In this week’s issue of The San Diego Reader in the News of the Weird column one story is on an event in Colorado where a store owner found she had a visitor. That visitor being a young doe who was taking a look around the place.
The animal was calm and collected, had no trouble associating with a human, and after some coaxing let herself be led out following a treat.
So the deer was enticed out and the human went back to work on her store. Only to find an hour later that the doe was back, and her three fauns. And all were looking for food from the human.
You get right down to it, the doe had no reason to be afraid of the woman, and since she trusted the human her fauns could trust her as well. They just didn’t see the woman as a threat. What you basically had here was an example of what domestication really involves. You take an animal such as a deer, a raccoon, or even a sugar glider from Australia who isn’t afraid of human. Who indeed is accepting of humans and who takes us pretty much as a source of food, assurance, and comforting. Pretty much as a parent in other words. That’s pretty much what I got from the story; Human gives good to a deer, along with a soft voice and may even have petted the deer much as deer mothers pet their fawns. And that’s really what it is, only we use our fingers to lick instead of our tongues.
The message the doe got was, she’s mommy. She feeds me, she comforts me, she assures me. I have kids to take care of. She took care of me, she’ll take care of them. That’s what domesticated animals do, they adopt you. To that fox or bobcat you are mother. That’s the same role you fit in the life of a tasmanian devil or Australian sugar glider. You provide for the animal much as a mother animal would, which makes you mother for all intents and purposes.
At this moment there are ranchers in South Africa who keep southern white rhinos as pets.Rhinos who pretty much behave as though the humans taking care of them were mother. Safari Park in San Diego County has its own population of southern white rhinos, who behave pretty much the same way as their cousins in South Africa.You get right down to it, we have domesticated rhinos and all your fussing about how this just can’t be doesn’t mean a damn thing.
Not only can we be wrong, but more often than one is ready to accept we are wrong. Much of what we know about nature is based on what we think should be, and not on what we actually see. Red foxes in England and bobcats in the eastern woodlands of the U.S. are known for going up to kitchen doors to beg for food. Those who do ask for and get food from humans tend to be healthier, live longer, and have more young than those who don’t. What you’re seeing is evolution in action and whatever promote survival and the continuation of the species wins out over any bollocks involving such malarkey as “dignity”. Dignity doesn’t fill your belly, dignity doesn’t raise the kids.
Thought you’d be interested, and I thought I’d asked if you’ve heard of more stories like this.