Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ominous trends in bad animal behavior

-Last week we learned of some unexpected animals interfering with air travel when turtles blocked a runway at Kennedy airport in New York. At least those animals were in their native country.

Imagine the surprise of having your flight delayed in Manchester, England by a pink flamingo. It took five hours to capture the culprit, and the most disturbing aspect of this case is that the origin of the bird is a mystery: all the local wildlife sanctuaries denied having lost a flamingo.

-Remember the scientists who discovered that crows can remember the faces of individual people that have done unpleasant things to them? Maybe you reassured yourself that crows aren't that common in your neighborhood.

Well, other scientists now report that the same is true of pigeons tested in a city park in Paris. The pigeons in this study learned to stay away from people who had chased them. But can we be sure that staying away will be their only strategy?

-Recently this blog reported on some British cows who had learned to let themselves out of their barn. At least they stayed on the property. In Wales, a herd escaped into a residential neighborhood and reportedly trampled gardens, ate flowers, and, most disturbingly, peered into people's windows.

You can see from the photo above that this was not the sort of rural lane where people expect to share their space with livestock. As one resident said, "We are used to having pints of milk delivered to our doorstep but not the whole cow."

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