Category: Current Events

Dog elected as mayor of small town

Here’s a news story from Rabbit Hash, Kentucky (population 315). Recently, residents of this small town southwest of Cincinnati elected a pitbull named Brynneth as mayor! But Brynneth isn’t the first canine mayor of Rabbit Hash. All of the town’s mayors — from 1998 until today — have been dogs. That’s a little strange, but… Read more »

Animals Go to War

Though Animal Intelligence will generally feature fun and interesting stories about animals and their behavior, not all of them will be quite so positive. Recently for Time magazine, Ishaan Tharoor compiled a list of animals that had been pressed into service for human wars. The Time article was spurred in part by reports that in… Read more »

Elephants in Love

In August, the Guardian Unlimited reported on an elephant love story. It’s a short piece, so I’ll quote it in its entirety: It’s a very traditional love story — just on a bigger scale than usual. A tame female elephant has fled an Indian circus after eloping with a wild bull elephant that broke open… Read more »

The Rhesus Crisis in India

Newsweek has an awesome slideshow profiling the Rhesus monkey infestation in northern India. There are ten photographs with brief captions describing the ways in which these creatures interact with the humans around them. Here’s the full text of the introduction by Rajesh Kumar Singh: The Oct. 20 death of Delhi Deputy Mayor S. Bajwa, who… Read more »

Drunken Elephants Come to Shocking End

I’ve read many reports of animals who love alcohol just as much as humans do. But until now, I never knew that their wild parties could lead to drunken brawls. The West Australian has a story about a herd of elephants that had a little too much beer and then went on a rampage. Here’s… Read more »

Peanut the Parrot, Feathered Smoke Detector

Patrick sent me the story of Peanut the parrot, who saved the life of his family by imitating a smoke detector. Here’s the story from the Associated Press (it’s short, so I’m quoting the entire thing): MUNCIE, Ind. – A noisy parrot that likes to imitate sounds helped save a man and his son from… Read more »

Wayward Bear Gets Stuck on Bridge

My father-in-law forwarded this story of a wayward bear and the people who saved him: The black bear had tried to cross the two-lane California highway on Sept. 15. But…cars approaching in both lanes honked, and the scared bear climbed over the concrete railing. Somehow in his panic, the bear reached the bridge arch, a… Read more »

RIP, Alex the African Grey

There was actually a big animal intelligence three weeks ago, but where was I? Focusing on other projects, I’m afraid. No matter! Let’s catch up now… photo by Mike Lovett Alex, a 31-year-old African grey parrot, died earlier this month of natural causes. Alex was more than just a pretty bird: he could count, recognize… Read more »

Gorilla Massacre

Newsweek recently published a cover story about the recent murder of mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I found the article, written by Scot Johnson, quite moving. Here’s how he describes the discovery of the corpses: The mammoth gorilla lay on her side, a small pink tongue protruding slightly from her lips. She… Read more »

How Much Do Animals Really Know?

My sister-in-law Tiffany came to dinner last night. She brought me an issue if the PARADE Sunday newspaper supplement from July 29th. The front page story is an article by Eugene Linden entitled “How much do animals really know?” This short piece does a fabulous job of summarizing the current state of research into animal… Read more »