Animal Emotions

Do animals think and feel?

Disabled Whale Missing Two Fins Cared for by Family

A heartwarming story that shows wild animals display compassion and empathy

Here's a story that'll make your day. There's not much to write that's not covered by this short essay called "Disabled killer whale with missing fins survives with the help of family who hunt for its food" so I hope you enjoy what you read and see.

This story is a great example that wild animals care for others and display compassion and empathy. In previous places I've written a similar story about a disabled elephant named Babyl who was cared for by other elephants in her clan. Here's her wonderful story: "A few years ago while I was watching elephants in the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya with elephant researcher Iain Douglas-Hamilton, I noticed a teenaged female, Babyl, who walked very slowly and had difficulty taking each step. I learned she’d been crippled for years, but the other members of her herd never left her behind. They’d walk a while, then stop and look around to see where she was. If Babyl lagged, some would wait for her. If she’d been left alone, she would have fallen prey to a lion or other predator. Sometimes the matriarch would even feed Babyl. Babyl’s friends had nothing to gain by helping her, as she could do nothing for them. Nonetheless, they adjusted their behavior to allow Babyl to remain with the group." 

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Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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