Sea Lion | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Just a quick time-out.

The question of empathy in animals is a hotly debated one, though there won’t be much doubt in your mind after you see this sea lion interact with a pint-sized fan at the National Zoo.

Separated only by a wall of glass, the slippery swimmer and toddling tyke chase each other back and forth in a game of tag until the latter takes an unfortunate misstep, tumbling to the floor. The attentive animal stops on a dime and cocks its head as if to say, “Whoa, you OK?”

We assume, barring any tears, that play resumed shortly after.

Photo via Alejandro Hernandez./Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Miles Klee

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions,  and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'