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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Ndakasi has a place in the choir

Asap Pang

By now, many have seen the iconic photo of Ndakasi, the gorilla who died in the arms of her caretaker after a prolonged illness.

Biblical literalists might claim that humans were given "dominion" over all the earth's creatures. But I like to think that Ndakasi saw her relationship to humans as a symbiotic one, not master and servant.

Years ago, when my own dog became listless and unwilling to eat, I bent down to gently bring him inside the house. In those few steps, he would take his last breath in my arms, as his spirit began racing toward the Rainbow Bridge.

My fellow Perspectives author Connie Seraphine once said --well, actually, she sang, "All God's creatures get a place in the choir." I am convinced that Ndakasi provided a beautiful harmony to the lives of those human caretakers whom she saw daily at the wildlife refuge.

I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.

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