A video of a deer and rabbit that viewers likened to Bambi and Thumper, animal characters in the classic Disney film, "Bambi," has been captivating an adoring public. The footage was taken Thursday by Steve and Vicky Johnsen at a YMCA camp near Estes Park, Colorado, 9News in Denver reported. Staff at the camp said the animals played together daily.
In the video, the fawn and the rabbit hop and dash back and forth. The fawn, dotted with white spots, occasionally approaches and sniffs the rabbit before leaping and bucking while the rabbit pops straight up in the air.
Watch the video for yourself here:
The video is hardly the first animal footage to have taken the Internet by storm. Cute cat and dog videos abound online, after all. But the image of a fawn and a rabbit evoked the story of Bambi and Thumper from the beloved animated classic.
Why these videos captivate humans in general has been attributed to several factors. One is that humans simply like animals, as they have evolved to be dependent on them. Another is the fact that friendships between animals of different species can appear "unnatural," and therefore especially fascinating to humans. Experts offer a plethora of other reasons as well.
“People are really craving to be ‘re-wilded,’” Marc Bekoff, a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, told the New York Times in January. “They’re craving to be reconnected to nature, and it’s these odd examples that are really seductive.” With these kinds of animal videos, people can feel as if they are more in tune with nature.
The growth of human interest in such videos is sometimes as fascinating as the images themselves, researchers have said.
Other videos of unlikely but apparent friendships between animals regularly capture the public's attention, including one between a dog and a cheetah and another between a hamster and a snake.