After a long Canadian winter, spring mating is a rite of passage. As the weather becomes more hospitable, members of the animal kingdom return from their winter hideouts. And they’re on the hunt for appealing hook-ups.
Nowhere is this exuberance better displayed than Narcisse, Manitoba, where more than 50,000 red-sided garter snakes emerge from their underground caves and partake in the world’s biggest snake orgy. Dozens of males wrap themselves around each female, forming in giant mating balls.
After a winter cooped up with her cubs, this southern Alberta bear is looking for a little mountainside romance with a shy male.
It’s a speedy and intense mating period for the American White Pelicans. They return to southern Saskatchewan as the ice melts in April and start their mating dance right away. A bonded pair will stay together for just one breeding season, taking turns raising their chicks. Next year, the birds will find new partners.
But do animals feel pleasure? Animal behavior expert and author Jonathan Balcombe shows how pleasure and desire plays an important part in an animal’s daily life. He says that pleasure is nature’s way of rewarding good (procreative) behaviours, and there are promising physical indicators that animal mating responoses mirror the rewards that we see in humans.