As humans, we are an intricate and indivisible part of nature. But we have also - to some extent - grown apart from nature, and are looking back to it, in different ways. Some of these ways are as a conqueror, a user, a destroyer. But we are also sometimes looking back with love and with fascination. One thing we have always had a strong fascination for is wild animals, wild predators - predators who potentially could have us on their menu.
In the above video you see clip of a young girl, less than 10 years old in pictures, who grew up in the wild, living with bushmen and wild animals. Her name is Tipi, and as you see in the video, she has an enormous sensitivity and communication with these animals - who let her do things with and to them that extremely few others are allowed to do. (more pictures and videos) She is playing with jeopards, she is paving the way for snakes, and she is riding on and playing in the water with real wild life elephants. All of those are animals with the potential to kill her in an instant, but she is amazingly unafraid, sensing and communicating with them that she just wants to play - and that they just want to play as well. Apart from that she also seem to have a unique connection with bushmen (you know, the ones that are depicted in the wonderful movies: "The Gods Must be Crazy") spending parts of her childhood with them.
Another thing that totally fascinates me with wild animals is when they are coupling together in unusual ways. In the below video (which you have to watch on youtube) you see examples of lions adopting antilop cublings, cats becoming friends and playmates with birds, and of a monkey who have become best friends with a dog.
All of this means that companionship and love are truly basic needs within all of us, and that playfulness, friendship and physical closeness are things that resonate with what we want from life at a very basic level. I personally think that the theory of evolution explanations can come up a bit dry and beside-the-point in these kind of situations. Not that evoluation doesn't happen, and that it cannot explain many basic things we see in nature. But there are so many principles that are more central to day-to-day observations. Somehow we need to bring joy back into the equation of how we view life, and of what life is about.
I therefore end with a clip of a man who has learnt to have fun with a group of lions. He says that even though they might end up killing him: "if I would have the chance to come back again after I was killed - I would!" Because life is not about survival, and procreation of your species, or your genes. It is about joy, and love, and laughter!
And, somehow, our discovery of these unusual animal-animal and animal-human couplings serves as a very nice reflection of the fact that we as humans are rediscovering this fact now again - at last!