It isn’t one-sided. Animals can teach children to be kind, smart, and understanding adults, but they can also make animals feel safe.

During his summer break, an eight-year-old boy is cycling across the UK to raise money for his favorite animal, the hedgehog. Harry Peksa, a resident of Wokingham, will ride 1,100 miles in 34 days (1,770 km). He is cycling with his father, Nick Peksa, from Cornwall’s Land’s End to Scotland’s John O’Groats. Harry wants to raise £5,000 in donations for the wildlife hospital Tiggywinkles. Harry previously cycled 100 miles (160 km) for the prickly animals. Harry fell in love with hedgehogs after finding a lovable stuffed animal named Hedgy and after seeing hedgehogs in his garden. He said that he truly loved hedgehogs. After completing a challenge for Tiggywinkles with his father two years prior, Harry thought, why not do it for the same charity? The two had been sharing their journey on Facebook, and Mr. Peksa was astounded by the audience’s reaction.

According to a growing body of research, children who are supported in their love of animals are more likely to share that love with other living things, such as plants and the environment. Children who are encouraged to care for animals also tend to be more sensitive and caring toward other people.