03 July 2018

"All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it."

The quotation by Samuel Butler fits nicely with this video of an elk calf frolicking in a puddle.

Via Joanne Casey's I Have Seen The Whole of the Internet.

Addendum: Originally posted two years ago; now updated to add this video of interspecies play:

"Every evening a river otter comes to play with our daughter's dog Rio. What was once an acquaintance on the other side of the fence has now become a friend who comes to play through the fence.It has been interesting to watch as their trust of each other has developed over the past several months."
Addendum #2:  Time for another biennial update, this time to add a video of goats playing "King of the Mountain" on one of their sun shelters:

Addendum #3:  More interspecies play in this video of a pitbull and a young deer:

YouTube link.  Via I Love Dogs.

See also this video of dogs playing with water from a garden hose.

And this elephant with a plastic ribbon.

I do enjoy updating this post.  Here's a dog and deer at play.  And a horse with a squeaky toy.

Reposted from 2015 to add yet another dog and deer, joyfully racing along a fence.


  1. No actually all animals know that the principle businees of life is to enjoy it, it is just that some animals for some reason don't do it and this occurs usually in humans.
    That young elk with a bit of photoshopping could easily have been me when I was a kid, my parents never stopped me from jumping in puddles or playing in the rain and snow. I must admit that I have not jumped in many puddles of late, but I still do have fun.
    Love the video, thanks.

  2. Rena - Thanks for the heads-up. I've replaced it with another one (which may also be taken down by the author later). Posts inevitable undergo "linkrot" as time passes. When this happens, the easiest thing to do re videos is to go to YouTube and enter the key words and look for other copies. Today I just typed in "elk calf" and had several to choose from.

  3. Here are some twin moose calfs in a sprinkler!

  4. So cute, reminds me of the young dancing gorilla in playing with the water from the Calgary Zoo:

    Does anyone know the piece of music playing while the young elk is having fun?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. It's the allegro movement of the Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G major:


  5. Many thanks for letting me know about Bach's musical piece. I really enjoyed the clip that you posted!

  6. back in early 90's nat geo magazine did a whole article w/pictures of animals in play and went into the reasons/theories for it.

    compare these animals playing to kids today sitting on a sofa twitching thumbs.

    (fair warning-i was born in 67 so i was lucky enough to grow up in one of the last generations of kids to actually 'play' and not 'game'.... )

  7. In humans it ultimately translates into, "working to live," as opposed to "living to work." Most civilized countries do the former, here in the US of A we're trained to do the latter.

  8. Blog post level must be between green and blue. We got one new and one old...

  9. The elk calf reminded my of my youngest. Her grandparents had a ranch at Fallbrook CA, and raised all kinds of fruits and vegs in addition to citrus and avocados. She liked nothing better than to play in the irrigation ditches until she was covered with mud.

  10. I disagree with the premise, but so what. Don't forget this classic.


  11. One of my favorite stories of animals enjoying themselves is about dolphins dunking sea birds, by grabbing their feet and pulling them under and then letting them go (and repeating.) They never killed the birds, just enjoyed the joke. An animal behaviorist we heard lecture told us about this. He even gave an example of cockroaches having fun, although I can't remember that example.


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