Wild Animal Suffering (Republished)

Jackdaw Faulty
Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 9th April 2018, and has now been updated and republished.

Many people have a naive and rosy view of the kind of lives animals are living in the wild. Some people strongly believe, and this includes sometimes wildlife rescuers and rehabbers, conservationists and people who think of themselves as nature or animal lovers, that non-human animals living in the wild live in some kind of paradise. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Animals living in the wild live lives that are far from idyllic, and most of them have to deal with the reality of constant threat of tremendous suffering. Although many people accept the fact that animals experience suffering, the willingness to help, to minimise or eliminate suffering, remains rather an exceptional act of kindness. Also, for reasons remaining mostly unclear, many people assume that wild animals do cope better with suffering than domestic animals or our beloved pets. However, there is no reason or scientific foundation for this assumption.1

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Some Thoughts About Christmas

Rooks Laniakea and Plato
Podcast – Some Thoughts About Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be a special time of kindness, compassion and gratitude. Christmas gives people the opportunity to reaffirm shared values and to strengthen social bonds. It is a time where people share feelings of excitement and are unified in the experience of participating in a ritual together. It makes people feel like they are part of a collective, whether that be with kin or chosen family. And this is, as humans are social beings, one of our fundamental human needs.

Robin Geneviee
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The Problem Of Wing Clipping

Rook

Over the years we have been contacted repeatedly by rescuers and lay people, who were caring for corvids such as magpies, jackdaws and crows, and who observed that their foster birds showed difficulties with flying despite appearing otherwise fit and healthy. Some of these birds demonstrated abnormal flight feathers and showed an unusual or even abnormal behaviour not normally expected in wild birds. A closer assessment of the plumage showed quite quickly that these birds had been wing clipped.

What is feather or wing clipping, and why is this being done?

Magpies
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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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