Are Animals Able to Ask Humans for Help?

Jackdaw Altona

Before we look at some examples of animals seeking human help, it seems a good idea to address the often heard myth that we as humans must not anthropomorphise animal behaviour. Although this is still a widespread believe, even amongst otherwise renowned scientists, it is simply wrong, based on the ever increasing anecdotal and scientific evidence. I have chosen four short excerpts taken from Marc Bekoff’s book “The Emotional Lives of Animals – A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy – and Why They Matter”, who addresses this misconception in his usual precise, ethical and scientific manor. 1

‘Careful and detailed behavioral studies have shown time and again that we can indeed differentiate and understand animal behavior, and how it differs in various social contexts.’

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Cats and Wildlife – eBook (iBook)

Cat

According to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) cats kill an estimated 55 million birds in Britain every year and such a predation could be contributing to long-term declines of garden birds. Cats also pose a significant threat to endangered mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are a common cause of serious injury or death in cats, and are often cited by insurance companies as the most common cause of injury to cats, and the top insurance claim when all claims are ranked by cost.

This © Corvid Isle eBook explores both problems and tries to offer solutions for how to protect our beloved pets cats and our precious wildlife. Our eBooks are free. However, as we are entirely self-funded, we would appreciate your support and a donation. Please check out our Support page to find out how you can help. Thank you very much!

Cats and Wildlife – eBook (pdf)

Cat

According to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) cats kill an estimated 55 million birds in Britain every year and such a predation could be contributing to long-term declines of garden birds. Cats also pose a significant threat to endangered mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are a common cause of serious injury or death in cats, and are often cited by insurance companies as the most common cause of injury to cats, and the top insurance claim when all claims are ranked by cost. 

This © Corvid Isle eBook explores both problems and tries to offer solutions for how to protect our beloved pets cats and our precious wildlife. Our eBooks are free. However, as we are entirely self-funded, we would appreciate your support and a donation. Please check out our Support page to find out how you can help. Thank you very much!

Jackdaw Jacky – Thoughts about Sentience

Jacky is a western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula), also known as Eurasian jackdaw, European jackdaw, or simply jackdaw, and is a passerine bird belonging to the crow family. She is a seven year old imprinted bird, whose care we have taken over about one year ago. Jacky is unfortunately not releasable, as she has spent her whole life with humans. Jacky has been rescued as a fledgling by a well meaning person, who raised and unintentionally imprinted her. It did not take long for Jacky to conquer our hearts. Jacky lives with us, as she is not comfortable with other residential jackdaws, and is sadly not being tolerated by her own kind. Experiencing non-human animals like Jacky can be an eye opener for people, who never had this kind of close relationship with non-human animals like her. And as people, who have already opened their minds and hearts towards the plight of human as well as non-human animals, we are still again and again amazed by what we can learn from our non-human fellows. This insight makes it even more difficult to comprehend and live with the widely accepted normality and legality of discrimination and persecution of human and non-human animals.

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Racing Pigeon Biscay

Racing pigeon Biscay

This story occurred a couple of years ago, but the described scenario and underlying problem is as timeless as ever. During my evening shift as marine mammal surveyor on board of a ferry on route to Santander in Spain, I was forced to witness a small group of lost racing pigeons loosing their fight against the strong winds of the Bay of Biscay. I had to watch the drama unfolding, and there was nothing I could do to help. In this respect, spring and autumn surveys are known to be particularly emotionally demanding, as surveyors are regularly forced to helplessly watch the struggle of travelling and migrating birds. This situation is neither unexpected nor unique, but can be emotionally draining. At the very least, it feels very surreal when witnessing tragedies like this one on board of a luxurious ferry, where most people are busy enjoying their lives and holidays. Most of these tragic encounters go unnoticed and are missed even by keen birders and whale and dolphin enthusiasts armed with expensive gear. 

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