.

   Several times we’ve spoken of the differences between humans and animals, but now and then we see surprising parallels and concerns. Here is one. Bernd Heinrich, in The Nesting Season reports the fascinating encounter between a

 

bear and a young human child.

.

For more use the DOOR.

.

[MORE]

.

   The distinctives between man and beast are important to think about if we’re to decide how humans are unique creatures. Nonetheless, we do well to consider characteristics that we–at least sometimes–share with other creatures. Here’s one fascinating example.

   According to Bernd Heinrich, Profesor Emeritus of Biology, Univ. of Vermont:

.

   “In the woods by my camp in Maine a beagle wandered under a brush pile where a bear sow had newborn cubs. She held the dog captive as though it were one of its own cubs, reaching to pull it back whenever it wanted to leave. The bear had to be shot with a tranquilizer before she could release the unharmed adoptee. Similarly, a sixteen-month-old human toddler of the Lori tribe of nomads in the oak-forested hills of Lorena Province in Iran wandered into a cave where a lactating bear was hibernating, and the sow adopted him. The child was found after the three days and ‘rescued.’ It smelled of milk; it had been nursed. It was considered a miracle. Undoubtedly this bear would not have given up the child without a fight, so we would presume she was killed for her adoption when it was discovered.¹”

.

 ______________________________________________________

   ¹ Bernd Heinrich, The Nesting Season (The Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2010. p.286.) Heinrich has published several books, including In a Patch of Fireweed and Bumblebee Economics.