http://www.radiolab.org/story/91705-lucy/ or http://www.radiolab.org/2010/feb/19/
Here is one of the saddest stories I have heard, on RadioLab(.org). I rank this (repeat) episode up there with my sentimental favourites. It is the story of a Chimp named Lucy, who learns to swing with the humans. There is ample evidence that empathy exists among animals, (as if I must keep emphasizing that). Then, her scientific owners decide it is time to take her back into the wild, and leave her there. Everyone should listen to the entire programme, when you can. Part three is about a different primate - a bonobo. Who talks.
This bonobo gets angry over a human argument, and urges another scientist to step in. Or else. This is an amazing story in itself. But it is also interesting to me in that the bonobo displays his understanding of a code of justice, which, unfortunately, calls for 'revenge', a tad on the massive-retaliation side. More than an eye for an eye. Then, after the humans disagree with him, he shows lots of psychological drama. In a very human way, he wants life to go on as usual, after his 'revenge', as if nothing had ever happened.
There was a part where the bonobo was screaming about something, calling the scientists to look. Maybe it was a snake or something, (I didn't hear). This reminded me of something I never got around to posting: Another example of how animals are not only intelligent, but clearly social, and communicative...
I was out with my dog one morning. Everything was normal, until I noticed a bird nearby, acting up, screeching rapidly. Most people might not even notice this, or, if they did, just dismiss it as, "some kind of bird thing." But, I certainly looked up at the bird, who was on a wire to my left, over the front lawn. I understood that this was one of those things wherein, if you wisely participate, something meaningful will follow.
The bird was not at all afraid of my dog, or me. It had obviously learnt to accept us, over time, like the rest of the birds. Indeed, these birds have played "lame", and dodge games w/ my dog and me. Eventually, they learnt not to fear us.
However, this bird on a wire was excited about something, and he was looking right at me, making those little screeches. I immediately realised that he was trying to tell me something, as the universe is wont to do, if you would but listen. He was telling me that something was behind the bushes, over by the Nether porch. Despite the bird's warning, a cat walked out from the bushes. Birds don't like cats, and they want them gone. They want them off their territory. (And, who knows, maybe this bird was even concerned for our safety - although I think not). I think this bird was soliciting our help at chasing the cat away.
That's exactly what we did.* Actually, my dog was unconcerned, pretty much. He was focused on things across the way. So, I had to summon him to come up off the sidewalk, to see that there was now a cat in our yard. (He is a super guard dog, but here is another example of how his stubborn narrow-mindedness failed us again). As soon as my dog saw the cat, he charged at it, and the cat dashed away towards the back yard.
Confirmation that this bird had actually been communicating with me? Well, once I had dutifully performed this task for said bird, the bird quickly swooped down and chased after the cat, as if to say, "Yeah, take that, and don't come back!" In other words, the bird was expecting this to happen, and now flew down to complete the job for me. We had worked as a team. All three of us.
For more animal stories, please see my tags.
* - [It was OK to chase the poor cat away. It was a new cat. This is how it learns to stay away from the yard, or at least be cautious. And that is necessary, because if it keeps popping out of nowhere, stupidly, my dog could make me fall, as he charges at it. I don't need the stress to my CFS, especially in the morning].
If a relative were to read this post, they would gladly add this to their weird proof that I am so-called crazy. Yet, they then go on to encourage their children to learn about the intelligence of birds, and such. Like monkeys, they forever scorn and alienate me, only to imitate me and steal credit when they are huddled together in some social function or holiday. It's disgusting.
I have also known many fundamentalists adamantly opposed to the concept of evolution, or of humans being animals, and yet they go on and act like the stupidest, Darwinistic apes, prisoners of their own dark instincts, ever brandishing their flags of moral superiority and salvation. They are the most ill-fated.
Warning: Chimpanzees have a ruthless, killer streak in them. Baboons are crazy dangerous. Even loving bonobos could bite your hand off. But who kills their own species by the tens and hundreds of millions, millenia after millenia, in never-ending, moral war?
(Note: every time I went to radiolab.org, my computer crashed! So - I was not able to get the picture of the Lucy hug. If you can grab the address for me and comment it here, great! (Maybe it's in one of my earlier posts too... hmm..)