This is the heartwarming saga of Jupiter the Impala and his little human friend little Oliver. The orphaned impala was brought to live at the Free to Be Wild Sanctuary in Zimbabwe, where he met baby Oliver. The two have been best friends ever since.
We can understand when dogs and other domesticated animals remember people. We hear all the time about cats and dogs that travel long distances to return to their homes, after being stranded or lost in faraway places.
But the Impala is a wild animal, and we don’t expect such creatures to be friendly with the human species. Yet, here it is, kissing the small human child it has befriended a couple of years before.
The scene is full of warmth and heart and raises questions about how closely all living things are related. In the wild there are strict rules about who’s a predator and who’s prey.
If you take away the need to hunt or be hunted from the equation, it brings everyone much closer. Animals that once instinctively ran away from us will now sidle up to us, and even show some affection.
These watershed moments teach us that animals are emotional creatures capable of understanding and love. It’s quite amazing to realize that living things so seemingly far apart can actually be so close.
Even though impalas don’t speak in a human tongue, they are still capable of communicating in the universal language of love. If you were ever one of those who hunted impala, you might be inclined to give up your rifle, or perhaps just aim it at artificial targets after watching this.
Even though the Impala is so much bigger than Oliver, not to mention that he sports dangerous looking horns that any predator in the wild must be wary of, he’s actually very gentle with the human child, kissing Oliver, and patiently accepting of Oliver ‘s little hands reaching toward its muzzle.
Oliver’s parents are amused by the interaction, as they obviously know something about the relationship that we don’t. The two aren’t new at this; theirs is a recurring tryst, but a lifelong and permanent friendship.
We can take away important lessons here, that whether you are two-legged or four, none of us are aliens on Planet Earth. We all belong here, sharing the great blue marble with divergent physical forms. We have a lot more in common than meets the eye.