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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Compassionate Turtles

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, June 24, 2015/Categories: natural history, Archive Pick of the Week

Sometimes, a group of monks from an exiled Tibetan monastery pass thru my city. They create complicated sand paintings, visit people under hospice care and do a solemn chant, and give lectures on trying to live a compassionate life.

The monks often speak about environmental matters and inform their listeners that animals are "sentient beings". Anyone who lives with a dog or a cat understands their companions have senses they don't understand but for other creatures this becomes more challenging. A remarkable video was captured in a wildlife enclosure at a zoo where a tortoise helped his overturned friend---who would have died from suffocation---become properly righted.

In humans, the selfless act by the turtle would have been a perfect example of 'compassion in action'. Animal behavior and psychology research is an ever expanding field.  Perhaps the scientists should ask the monks to give them some of their animal insights.


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