MAHARASTRA, WESTERN INDIA—Crocodiles are known to be among nature's fiercest predators.
With their large maw and strong jaw, there's nearly nothing that can possibly escape them, especially on their home turf.
However, in an unexpected show of empathy and compassion, three marsh crocodiles, or Muggers, in the Savitri River were seen saving a stray dog instead of devouring it.
This young dog attempted to escape the attack of a pack of feral canines by jumping into the croc-infested river.
Then, in their ‘classical predatory instinct,' three nearby crocodiles approached the poor pup, but instead of opening their mouths, they nudged it using their snouts and pushed it to safety.
This phenomenon was observed and published in the Journal of the Threatened Taxa, where the researchers said it's possible that the ‘hunger drive' of these Mugger crocs was absent at that time.
They also proposed that this could be evidence of ‘cross-species emotional empathy.'
This is unexpected, especially among reptiles who are said to ‘have been underestimated as far as animal cognition is concerned' because of the ‘small size and simple structure of their brain.'
Unlike reptiles, dogs are known to be emotionally intelligent creatures.
They can feel empathy, read emotions, and distinguish them as either negative or positive.
Well, whatever the researchers find out about this amazing display of compassion by crocodiles, we're just glad the dog was put to safety!
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