Do Animals Play for Sheer Delight or Is There More to It?

I was recently reading a book called The Souls of Animals by Gary Kowalski and the topic of animals at play was a featured chapter. There is apparently some debate over why animals play. According to Kowalski, “Animal scientists often try to explain play in terms of its survival value. Exploratory behavior like play, they point out, allows the organism to acquire information about its environment that may later prove useful. In hunting or fighting games a young animal can practice and perfect skills it will need in adulthood.”

It goes on to say that these theories may in part be true but what about play for play’s sake? Do animals play just for the sheer enjoyment and delight in it? Watch this video and I think you’ll come to the same conclusion that I do:

So, do animals play simply because it’s fun? I’d say that’s a resounding YES!




5 thoughts on “Do Animals Play for Sheer Delight or Is There More to It?

  1. Absolutely they play for fun! I was privileged to watch a gang? herd? group? of river otters play on a mud slide they had created on the bank of the Rogue River in Oregon. Pure joy!


  2. Absolutely – if you look at videos of baby animals playing, almost any species, they play for fun. They roll around, splash in streams, wrestle, and play. We have barely scratched the surface of learning about and respecting animals and all life forms. They are so loving and feeling and full of life – and of course they play and have fun! They show exuberance and joy just like we do – actually, even better – because it’s with less self-consciousness or restraint. 🙂 ❤


    • Well said, Lynn! Well said!! And definitely Amen to your last sentence: they show exuberance and joy much better than we do because they aren’t encumbered by self-consciousness or restraint! I love to see animals play, especially the babies. Thanks for stopping by! ❤


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