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‘The Last Guardian’ contains a beautiful lesson about animals’ ability to forgive

Andrew Kuhar: The Last Guardian doubles as an interactive metaphor for the discovery and rehabilitation of animals in situations of abuse or neglect. For being such a fantastical setting, it plays host to a cautionary tale that is grounded in reality… We all encounter animals in need throughout our lives, and may find ourselves making a difficult decision about whether or not to intervene… By offering us an extended glimpse into an abused animal’s perspective, The Last Guardian asks us to empathize : What does it mean to spend time in their environment? How are they a product of it, and how much can they change?… Years after adopting [my cat Chewbacca], and no more than an hour into my playthrough of The Last Guardian, it became clear to me that he would soon pass away… At home with Chewie, now struggling to remain comfortable, the thought cut deep…

The Last Guardian compelled me to educate myself more on abused animals, both due to how I had found Chewie and the frequency with which I stumbled upon wild, sometimes hurt animals near my home in Ohio. I spoke with Michelle Leighty, manager of wildlife resources at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The facility recently renovated its outdoor wildlife center, a habitat designed for specific species that cannot be released back into the wild after fatal injuries. “A big part of our mission is trying to get people to care about these animals,” said Leighty. In turn, she continued, access to these animals educates and connects us with species we may not realize are literally in our backyards: “We want people to recognize what we’re actually living with, alongside of and sharing a living space with”.’ SOURCE…

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