What is it about animals that can so deeply capture our attention…and our hearts?
Although I typically avoid the news, there is one story that I have actively followed since it began late last summer. That is the adventures of ‘Hammy’ the deer. (Yes, news about this guy even reached me in Spain.)
In summary, last August 14, a buck became ensnared in a backyard hammock in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Although police were able to free the deer, he then ran off with a large chunk of hammock still attached to his antlers. At first, local authorities believed it best for the deer (affectionately dubbed ‘Hammy’) to be left as is, knowing that he would eventually shed his antlers. Later, concern arose that Hammy could become entangled with another stag if butting heads during mating season. The search to catch the buck and remove the remaining pieces of hammock lasted for over two months. During that time, Hammy was frequently spotted by locals but remained elusive to capture.
Quickly, the young buck’s fame spread far and wide. A Facebook Page was created for him. This was followed by t-shirts, Hallowe’en costumes, artwork, Christmas decorations…and much more!
In late November, authorities were finally able to free Hammy from his remaining purple twine. They then painted a section of his antlers a deep purple so that he could be tracked and his well-being assured.
You can read the complete story here.
Some scientists argue that human beings have an ‘inborn instinct’ or a ‘biochemical reaction’ that connects us with animals (source). Others suggest that our distinctly human capacity to infer the mental states of others is key to the human-animal bond (source). Whatever the reason, there is no question that animals have the ability to melt our hearts. If you are ever in doubt of this, just ask Hammy!
Photo Credits: 1) CBC, 2) George Baker/CBC 3) Shelly Samuels, 4)Dwayne MacNeill 5) Morgan Wilson.