Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Best Ever! (Good News Animal Stories)

"The Bad Four" -- Domestic ducks, Connie, Carol, Conner and Cochise, writing their own stories at Harlem Mere.
The One that Got Away

I am sometimes a harsh critic of media. 

However, once in a while, the media actually does some good.

For example, when the press shows up to film a panicked animal just escaped from a slaughterhouse and giving cops a hard time.

The goat from the ABC news video above was destined for slaughter, but miraculously escaped. Thanks mostly to news coverage, he is now safely at the Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York.

But, a video like this serves as reminder of the fates of millions of animals everyday who are not so fortunate to find miraculous escape from their violent, premature end.

Let us not delude ourselves to thinking the cows, chickens, ducks, pigs, goats and other animals have no sense of their impending doom and go happily to their deaths.  They certainly sense and they don't go willingly.

One was simply lucky to get away -- and find a news camera.

Danville, Virginia, Here I Come!

As noted so many times in this journal, "news coverage" on Canada geese is almost always demeaning, inaccurate and negative. Geese have continually been excoriated in the press and by petty government officials who falsely brand geese as airline terrorists, child attackers, water destroyers and monstrous threats to human health and welfare.

Imagine the utter shock today to find an article and video that was actually positive for the geese!

For several years, I have wondered if there was any place in America where geese are actually welcomed and appreciated?

Apparently, they are appreciated in Danville, Virginia!

Not only are geese respected in this community, but according to one woman's doctor, interactions with the geese are beneficial to human health.

I daresay, this is the most accurate and positive piece on geese (and humans!) seen in a long, long time.

Its enough to make one want to pack bags and grab the next train to Dansville.

Considering New York City's gassing and slaughter of thousands of Canada geese over the past few years, I for one am tired of feeling shame and distress with my city.

It would be really nice to feel proud of being an American once again.

Games Duckies Play

A couple of amusing recent observations at Harlem Mere.

The other night, "Cochise" (the black domestic duck with wing feathers sticking up) stayed too long pecking cracked corn off the ground.  He failed to notice his three flock mates taking to the water and moving to the other side of a half frozen lake.

When finally satiated and looking around, Cochise appeared to be a bit panicked that his companions had taken off without him.

Jeeze, where did they go?

Cochise hopped in the water and began to swim all around quacking loudly.

Meanwhile, Conner, Connie and Carol sat quietly among some marshes on the opposite side of the lake and seemed to take some perverse delight in poor Cochise's frantic search for them.  They refused to move a feather or open their mouths.

Cochise continued his search and calling on the ice, along embankments and in the water for at least 15 minutes.

By this time, I felt really bad for him and wondered why his flock mates didn't call out or give some indication where they were?

Fortunately, as about 60% of the lake was covered in ice, Cochise finally spotted his trickster companions hiding out in the tall weeds.

He quickly swam in their direction loudly quacking! 

"What the hell!!  Why did you guys take off on me like that?  You trying to give me a heart attack or something?  That's not funny!!!"

Granted, I wasn't close enough to take a photo or actually see the others ducks' reactions.

But, I would bet my bottom they were having the laugh of the day on an otherwise, cold and challenging night.

A duck's gotta have some fun, no?   Even at a companion's expense, apparently.

But, all was well in the end and "the bad four" were once again together, though with one temporarily bruised ego.

The Duck Police

During the brief, "spring-like" warm spell early last week, some of the mallards were once again up to their old tricks and "bar room brawls."

Two drake mallards were going head to head with each other, when Connie (one of the two blonde domestic ducks) stormed up to them and pecked each mallard hard in the butt.

"Hey, there is no fighting here!!!  Get your act together! NOW!"

Surprisingly, both drakes appeared to heed the reprimand and took peacefully to the water.

I was quite impressed with Connie's policing and peacemaker skills at the time.

That is, until the other night, when she joined in playing a kind of mean trick on her flock mate, Cochise.

Ah, it is always so much easier to spot the bad behavior in others than ourselves, isn't it?

Apparently, that is as true in the duck world as the human one.   -- PCA


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