Thursday, February 9, 2012

Out Of Place Animals Week, part 2: On the Go

In our last post we saw animals that wanted to settle down in places they shouldn't. Today, some animals barging in on human transportation:

-Last month, an opossum in New York city decided to try taking the subway. New Yorkers can ignore almost anything weird that goes on on the subway, but apparently this crossed the line. The train was evacuated and a group of police officers decided that despite a bag and heavy gloves, they weren't up to the task of taking the animal into custody. The opossum got a solo, presumably express, ride to the Bronx, where it was extracted by "a group of emergency service officers, an elite squad that handles complex jobs, including capturing rogue coyotes and apartment-invading hawks."

-The train was also the conveyance of choice for a dog in Sweden:
Eira was left at her new day kennel in the southern Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen last Thursday by her owner but struck with home sickness she decided take the matter in her own paws and head out for home.

She evaded her carers and walked the kilometre to the local metro station, ducked the barrier and jumped on a northbound train, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily which has been confirmed both by her owner and the police.

The dog stood patiently among the other morning passengers and waited in the six stops between Hökarängen and her home station of Gullmarsplan - a busy bus, road and metro junction.

The dog got off at the right stop, but was taken into custody by station staff and handed over to the police, presumably for nonpayment of fare.

-In Los Angeles, passerby flagged down the driver of a pickup truck to tell him someone had hitched a ride: a seabird with a seven foot wingspan. I'm guessing that this albatross tried to make the excuse "I just flew in from the South Pacific and boy are my wings tired," but experts weren't fooled. They said that this was no doubt at least the second time the lazy bird had hitched a ride on its journey:

They suspect the bird stowed away on a cargo ship, hitching a trans-Pacific ride to Los Angeles before disembarking and hopping into the pickup.

The seabirds are adept at soaring long distances and can spend years roaming vast areas of the ocean without ever touching land. But they can mistake the flat surface of a passing container ship for a nesting island, landing and sitting there unnoticed until the ship arrives in port.

Yeah, "mistake," sure. Rescuers caught the bird, boated it out to sea, and tossed it overboard, and it took off after a few seconds - using its own damn wings for a change.

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