No reason to assume domesticated OR wild animals as the phrase must be able to used with both with minimal adjustment. In Australia people often need to save the animals (farm and pet animals such as horse) in event of fire. I have a (potential at least) attachment to all animals I am responsible for and it would not be logical to assume that Los animals must have a natural bias---that can easil be provided by (not) using a personal "a" and no other change
There is no mention of wild animals, just animals. Many people save stray cats and dogs and give them to adoption, they are obviously attached to them altough they are not pets yet. I would say that personal attachment is about affection, not about technicality. Altough, it sounds better without that 'a'.
hbeasley- wild animals, don't need personal A, unless maybe when you know its name, for exemple in a zoo, or when a bear or a panda is known all over the world. the firemen can save animals when a house is on fire, maybe he doesn't know these animals but they're the pets of someone.
And the assumption when talking about animals is that they mean wild animals. It also doesn't mention that the animals are tamed, or pets, therefore it is more logical to assume that they are wild. Otherwise it would have said they saved the pets, or strays, in which case the personal 'a' would have been understandable.
Unless in Spanish, the phrase "a los animales" automatically means pets, which would solve this ambiguity.
Just to complicate further the matter of the personal "a", one of the earlier questions was, "Yo salvo los animales", without the "a". After seeing both questions, I concluded that Duolingo's point of view must be that use of the "a" depends upon the speaker's feelings. For example, if the speaker is merely listing his charitable deeds (donates to medical research, supports women's rights, saves animals), then he would not use the "a"; but if he feels strongly about the need to protect animals in general (wild or domestic), then he would use the "a". Does this make sense to native speakers?
Good point, as usual right to it. I hope so. We could start the tradition if not? There is in fact a personal/impersonal web of connections to all species whether we "own" them or not. It's mentioned in Genesis, an early work by humans, that we name them and they are part of a "garden" so this conception is OLD. Older conceptions (Native American, etc) do recognize these connections and brotherhoods in rich varieties of ways. But in travel/, we always hope to avoid connecting with certain species. There are always rules and exceptions, exceptions to exceptions.
Since I'm practicing I decided to use the drop down suggestions and try
"We are saved by the animals"
Given the suggested meaning of each word this should be literally correct.
nosotros (we) salvamos (are saved) a (by) los animales (the animals)
Can someone tell me why it isn't?
So that can be all animals. Or most. I'm thinking of bedbugs, and wondering what ecological purpose they serve. I could do without that concern while traveling. We do have oak mites in the US now and most of us exposed to them would rather they were not in the US or anywhere. Beetles that kill evergreen forests, and ash borers. Ok. There is always a bit of an undertow to generalizations.
I think this is already covered in other comments on the page but basically it's the "personal a", so the Spanish sentence is implying there is a personal attachment between "us" and the animals or that the animals are being personified.
In case you aren't familiar with the "personal a", you might notice in the lessons to date that whenever a verb acts on a person Spanish adds an "a" before the person. e.g. Spanish translates "him" as "a él", "her" as "a ella", even though there there is no "to" before the pronouns in the English sentences. It's always used with people and is sometimes used with animals - this lesson is an example of it.
Let me note that Duolingo is inconsistent about using the personal "a" in this context. Within this one lesson, I've seen the sentence "Yo salvo los animales" from Duolingo (as Spanish to be translated into English and as the correct Spanish answer for "I save animals" or "I save the animals" (I don't remember which). And then just a few sentences later, it's "Nosotros savlamos a los animales."
When it comes to animals, I don't know what Duolingo will do with regard to the personal "a". I don't think there's any way to explain why in two nearly identical sentences, only one would use the personal "a". Consistency would be nice!