“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
It has long been argued that animals do not make friendships. According to evolutionary thinking, animals only make friends among relatives because it benefits another creature that shares the same gene pool. Survival of their gene pool is said to be the driving force for every living creature, although animal knowledge of gene pools is still a mystery!
A detailed study of select animal populations calls this thinking into question. The Atlanta Zoo had two female and one male giraffes. After nine years together without mating, the male was sent to another zoo. This produced much agitated behavior among the females and raised the question: Had these animals developed a friendship? A study was made at the San Diego Zoo where there were 12 giraffes. Among other things, it was found that mother giraffes with young ones often hung around with each other. Certain animals would spend 15 percent of their time with the same giraffe. It was further noted that, among another population of giraffes, certain females were seen with the same female one-third to one-half of the time. Similar signs of friendship have been noted among rhinos, dolphins and even vampire bats.
It would appear that friends are a gift that God has not only given to man, but many of His creatures, and has nothing to do with evolution or gene pools.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the good friends that I have, but most of all I thank You for Your love for me. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Notes: Science News, 11/1: 2003. Susan Milius, “Beast Buddies.” pp. 282-284.
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