A dog, believed to be a stray, was saved from drowning by a pack of crocodiles in River Savirtri in India after it plunged while being chased by other canines, as the occurrence shows interspecies compassion.
Just after falling into the dangerous river, this could have been the last moment by the dog as they were near the helpless stray.
According to a report published in the Journal of Threatening Taxa, the crocodiles helped the dog to safety.
Researchers wrote: "These crocodiles were actually touching the dog with their snouts and nudging it to move further for a safe ascent on the bank and eventually escape."
"The muggers were well within the striking range and could have easily devoured the dog, yet none of them attacked and instead chose to nudge it towards the bank, implying that the hunger drive was absent," they added.
The researchers termed the crocodiles "docile" as an adult male mugger crocodiles can reach 18 feet long with a weight of up to 1,000 pounds, according to the Wildlife Institute of India.
Experts noted that the pup rescue could be a sign of the crocodiles having emotional intelligence.
"The curious case of a dog 'rescued' by the group of crocodiles reported here seems more on lines of empathy than altruistic behaviour," the scientists said.
Apart from the compassion for stray dogs, scientists also found the obsession of crocodiles with marigold flowers.
Crocodiles are often seen floating or laying in marigolds, often keeping "physical contact" with the yellow flowers, researchers noted adding that they may have compounds that can protect skin from fungi and bacteria.
The Savitri River is polluted with sewage and other harmful ingredients, so this may be why they like to have contact with the petals, they believed.
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