don’t wait till their “kids” eat and get what’s left, no, they drive their “kids” away so they can eat.

    Witness as a ‘yotes run a deer till it’s exhausted, rip it’s hind legs up and start to feed on its anus and intestines while it’s still alive, or run down a pregnant doe in May, just to tear it’s belly open and feed on the unborn fawn. Then run down another. Mountain lions run down a mule deer just to eat its liver.

    No, mother nature is not a warm, cuddly, fuzzy, happy Disney movie. Most times she’s a mean old heartless bitch.

    • Joann Petre says:

      Tom why don’t YOU go hibernate for the Winter and take your miserable comments with you?

      • Tom K says:

        Why? Why are they miserable comments? Because they are true? ROTFLMFAO at you folks.

        One poster above said they have been observing nature for forty years. As a hunter for close to forty years, I am not an observer of nature, I am PART of nature. You folks live in houses that was once wildlife habitat, drive to the mall that was built on wildlife habitat, roads, new businesses, all displace wildlife. Where is the outrage? None. Funny that… Buy meat from a grocery store, even the veggies aren’t cruelty free. Not to many farmers tolerate those that raid their source of income.

        Yeah, I kill animals, usually one or two deer a year. You are responsible for the death of animals as well. ‘Cept you pay somebody else to do it. You do it by proxy.

        Long time ago, I read an article from author whose name escapes me. He was skinning an antelope out and was looking at his bloodstained hands and realized “This is damn serious business”.

        Trust me, I have more respect and admiration for wildlife than you bunny huggers. My most memorable hunts have typically not ended with a kill, as my hunting log book will indicate.

        • Tom, you make good points (veggies aren’t cruelty free…) but you kind of blow it when you insult “bunny huggers” who care about our treatment of non-human animals. You can’t call yourself part of this natural world and condemn everyone who doesn’t agree with you for killing and eating animals.

          We, as humans in this present time, must find a compromise amongst ourselves. Whatever the future may be, right now we need options on this subject – and by we – that includes the wildlife management industry, hunters, etc.

          If there wasn’t so much ugliness, such a black-eye on “hunting” today because of all the other blood-sports sanctioned by the industry (and by proxy, all hunters!) we might find a starting ground.

          As a hunter, remaining neutral and silent while “hunting” is rightfully slammed for activities like canned hunting, toxic lead ammo, steel traps, baiting, trophy hunting, using live animals as bait, penning, killing contests… as well as allowing your fellow citizens (the majority) to have no voice in these concerns, is not going to make “you” right. It makes you party to the bad image. So, by proxy, you are also guilty of the un-sportsmanship ugly that you probably don’t even condone. But you may as well if you keep standing together and ignoring what it’s doing to “hunting”.

  127. Gary says:

    I can’t wait to get to heaven; what a God to create these “lesser” creatures.

  128. Anne says:

    AAAWWW this is so cute. Animals are alot smarter than we give them credit for.

  129. Anne says:

    Animals are so much smarter than we give them credit for. This Elk did his good deed for the day, and it was so sweet.

  130. Cheryl Andra says:

    I had a good friend in Montana who raised elk, not for game. He had one about the same size as Shooter, who would come bouncing down off the mountain right up to him, stop right at his side and lick his face. I saw it with my own eyes. I don’t think you could call that instinct. Elk are awsome animals.

  131. woodsman001 says:

    I had been battling a feral-cat problem on my lands for 15 years. So I decided to deal with the problem ecologically at first. Most of the native predators had been starved-off by all the cats destroying all their food sources. A few of the native wildlife so starving to death that they dragged their starving cubs to my door for help one day because the mothers couldn’t even make milk for them. This started off a fifteen year chain of events to try to increase the native wildlife population to oust the invasive-species cats. I started to feed some of the few remaining predators each year to help them and their offspring as much as possible. Hoping that they might put cat on their diet one day. During this time many injured wildlife would come to my yard (feeding area) and door for assistance as well. (I learned to put up a low string of jingle-bells alongside my door, which they then would ring if they needed food or help. No lie, they actually use it. It beats the time a skunk battered it’s head in a jar against my door, scaring me one dark winter night. Until I went out there to get the jar off its head. From a brand of food I don’t use, it must have come from half a mile away for help.)

    There was one memorable moment that I wish I had had my camera with at the time. Something that I would have never suspected in the world of wild animals.

    Most of these native animals and their offspring had become so comfortable around me, that sometimes the mothers would even go to sleep belly-up alongside the stairs where I sat. And have me watch over and entertain their offspring for them while the mothers would take a much needed snooze.

    Anyway, one night while I was out in the yard filling dishes for some two-dozen or so hungry mouths (as many as six dozen some evenings, as their populations grew), stepping over the little ones, breaking up fights with ornery adults and siblings, etc. I spotted one of the large resident opossums just standing there looking at one of the raccoons for the longest time. I figured he was just waiting his turn at the plate. This raccoon only had 3 legs. Lost in a hunting accident or dog attack or something. As the raccoon had finished up eating the opossum sidled up to her. I thought maybe it was a challenge to overtake her plate and I’d have to intervene (as I sometimes would do). But no.

    This opossum moved over to the side of the raccoon that was missing the leg, and pressed up against her. They both turned together, and both slowly walked off into the dark woods together. The opossum keeping pace with whatever speed that three-legged raccoon could muster.

    I have observed many things during this period of trying to increase native wildlife populations here that I have NEVER seen written in books or recorded anywhere else. But this event simply floored me. Two different species, one helping the other. And the opossum knew exactly what it was doing to help too. Just as surprising was the raccoon letting the opossum help it. This was beyond anything I had ever expected of wild animals interacting and helping each other this way.

    But then again, my yard had become sort of an emergency station for these few remaining animals in the area. Many different species, often deadly enemies of each other, would feed out of the same dishes some nights. I suspect they knew their lives were in peril from how starved-out they had become from cats destroying the whole native food-chain. They seemed to give each other a much needed truce when they entered my yard. Foxes eating alongside rabbits (same plate), skunks eating alongside most any animal. Even during the day raccoons would feed alongside pheasant and grouse. I’ve photos of most of these events to prove it (though not one of the opossum acting as a crutch for the raccoon, I was too much in awe to even think of going for the camera).

    I sometimes wonder if that opossum and raccoon learned from what I had been doing for them? After all, I am a different species helping those different species. Could they comprehend this and then do in turn for each other what I had been doing for them? Probably not, but that opossum/raccoon event sure has me wondering how and why that played-out as it did.

    Safe to say, my experiment was a success. Unfortunately, no wildlife would put invasive-species cat on their diet during this time. I came to discover that wildlife perceives the bold patterns bred (by man) into cats’ coats as a universal warning symbol in nature. That any unknown animal sporting bold patterns is dangerous or toxic. They won’t go near cats even if starving. Any time a cat would enter my wildlife feeding area all the wildlife would run as if a dangerous animal had arrived. This is how cats managed to destroy all native wildlife here. Out-breeding with no natural predators to keep them in check while also destroying the native wildlife’s only food sources. They truly are a man-made species, and now a man-made ecological disaster. So I ended up having to shoot all the hundreds of invasive-species cats on my land. (Perfectly legal on nearly all rural lands.) But at least the native wildlife got a healthy head-start and recovery during this process. Now that cats are gone I don’t have to feed the wildlife much anymore. Though injured wildlife still shows up, and every whelping season quite a few mothers still come here for a whelping-season treat. I make a specially prepared vitamin-laced food for a healthy step-up in the right direction. (And a food unique from anything anywhere else so they won’t bother other homes in the distance.) I suspect they’ve put me on their list of “how to survive in this day and age”. This too will pass as their populations grow stronger and their prey (which cats had destroyed) that they depend on will rebound even more. Though when a mother comes to show off her offspring to me in the spring or early summer and even wants me to play with them … how can I refuse those fuzzy little faces? Maybe they’re just teaching their kids, “Here’s one of the few, or only, places where you can go in a real emergency. Remember it.”

    • Joe says:

      Wow, you’re a regular Dr. Doolittle. Way to go!

      • woodsman001 says:

        It almost feels that way sometimes. How these wild animals know to find my door out of all other farms and ranches in the area, literally knocking on it at times, and knock on it when they need help, I’ll never know. I sometimes think some of them hung a sign on a tree at every wildlife-freeway intersection that says “SAP! This way —->” And surprisingly, during this time I even began to understand some raccoon and squirrel “language”.

        For instance, when I’d run out of food and have a yard full of 30-50 ornery raccoons, skunks, and foxes getting upset because all the food ran out for the night (which would happen often), I figured out the body-language signal for “no more food, time to go forage elsewhere” for raccoons. This involves getting down on all fours and a type of patting the ground and looking off into the distance at the same time. If I would squat down amidst all of them (inches from me, snarling and upset — them, not me) and start this behavior, the nearest ones would mimic what I would do. This sign-language signal would spread throughout the throngs of snarling monsters (what I affectionately call them) and eventually they’d all start to dissipate and go forage into the woods for the night. Much to my relief.

        I also learned some squirrel language. I now know their predator warning call for “cat”, different from their call for hawk or any other predator. Their predator warning-call starts out with a “chuck … chuck … chuck… chuck …” followed by a mimicry of whatever predator voice they know. (They can mimic hawk so surprisingly well that I even think it’s a hawk making that sound. Cats, not so clearly, more of a strangled “meeuuw” or “meow” sound.) They also point their body in the direction of the spotted predator, tail over the top of the head pointing in the same direction. All the other wildlife would react to these squirrels’ cat-warning calls appropriately. As well as other squirrels who would mimic the warning call they heard, as it spread throughout the woods. They learned to use me as their highly-effective body-guard by making these cat-warning calls.They are like the lookouts for all the other wildlife.

        I now have new respect for squirrels. They’re not just “tree rats” as so many would like to think. They’re an integral part of the defense mechanism of a wildlife community. Chipmunks similarly warning all other animals of any potential dangerous predator.

        Interesting stuff I’ve learned — from animals. They’re smarter than most people I’ve met in life. They just needed someone who was willing to listen to what they had to say.

        • coyotelady says:

          thank you. You are a voice of calm in a noisy world. It’s great you’ve figure out certain body language for the different animals. You should think about writing a book about some of your experience.

          Hadn’t realized what a problem, feral cats had become. If only people would splay or neuter their animals, the population could be kept under better control than it is now.

          Thanks once again for a great replay. May the good Lord keep you and your safe and secure now and always in His loving arms. tcGb

    • Woodsmen001 – way to go is right. It’s not our imagination, these animals do come for help and thank goodness they find people willing to help, or go find help (vs shot).

      I live with a couple non-releasable fur-farm born raccoons (rescued from auction). Of all the species I’ve worked with, I’ve never known anything more intelligent and social than raccoons. Do not advocate them as pets, people have no idea what a challenge that is. Extremely high maintenance, life consuming.

      Just glad to know there are others out there that understand their language!

      • woodsman001 says:

        Long long ago I raised a raccoon from a pup one time. Mother shot during hunting. The hunter had a heart and gave the surviving pup to me, it barely had its eyes open yet. So I’ve a major soft-spot for raccoons. And I totally agree they should NEVER be made into pets. You have to teach a raccoon EVERYTHING. I had to teach it how to climb trees and even how to swim. (It tried drowning me twice. You try and pull 20 talons out of your face as it’s climbing up to push you under. Survival hint: if you ever find yourself in that situation, a raccoon firmly attached to your face (like that larva in ALIENS) in deep water … dive deeper, it’ll let go to reach for the surface. The second time it tried drowning me was when it was riding on my back as I was learning to use a snorkel in a rock-quarry pool. It heard the sound of my breath in the snorkel and stuck its whole arm in there to see what was in there. LOL)

        Every time I see a new mother raccoon arrive in late-spring with 7 or 8 cubs, and this year 2 mothers arrived with NINE CUBS! Can you imagine trying to raise those little hellions? I feel nothing but immense admiration and immense sympathy (and immense respect) for any raccoon mother with that much trouble on her hands. One mother of 9 even broke them up into two tribes, and would only bring half of them at any one time to come feed. Always keeping the other half safe away from the other animals. Smart mother! (I learned to even be able to identify most of the cubs by sight, eventually. Though not easily.)

        During one summer a local hunter wanted to come see my nightly gathering of all the wildlife. I told him to quietly stay behind the screen-door until I introduced him to them. If I didn’t do that they’d all scatter and not come back for hours. They would even be upset if a delivery person had left their scent in the yard that day and the more wary of the wildlife would avoid the place until the scent was gone. Make no mistake about it, these are fully wild critters. I gestured to my friend to slowly and quietly come outside and sit on the furthest step for a while, til they got used to him being there.

        While this friend was sitting there, grinning ear to ear, watching and marveling over how well they all got along. How much they trusted me even taking food FROM their plates while they were eating (even some dogs won’t let you do that). Or them eating out of my hand. Some of the young even climbed up on his legs after they started to trust him enough (you should have seen him grin, I think it changed him wanting to hunt again after that night). He was amazed at how tender and gentle most of them were with each other and me. (He was luckily there on a “good night”, he should have witnessed some of the holy-hell battle-royales I’d have to break-up at least once or twice each year.)

        He asked me why couldn’t raccoons be made into a domesticated pets and why haven’t they yet?

        Raccoons are FAR FAR too smart for that. And what pet owner wants a pet that’s far smarter than they are? 🙂 It would just never work. People aren’t even smart enough to know how to keep their cats indoors. Can you imagine them trying to keep their raccoon out of their neighbors’ yards? We’re talking the difference between preschool intellect and a post-doctorate degree here. 🙂

        That one I raised from a pup long ago even learned (on its own, I might add) how to roll down the windows in my car (no electric windows back then) to escape and get into whatever bar I was visiting, so it could terrorize all their customers. NOBODY should EVER advocate for raccoons as pets. Uncontrollable and highly intelligent little monsters is all they are. BUT … if you are ever put into a situation where you a forced to be in their life … you’ll never regret even one moment of having known them. 🙂

        • LOL, so true. Anyone who knows what I sacrifice to provide a good life for my non-releasable girls (fur farm born rescue raccoons) wouldn’t think twice about not wanting to attempt keeping one. While raccoons are every bit as social, emotional and even affectionate as a dog or cat when given a chance to show it, they are NOTHING like keeping a dog or cat… NOTHING! 😉

          It’s like a terrible two’s toddler with ADHD — x 10!! LOL. And for over 10 years that they live. No more company visiting, no vacations, no setting down your drink, remote control, purse, wallet, food, shoes… forget it, not for ONE second. Becka can be sound asleep two rooms away but if I don’t lock the fridge EVERY time I close it, it’s like she has radar. Same for my computer armoire. They can de-key a phone, remote, or keyboard in 2 minutes. NOT suitable pets for average human today!

          I rehab and release several dozen orphans a year. It’s heartbreaking when we have non-releasables for whom no capable home is available. Sanctuaries are too few, safe refuges don’t exist anymore… they can’t all be kept (and living in a cage is not living – it’s a selfish human making a horrible choice).

          Do hope your hunter friend had a change of heart. Seen that happen many times myself. To be touched by one of those baby soft “hands” is life changing.

          • woodsman001 says:

            LOL!!!

            YEP! That’s “raccoon” alright. Described ’em to a T!! ROFLMAO!

            And you’re right about their “baby soft” paws. Disalarming to all the trouble they can cause. LOL!!!!!!!!!

            Rotten little monsters! But … for all that … I still lubs ’em.

          • woodsman001 says:

            p.s. re: setting down your drink …. don’t introduce them to the concept of a gimlet or black-russian .. this is why mine had learned to roll down car windows and break into whatever bar I was in. A drunk raccoon is even less pretty than a drunk human. Fortunate for them, there’s no incarceration laws for “drunk-raccoon-stumbling”. But even I would vote “yes” on a ballot for that.

            🙂

            Even worse, bar-patrons think, “Ohhhh.. isn’t that so cute…. look how much he likes my vodka soaked maraschino cherry!”

            You’ll need an AA chapter for raccoons if yours are anything like mine was.

          • woodsman001 says:

            typo (ballot for that = ballot against that)

  132. Charles says:

    Not sure how so many posts got off track, but for me at least, this story is an affirmation of grace and hope.

  133. Danny says:

    Follow that link… some of these comments are absurd. Maybe this deer should be in jail for harming a helpless little bird. I’m baffled by some of your “all have souls” comments.

    • Joann Petre says:

      please allow people to have beliefs that are not the same as yours…what a world this would be if everyone had your mentality. The story above is wonderful….but then there are always people like you “Me human…me better than animals” who like to ruin it for everyone. Tune these types out ya’ll; let them stew in their own misery. Don’t care for animals? Good for you! Hang out with the other animal haters – you deserve each other.

  134. What a wonderful story – sometimes the greatest things comes in surprise packages-I know from experience (2 chemo’s in 5 years and 2 eye surgeries in 3 months) if I do not feel well my cats (all 6 of them hang around me like flies on flypaper) they are my solice and they give me comfort an unconditional love so to all you nay sayers out there. You will never convince me that these animals don’t care they are more attuned to to the real world of hope and caring than we could ever hope to be.

  135. Mickey Sanders says:

    Obviously a vegetarian.

  136. Great story! but anyone who keeps animals & water troughs KNOWS better — Drop a 2×4, a stick, a piece of rope… something in there to help little animals get out when they fall in!

    How does a zoo not know this?

    • Joe says:

      The elk ate the 2×4 they had in there. 🙂

    • woodsman001 says:

      To conserve water and resources (and not put any extra strain on my well pump), I reserve all my shower-water in my tub and use that for flushing the toilet. One day I found a mouse in there, drowned. I added a small rope to hang from the spout. 🙂

      As far as those who are in charge of this zoo (and others) … you will find, as I have in life, that some of the most stupid and ignorant people you will ever meet in life have a Dr. or PhD. attached to their names.

  137. Chops says:

    Elk should be in the wild, not in a zoo.

  138. Jim Kratzer #7 – my first raccoon was a wild born non-releasable. She was 4 years old when she did not leave my side for 8 days after my surgery.

    People who truly believe that in such a capacity as this domestic animals are more capable of such emotions and affections than wild (or factory farm) animals, well, you really show ignorance – as in lack of knowing the truth. I don’t mean that as insult, just as you really don’t know is all.

    Granted, this makes it easier for you (us) to ignore their suffering, to harm them, to eat them, to believe maligning exaggerations by your “authority” agencies. I get that, was once there myself. It just isn’t true.

    In the 30’s when Roosevelt was concocting his concept of “conservation” there was something else happening… several prominent psychologists were trying to publish journal papers exposing the sentience of wild animals (they were using several species in their work, but raccoons were reputedly the favorites of a few). Obviously this was horrible timing for Roosevelt and his sport hunting cronies! All grants, all funding… yanked from these doctors, their institutions’ funding threatened if they published their work. The term “nature faker” became well known and was pinned on many professionals like a scarlet letter. (Reader’s Digest had several articles).

    “Conservation” went forward, along with our ignorance.

    I was an animal lover all my life. But I was 40 before I figured out how stupid I was because even though I appreciated wildlife, I had never truly acknowledged that the skunk, raccoon, fox, coyote, wolf, deer… in my back yard was every bit as sentient as my dog, cat, horse. Just merely words, until one experiences it for themself. With 7 billion people here now, that will never happen. Nor should it, I realize.

    Chops (#142), I agree, most zoo’s are awful, but not all. In addition to learning how sentient wild animals are I’ve also learned this sad reality: Un-releasable wildlife happens! Not all are suitable or content for a captive life, and not all facilities should even exist… but some do, and some are. There are those of us who dedicate our entire life to making non-releasable wild animals happy – and saying good-bye to those who aren’t.

    We need proper authority over our sanctuaries, zoo’s, etc – authority as in Org’s that know what must be attained to provide proper care and man-made habitats. It can be done, and it should be because the alternative is killing every non-releasable animal and since we (right or wrong) have assumed stewardship over this planet and everything on it, we have moral obligations to the happiness of others at our mercy.

    We have all witnessed wild animals that choose the wild as well as some that choose humans and captivity. This doesn’t make them “domestic”, it’s simply a reality that deserves acknowledgement and respect from us – in that they are sentient individuals, with extremely unique personalities.

  139. Artsgal says:

    Sometimes animals have more compassion than humans! This is a wonderful story…

  140. Charity says:

    This is sooo sweet! Thanks for sharing it with me!

  141. woodsman001 says:

    Hey, welcome to the REAL world! It’s built-into the christian (muslim & hebrew ) belief system. A psychological warfare system invented eons ago. The “unknown is evil”, verses “known is good”. There’s no such thing as evil nor good in the natural world. And indeed in the whole known universe. The concept of “evil vs. good” was invented by Jewish tribes long ago as a way to pit their enemies against each other. And it’s survived to this day. An unnatural belief being plugged into natural minds. This is why you will find so many people in mental institutions trapped in combating their “evil vs. good” nonsense.

    Welcome to REALITY … after having endured 2000 years of mass induced psychoses.

    • woodsman001 says:

      (Seems the post I replied to in this instance was deleted by those who feel it is better to blind one’s-self and remain blissfully ignorant (typical christian motives) than to deal with reality.)

  142. Joe says:

    For those reading the posts about raccoons, do not be fooled by their cuddly looks. They can be natural carriers of the rabies disease. What this means is that they can carry the disease with no symptoms but pass it on through a bite. You can’t look at a raccoon and say “it’s got rabies”; you should not approach a wild raccoon unless you know what you’re doing and have taken the proper precautions against being bitten.

    • woodsman001 says:

      So can cats that have contracted them from any animal that they cruelly shredded apart as their daily play-toy, whether they have been vaccinated against rabies or not.

      http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/09/23/2631106/rabid-cat-adopted-from-wake-county.html

      Do you know where your cat has been today? Has it shredded apart that rabid bat behind your garage just before it nuzzled your face?

      Not too bright are you. But then, no cat-owner/lover is ever too bright.

      • Joe says:

        Is there a reason that you turned my comment into a personal attack on me. (I don’t even own a cat, so who’s the one that’s not too bright now.) I said nothing that’s not true. I just didn’t want some naive individual thinking they can go pet a raccoon the next time they see one or more likely, try to help one out of a trap and get bit.

        How ’bout you go crawl back into whatever hole in the woods you came from.

        • Joe, I appreciate and concur teaching caution in approaching wild animals if one does not have experience, however, your rabies comment was way off target. “Natural carriers” is impossible in the context you applied it, which was to infer that they are all contagious at all times if infected. (Note: studies are beginning to reveal a natural immunity evolving – even a human has survived without post exposure shots)

          Rabies is an extremely hard virus to get, and fortunately very rare in the US. Do you know when/how a mammal is contagious? I’m shocked by how many experts do not even know! While the incubation time is widely debated and little known, there are only a few days that an animal is contagious before clinical symptoms present. Whether an unvaccinated animal was infected last week or years ago, IT IS NOT CONTAGIOUS UNTIL THE VIRUS REACHES the encephalitic phase! The virus must reach the brain to affect the animal and only then does it infect (via the saliva). It is not airborne and dies quickly exposed to the environment.

          Once clinical symptoms present, you most certainly can look at an animal and know it’s extremely sick. This stage will not even last 2 weeks before death. THIS is the only time the animal’s bite can be infectious, as with the couple days that symptoms aren’t obvious yet. And when they are? The animal is best described as “suicidal”.

          Please, if you see a distressed wild animal, locate a wildlife rehabilitator and safely protect the animal from pets and people until help arrives; do not diagnose (assume) rabies so quickly. Raccoons suffer canine and feline distemper, canine parvo, simple colds, head trauma’s that present as neuro symptoms… all are treatable. Find professional help 🙂

          • Joe says:

            I did not mean to imply, nor did I state that every one carries rabies. I only meant to state that you can’t tell by looking at a raccoon whether it is carrying or not. I may have overstated the case based on what I was told growing up. Upon further research it appears that the infection will eventually kill the raccoon as well. In addition raccoons do make up an overwhelming percentage of the known infected animals and outbreaks can spread rapidly amongst raccoon populations. My main point still stands; for safety, raccoons should be approached with great caution or not at all. As you stated, get a professional.

          • woodsman001 says:

            Joe, and the point I was trying to make is that you actually have a GREATER risk of getting rabies from the domesticated cat today than you do any raccoon. Cat-lovers just don’t want to believe or face up to this. Always blaming raccoons or skunks. Cats can’t even get it from raccoons or skunks because those wild animals avoid being anywhere near cats. (Read the reason this is so on that link I provided where I posted the explanation.) Cats being in closer proximity to human activity and their ravenous penchant to shred apart and disembowel any small animal that moves, have a much greater chance of contracting it from the myriad of smaller animals that might have rabies. A bat dying of rabies is the perfect play-toy for an outdoor cat.

            What I find interesting, is that in all the years I’ve lived close to nature, lived in some remote locations, and now have been in close contact with up to 6 dozen completely wild animals nightly for over a decade, not ONE wild animal I have ever seen in life has ever shown signs of suffering from rabies. Yes the disease exists (like some mythical Hydra I’ve yet to see), but people who live in urban areas blow it WAY out of proportion. It’s been years since I did a search and found the statistics on this (so I can’t give you the exact numbers from memory), but you have a far far greater risk of being struck by lightning, something like 40X’s greater risk of being hit by lightning, than ever getting rabies from any wild animal known to carry rabies. Though with the increased cases of rabies now showing up in feral and stray domestic-cats everywhere, this may be tipping the chances the other way. And even before recent times, there were still twice as many people getting rabies from domesticated cats than all wild animals put together. (I need to re-find that rabies fact-sheet I assembled from the research I did on this. I like to be more exact in my numbers than this.)

          • Cats can be infected by a skunk, raccoon, etc IF they are not vaccinated for rabies. Rabid animals (reminder: after disease has reached brain, only in the final phase, ONLY time it’s contagious, less than 2 weeks total time!) are as I said “suicidal”; They are out of their mind miserable and they will attack unprovoked. Cats are easy targets. This is why we must support TNR programs, regardless of feral cat opinions. Being such an emotional hot issue, feral cat colonies are left unaltered and unvaccinated while debates go on. Get TNR going until debate is settled (if that’s ever possible). It is best for humans and wildlife to NOT delay TNR action!

            Joe, thanks for clarifying your point. The reality is in the “stats”. Bats are higher than raccoons as RVS species likely to be positive and more likely to infect humans and pets (partly because people don’t know a bite happened at all). Cats (unvaccinated) are indeed a #1 transmission host to humans because of proximity & access. The reason we see raccoons so high on the list is also simply because of population, urban adaptability and the number of animals tested each year (ie, more raccoons are tested, hence more raccoons show up in stats – it’s the old “what’s in a statistic debate”)

            Quarantine periods longer than a couple weeks make me have to laugh. Do our health departments ever read their own CDC or WHO reports!

            There is such a lack of perception and exaggerated hype over the risks of wildlife. It’s amazing our grandparents survived. And if you followed these maligning reports, if they were true? Every raccoon, bat and skunk would be dead by now! If an unvaccinated animal bites you today and shows no clinical symptoms within the week, he didn’t infect you – even if he dies of rabies next month because he was infected 3 months ago. But, rabies testing and post-exposure treatment is a business that generates million$$ each year… make sense yet, lol?

            PS… even in an epidemic area of raccoon rabies less than 2% of the population is infected. The ORV (oral rabies baits vaccine drop) needs only to “vaccinate” 45% of the total population to be effective in eradicating. Many rehabbers also vaccinate wildlife before release. Despite ORV success, rabies vaccine is not “approved” for use in wildlife ($$, again, lack of effort by drug manufactures), but is without doubt “proven” to work. There is one study that used 48,000 raccoons, with IM injection. 2 failures (one believed to be animal was already infected, the other blamed on faulty administration). The ORV baits work best for raccoons and fox (and coyote), not so effective for skunks or bats YET (they, Merial, are working on it).

          • woodsman001 says:

            Katherine, while what you say is true about a rabid animal going bonkers, I still contend that it would be rare for a wild animal to be in the vicinity or a cat in the first place. A cat’s bold pattern scares wildlife away. The ONLY cat I could get any wildlife to gnaw on here was a dead all-gray one. This is when I figured out the bold-pattern=warning-sign connection. (A universal thing in all of nature, it just never dawned on me that this would explain why all the wildlife in my yard would run from cats, alive or dead.)

            HOWEVER, this is further reason why people shouldn’t be putting out food for feral or stray cats. As this DOES attract wild animals to their vicinity. Since cats have destroyed all the native wildlife’s other food sources (precisely what happened on my land), the wildlife then seeks out ANY source it can to survive. A cat that caught rabies from a dying bat it used for a play-toy that day could just as easily pass rabies to some other wild-animal or other cats.

            And PLEASE PLEASE don’t advocate for TNR programs. This is PRECISELY the thing that is causing all this ecological disaster for all the native wildlife. Not to mention being a further vector for all manner of diseases that cats are spreading to all wildlife and humans. There is no defense against cats spreading the plague today, and that too is what they are spreading. People have even died from contracting the plague from free roaming house-cats.

            These are just the diseases they spread to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Flea-borne Typhus and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

            The plague:
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8059908
            http://www.pagosasun.com/archives/2011/07July/072811/webplague.html

            Tularemia (rabbit-fever, transmissible to humans):
            http://www.news-gazette.com/news/health/miscellaneous/2011-09-14/cats-savoy-test-positive-rabbit-fever.html

            Flea-borne Typhus:
            http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-317133-animals-cases.html

            Along with the usual parasites they all carry, like hookworm — that ruined businesses in parts of Miami:
            http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-11-24/news/fl-miami-beach-hookworms-20101123_1_hookworm-infections-feral-miami-beach

            This doesn’t even begin to address cats’ insidious Toxoplasma gondii parasite that nearly all of them spread everywhere they defecate. Wildlife too will have miscarriages, still-births, suffer microcephaly or hydrocephaly from this parasite. The very same reason that cats are destroyed around any gestating livestock, and why pregnant women need to avoid cats.

            Above I mentioned about getting some wildlife to gnaw on a dead-cat (in the dire hopes that wildlife would put cats on their menu), it was a resident family of opossum that lived next to the house for years. Guess what happened to them and their 3 young ones after they tasted cat-meat? THEY ALL DIED from some disease in that cat. Is this what you want to have happen to all wildlife that might find a dead TNR cat to chew on?

            TNR IS WRONG

  143. judy says:

    GOD is EVERYWHERE!

  144. Nick B. says:

    can someone say peta, hunting isnt just for the fun of killing the animal, some people actually live off their meat, infact it is more humane to kill something in the field rather than a slaughter house, i love both hunting and fishing, and i eat everything i catch or shoot, and we dont shoot just anything we see either, and yes it is true that there is amazing beuaty in animals, and a deer is gonna die somehow or another, and i would rather it be of a bullet and fast then slow and painful in old age

  145. beverly gannon says:

    so lovely x

  146. Marjorie says:

    This is such a sweet story!! Just goes to show how animals can be kind to each other!!

  147. jenleewd says:

    I am always amazed when one species helps another. Gives me hope for humans.

  148. Melody says:

    How arrogant to think that animals can’t have emotions or feelings. Some here think that just because some animals eat or abandon their young, it indicates a lack of ‘human’ emotion/feeling. Well, gee folks, but so do humans. Some sell their children into slavery, abandon them to the elements, and/or horribly abuse them…all worse, I think, when we ‘believe’ we’re so much higher on the evolutionary scale than animals.

  149. Jason says:

    Apparently elk and man are more alike than we thought. Clearly we are not the only animals to develop the intelligence to show compassion and devise solutions to problems.

  150. ~”The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”~ Isaiah 65:25
    ~”Divine 77 Intervention”~ ~“Feeling”~ ~“led”~ almost ~“compelled”~ to ~“write”~ my(free)~“book”~ ~”DIVINE 9/11 INTERVENTON”~@ LOVEGODISLOVEdotORG ~“thus”~ I ~“discovered”~ a ~“77”~ ~“alignment”~ of ~“seven…”~’s ~“hidden”~ in the book of ~“Revelation”~! Do you think ~“this”~ ~“physical evidence”~ of ~“Spiritual Intelligence”~(i.e.~“God”~)might cause more of ~“us”~ to sit up & take notice of what it ~“truly”~ means to ~“Love thy neighbour as thy…”~! See “The Curtain is Moving Again” @YouTube

  151. Chaz says:

    This is a great story, regardless. :~)

  152. Stepping aside from the controversy, I found this a very interesting post and was happy to find it. Thanks for sharing it!

  153. Tamara B says:

    aww gees some people just don’t get it. Other living being do care. Tara cried for Bella http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZuW7M4VbDs

    Dog refuses to leave injured friend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3TM9GL2iLI

    Chinese dog refuses to leave dead owner’s graveside

    Dog tries to save another dog on highway (Sweet but sad)

    Man did descend from apes! Because if we didn’t Adam and Eves children screwed each other. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuA5Dw0QCBE

  154. Woodsmen – I couldn’t reply anymore to #146 (no reply button). We’ve gotten off topic and can take this elsewhere if you like…? but perhaps because you don’t have cats around you haven’t seen what many see every night – cats (feral & domestic) sharing their food dishes with wild raccoons every night! I also see it nearly every night. This is extremely common, actually. Raccoons will often share a food dish with cats, opossums, and skunks. What dictates this most is their alpha status, as some alpha matriarch raccoons can be darn bossy.

    By now you’ve figured out where I stand on urban wildlife, which is highly protective of it :). I don’t like cats going outside and you bet I wish there were no feral cats – but there are. Their lives matter also. It isn’t their fault they are “out there”, it’s humans. It’s our mess and we must fix it. Killing them all is not only wrong – it WON’T happen. So here they are and until we can fix it delaying TNR doesn’t help the problem, the wildlife or even the cats. What I’m saying is I wish TNR wasn’t needed at all, that the problem didn’t exist, but it does. To fight against it makes it all worse. Hope you see my point?

    Yes, cats, like every other creature can carry health risks. Avoiding reality (thus delaying TNR action) increases ALL the risks, especially parasites and virus’s that can further harm vulnerable wildlife – and humans. Battling and thus delaying TNR in many areas right now is allowing colonies to grow – kittens become feral vs put into adoption options while our TNR battles ensue… There are too many groups protecting the killing of them, and they have a right to their voice. We MUST get on with compromises – immediately and aggressively.

    Find me on FB? to discuss further, or?. I’ll also send some videos of my fur-farm girls. I suspect you’ll get a kick out of their antics 😉

    • woodsman001 says:

      Some further information to help you do the RIGHT thing. ALL the required laws that you need to deal with this problem are already in place and have been for decades most everywhere.

      Cats listed in THE TOP 100 WORST INVASIVE-SPECIES OF THE WORLD in the “Global Invasive-Species Database”: http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=24&fr=1&sts=sss

      Cats are _NOT_ exempt from invasive-species laws.

      IT IS YOUR CIVIC AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DESTROY ANY INVASIVE-SPECIES WHEN FOUND AWAY FROM SAFE CONFINEMENT AND OUT IN A NON-NATIVE HABITAT. In fact, it is against the law to NOT destroy an invasive-species on-site. Since cats are genetically engineered through selective-breeding and no longer have ANY native habitat ANYWHERE on earth, these laws include cats. This is precisely how they are dealt with on my own land, destroyed by using any and all humane methods** (see note). You also CANNOT make any distinction between stray and feral cats. STRAY CATS ARE THE VERY SOURCE OF FERAL CATS. If you don’t destroy the source as well you’ll never be rid of feral cats. They are BOTH the very same destructive, wildlife-destroying, deadly-disease spreading, INVASIVE SPECIES. NEITHER HAS ANY RIGHT TO BE AWAY FROM SUPERVISED CONFINEMENT.

      For an example of how invasive-species laws are properly followed and enforced: It is highly illegal for a person to transport an African Cichlid fish species to just the other side the road if you catch one in the canals of the Everglades when fishing. THEY MUST BE DESTROYED ON-SITE. Yet Cichlids are often kept as pets, that’s how they wrongly got into the canals to begin with. There are hefty fines in place for anyone found transporting these invasive-species alive if caught in the wild. (Interestingly, these Cichlids are FAR FAR LESS damaging to the environment and all other native wildlife than ANY cat.)

      All of this much to the dismay of criminally irresponsible and psychotic cat-lovers who are desperately trying to raise these invasive-species cats to some absurd level of “Community Cats”. If they do that then just raise “Community Pet Piranha” and release them in all your lakes and pools, or “Community Pet Black-Mambas” and release them in all your backyards and parks, then claim the exact same protections for them as cat-advocates want for their invasive-species cats. It’d only be fair! Are you starting to see just how absurd and ludicrous these cat-advocates are yet?

      ** (Though to be perfectly honest, considering how cats cruelly torture and destroy all other animals by ripping the skins off of live animals or disemboweling them for slowly dying and twitching cats’ play-toys (not even using them for food), I’m not sure why cats should be given the privilege of a humane death. I’ve been drawn to many animal screams in my woods to find their cats shredding another animal to death; which I had to then quickly put that animal out of its misery, torment, and suffering caused by that cat. Lucky for those I found so fast from their screams. Other wildlife that I’d find days later had died a slow and agonizing death from wounds after being shredded by their cats. I guess I’m just more humane than all cat-lovers and their cats, that’s why their cats get shot and die instantly on my land instead of equitably and justifiably tortured to death. If cat-advocates want REAL justice for their cats then any cat found outdoors would have to be cruelly tortured to death the same way their cats cruelly torture all other animals — something that I couldn’t do. Maybe that’s why TNR-advocates don’t mind that their cats slowly suffer to death by means of “attrition” — by disease, attacks, exposure, starvation, road-kill, etc., on ad-infinauseum. They have absolutely no problems in torturing animals. They’re just like their cats.)

  155. Gabidog says:

    This is a wonderful thing to see, animals are caring and loving. Ever see a lion with her cubs? Ever see other animals take on mothering other species of animals? Tell me again how animals aren’t caring and loving. There is definitely something wrong with people who don’t like animals. Most of those people are unhappy and blame everything that happens to them on everyone else, except themselves. People who mistreat animals at a young age almost always end up as a criminal later in life. There is something missing in them and animals can provide that… it’s love.

  156. Gerry Dupuis says:

    Wow, a lot of emotional responses. Let me add mine…
    I love this act of kindness by the elk, and I believe it was deliberate. Yes, animals have feelings too.
    I respect and appreciate animals greatly, even love them.
    I am also a hunter. That has only increased my appreciation and respect for them. They are beautiful, amazing creatures.
    They also kill and eat. Shooter would have a tough time with cougars, wolves, and so on in his natural environment… and when it happens it ain’t what we call pretty. But it is what it is, and how it is… and has its own savage beauty. I appreciate the carnivores, the predators, as well as the herbivores and prey. This is our natural world, and I’m glad to be part of it.
    And actually, a bow kill is much more humane than a wolf-pack kill, in my mind… bleeding out usually happens before shock is over and real pain begins. An ethical hunter works to minimize pain and suffering on the animals part… but yes there are many idiots out there. Sorry, they bug me too (and that is mildly put…) Being chased down and eaten alive by poredators, on the other hand… lions, tirgers bears or wolves, sharks, whatever… death just isn’t pleasant at all, is it?
    But is is what it is…

    • You’re right Gerry, it isn’t pretty. I appreciate your consideration to minimize pain. Humans have both the technology – and the need for that technology – to survive. Animals do not have nor need it to survive. That makes them more advanced than us in that regard, and it makes us more responsible to use our technology wisely – right?. Incorporating an obsolete weapon such as a bow & arrow strictly for the personal challenge of it when it’s NOT, clearly without debate IS NOT the most ethical, humane option for us isn’t a responsible choice on our part. True?

      If predator animals had the option of using weapons, I’d lay all bets that they would choose the quickest, cleanest kill weapon. Wouldn’t you assume so as well? Don’t ya think about this when you justify your own choices?

      I’m betting they wouldn’t use traps either, since the competition would freeload off their efforts. Predators do not kill for trophies. Their motives are entirely about survival in one way or another. Sound ethical wildlife management would follow that guideline, and MUST, before they may claim to respect and love nature. Instead, it’s as far from these guidelines as it could get today, won’t admit it, and THAT is why hunting is losing approval, interest and respect by the public.

    • “Nature” would be a lot “prettier” if the predators were able to use high-powered, quick-kill guns. We can, but bored hunters choose other options today – then say “nature isn’t pretty” as justification? That’s so… wrong!

  157. Donatella says:

    The moose rescued the little guy without a doubt. I am an animal lover and do believe God created all that we have. There such a thing as “balance of nature”. We are over populated and need hunters to help balance the population. It is too bad that people are more concerned with animal rights than that of humans. We have murdered an entire generation of children via abortion.
    Donatella

    • n7qvc says:

      True words spoken

      • Aren’t “we” as humans part of nature? Of course we are and without balance ourselves aren’t we capable of throwing nature off balance? Obviously, yes. So… Why do we speak so quickly to needing to balance all the species – except our own. Can’t a child, no matter how “balanced” s/he is raised, become a bit of a spoiled, overly self-entitled human? Evading self responsibility. Oh Yes. And we have a few billion children like that.

        That is a fact, one which has absolutely nothing to do with religion or animal rights. If someone can’t see the big picture without personal belief, they are not speaking to balance whatsoever. They are tipping the scales towards their belief, making their own unilateral assumption. No one lives in a separate universe here. Balance is balance, the scales balance out, or they tip, period. We eventually must quit denying the “balance”, or redefining it to suit personal belief. Too many humans and too few resources equals “murder” of a lot more than one generation sooner or later, and no “belief” is going to make a difference then. Humans killing humans is murder, right?

        Behaving like a bunch of self-entitled children, defying “balance” and irresponsibly tipping scales will not end well; it would, per the statement above, surmise then to pre-meditated murder.

        If God made all we have, OK, but why isn’t he making more water? More fossil fuels? Who made money and more technology than we can manage, which controls our world and our fate as a civilization? God didn’t. Wouldn’t God, like any parent, say “here’s your allowance, make a budget”. Does he expect no responsibility from us? We don’t need someone else to “balance nature” WE ARE part of nature and if we won’t accept responsibility for ourselves we have some “tough fatherly love” coming our way.

        Starving Bambi is now Kool-aid.
        If someone has no grasp at all on the dynamics and strategies of wildlife management today, they just sound like someone who has had a big drink of the “kool-aid”. If you enjoy hunting, fine, defend your hobby for that reason. Otherwise do some homework, please. Wildlife population is naturally very highly dictated (ie, managed) by habitat/food resources… whereas human wildlife management manipulates populations first and foremost today for profits. The goal is to INCREASE big game species in most popular hunting states, not decrease them. Attend a few wildlife management meetings, learn a bit about their budget challenges, please. You’ll be surprised!

        .

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  160. We are all in this neighborhood together, it is mostly the humans that don’t get it and we are supposed to be the wise ones, I guess that’s why man is destroying Mother Earth and all of it’s inhabitants, thinking they know better and really know nothing at all.

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  164. Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:
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