This is the reason why I haven’t been very active as of late. I’m currently working on two animated films, one about foo dogs and another about a bear. This is the major project because this is my senior film, or the film I need to finish before I graduate. These are just concept work before I really get into the full development of the film before actual animation; I’m so excited!
So the idea is basically this: A baby bear goes fishing to feed its sick mother.
If you’re wondering about the style choice, I’m taking inspiration from the Haida artstyle and trying to implement some of it into my film. C:
I gotta pitch this badboy to the school’s animation professors, so wish me luck!
OK, BECAUSE LIKE THREE OF YOU HAVE ASKED, A SHORT LIST OF DUMB SHIT I’VE SEEN TOURISTS DO:
Try to RIDE the bison. The one-ton pile of Pissed off Pot Roast with the horns than can rip your intestines right out, the bone-smashing hooves and YES IT CAN RUN 40 MPH THAT IS NOT A JOKE. Was grabbed by my mother before she could get her ass killed.
Let chihuahuas, pugs and other toy dogs run loose in the park. Where they can eat endangered small reptiles and mammals, or be eaten by coyotes.
Listen to ranger talk about the importance of staying the fuck on the trail, or you could fall through the ground into the thermal pools and boil to death. IMMEDIATELY steps off the trail to get closer to the 2000 degree Pool.
The Exact Same As Above, but with a barely-frozen-over lake.
Carve their names over Native American Petroglyphs. Was offended when pulled away by and fined by a Ranger. Got a bigger fine for spitting on the Ranger and trying to punch them.
Getting drunk and trying to piss out the Junior Ranger’s campfire.
“HEY RANGER I FOUND A LOST DOG!” The thing they have in the box is a Badger.
Got screamed at by a wildlife photographer who’d been camping out trying to get pictures of baby foxes in their den. He went inside to take a piss, missed them, so I showed him the pictures I took to make him feel better. He punched me, Stole my camera, then got tackled into the pavement by my sister to get my camera back. I was 11 at the time.
OH AND THE QUESTIONS:
“What time of year to the deer turn into elk?” EVERY GODAMN YEAR.
*Pointing at a Glacier* What’s that white stuff up on the mountain?”
“What time do we get to feed the bears?”
Tourist: “Does Old Faithful work on Christmas?” Ranger: “Yes. Several times a day, every day. It’s a natural feature-” Tourist: “Why would you force them to work on a Christian holiday!?” Ranger: “Who?” Tourist: “The Men Undergound that operate the spring! They should at least get Chistmas off!” Ranger, clearly done with this shit: “…They’re Jewish.”
I don't understand why it's wrong to befriend wild animals, especially if one lives alone/far from human settlements ( like those wildlife rehab places where workers bond with the animals) so it's not like the animal endangers itself just by coming there, I often see brought up that the animals would lose fear of humans in general, but.. one, is that really a problem if they're in a reserve anyway? Two, how come it would work like that? I thought wild animals are way less trusting (part 1)
compared to domesticated animals. And from my experience with dogs - I have a dog who acts like a playful puppy with my family, I’m pretty certain would never hurt us on purpose but barks at strangers and even on walks will let out a serious growl if they get too close, tolerates the dog she grew up with and plays with her daughter but is pretty aggressive with other dogs. Do wild animals not make that “everyone who wants my trust needs to earn it individually” distinction?
(This is going to be a fairly passionate response. I’m not trying to be a jerk, OP, I just have a lot of feelings on this).
Let’s start with the first thing that jumps out at me here: your use of the word “befriend”. Not “interact with”, not “feed”, not “pet”. “Befriend”. You’re looking for not just interaction, but an affiliative type of contact that hits a specific emotional state of being seen and recognized as important. Which leads to an immediate question of: this is a wild animal. Why do you think it wants to be your friend? Why do you think an animal that is not domesticated, not tame, that lives in a kill-or-be-killed harsh natural environment would find it worthwhile out to take time out of survival to have a mutually reciprocal relationship with a hairless primate? Why do you assume a wild animal is capable of that sort of friendship?
I have a lot of complicated feelings about this whole question, but it comes down to the fact that humans to have decided that we deserve the friendship and affiliative interaction of every single living thing on earth and that it is okay for us to completely modify an animal’s life to gain it. I fundamentally disagree with that assumption. Animals are not here for us. Wildlife is not here for us. We don’t have the right to stick our noses into the lives of animals simply because we get warm fuzzy feelings from getting close to them (and somehow not getting our faces ripped off as we rightly deserve most of the time for trying). Half the species we try to expect affiliative interaction from are solitary predators, and many others aren’t species even capable of affiliative social interaction. Biophilia - the innate need to empathize with non-humans animals - is one thing, and that’s all well and good, but we don’t need to interact with or touch everything to fulfill it; that comes out of a weird modern mental complex that since the world was made for humans, it is ethical for humans to do whatever the hell we like with and to it, and that since humans are inherently above/better than/different from animals our jurisdiction over the universe also extends to their lives. I do not think we are outside the natural order - I do not think we have the right to insert ourselves into the lives of wild animals simply for our personal pleasure.
Why? Our “friendship” with wildlife gets wildlife killed, in the long run, almost every single time. Human influence on an animal’s life majorly changes their behavior, their space use, their survival strategies, and their ability to actually act like an animal. None of this is good for survival.
Animals habituated to humans as a source of resources stay near human habitats, and are not only at a higher risk of being hurt by people or cars but are also at a higher risk of being euthanized for being pests. Animals that consider people save still have fight-or-flight instincts and will lash out at well intentioned humans when cornered and will get euthanized for being dangerous, if not because they actually bit someone and have to be tested for rabies. Animals used to eating human food will often choose to search for human refuse above normal foraging behavior, and some animals fed too much human food will forever have the microbiome of their guts changed and may starve to death once human food is no longer available since they can’t digest their normal forage anymore. Some animals brought up in close contact with humans will seek out their company over those of conspecifics, and never mate, or never learn how to hunt and feed themselves if the humans move on.
You asked why this is a problem for people who are far from population centers, or animals that are with rehabbers or on preserves. For the latter, ethical wildlife rehabbers and people who run preserves have made a commitment to keep animals wild. To do their jobs correctly, they should want the animals to never want to be around them again, because they are attempting to preserve nature - not make friends. People who try to “bond” with animals they’re rehabbing are selfishly fulfilling their biophilic urges with behavior that has been proven to decrease the survival rates of the animals it is their supposed duty to help survive.
To the former - why, say, if you live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere that you have to parachute in to and then hike thirty miles to get to, you shouldn’t feed the bears or raise squirrels to snuggle you - aside from all the ways that human influence lowers survival rates without necessarily needing human presence to persist, I will refer to the idea that humans do not inherently deserve animal friendship. In fact, they do much better when we just leave them the hell alone.
What people love about animals is their wildness, their difference from us. We can engage in our biophilic urges to love them for being wild from a distance if we want to keep them the things we love - we devalue what they are when we try to force on them the idea that they should love us back.
(Also, have you met a wild animal? They’re not nice. Those stories you see on social media about people befriending wildlife are so massively misportrayed and overstated that you’d think it happens daily, but most cases actually involve people getting hurt or scared out of their wits. So if you want to try to befriend animals. you need to be okay with the fact that most of them will be completely in the right to want to maul you for trying, because that’s what makes them wild).
Per @star-anise‘s request for kitty pics this week, I’m reminded that I actually really like pulling together an assortment of pics and telling stories about them, and I have a metric shitton of random photos on my phone. SO. You can safely expect the occasional post like this until I run out of photos or get bored with it, whichever happens first.
This is two batches combined into one, from back in 2013 (which is I think before I cracked and got a tumblr) and separated by a few weeks and a few hundred miles. One’s from the Milwaukee Zoo, where a friend of a friend is a zookeeper and took us through the exhibits on her day off. I seem to have lost the bat feeding and the polar bear feeding photos, sorry. :( The other set is from the Raptor Rehabilitation Center on the U of Minnesota campus, where they do some damn impressive work with birds of prey.
HELLO PRETTY SNOW LEOPARD what’s that, you want to eat my face? Oh. I guess we’ll stay out here then. Not shown: the back of the cage has an exit onto his native habitat; I forget why he was in back but I think he was due for yearly check-up?
Yes. Yes we did get to feed the giraffes. Yes their tongues are that sticky, which is why you make sure to only lightly hold one end. (No, I don’t remember exactly what the food was, I think a specially balanced grain-and-plant thing made into crackers? It was their treat-food not their regular food.)
MOOSE. This moose was seeing her favorite person and also her favorite food: bananas.
Our zookeeper guide had hand-raised many of the wolves from birth, so several came reasonably close to see who these strange new mammals with her were.
And the birbs behind a cut because this is getting long…
Foraging time budgets: obligatory in for survival the wild, but why enrichment is critical in captive management situations.
One of the things worth noting, as I’m watching the second episode of BBC’s Wild Alaska (Summer) is simply how much time some of the animals spend foraging. The episode opens with grizzly bears foraging for clams on the beach while waiting for better prey to arrive - and a full sized female, it says, needs to find a couple of hundred clams a day. If it takes a minute or two to dig out each clam, get it out of the shell, eat it and then find the next one - let’s say a total of 3 minutes per clam as a rough estimate - and say a female needs 200 clams a day, you’re looking at least 600 minutes a day (10 hours) spent doing nothing but foraging! That’s a huge amount of effort and time invested just to break even on caloric expenditure.
I want to point this out because when we’re thinking about animals in captivity, this is why enrichment becomes so important - a bear in a zoo doesn’t have to spend half of the day foraging just to try to get enough food because we provide it all for them, but that means that suddenly they’ve got a huge amount of time “left over” in their activity budget compared to a wild bear. Enrichment and unique feeding strategies help encourage natural foraging behavior and keep animals occupied and engaged for much longer than just feeding them out of a bowl every morning. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that enrichment doesn’t need to and probably shouldn’t try to make up for a whole day’s worth of behavior. Animals are opportunistic, and even in the wild will happily scale back their activity level when resources are plentiful. If a wild bear has a field day and can get away with only foraging for clams, say, eight hours a day, they’re not going to continue being active for the extra two - there’s no point in expending the extra energy. This is something that, for captive animals, often looks to guests like the animals “have nothing to do” when in reality it’s more of a luxury than they’d ever be afforded in the wild. The trick for a good enrichment protocol, then, is to find a balance of keeping the animals occupied and engaged and fulfilled without trying to replicate the natural cycle of constantly obligatory caloric intake.
This bison drowned in the Yellowstone River over the winter when it tried to cross. Donovan says a grizzly bear had been feeding on this carcass for several days before he set up a camera trap By DONOVAN
I look down at the bowl
inches from my mouth, trying to focus my eyes to see what’s in the creamy soup.
He tips the bowl before I can protest, and I think I taste cheese and chicken.
The bowl’s too big; I need to breathe, but the flow is constant.
Just as I think I’m
drowning, the bowl empties. My gasps hurt me more – the sharp breaths putting
more pressure on my abdomen. He smiles, rubbing the naked belly he grew. His
soothing rubs calms me, despite the pain I’m in. The ropes that tie me to the
chair were already uncomfortable to begin with, but with a ton of food stuffed
in me, they cut into my fat, giving me little room to expand.
“Please, I’m maxed out,”
I say, as he brings a milkshake to me. He frowns, and I’m afraid he’ll pinch my
sore nipples again, but he just cuts the ropes around my belly. I feel my belly
expand several inches, finally free of its bonds.
He pulls my head back
with my hair, strapping the funnel to my head. The chocolate milkshake reaches
my tongue. The feeling was familiar – the tight straps clamping the end of the
tube to my mouth, the rhythm of swallowing I needed to breathe. My freed belly is
a relief, but the space I thought I had is filling up quickly.
Topping up my funnel
with another milkshake, he straddles me, his fat dick poking my hard belly. I
feel his tongue on my left nipple as he plays with my right, his sucking making
me erect. My dick is pressed between both our bellies, and we rub against each
other slowly. I want to touch his chest and squeeze his butt, but my restraints
leave me to his will.
As I become more
stuffed, my belly presses into his more and the pressure nearly pushes me over
the edge. Backing off suddenly, he unstraps the empty funnel as his dick pokes
my chest. His fat gut presses into my face as he reaches behind me, and I hear
my handcuffs un-click. Grateful for my free hands, I grab the ball of fat in
front of me and rub the best I can, kissing his happy trail.
It was his body that got me into this, his girth impressive
and tempting. Foolishly, I told him I’d do anything for him, craving his
affirmation. He took my word, forcing me to grow to be as big as he was, even
when I felt like quitting. Only fucking me when I ate, my hungry dick let him
stuff me every day, my belly always growing, a bit fatter every day.
I wasn’t allowed to get new clothes until I burst out of my
old ones. My co-workers started whispering about how fat I was behind my back,
as I struggled to stuff my face with whatever he ordered me to eat. I often got
back to the office after lunch break with my buttons straining, my blazer already
unable to button to hide the damage beneath. Once, my pants ripped during a
meeting when I bent over to pick a pen up, the cum-stained briefs he made me
wear fully visible. On other days, the tight discomfort made me buy extra boxes
of donuts, and I’d eat them until my belly finally burst out of my clothes,
freeing me from my bonds.
My kisses travel south and I begin sucking, my forehead
bumping into his fat belly. I hear him chewing on the eclairs meant for me. Squeezing
his belly with my free hand, I hope he finishes the plate for me.
I wasn’t the only one growing since we fucked for the first
time in that empty stairwell. While he focused on feeding me, he couldn’t
resist the available food too, and some of it inevitably made its way to his stomach.
His hairy gut had grown to twice its size since we met, the ball belly now usually
one of the largest in any given room.
Last week, we were at a Chinese buffet when he spotted a man
whose belly eclipsed both of ours. Inviting the man to join us, the night
became an eating contest as we inhaled thousands of calories, anxiously waiting
to see who’d give up first. After eight heaped plates, the other two conceded
to a tie, but not before forcing me to have another serving of noodles followed
by dessert. Wild sex followed dinner, our stuffed bellies bumping into each
other constantly with every thrust. The three of us woke up noticeably fatter
than we were a night ago, our faces fuller, our thighs thicker and our guts
Pulling out of my mouth, he turns me over wordlessly, pushing
me on all fours. Surprisingly, the rough carpet brushes against my stuffed belly
– my belly’s finally fat enough to reach the floor for the first time. He rests
his gut on my back as he inserts; it feels heavier than what I’m used to.
“You like that, piggy? You like feeling my daddy gut on your
back as I fuck you?” he taunts, the rhythm picking up. I can’t bring myself to
answer, words unable to form as I moan in reply. That’s the spot he always
hits. My gut rubs against the ground, the new sensation only making it all more
My eyes are open, but I can’t what’s in front of me. It’s
only when I feel the warm bowl on my lips that I know he’s still feeding me. My
huge belly has no more room. I begin gulping.