I believe I read that young (that is, inexperienced) female deer become so affectionate that they will approach human hunters in the wild (who I assume restrain themselves from taking such an easy shot if it is even legal to shoot females).

If the above is true, is this because deer have come to know that by and large, most humans are not threats (humans hunt a lot less and tend to even feed wild deer). Or is it even possible that a doe will approach a bear for the same reason?

I know that young mammals of various species will befriend each other -- there must be some age at which instinct kicks in or they manage to learn about predators. But presumably by the age in which a female enters heat, instinct is starting to be present and maybe even with this instinct either humans are a special case or even, as I ask, some does will approach some predators.

  • re "young mammals" — so the Disney Li'l Wolf who befriends the three little piglets could be rooted in reality…?
    – gerrit
    Sep 28, 2022 at 12:08
  • @gerrit: 100% both bears and wolves have enough brains to show flexibility of behavior towards other animals. Based on what I have seen of domestic animals like dogs and cats in videos, I find the story of the lions (probably female) helping the girl in Africa who had been abducted by men by chasing them off and staying with her plausible. I have seen a beer cub act very friendly, if a little scared, or a fawn and a mountain lion cub sleeping next to a fawn after they had both been rescued from a fire.
    – releseabe
    Sep 28, 2022 at 12:22


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