How many times have we looked at animals and embraced their fortune for not having to work 9 hours a day or worry about societal problems? But did you know that these animals we consider happy and unfazed are swarmed with stress and social issues of their own? Yes, stressed animals do exist. From escaping from their predators to looking for shelter, they live pretty stressful lives of their own. Conflicts in their group and fending for their young ones are also challenging to crack for them. As such, we are not the only ones living stressful lives.
Let us learn more about animals and their stressful issues for more relevant information.
Stress and stressful situations in wild animals
Stress is a typical response to anything that triggers our fright and represents a harmful characteristic. It leads to the advent of adrenaline and cortisol hormones that spike your blood pressure and heart rate. Among other adverse effects, heart attacks are also common.
Similarly, both wild and domestic animals experience stress and situations that foster such problems. In many cases, we have seen documentation of stressed animals in their own home, domestic animals. But it is improbable that you have seen enough wild animals. But the truth is, wild animals face more stressful situations than domestic animals. There are also many genuine reasons to conclude on the same.
In their daily lives, wild animals have to experience numerous challenges. The trauma of food shortage, facing predators and running away from them, and dealing with the conflicts in their herd is not easy for them to manage. What is even worse is the constantly changing climate and global warming that are making matters worse. Hunting and fishing of these animals are also adding to this dreadful period for them. That’s why the number of stressed animals in the wild is growing at an exponential rate.
Predator-induced stress in wild animals
Animals have an awful fear of predators or being preyed on. They also fear the idea of hearing other animals facing their prey because it induces stress in them. In many previous cases, where wild animals had to hear tape recordings of cat-rat fights, they had to face long-term responses of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
In another case, the prey animals have to choose between surviving food shortages and risking their lives for food by exposing themselves to predators. In both these cases, the risk factor is incredibly high and worsens their condition. It makes them eat less and worry more. As such, the stress patterns here are more abnormal than ever. This is a great way to indicate how the risk of being exposed to predators is a constant cycle of petrification for the poor animals in the wild.
With human interventions, this suffering worsens. Hunting and poaching of animals have been banned in several locations of the world. But you will be shocked to know that this practice continues nevertheless. That is why many animals are becoming endangered, and some of them have also gone extinct. Though animals do not understand the statistics, they do realise that their species is declining. This leads to another mental trauma for them wherein they lose the ability to remain calm. The ecology of fear survives.
Adapting to new environments
The stress of walking into the latest environment is another problem for these poor wild animals. They are often forced to engage in a new area due to a shortage of food, shelter or escape from predators. But this means that they have to cope with the changing climate that doesn’t always suit their preference. In many cases, due to the shortage of food, they also end up dead because of consistent starvation. Such stresses lead to worsening their conditions time and again. So, the animals that survive also have a tough time coping with the stress of living a difficult life here.
Did you know that many times animals can even die of stress when they hear frightening sounds? Approaching storms, planes and drones can be highly scary for many birds and wild animals. If they haven’t gotten accustomed to the sound, they may experience death due to exponential stress.
Many birds also have the habit of intentionally mimicking the warning calls to scare many wild animals. As such, they pass away due to acute stress problems from the same. Apart from such things, sexual conflicts for mating may cause stress among many animals. Trying to protect their young ones from predators is also a stressful event in their lives.
The bottom line
Wild animals are exposed to chronic stress problems. So, if you thought humans were the only species to experience it, now you know the truth. So, make sure that the next time you see a wild animal, you do not scare it away. They have enough stress of their own.