Without a doubt, animals, just like people, experience rich and profound emotions. Grief is one of the various feelings that animals often display. Many animals have been known to exhibit deep sadness at the loss of a close friend or loved one, such as this footage of a poor raccoon in shock and distress after it sees it’s friend lying dead on the road.
The video doesn’t show how this little guy died, but the entire scene feels heartbreaking – from the raccoon falling back into shock to, going over to his friend in what would seem like an attempt to resuscitate them.
See the video below
When examining raccoons and their emotional IQ, Wildlife Animal Control says:
“raccoons are believed to be some of the smartest animals on the planet thanks to their incredibly huge brains, raccoons are always loyal to their families and environment”
According to the Telegraph, the idea that animals might have feelings like humans was regarded as laughable up until the eighties. Isn’t it crazy to think the world could have been this ignorant? Sophisticated brain-imaging techniques have since demonstrated that humans form emotions in the primitive parts of the brain, such as the limbic system, that we share with all MAMMALS. (7)
The same neurotransmitter chemicals (such as dopamine and endorphins) are also identical across different species. If the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry are literally the same, why should the feeling experienced be any different? (7)
Take, for example, the orca, known as J35
J35’s calf died soon after birth on July 24 of this year. The mother carried the baby on her head for at least 17 days and finally let go of the carcass as it decomposed 🙁 Her image of grief struck an emotional chord worldwide. (1)
Do Animals Really Have Emotions?
These two recent stories prove YES! Animals do feel emotions just as we do. While it’s an unfortunate fact that we can’t save all animals who are in captivity (the orcas trapped in Sea World, pets who are abused, or any of the other animals being exploited) we can do our part in avoiding tragic situations like roadkill.
Before we provide you with these helpful tips and tricks for avoiding roadkill, we must say rest in peace to all the animals out there who didn’t make it to the other side of the road :(. (2)
These sad encounters can be avoidable if your driving knowledge and techniques are sharp. You may not be able to stop a raccoon from jaywalking, but you can reduce its chances of turning into roadkill, allowing both you and your four-legged counterpart to arrive home in one piece 🙂 (2)
Helpful Tips and Tricks For Avoiding Roadkill
1. Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs
It’s worth taking a look at the various animal signs. If you see them next time you’re on the road, stay alert for wildlife that may wander the streets. (2)
2. Brake Without Panicking
You may have to hard-brake somewhat, but try to avoid this if possible. If there is some distance between you and the animal, squeeze the brake to slow down in a steady and controlled manner. (2)
3. Honk Your Horn
The sound of a car horn usually frightens animals, encouraging them to get off the road quickly. (2)
4. Don’t Swerve
Swerving may seem like the best thing to do, however, there is a chance that you’ll swerve into an oncoming lane. (2)
5. Look Out For Shiny Lights
If you see floating lights at night, slow down. The eyes of animals (notably, those in the deer family) glow when light shines in their direction at dusk or dawn. (2)
6. Drive Slowly At Night
This will give you breathing room to slow down if you have to brake to a rapid halt. (2) (6)
7. Carry An Animal Rescue Kit
Have this ready in your car for stray or injured animals. It should include: (6)
- dog biscuits and cat food (to lure reluctant animals)
- a long rope or leash that can be looped into a collar to capture dogs and cats
- a bandage for a muzzle (an injured dog may snap or bite)
- a cardboard carrier (for cats, squirrels, turtles, and other small animals)
- a blanket or towel
- a brown paper bag and clothespin to keep it shut (for carrying injured birds)
- a list of emergency phone numbers of veterinarians, humane societies, animal shelters, and wildlife rehabilitators!
Animals are just like people, in more ways than one. Most importantly, they have feelings too. If you find an animal who has been killed by a car, you can either try moving them out of the roadway yourself, if not, please report the incident to your local animal control department.