THE MINDS AND MANNERS OF WILD ANIMALS
A BOOK OF PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS
BY WILLIAM T. HORNADAY, Sc.D., A.M. DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL PARK. AUTHOR OF "THE AMERICAN NATURAL HISTORY," "TWO YEARS IN THE JUNGLE," "CAMP FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES," "OUR VANISHING WILD LIFE," ETC.
The wild animal must think, or die.* * * * *
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY WILLIAM T. HORNADAY
Printed in the United States of America
The right of translation is reserved
Published May, 1922
TO THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL PARK, WHOSE SAFETY DEPENDS UPON THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THE MINDS OF WILD ANIMALS, THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED AS A TOKEN OF APPRECIATION AND REGARD
I. A SURVEY OF THE FIELD
I. THE LAY OF THE LAND II. WILD ANIMAL TEMPERAMENT & INDIVIDUALITY III. THE LANGUAGE OF ANIMALS IV. THE MOST INTELLIGENT ANIMALS V. THE RIGHTS OF WILD ANIMALS
II. MENTAL TRAITS OF WILD ANIMALS
VI. THE BRIGHTEST MINDS AMONG ANIMALS VII. KEEN BIRDS AND DULL MEN VIII. THE MENTAL STATUS OF THE ORANG-UTAN IX. THE MAN-LIKENESS OF THE CHIMPANZEE X. THE TRUE MENTAL STATUS OF THE GORILLA XI. THE MIND OF THE ELEPHANT XII. THE MENTAL AND MORAL TRAITS OF BEARS XIII. MENTAL TRAITS OF A FEW RUMINANTS XIV. MENTAL TRAITS OF A FEW RODENTS XV. THE MENTAL TRAITS OF BIRDS XVI. THE WISDOM OF THE SERPENT XVII. THE TRAINING OF WILD ANIMALS
III. THE HIGHER PASSIONS
XVIII. THE MORALS OF WILD ANIMALS XIX. THE LAWS OF THE FLOCKS AND HERDS XX. PLAYS AND PASTIMES OF WILD ANIMALS XXI. COURAGE IN WILD ANIMALS
IV. THE BASER PASSIONS
XXII. FEAR AS A RULING PASSION XXIII. FIGHTING AMONG WILD ANIMALS XXIV. WILD ANIMAL CRIMINALS AND CRIME XXV. FIGHTING WITH WILD ANIMALS
During these days of ceaseless conflict, anxiety and unrest among men, when at times it begins to look as if "the Caucasian" really is "played out," perhaps the English-reading world will turn with a sigh of relief to the contemplation of wild animals. At all events, the author has found this diversion in his favorite field mentally agreeable and refreshing.
In comparison with some of the alleged men who now are cursing this earth by their baneful presence, the so-called "lower animals" do not seem so very "low" after all! As a friend of the animals, this is a very proper time in which to compare them with men. Furthermore, if thinking men and women desire to know the leading facts concerning the intelligence of wild animals, it will be well to consider them now, before the bravest and the best of the wild creatures of the earth go down and out under the merciless and inexorable steam roller that we call Civilization.
The intelligence and the ways of wild animals are large subjects. Concerning them I do not offer this volume as an all-in-all production. Out of the great mass of interesting things that might have been included, I have endeavored to select and set forth only enough to make a good series of sample exhibits, without involving the general reader in a hopelessly large collection of details. The most serious question has been: What shall be left out?
Mr. A. R. Spofford, first Librarian of Congress, used to declare that "Books are made from books"; but I call the reader to bear witness that this volume is not a mass of quotations. A quoted authority often can be disputed, and for this reason the author has found considerable satisfaction in relying chiefly upon his own testimony.
Because I always desire to know the opinions of men who are writing upon their own observations, I have felt free to express my own conclusions regarding the many phases of animal intelligence as their manifestation has impressed me in close-up observations.
I have purposely avoided all temptations to discuss the minds and manners of domestic animals, partly because that is by itself a large subject, and partly because their minds have been so greatly influenced by long and close association with man. The domestic mammals and birds deserve independent treatment.
A great many stories of occurrences have been written into this volume, for the purpose of giving the reader all the facts in order that he may form his own opinions of the animal mentality displayed.
Most sincerely do I wish that the boys and girls of America, and of the whole world, may be induced to believe that the most interesting thing about a wild animal is its mind and its reasoning, and that a dead animal is only a poor decaying thing. If the feet of the young men would run more to seeing and studying the wild creatures and less to the killing of them, some of the world's valuable species might escape being swept away tomorrow, or the day after.
The author gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to Munsey's Magazine, McClure's Magazine and the Sunday Magazine Syndicate for permission to copy herein various portions of his chapters from those publications.
W. T. H.
The Anchorage, Stamford, Conn. December 19, 1921.
Overpowering Curiosity of a Mountain Sheep Christmas at the Primates' House The Trap-Door Spider's Door and Burrow Hanging Nest of the Baltimore Oriole Great Hanging Nests of the Crested Cacique "Rajah," the Actor Orang-Utan Thumb-Print of an Orang-Utan The Lever That Our Orang-Utan Invented Portrait of a High-Caste Chimpanzee The Gorilla With the Wonderful Mind Tame Elephants Assisting in Tying a Wild Captive Wild Bears Quickly Recognize Protection Alaskan Brown Bear, "Ivan," Begging for Food The Mystery of Death The Steady-Nerved and Courageous Mountain Goat Fortress of an Arizona Pack-Rat Wild Chipmunks Respond to Man's Protection An Opossum Feigning Death Migration of the Golden Plover. (Map) Remarkable Village Nests of the Sociable Weaver Bird Spotted Bower-Bird, at Work on Its Unfinished Bower Hawk-Proof Nest of a Cactus Wren A Peace Conference With an Arizona Rattlesnake Work Elephant Dragging a Hewn Timber The Wrestling Bear, "Christian," and His Partner Adult Bears at Play Primitive Penguins on the Antarctic Continent, Unafraid of Man Richard W. Rock and His Buffalo Murderer "Black Beauty" Murdering "Apache"
THE MINDS AND MANNERS OF WILD ANIMALS
MAN AND THE WILD ANIMALS
If every man devoted to his affairs, and to the affairs of his city and state, the same measure of intelligence and honest industry that every warm-blooded wild animal devotes to its affairs, the people of this world would abound in good health, prosperity, peace and happiness.
To assume that every wild beast and bird is a sacred creature, peacefully dwelling in an earthly paradise, is a mistake. They have their wisdom and their folly, their joys and their sorrows, their trials and tribulations.
As the alleged lord of creation, it is man's duty to know the wild animals truly as they are, in order to enjoy them to the utmost, to utilize them sensibly and fairly, and to give them a square deal.
I. A SURVEY OF THE FIELD
THE LAY OF THE LAND
There is a vast field of fascinating human interest, lying only just outside our doors, which as yet has been but little explored. It is the Field of Animal Intelligence.
Of all the kinds of interest attaching to the study of the world's wild animals, there are none that surpass the study of their minds, their morals, and the acts that they perform as the results of their mental processes.
In these pages, the term "animal" is not used in its most common and most restricted sense. It is intended to apply not only to quadrupeds, but also to all the vertebrate forms,—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes.
For observation and study, the whole vast world of living creatures is ours, throughout all zones and all lands. It is not ours to flout, to abuse, or to exterminate as we please. While for practical reasons we do not here address ourselves to the invertebrates, nor even to the sea-rovers, we can not keep them out of the background of our thoughts. The living world is so vast and so varied, so beautiful and so ugly, so delightful and so terrible, so interesting and so commonplace, that each step we make through it reveals things different and previously unknown.
The Frame of Mind. To the inquirer who enters the field of animal thought with an open mind, and free from the trammels of egotism and fear regarding man's place in nature, this study will prove an endless succession of surprises and delights. In behalf of the utmost tale of results, the inquirer should summon to his aid his rules of evidence, his common sense, his love of fair play, and the inexorable logic of his youthful geometry.
And now let us clear away a few weeds from the entrance to our field, and reveal its cornerstones and boundary lines. To a correct understanding of any subject a correct point of view is absolutely essential.
In a commonplace and desultory way man has been mildly interested in the intelligence of animals for at least 30,000 years. The Cro- Magnons of that far time possessed real artistic talent, and on the smooth stone walls and ceilings of the caves of France they drew many wonderful pictures of mammoths, European bison, wild cattle, rhinoceroses and other animals of their period. Ever since man took unto himself certain tractable wild animals, and made perpetual thralls of the horse, the dog, the cat, the cattle, sheep, goats and swine, he has noted their intelligent ways. Ever since the first caveman began to hunt wild beasts and slay them with clubs and stones, the two warring forces have been interested in each other, but for about 25,000 years I think that the wild beasts knew about as much of man's intelligence as men knew of theirs.
I leave to those who are interested in history the task of revealing the date, or the period, when scholarly men first began to pay serious attention to the animal mind.
In 1895 when Mr. George J. Romanes, of London, published his excellent work on "Animal Intelligence," on one of its first pages he blithely brushed aside as of little account all the observations, articles and papers on his subject that had been published previous to that time. Now mark how swiftly history can repeat itself, and also bring retribution.
In 1910 there arose in the United States of America a group of professional college-and-university animal psychologists who set up the study of "animal behavior." They did this so seriously, and so determinedly, that one of the first acts of two of them consisted in joyously brushing aside as of no account whatever, and quite beneath serious consideration, everything that had been seen, done and said previous to the rise of their group, and the laboratory Problem Box. In view of what this group has accomplished since 1910, with their "problem boxes," their "mazes" and their millions of "trials by error," expressed in solid pages of figures, the world of animal lovers is entitled to smile tolerantly upon the cheerful assumptions of ten years ago.
But let it not at any time be assumed that we are destitute of problem boxes; for the author has two of his own! One is called the Great Outdoors, and the other is named the New York Zoological Park. The first has been in use sixty years, the latter twenty-two years. Both are today in good working order, but the former is not quite as good as new.
A Preachment to the Student. In studying the wild-animal mind, the boundary line between Reality and Dreamland is mighty easy to cross. He who easily yields to seductive reasoning, and the call of the wild imagination, soon will become a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions of things that never occurred. The temptation to place upon the simple acts of animals the most complex and far- fetched interpretations is a trap ever ready for the feet of the unwary. It is better to see nothing than to see a lot of things that are not true.
In the study of animals, we have long insisted that to the open eye and the thinking brain, truth is stranger than fiction. But Truth does not always wear her heart upon her sleeve for zanies to peck at. Unfortunately there are millions of men who go through the world looking at animals, but not seeing them.
Beware of setting up for wild animals impossible mental and moral standards. The student must not deceive himself by overestimating mental values. If an estimate must be made, make it under the mark of truth rather than above it. While avoiding the folly of idealism, we also must shun the ways of the narrow mind, and the eyes that refuse to see the truth. Wild animals are not superhuman demigods of wisdom; but neither are they idiots, unable to reason from cause to effect along the simple lines that vitally affect their existence.
Brain-owning wild animals are not mere machines of flesh and blood, set agoing by the accident of birth, and running for life on the narrow-gauge railway of Heredity. They are not "Machines in Fur and Feathers," as one naturalist once tried to make the world believe them to be. Some animals have more intelligence than some men; and some have far better morals.
What Constitutes Evidence. The best evidence regarding the ways of wild animals is one's own eye-witness testimony. Not all second- hand observations are entirely accurate. Many persons do not know how to observe; and at times some are deceived by their own eyes or ears. It is a sad fact that both those organs are easily deceived. The student who is in doubt regarding the composition of evidence will do well to spend a few days in court listening to the trial of an important and hotly contested case. In collecting real evidence, all is not gold that glitters.
Many a mind misinterprets the thing seen, sometimes innocently, and again wantonly. The nature fakir is always on the alert to see wonderful phenomena in wild life, about which to write; and by preference he places the most strained and marvellous interpretation upon the animal act. Beware of the man who always sees marvellous things in animals, for he is a dangerous guide. There is one man who claims to have seen in his few days in the woods more wonders than all the older American naturalists and sportsmen have seen added together.
Now, Nature does not assemble all her wonderful phenomena and hold them in leash to be turned loose precisely when the great Observer of Wonders spends his day in the woods. Wise men always suspect the man who sees too many marvelous things.
The Relative Value of Witnesses. It is due that a word should be said regarding "expert testimony" in the case of the wild animal. Some dust has been raised in this field by men posing as authorities on wild animal psychology, whose observations of the world's wild animals have been confined to the chipmunks, squirrels, weasels, foxes, rabbits, and birds dwelling within a small circle surrounding some particular woodland house. In another class other men have devoted heavy scientific labors to laboratory observations on white rats, domestic rabbits, cats, dogs, sparrows, turtles and newts as the handpicked exponents of the intelligence of the animals of the world!
Alas! for the human sense of Proportion!
Fancy an ethnologist studying the Eskimo, the Dog-Rib Indian, the Bushman, the Aino and the Papuan, and then proceeding to write conclusively "On the Intelligence of the Human Race."
The proper place in which to study the minds, manners and morals of wild animals is in the most thickly populated haunts of the most intelligent species. The free and untrammeled animal, busily working out its own destiny unhindered by man, is the beau-ideal animal to observe and to study. Go to the plain, the wilderness, the desert and the mountain, not merely to shoot everything on foot, but to SEE animals at home, and there use your eyes and your field-glass. See what normal wild animals do as "behavior," and then try to find out why they do it.
The next best place for study purposes is a spacious, sanitary and well-stocked zoological park, wherein are assembled great collections of the most interesting land vertebrates that can be procured, from all over the earth. There the student can observe many new traits of wild animal character, as they are brought to the surface by captivity. There will some individuals reveal the worst traits of their species. Others will reveal marvels in mentality, and teach lessons such as no man can learn from them in the open. To study temperament, there is no place like a zoo.
Even there, however, the wisest course,—as it seems to me,—is not to introduce too many appliances as aids to mental activity, but rather to see what the animal subject thinks and does by its own initiative. In the testing of memory and the perceptive faculties, training for performances is the best method to pursue.
The reader has a right to know that the author of this volume has enjoyed unparalleled opportunities for the observation and study of highly intelligent wild animals, both in their wild haunts and in a great vivarium; and these combined opportunities have covered a long series of years.
Before proceeding farther, it is desirable to define certain terms that frequently will be used in these pages.
THE ANIMAL BRAIN is the generator of the mind, and the clearing- house of the senses. As a mechanism, the brain of man is the most perfect, and in the descent through the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes, the brain progressively is simplified in form and function.
THOUGHT is the result of the various processes of the brain and nervous system, stimulated by the contributions of the senses.
SANITY is the state of normal, orderly and balanced thought, as formulated by a healthy brain.
INSANITY is a state of mental disease, resulting in disordered, unbalanced and chaotic thought, destitute of reason.
REASON is the manifestation of correct observation and healthful thought which recognizes both cause and effect, and leads from premise to conclusion. INTELLIGENCE is created by the possession of knowledge either inherited or acquired. It may be either latent or active; and it is the forerunner of reason.
INSTINCT is the knowledge or impulse which animals or men derive from their ancestors by inheritance, and which they obey, either consciously or subconsciously in working out their own preservation, increase and betterment. Instinct often functions as a sixth sense.
EDUCATION is the acquirement of knowledge by precept or by observation; but animals as well as men may be self-taught, and become self-educated, by the diligent exercise of the observing and reasoning faculties. The adjustment of a wild animal mind to conditions unknown to its ancestors is through the process of self-education, and by logical reasoning from premise to conclusion.
The wild animal must think, or die.
Animal intelligence varies in quantity and quality as much as animals vary in size. Idiots, maniacs and sleeping persons are the only classes of human beings who are devoid of intelligence and reasoning power. Idiots and maniacs also are often devoid of the common animal instinct that ordinarily promotes self- preservation from fire, water and high places. A heavily sleeping person is often so sodden in slumber that his senses of smell and hearing are temporarily dead; and many a sleeping man has been asphyxiated by gas or smoke, or burned to death, because his deadened senses failed to arouse him at the critical moment. (This dangerous condition of mind can be cured by efforts of the will, exercised prior to sleep, through a determination resolutely to arouse and investigate every unusual sensation that registers "danger" on any one of the senses.) The normal individual sleeps with a subconscious and sensitive mind, from which thought and reason have not been entirely eliminated.
Every act of a man or animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, is based upon either reason or hereditary instinct. It is a mistake to assume that because an organism is small it necessarily has no "mind," and none of the propelling impulse that we call thought. The largest whale may have less intelligence and constructive reasoning than a trap-door spider, a bee or an ant. To deny this is to deny the evidence of one's senses.
A MEASURE FOR ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE. The intelligence of an animal may be estimated by taking into account, separately, its mental qualities, about as follows:
1. General knowledge of surrounding conditions. 2. Powers of independent observation and reasoning. 3. Memory. 4. Comprehension under tuition. 5. Accuracy in the execution of man's orders.
Closely allied to these are the moral qualities which go to make up an animal's temperament and disposition, about as follows:
1. Amiability, which guarantees security to its associates. 2. Patience, or submission to discipline and training. 3. Courage, which gives self-confidence and steadiness. 4. A disposition to obedience, with cheerfulness.
All normal vertebrate animals exercise their intelligence in accordance with their own rules of logic. Had they not been able to do so, it is reasonable to suppose that they could never have developed into vertebrates, reaching even up to man himself.
According to the laws of logic, this proposition is no more open to doubt or dispute than is the existence of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. But few persons have seen the Canyon, and far fewer ever have proven its existence by descending to its bottom; but none the less Reason admonishes all of us that the great chasm exists, and is not a debatable question.
To men and women who really know the vertebrate animals by contact with some of them upon their own levels, the reasoning power of the latter is not a debatable question. The only real question is: how far does their intelligence carry them? It is with puzzled surprise that we have noted the curious diligence of the professors of animal psychology in always writing of "animal behavior," and never of old-fashioned, common-sense animal intelligence. Can it be possible that any one of them really refuses to concede to the wild animal the possession of a mind, and a working intelligence?
Yes. Animals do reason. If any one truth has come out of all the critical or uncritical study of the animal mind that has been going on for two centuries, it is this. Animals do reason; they always have reasoned, and as long as animals live they never will cease to reason.
The higher wild animals possess and display the same fundamental passions and emotions that animate the human race. This fact is subject to intelligent analysis, discussion and development, but it is not by any means a "question" subject to debate. In the most intellectual of the quadrupeds, birds and reptiles, the display of fear, courage, love, hate, pleasure, displeasure, confidence, suspicion, jealousy, pity, greed and generosity are so plainly evident that even children can and do recognize them. To the serious and open-minded student who devotes prolonged thought to these things, they bring the wild animal very near to the "lord of creation."
To the question, "Have wild animals souls?" we reply, "That is a debatable question. Read; then think it over."
METHODS WITH THE ANIMAL MIND. In the study of animal minds, much depends upon the method employed. It seems to me that the problem- box method of the investigators of "animal behavior" leaves much to be desired. Certainly it is not calculated to develop the mental status of animals along lines of natural mental progression. To place a wild creature in a great artificial contrivance, fitted with doors, cords, levers, passages and what not, is enough to daze or frighten any timid animal out of its normal state of mind and nerves. To put a wild sapajou monkey,— weak, timid and afraid,—in a strange and formidable prison box filled with strange machinery, and call upon it to learn or to invent strange mechanical processes, is like bringing a boy of ten years up to a four-cylinder duplex Hoe printing-and-folding press, and saying to him: "Now, go ahead and find out how to run this machine, and print both sides of a signature upon it."
The average boy would shrink from the mechanical monster, and have no stomach whatever for "trial by error."
I think that the principle of determining the mind of a wild animal along the lines of the professor is not the best way. It should be developed along the natural lines of the wild-animal mind. It should be stimulated to do what it feels most inclined to do, and educated to achieve real mental progress.
I think that the ideal way to study the minds of apes, baboons and monkeys would be to choose a good location in a tropical or sub- tropical climate that is neither too wet nor too dry, enclose an area of five acres with an unclimbable fence, and divide it into as many corrals as there are species to be experimented upon. Each corral would need a shelter house and indoor playroom. The stage properties should be varied and abundant, and designed to stimulate curiosity as well as activity.
Somewhere in the program I would try to teach orang-utans and chimpanzees the properties of fire, and how to make and tend fires. I would try to teach them the seed-planting idea, and the meaning of seedtime and harvest. I would teach sanitation and cleanliness of habit,—a thing much more easily done than most persons suppose. I would teach my apes to wash dishes and to cook, and I am sure that some of them would do no worse than some human members of the profession who now receive $50 per month, or more, for spoiling food.
In one corral I would mix up a chimpanzee, an orang-utan, a golden baboon and a good-tempered rhesus monkey. My apes would begin at two years old, because after seven or eight years of age all apes are difficult, or even impossible, as subjects for peaceful experimentation.
I would try to teach a chimpanzee the difference between a noise and music, between heat and cold, between good food and bad food. Any trainer can teach an animal the difference between the blessings of peace and the horrors of war, or in other words, obedience and good temper versus cussedness and punishment.
Dr. Yerkes' laboratory in Montecito, California, and his experiments there with an orang-utan and other primates, were in a good place, and made a good beginning. It is very much to be hoped that means will be provided by which his work can be prosecuted indefinitely, and under the most perfect conditions that money can provide.
I hope that I will live long enough to see Dr. Yerkes develop the mind of a young grizzly bear in a four-acre lot, to the utmost limits of that keen and sagacious personality.
WILD ANIMAL TEMPERAMENT AND INDIVIDUALITY
In man and in vertebrate animals generally, temperament is the foundation of intelligence and progress. Fifty years ago Fowler and Wells, the founders of the science of phrenology and physiognomy, very wisely differentiated and defined four "temperaments" of mankind. The six types now recognized by me are the morose, lymphatic, sanguine, nervous, hysterical and combative; and their names adequately describe them.
This classification applies to the higher wild animals, quite as truly as to men. By the manager of wild animals in captivity, wild-animal temperament universally is recognized and treated as a factor of great practical importance. Mistakes in judging the temper of dangerous animals easily lead to tragedies and sudden death.
Fundamentally the temperament of a man or an animal is an inheritance from ancestors near or remote. In the human species a morose or hysterical temperament may possibly be corrected or improved, by education and effort. With animals this is rarely possible. The morose gorilla gives way to cheerfulness only when it is placed in ideally pleasant and stimulating social conditions. This, however, very seldom is possible. The nervous deer, bear or monkey is usually nervous to the end of its days.
The morose and hysterical temperaments operate against mental development, progress and happiness. In the human species among individuals of equal mental calibre, the sanguine individual is due to rise higher and go farther than his nervous or lymphatic rivals. A characteristic temperament may embrace the majority of a whole species, or be limited to a few individuals. Many species are permanently characterized by the temperament common to the majority of their individual members. Thus, among the great apes the gorilla species is either morose or lymphatic; and it is manifested by persistent inactivity and sullenness. This leads to loss of appetite, indigestion, inactivity and early death. Major Penny's "John Gorilla" was a notable exception, as will appear in Chapter IX.
The orang-utan is sanguine, optimistic and cheerful, a good boarder, affectionate toward his keepers, and friendly toward strangers. He eats well, enjoys life, lives long, and is well liked by everybody.
Except when quite young, the chimpanzee is either nervous or hysterical. After six years of age it is irritable and difficult to manage. After seven years of age (puberty) it is rough, domineering and dangerous. The male is given to shouting, yelling, shrieking and roaring, and when quite angry rages like a demon. I know of no wild animal that is more dangerous per pound than a male chimpanzee over eight years of age. When young they do wonders in trained performances, but when they reach maturity, grow big of arm and shoulder, and masterfully strong, they quickly become conscious of their strength. It is then that performing chimpanzees become unruly, fly into sudden fits of temper, their back hair bristles up, they stamp violently, and sometimes leap into a terrorized orchestra. Next in order, they are retired willy-nilly from the stage, and are offered for sale to zoological parks and gardens having facilities for confinement and control.
The baboons are characteristically fierce and aggressive, and in a wild state they live in troops, or even in herds of hundreds. Being armed with powerful canine teeth and wolf-like jaws, they are formidable antagonists, and other animals do not dare to attack them. It is because of their natural weapons, their readiness to fight like fiends, and their combined agility and strength that the baboons have been able to live on the ground and survive and flourish in lands literally reeking with lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. The awful canine teeth of an old male baboon are quite as dangerous as those of any leopard, and even the leopard's onslaught is less to be feared than the wild rage of an adult baboon. In the Transvaal and Rhodesia, it is a common occurrence for an ambitious dog to go after a troop of baboons and never return.
Temperamentally the commoner groups of monkeys are thus characterized:
The rhesus monkeys of India are nervous, irritable and dangerous.
The green monkeys of Africa are sanguine, but savage and treacherous.
The langur monkeys of India are sanguine and peace-loving.
The macaques of the Far East vary from the sanguine temperament to the combative.
The gibbons vary from sanguine to combative.
The lemurs of Madagascar are sanguine, affectionate and peaceful.
Nearly all South American monkeys are sanguine, and peace-loving, and many are affectionate.
The species of the group of Carnivora are too numerous and too diversified to be treated with any approach to completeness. However, to illustrate this subject the leading species will be noticed.
TEMPERAMENTS OF THE LARGE CARNIVORES
The lion is sanguine, courageous, confident, reposeful and very reliable.
The tiger is nervous, suspicious, treacherous and uncertain.
The black and common leopards are nervous and combative, irreconcilable and dangerous.
The snow leopard is sanguine, optimistic and peace-loving. The puma is sanguine, good natured, quiet and peaceful.
The wolves are sanguine, crafty, dangerous and cruel.
The foxes are hysterical, timid and full of senseless fear.
The lynxes are sanguine, philosophic, and peaceful.
The mustelines are either nervous or hysterical, courageous, savage, and even murderous.
The bears are so very interesting that it is well worth while to consider the leading species separately. Possibly our conclusions will reveal some unsuspected conditions.
BEAR TEMPERAMENTS, BY SPECIES. The polar bears are sanguine, but in captivity they are courageous, treacherous and dangerous.
The Alaskan brown bears in captivity are sanguine, courageous, peaceful and reliable, but in the wilds they are aggressive and dangerous.
The grizzlies are nervous, keen, cautious, and seldom wantonly aggressive.
The European brown bears are sanguine, optimistic and good- natured.
The American black bears are sanguine and quiet, but very treacherous.
The sloth bears of India are nervous or hysterical, and uncertain.
The Malay sun bears are hysterical, aggressive and evil-tempered.
The Japanese black bears are nervous, cowardly and aggressive.
To those who form and maintain large collections of bears, involving much companionship in dens, it is necessary to keep a watchful eye on the temperament chart.
THE DEER. In our Zoological Park establishment there is no collection in which both the collective and the individual equation is more troublesome than the deer family. In their management, as with apes, monkeys and bears, it is necessary to take into account the temperament not only of the species, but also of each animal; and there are times when this necessity bears hard upon human nerves. The proneness of captive deer to maim and to kill themselves and each other calls for the utmost vigilance, and for heroic endurance on the part of the deer keeper.
Even when a deer species has a fairly good record for common sense, an individual may "go crazy" the instant a slightly new situation arises. We have seen barasingha deer penned up between shock-absorbing bales of hay seriously try to jump straight up through a roof skylight nine feet from the floor. We have seen park-bred axis deer break their own necks against wire fences, with 100 per cent of stupidity.
CHARACTERS OF DEER SPECIES
The white-tailed deer is sanguine, but in the fall the bucks are very aggressive and dangerous, and to be carefully avoided. The mule deer is sanguine, reasonable and not particularly dangerous.
The elk is steady of nerve, and sanguine in temperament, but in the rutting season the herd-masters are dangerous.
The fallow deer species has been toned down by a hundred generations of park life, and it is very quiet, save when it is to be captured and crated.
The axis deer is nervous, flighty, and difficult to handle.
The barasingha deer is hysterical and unaccountable.
The Indian and Malay sambar deer are lymphatic, confident, tractable and easily handled.
Never keep a deer as a "pet" any longer than is necessary to place it in a good home. All "pet deer" are dangerous, and should be confined all the time. Never go into the range or corral of a deer herd unless accompanied by the deer-keeper; and in the rutting season do not go in at all.
The only thoroughly safe deer is a dead one; for even does can do mischief. A SAMPLE OF NERVOUS TEMPERAMENT. As an example of temperament in small carnivores, we will cite the coati mundi of South America. It is one of the most nervous and restless animals we know. An individual of sanguine temperament rarely is seen. Out of about forty specimens with which we have been well acquainted, I do not recall one that was as quiet and phlegmatic as the raccoon, the nearest relative of Nasua. With a disposition so restless and enterprising, and with such vigor of body and mind, I count it strange that the genus Nasua has not spread all over our south-eastern states, where it is surely fitted to exist in a state of nature even more successfully than the raccoon or opossum.
The temper of the coati mundi is essentially quarrelsome and aggressive. While young, they are reasonably peaceful, but when they reach adult age, they become aggressive, and quarrels are frequent. Separations then are very necessary, and it is rare indeed that more than two adult individuals can be caged together. Even when two only are kept together, quarrels and shrill squealings are frequent. But they seldom hurt each other. The coati is not a treacherous animal, it is not given to lying in wait to make a covert attack from ambush, and being almost constantly on the move, it is a good show animal.
THE STRANGE COMBATIVE TEMPERAMENT OF THE GUANACO. In appearance the guanaco is the personification of gentleness. Its placid countenance indicates no guile, nor means of offense. Its lustrous gazelle-like eyes, and its soft, woolly fleece suggest softness of disposition. But in reality no animal is more deceptive. In a wild state amongst its own kind, or in captivity,—no matter how considerately treated,—it is a quarrelsome and at times intractable animal. "A pair of wild guanacos can often be seen or heard engaged in desperate combat, biting and tearing, and rolling over one another on the ground, uttering their gurgling, bubbling cries of rage. Of a pair so engaged, I shot one whose tail had then been bitten off in the encounter. In confinement, the guanaco charges one with his chest, or rears up on his hind legs to strike one with his fore-feet, besides biting and spitting up the contents of the stomach."—Richard Crawshay in "The Birds of Terra del Fuego."
MENTAL TRAITS AND TEMPER OF THE ATLANTIC WALRUS
Mr. Langdon Gibson, of Schenectady, kindly wrote out for me the following highly interesting observations on a remarkable arctic animal with which we are but slightly acquainted:
"In the summer of 1891, as a member of the first Peary Expedition I had an opportunity of observing some of the traits of the Atlantic walrus. I found him to be a real animal, of huge size, with an extremely disagreeable temper and most belligerently inclined. We hunted them in open whale-boats under the shadows of Greenland's mountain-bound coast, in the Whale Sound region, Lat. 77 degrees North.
"We hunted among animals never before molested, except by the Eskimo who (so far as I was able to ascertain) hunt them only during the winter season on the sea ice. We found animals whose courage and belief in themselves and their prowess had hitherto been unshaken by contact with the white man and his ingenious devices of slaughter.
"The walrus has a steady nerve and a thoroughly convincing roar. They have fought their kind and the elements for centuries and centuries, and know no fear. This, then, was the animal we sought in order to secure food for our dog teams. I can conceive of no form of big game hunting so conducive to great mental excitement and physical activity as walrus hunting from an open whale-boat. At the completion of such a hunt I have seen Eskimo so excited and worked up that they were taken violently sick with vomiting and headache.
"The walrus is a gregarious animal, confederating in herds numbering from ten to fifty, and in some instances no doubt larger numbers may be found together. On calm days they rest in unmolested peace on pans of broken ice which drift up and down the waters of Whale Sound. It is unfortunate that no soundings were taken in the region where the walrus were found, as a knowledge of the depth of water would have furnished some information as to the distances to which the animal will dive in search of food.
"The stomachs of all half- and full-grown walrus taken in Whale Sound were without exception well filled with freshly opened clams, with very few fragments of shells in evidence; the removal of the clam from the shell being as neatly accomplished as though done by an expert oysterman.
"In most cases these segregated herds of walrus were in charge of a large bull who generally occupied a central position in the mass of animals. Upon approaching such a herd for the first time, and when within about 200 feet, a large bull would lift his head, sniff audibly in our direction and give a loud grunt which apparently struck a responsive chord in the other sleeping animals. They would grunt in unison, in more subdued tones, after which the old walrus would drop his head to resume his interrupted nap. Their contempt for us was somewhat disconcerting.
"At the first crack of a rifle, however, the animals immediately aroused, and then during the fusillade which followed there occurred what might be called an orderly scramble for the water. In the first place the young ones were hustled to the edge of the ice-pan, and there, apparently under the protection of the mother's flipper, pushed into the water, immediately followed by the mother. The young bulls followed, and I recall no exceptions where the last animal into the water was not the big bull, who before diving would give our boat a wicked look and a roar of rage.
"The animals would immediately dive, and then we first became aware of a remarkable phenomenon. We found that when excited they would continue their roaring under water, and these strange sounds coming to us from below added considerably to the excitement of the chase. Although the cows and young animals would generally swim to places of safety, the other full grown animals would hover beneath our boat and from time to time come to the surface and charge. These charges were in all cases repulsed by the discharge of our rifles in the faces of the animals. The balls, however, from our .45 calibre carbines would flatten out under the skin on the massive bony structure of the animal's skull, and cause only a sort of rage and a sneeze, but it however had the effect of making them dive again. It is my belief that when enraged the walrus if not resisted would attack and attempt to destroy a boat. Icquah, one of our native hunters, showed me in the deck of his kyak two mended punctures which he told me were made by the tusks of a walrus that had made an unprovoked attack upon him.
"On more than one occasion I have seen two strong uninjured animals come to the assistance of a wounded companion, and swim away with it to a position of safety, the injured animal being supported on both sides, giving the appearance of three animals swimming abreast. The first time I witnessed this I did not comprehend its real meaning, but on another occasion in McCormick Bay I saw a wounded animal leaving a trail of blood and oil, supported on either side by two uninjured ones. They were making a hasty retreat and would occasionally dive together, but would quickly return to the surface.
"We found the most effective exposed spot to place a bullet was at the base of the animal's skull. A walrus instantly killed this way generally sinks, leaving a trail of blood and oil to mark the place of his descent. When hunting these animals it is well to have an Eskimo along with harpoon and line in readiness to make fast; otherwise one is apt to lose his quarry.
"In the early winter we usually found the walrus in smaller groups up in the bays. This was after the ice had begun to make, and in coming to the surface to breathe the animals found it necessary to butt their noses against the ice to break it. I have seen this done in ice at least four inches in thickness. In some instances I have seen a fractured star in the ice, a record of an unsuccessful attempt to make a breathing hole." Around these breathing holes we frequently found fragments of clam-shells, sections of crinoids and sea-anemones. It is evident that after raking the bottom with his tusks and filling his mouth with food, the walrus separates the food he desires to retain and rejects on his way up and at the surface such articles as he has picked up in haste and does not want.
"From the fact that the walrus is easily approached it is a simple matter to kill him with the modern high power rule. It is therefore to be hoped that future expeditions into the arctic seas will kill sparingly of these tremendous brutes which from point of size stand in the foremost rank among mammals."
The Elephant, Rhinoceros and Hippopotamus. Individual Elephants vary in temperament far more than do rhinoceroses or hippopotami, and the variations are wide. In a wild state, elephants are quiet and undemonstrative, almost to the point of dullness. They do not domineer, or hector, or quarrel, save when a rogue develops in the ranks, and sets out to make things interesting by the commission of lawless acts. A professional rogue is about everything that an orthodox elephant should not be, and he soon makes of himself so great a nuisance that he is driven out of the herd.
The temperament of the standardized and normal elephant is distinctly sanguine, but a nervous or hysterical individual is easily developed by bad conditions or abuse. Adult male elephants are subject to various degrees of what we may as well call sexual insanity, which is dangerous in direct proportion to its intensity. This causes many a "bad" show elephant to be presented to a zoological garden, where the dangers of this mental condition can at least be reduced to their lowest terms. Our Indian elephant who was known as Gunda was afflicted with sexual insanity, and he gradually grew worse, and increasingly dangerous to his keepers, until finally it was necessary to end his troubles painlessly with a bullet through his brain.
The Rhinoceros is a sanguine animal, of rather dull vision and slow understanding. In captivity it gives little trouble, and lives long. Adults individually often become pettish, or peevish, and threaten to prod their keepers without cause, but I have never known a keeper to take those lapses seriously. The average rhino is by no means a dull or a stupid animal, and they have quite enough life to make themselves interesting to visitors. In British East Africa a black rhinoceros often trots briskly toward a caravan, and seems to be charging, when in reality it is only desiring a "close-up" to satisfy its legitimate curiosity.
Every Hippopotamus, either Nile or pygmy, is an animal of serene mind and steady habits. Their appetites work with clock- like regularity, and require no winding. I can not recall that any one of our five hippos was ever sick for a day, or missed a meal. When the idiosyncrasies of Gunda, our bad elephant, were at their worst, the contemplation of Peter the Great ponderously and serenely chewing his hay was a rest to tired nerves. Keeper Thuman treats the four pygmy hippos like so many pet pigs,—save the solitary adult male, who sets himself up to be peevish. The breeding female is a wise and good mother, with much more maternal instinct than our chimpanzee "Suzette."
It may be set down as an absolute rule that hippos are lymphatic, easy-going, contented, and easy to take care of provided they are kept scrupulously clean, and are fed as they should be fed. They live long, breed persistently, give no trouble and have high exhibition value.
Giraffe individuals vary exceedingly,—beyond all other hoofed animals. Each one has its own headful of notions, and rarely will two be found quite alike in temperament and views of life. Some are sanguine and sensible, others are nervous, crotchety, and full of senseless fears. Those who are responsible for them in captivity are constantly harassed by fears that they will stampede in their stalls or yards, and break their own necks and legs in most unexpected ways. They require greater vigilance than any other hoofed animals we know. Sometimes a giraffe will develop foolishness to such a degree as to be unwilling to go out of its own huge door, into a shady and comfortable yard.
THE LANGUAGE OF WILD ANIMALS
Language is the means by which men and animals express their thoughts. Of language there are four kinds: vocal, pictured, written and sign language.
Any vocal sound uttered for the purpose of conveying thought, or influencing thought or action, is to be classed as vocal language. Among the mammals below man, speech is totally absent; but parrots, macaws, cockatoos and crows have been taught to imitate the sound of man's words, or certain simple kinds of music.
The primitive races of mankind first employed the sign language, and spoken words. After that comes picture language, and lastly the language of written words. Among the Indians and frontiersmen of the western United States and Canada, the sign language has reached what in all probability is its highest development, and its vocabulary is really wonderful.
The higher wild animals express their thoughts and feelings usually by sign language, and rarely by vocal sounds. Their power of expression varies species by species, or tribe by tribe, quite as it does among the races and tribes of men. It is our belief that there are today several living races of men whose vocabularies are limited to about 300 words.
Very many species of animals appear to be voiceless; but it is hazardous to attempt to specify the species. Sometimes under stress of new emergencies, or great pain, animals that have been considered voiceless suddenly give tongue. That hundreds of species of mammals and birds use their voices in promoting movements for their safety, there is no room to doubt. The only question is of the methods and the extent of voice used. Birds and men give expression to their pleasure or joy by singing.
In the jungle and the heavily wooded wilderness, one hears really little of vocal wild-animal language. Through countless generations the noisiest animals have been the first ones to be sought out and killed by their enemies, and only the more silent species have survived. All the higher animals, as we call the higher vertebrates, have the ability to exchange thoughts and convey ideas; and that is language.
At the threshold of this subject we are met by two interesting facts. Excepting the song-birds, the wild creatures of today have learned through instinct and accumulated experience that silence promotes peace and long life. The bull moose who bawls through a mile of forest, and the bull elk who bugles not wisely but too well, soon find their heads hanging in some sportsman's dining- room, while the silent Virginia deer, like the brook, goes on forever.
Association with man through countless generations has taught domestic animals not only the fact of their safety when giving voice, but also that very often there is great virtue in a vigorous outcry. With an insistent staccato neigh, the hungry horse jars the dull brain of its laggard master, and prompts him to "feed and water the stock." But how different is the cry of a lost horse, which calls for rescue. It cannot be imitated in printed words; but every plainsman knows the shrill and prolonged trumpet-call of distress that can be heard a mile or more, understandingly.
And think of the vocabulary of the domestic chicken! Years of life in fancied security have developed a highly useful vocabulary of language calls and cries. The most important, and the best known, are the following:
"Beware the hawk!"—"Coor! Coor!" "Murder! Help!"—"Kee- owk! Kee-owk! Kee-owk!" "Come on"—"Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!" "Food here! Food!"—"Cook-cook-cook-cook!" Announcement, or alarm—"Cut-cut-cut-dah-cut!" But does the wild jungle-fowl, the ancestor of our domestic chicken, indulge in all those noisy expressions of thought and feeling? By no means. I have lived for months in jungles where my hut was surrounded by jungle-fowl, and shot many of them for my table; but the only vocal sound I ever heard from their small throats was the absurdly shrill bantam-like crow of the cock. And even that led to several fatalities in the ranks of Gallus stanleyi.
Domestic cattle, swine and fowls have each a language of their own, and as far as they go they are almost as clear-cut and understandable as the talk of human beings. Just how much more is behind the veil that limits our understanding we cannot say; but no doubt there is a great deal.
But it is with the language of wild animals that we are most concerned. As already pointed out, wild creatures, other than song-birds, do not care to say much, because of the danger of attracting enemies that will exterminate them. Herein lies the extreme difficulty of ascertaining how wild beasts communicate. In the Animallai Hills of southern India I hunted constantly for many weeks through forests actually teeming with big game. There were herds upon herds of elephants, gaur, axis deer, sambar deer, monkeys by the hundred, and a good sprinkling of bears, wild hogs and tigers.
We saw hundreds upon hundreds of animals; but with the exception of the big black monkeys that used to swear at us, I can almost count upon my fingers the whole number of times that we heard animals raise their voices to communicate with each other.
Ape Voices. Naturally it is of interest to know something of the voices of the animals that physically and mentally stand nearest to man.
The wild gorilla has a voice almost equal to that of the chimpanzee, but in captivity he rarely utters any vocal sound other than a shriek, or scream.
The baby orang-utan either whines or shrieks like a human child. The half-grown or adult orang when profoundly excited bellows or roars, in a deep bass voice. Usually, however, it is a persistently silent animal.
The chimpanzee has a voice, and vociferously expresses its emotions.
First and most often is the plaintive, coaxing note, "Who'-oo! who'-oo! who'-oo!"
Then comes the angry and threatening, "Wah', wah', wah-! Wah'-hool Wah'-hool"
Lastly we hear the fearful, high-pitched yell or shriek, "Ah-h-h- h!" or "E-e-e-e."
The shriek, or scream, can be heard half a mile, and at close range it is literally ear-splitting. Usually it is accompanied by violent stamping or pounding with the feet upon the floor. It may signify rage, or nothing more than the joy of living, and of having a place in which to yell. It is this cry that is uncannily human-like in sound, and when heard for the first time it seems to register anguish.
In its Bornean jungle home, the orang-utan is nearly as silent as the grave. Never save once did I hear one utter a vocal sound. That was a deep bass roar emitted by an old male that I disturbed while he was sleeping on the comfortable nest of green branches that he had built for himself.
Concerning the chimpanzee, the late Mr. Richard L. Garner testified as follows:
"Not only does the chimpanzee often break the silence of the forest when all other voices are hushed, but he frequently answers the sounds of other animals, as if in mockery or defiance. ... Although diurnal in habit, the chimpanzees often make the night reverberate with the sounds of their terrific screaming, which I have known them to continue at times for more than an hour, with scarcely a moment's pause,—not one voice but many, and within the area of a square mile or so I have distinguished as many as seven alternating adult male voices.
"The gorilla is more silent and stoical than the chimpanzee, but he is far from being mute. He appears to be devoid of all risibility, but he is often very noisy. Although diurnal in habit, he talks less frequently during the day than at night, but his silence is a natural consequence of his stealth and cunning. There are times, however, when he ignores all danger of betraying his whereabouts or his movements, and gives vent to a deluge of speech. At night his screams and shouts are terrific."
The gibbons (including the siamang) have tremendous voices, with numerous variations, and they love to use them. My acquaintance with them began in Borneo, in the dense and dark coastal forest that there forms their home. I remember their cries as vividly as if I had heard them again this morning. While feeding, or quietly enjoying the morning sun, the gray gibbon (Hylobates concolor) emits in leisurely succession a low staccato, whistle-like cry, like "Hoot! Hoot! Hoot!" which one can easily counterfeit by whistling. This is varied by another whistle cry of three notes, thus: "Who-ee-hoo! Who-ee-hoo!" also to be duplicated by whistling. In hunting for specimens of that gibbon, for American museums, I could rarely locate a troop save by the tree- top talk of its members.
But all this was only childish prattle in comparison with the daily performances of the big white-handed, and the black hoolock gibbons, now and for several years past residing in our Primate House. Every morning, and perhaps a dozen times during the day, those three gibbons go on a vocal rampage and utter prolonged and ear-splitting cries and shrieks that make the welkin ring. The shrieking chorus is usually prolonged until it becomes tiresome to the monkeys. In all our ape and monkey experience we never have known its equal save in the vocal performances of Boma, our big adult male chimpanzee, the husband of Suzette.
A baboon emits occasionally, and without any warning, a fearful explosive bark, or roar, that to visitors is as startling as the report of a gun. The commonest expressions are "Wah!" and "Wah'-hoo!", and the visitor who can hear it close at hand without jumping has good nerves.
The big and solemn long-nosed monkey of Borneo (Nasalis larvatus) utters in his native tree-top (overhanging water), a cry like the resonant "honk" of a saxophone. He says plainly, "Kee honk," and all that I could make of its meaning was that it is used as the equivalent of "All's well."
Of all the monkeys that I have ever known, either wild or in captivity, the red howlers of the Orinoco, in Venezuela, have the most remarkable voices, and make the most remarkable use of them. The hyoid cartilage is expanded,—for Nature's own particular reasons,—into a wonderful sound-box, as big as an English walnut, which gives to the adult voice a depth of pitch and a booming resonance that is impossible to describe. The note produced is a prolonged bass roar, in alternately rising and falling cadence, and in reality comprising about three notes. It is the habit of troops of red howlers to indulge in nocturnal concerts, wherein four, five or six old males will pipe up and begin to howl in unison. The great volume of uncanny sound thus produced goes rolling through the still forest, far and wide; and to the white explorer who lies in his grass hammock in pitchy darkness, fighting off the mosquitoes and loneliness, and wondering from whence tomorrow's meals will come, the moral effect is gruesome and depressing.
In captivity the youthful howler habitually growls and grumbles in a way that is highly amusing, and the absurd pitch of the deep bass voice issuing from so small an animal is cause for wonder.
It is natural that we should look closely to the apes and monkeys for language, both by voice and sign. In 1891 there was a flood of talk on "the speech of monkeys," and it was not until about 1904 that the torrent stopped. At first the knowledge that monkeys can and do communicate to a limited extent by vocal sounds was hailed as a "discovery"; but unfortunately for science, nothing has been proved beyond the long-known fact that primates of a given species understand the meaning of the few sounds and cries to which their kind give utterance.
Thus far I have never succeeded in teaching a chimpanzee or orangutan to say even as much as "Oh" or "Ah." Nothing seems to be further from the mind of an orang than the idea of a new vocal utterance as a means to an end.
Our Polly was the most affectionate and demonstrative chimpanzee that I have ever seen, and her reaction to my voice was the best that I have found in our many apes. She knew me well, and when I greeted her in her own language, usually she answered me promptly and vociferously. Often when she had been busy with her physical- culture exercises and Delsartean movements on the horizontal bars or the trapeze in the centre of her big cage, I tested her by quietly joining the crowd of visitors in the centre of the room before her cage, and saying to her: "Polly! Wah! Wah! Wah!"
Nearly every time she would stop short, give instant attention and joyously respond "Wah! Wah! Wah!", repeating the cry a dozen times while she clambered down to the lower front bars to reach me with her hands. When particularly excited she would cry "Who-oo! Who-oo! Who-oo!" with great clearness and vehemence, the two syllables pitched four notes apart. This cry was uttered as a joyous greeting, and also at feeding-time, in expectation of food; but, simple as the task seems to be, I really do not know how to translate its meaning into English. In one case it appears to mean "How do you do?" and in the other it seems to stand for "Hurry up!"
Polly screamed when angry or grieved, just like a naughty child; and her face assumed the extreme of screaming-child expression. She whined plaintively when coaxing, or when only slightly grieved. With these four manifestations her vocal powers seemed to stop short. Many times I opened her mouth widely with my fingers, and tried to surprise her into saying "Ah," but with no result. It seems almost impossible to stamp the vocal-sound idea upon the mind of an orang-utan or chimpanzee. Polly uttered two distinct and clearly cut syllables, and it really seemed as if her vocal organs could have done more if called upon.
The cries of the monkeys, baboons and lemurs are practically nothing more than squeals, shrieks or roars. The baboons (several species, at least) bark or roar most explosively, using the syllable "Wah!" It is only by the most liberal interpretation of terms that such cries can be called language. The majority express only two emotions—dissatisfaction and expectation. Every primate calls for help in the same way that human beings do, by shrill screaming; but none of them ever cry "Oh" or "Ah."
The only members of the monkey tribe who ever spoke to me in their native forests were the big black langurs of the Animallai Hills in Southern India. They used to glare down at us, and curse us horribly whenever we met. Had we been big pythons instead of men they could not have said "Confound you!" any more plainly or more vehemently than they did.
In those museum-making days our motto was "All's fish that cometh to net"; and we killed monkeys for their skins and skeletons the same as other animals. My brown-skinned Mulcer hunters said that the bandarlog hated me because of my white skin. At all events, as we stalked silently through those forests, half a dozen times a day we would hear an awful explosion overhead, startling to men who were still-hunting big game, and from the middle zone of the tree-tops black and angry faces would peer down at us. They said: "Wah! Wah! Wah! Ah-^oo-oo-Aoo-oo-^oo-oo!" and it was nothing else than cursing and blackguarding. How those monkeys did hate us! I never have encountered elsewhere anything like it in monkey-land. la 1902 there was a startling exhibition of monkey language at our Primate House. That was before the completion of the Lion House. We had to find temporary outdoor quarters for the big jaguar, "Senor Lopez"; and there being nothing else available, we decided to place him, for a few days only, in the big circular cage at the north end of the range of outside cages. It was May, and the baboons, red-faced monkeys, rhesus, green and many other of the monkeys were in their outside quarters.
I was not present when Lopez was turned into the big: cage; but I heard it. Down through the woods to the polar bears' den, a good quarter of a mile, came a most awful uproar, made by many voices. The bulk of it was a medley of raucous yells and screeches, above which it was easy to distinguish the fierce, dog-like barks and roars of the baboons.
We knew at once that Lopez had arrived. Hurrying up to the Primate House, we found the wire fronts of the outside cages literally plastered with monkeys and baboons, all in the wildest excitement. The jaguar was in full view of them, and although not one out of the whole lot, except the sapajous, ever had an ancestor who had seen a jaguar, one and all recognized a hostile genus, and a hereditary enemy.
And how they cursed him, reviled him, and made hideous faces at him! The long-armed yellow baboons barked and roared until they were heard half a mile away. The ugly-tempered macaques and rhesus monkeys nearly burst with hatred and indignation. The row was kept up for a long time, and the monkey language that was lost to science on that occasion was, both in quantity and quality, beyond compare.
Bear Language. In their native haunts bears are as little given to loud talk as other animals; but in roomy and comfortable captivity, where many are yarded together, they rapidly develop vocal powers. Our bears are such cheerful citizens, and they do so many droll things, that the average visitor works overtime in watching them. I have learned the language of our bears sufficiently that whenever I hear one of them give tongue I know what he says. For example:
In warning or threatening an enemy, the sloth bear says: "Ach! Ach! Ach!" and the grizzly says: "Woof! Woof!" A fighting bear says: "Aw-aw-aw!" A baby's call for its mother is "Row! Row!" A bear's distress call is: "Err-wow-oo-oo-oof!"
But even in a zoological park it is not possible for everyone to recognize and interpret the different cries of bears, although the ability to do so is sometimes of value to the party of the second part. For example:
One day in February I was sitting in my old office in the Service Building, engrossed in I know not what important and solemn matter. The park was quiet; for the snow lay nine inches deep over all. There were no visitors, and the maintenance men were silently shovelling. Over the hill from the bear dens came the voice of a bear. It said, as plainly as print: "Err-wow!" I said to myself: "That sounds like a distress call," and listened to hear it repeated.
Again it came: "Err-wow!"
I caught up my hat and hastened over the hill toward the bear dens. On the broad concrete walk, about a hundred feet from the dens, four men were industriously shovelling snow, unaware that anything was wrong anywhere except on the pay-roll, opposite their names.
Guided by the cries that came from "The Nursery" den, where six yearling cubs were kept, I quickly caught sight of the trouble. One of our park-born brown bear cubs was hanging fast by one forefoot from the top of the barred partition. He had climbed to the top of the ironwork, thrust one front paw through between two of the bars (for bears are the greatest busybodies on earth), and when he sought to withdraw it, the sharp point of a bar in the overhang of the tree-guard had buried itself in the back of his paw, and held him fast. It seemed as if his leg was broken, and also dislocated at the shoulder. No wonder the poor little chap squalled for help. His mother, on the other side of the partition, was almost frantic with baffled sympathy, for she could do nothing to help him.
It did not take more than a quarter of a minute to have several men running for crowbars and other things, and within five minutes from the discovery we were in the den ready for action. The little chap gave two or three cries to let us know how badly it hurt his leg to hang there, then bent his small mind upon rendering us assistance.
First we lifted him up bodily, and held him, to remove the strain. Then, by good luck, we had at hand a stout iron bar with a U- shaped end; and with that under the injured wrist, and a crowbar to spring the treacherous overhang, we lifted the foot clear, and lowered little Brownie to the floor. From first to last he helped us all he could, and seemed to realize that it was clearly "no fair" to bite or scratch. Fortunately the leg was neither broken nor dislocated, and although Brownie limped for ten days, he soon was all right again.
After the incident had been closed, I gave the men a brief lecture on the language of bears, and the necessity of being able to recognize the distress call.
You can chase bison, elephants and deer all day without hearing a single vocal utterance. They know through long experience the value of silence.
The night after I shot my second elephant we noted an exception. The herd had been divided by our onslaught. Part of it had gone north, part of it south, and our camp for the night (beside the dead tusker) lay midway between the two. About bedtime the elephants began signalling to each other by trumpeting, and what they sounded was "The assembly." They called and answered repeatedly; and finally it became clear to my native followers that the two herds were advancing to unite, and were likely to meet in our vicinity. That particular trumpet call was different from any other I have ever heard. It was a regular "Hello" signal- call, entirely different from the "Tal-loo-e" blast which once came from a feeding herd and guided us to it.
But it is only on rare occasions that elephants communicate with each other by sound. I once knew a general alarm to be communicated throughout a large herd by the sign language, and a retreat organized and carried out in absolute silence. Their danger signals to each other must have been made with their trunks and their ears; but we saw none of them, because all the animals were concealed from our view except when the two scouts of the herd were hunting for us.
In captivity an elephant trumpets in protest, or through fear, or through rage; but I am obliged to confess that as yet I cannot positively distinguish one from the other.
Once in the Zoological Park I heard our troublesome Indian elephant, Alice, roaring continuously as if in pain. It continued at such a rate that I hurried over to the Elephant House to investigate. And there I saw a droll spectacle. Keeper Richards had taken Alice out into her yard for exercise and had ordered her to follow him. And there he was disgustedly marching around the yard while Alice marched after him at an interval of ten paces, quite free and untrammeled, but all the while lustily trumpeting and roaring in indignant protest. The only point at which she was hurt was in her feelings.
Two questions that came into public notice concerning the voices of two important American animals have been permanently settled by "the barnyard naturalists" of New York.
The Voice of the American Bison. In 1907 the statement of George Catlin, to the effect that in the fall the bellowing of buffalo bulls on the plains resembled the muttering of distant thunder, was denied and severely criticized in a sportsman's magazine. On October 4 of that year, while we were selecting the fifteen bison to be presented to the Government, to found the Wichita National Bison Herd, four of us heard our best bull bellow five times, while another did the same thing four times.
The sound uttered was a deep-voiced roar,—not a grunt,—rising and falling in measured cadence, and prolonged about four or five seconds. It was totally different from the ordinary grunt of hunger, or the menace of an angry buffalo, which is short and sharp. In discussing the quality of the bellow, we agreed that it could properly be called a low roar. It is heard only in the rutting season,—the period described by Catlin,—and there is good reason to believe that Caitlin's description is perfectly correct.
The Scream of the Puma. This is a subject that will not lie still. I presume it will recur every five years as long as pumas endure. Uncountable pages of controversial letters have been expended upon the question: "Does the puma ever scream, like a woman in distress?"
The true answer is easy, and uncontestable by people whose minds are open to the rules of evidence.
Yes; the adult female puma DOES scream,-in the mating season, whenever it comes. It is loud, piercing, prolonged, and has the agonized voice qualities of a boy or a woman screaming from the pain of a surgical operation. To one who does not know the source or the cause, it is nerve-racking. When heard in a remote wilderness it must be truly fearsome. It says "Ow-w-w-w!" over and over. We have heard it a hundred times or more, and it easily carries a quarter of a mile.
The language of animals is a long and interesting subject,—so much so that here it is possible only to sketch out and suggest its foundations and scope. On birds alone, an entire volume should be written; but animal intelligence is a subject as far reaching as the winds of the earth.
No man who ever saw high in the heavens a V-shaped flock of wild geese, or heard the honk language either afloat, ashore or in the air, will deny the spoken language of that species. If any one should do so, let him listen to the wild-goose wonder tales of Jack Miner, and hear him imitate (to perfection) the honk call of the gander at his pond, calling to wild flocks in the sky and telling them about the corn and safety down where he is.
The woodpecker drums on the high and dry limb of a dead tree his resounding signal-call that is nothing more nor less (in our view) than so much sign language.
It was many years ago that we first heard in the welcome days of early spring the resounding "Boo-hoo-hoo" courting call of the cock pinnated grouse, rolling over the moist earth for a mile or more in words too plain to be misunderstood.
The American magpie talks beautifully; but I regret to say that I do not understand a word of its language. One summer we had several fine specimens in the great flying-cage, with the big and showy waterfowl, condor, griffon vulture, ravens and crows. One of those magpies often came over to the side of the cage to talk to me, and as I believe, make complaints. Whether he complained about his big and bulky cagemates, or the keepers, or me, I could not tell; but I thought that his grievances were against the large birds. Whenever I climbed over the guard rail and stooped down, he would come close up to the wire, stand in one spot, and in a quiet, confidential tone talk to me earnestly and gesticulate with his head for five minutes straight. I have heard senile old men run on in low-voiced, unintelligible clack in precisely the same way. The modulations of that bird's voice, its inflections and its vocabulary were wonderful. From his manner a messenger from Mars might easily have inferred that the bird believed that every word of the discourse was fully understood.
The lion roars, magnificently. The hyena "laughs"; the gray wolf gives a mournful howl, the coyote barks and howls, and the fox yaps. The elk bugles, the moose roars and bawls, in desire or defiance. The elephant trumpets or screams in the joy of good feeding, or in fear or rage; and it also rumbles deeply away down in its throat. The red squirrel barks and chatters, usually to scold some one whom he hates, but other small rodents know that silence is golden.
The birds have the best voices of all creatures. They are the sweet singers of the animal world, and to the inquiring mind that field is a wonderland.
The frogs are vociferous; and now if they were more silent they would last longer.
Of all the reptiles known to me, only two utter vocal sounds,—the alligator and the elephant tortoise. The former roars or bellows, the latter grunts.
THE MOST INTELLIGENT ANIMALS
To the professional animal-man, year in and year out comes the eternal question, "Which are the most intelligent animals?"
The question is entirely legitimate. What animals are the best exponents of animal intelligence?
It seems to me that the numerous factors involved, and the comparisons that must be made, can best be expressed in figures. Opinions that are based upon only one or two sets of facts are not worth much. There are about ten factors to be taken into account and appraised separately.
In order to express many opinions in a small amount of space, we submit a table of estimates and summaries, covering a few mammalian species that are representative of many. But, try as they will, it is not likely that any two animal men will set down the same estimates. It all depends upon the wealth or the poverty of first-hand, eye-witness evidence. When we enter the field of evidence that must stand in quotation marks, we cease to know where we will come out. We desire to state that nearly all of the figures in the attached table of estimates are based upon the author's own observations, made during a period of more than forty years of ups and downs with wild animals. ESTIMATES OF THE COMPARATIVE INTELLIGENCE AND ABILITY OF CERTAIN CONSPICUOUS WILD ANIMALS, BASED UPON KNOWN PERFORMANCES, OR THE ABSENCE OF THEM. [Footnote: To the author, correspondence regarding the reasons for these estimates is impossible.]
[beginning of chart]
Perfection in all=100 [list of categories below are written vertically above the columns, with the last column unnamed and representing a total score of animal intelligence/1000]
Hereditary Knowledge Perceptive Faculties Original Thought Memory Reason Receptivity in Training Efficiency in Execution Nervous Energy Keenness of the Senses Use of the Voice
Chimpanzee . . . . . . . . .100 100 100 100 75 100 100 100 100 50 925 Orang-Utan . . . . . . . . .100 100 100 75 100 75 100 75 100 25 850 Gorilla. . . . . . . . . . . . .50 50 50 50 75 25 25 50 100 25 500
Indian Elephant . . . . . .100 100 100 100 100 100 100 75 50 25 850 Rhinoceros. . . . . . . . .25 25 25 25 25 0 0 25 25 0 175 Giraffe . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 25 25 25 25 25 0 25 100 0 300 White-Tailed Deer . . .100 100 100 25 50 0 0 100 100 0 575 Big-Horn Sheep . . . . . .100 100 50 25 50 0 0 100 100 0 525 Mountain Goat. . . . . . .100 100 100 25 100 0 0 100 100 0 625 Domestic Horse. . . . . .100 100 100 75 75 75 75 100 100 50 850
Lion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 100 50 75 50 75 50 100 100 25 725 Tiger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 75 50 50 50 25 25 100 100 0 575 Grizzly Bear . . . . . . . . .100 100 50 25 50 75 50 75 100 25 725 Brown Bear (European)100 100 50 25 50 75 50 75 100 25 650 Gray Wolf . . . . . . . . . . . 100 100 100 25 75 00 100 100 25 625 Coyote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 75 50 25 50 0 0 75 100 25 500 Red Fox . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 100 50 75 100 0 0 100 100 25 650 Domestic Dog . . . . . . . . .50 100 75 75 75 75 100 100 100 100 850 Wolverine . . . . . . . . . . .100 100 100 25 100 0 75 100 100 0 700
Beaver . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 100 100 25 100 0 100 100 100 0 725
According to the author's information and belief, these are "the most intelligent" animals: The Chimpanzee is the most intelligent of all animals below man. His mind approaches most closely to that of man, and it carries him farthest upward toward the human level. He can learn more by training, and learn more easily, than any other animal.
The Orang-Utan is mentally next to the chimpanzee.
The Indian Elephant in mental capacity is third from man.
The high-class domestic Horse is a very wise and capable animal; but this is chiefly due to its age-long association with man, and education by him. Mentally the wild horse is a very different animal, and in the intellectual scale it ranks with the deer and antelopes.
The Beaver manifests, in domestic economy, more intelligence, mechanical skill and reasoning power than any other wild animal.
The Lion is endowed with keen perceptive faculties, reasoning ability and judgment of a high order, and its mind is surprisingly receptive.
The Grizzly Bear is believed to be the wisest of all bears.
The Pack Rat (Neotona) is the intellectual phenomenon of the great group of gnawing animals. It is in a class by itself.
The White Mountain Goat seems to be the wisest of all the mountain summit animals whose habits are known to zoologists and sportsmen.
A high-class Dog is the animal that mentally is in closest touch with the mind, the feelings and the impulses of man; and it is the only one that can read a man's feelings from his eyes and his facial expression.
The Marvelous Beaver. Let us consider this animal as an illuminating example of high-power intelligence.
In domestic economy the beaver is the most intelligent of all living mammals. His inherited knowledge, his original thought, his reasoning power and his engineering and mechanical skill in constructive works are marvelous and beyond compare. In his manifold industrial activities, there is no other mammal that is even a good second to him. He builds dams both great and small, to provide water in which to live, to store food and to escape from his enemies. He builds air-tight houses of sticks and mud, either as islands, or on the shore. When he cannot live as a pond-beaver with a house he cheerfully becomes a river-beaver. He lives in a river-bank burrow when house-building in a pond is impossible; and he will cheerfully tunnel under a stone wall from one-pond monotony, to go exploring outside.
He cuts down trees, both small and large, and he makes them fall as he wishes them to fall. He trims off all branches, and leaves no "slash" to cumber the ground. He buries green branches, in great quantity, in the mud at the bottom of his pond, so that in winter he can get at them under a foot of solid ice. He digs canals, of any length he pleases, to float logs and billets of wood from hinterland to pond.
If you are locating beavers in your own zoo, and are wise, you can induce beavers to build their dam where you wish it to be. This is how we did it!
We dug out a pond of mud in order that the beavers might have a pond of water; and we wished the beavers to build a dam forty feet long, at a point about thirty feet from the iron fence where the brook ran out. On thinking it over we concluded that we could manage it by showing the animals where we wished them to go to work.
We set a l2-inch plank on its edge, all the way across the dam site, and pegged it down. Above it the water soon formed a little pool and began to flow over the top edge in a very miniature waterfall. Then we turned loose four beavers and left them.
The next morning we found a cart-load of sticks and fresh mud placed like a dam against the iron fence. In beaver language this said to us:
"We would rather build our dam here,—if you don't mind. It will be easier for us, and quicker."
We removed all their material; and in our language that action said: "No; we would rather have you build over the plank."
The next night more mud and sticks piled against the fence said to us,
"We really insist upon building it here!"
We made a second clearance of their materials, saying in effect:
"You shall not build against the fence! You must build where we tell you!"
Thereupon, the beavers began to build over the plank, saying,
"Oh, well, if you are going to make a fuss about it, we will let you have your way."
So they built a beautiful water-tight dam precisely where we suggested it to them, and after that our only trouble was to keep them from overdoing the matter, and flooding the whole valley.
I am not going to dwell upon the mind and manners of the beaver. The animal is well known. Three excellent books have been written and pictured about him, in the language that the General Reader understands. They are as follows: "The American Beaver and His Works," Lewis H. Morgan (1868); "The Romance of the Beaver," A. R. Dugmore (no date); "History and Traditions of the Canada Beaver," H. T. Martin (1892).
"Clever Hans," the "Thinking Horse." From 1906 to 1910 the world read much about a wonderful educated horse owned and educated by Herr von Osten, in Germany. The German scientists who first came in touch with "Hans" were quite bowled over by the discovery that that one horse could "think." The Review of Reviews said, in 1910:
"It may be recalled that Clever Hans knew figures and letters, colors and tones, the calendar and the dial, that he could count and read, deal with decimals and fractions, spell out answers to questions with his right hoof, and recognize people from having seen their photographs. In every case his 'replies' were given in the form of scrapings with his right forehoof.
"Whether the questioner was von Osten, who had worked with him for seven years, or a man like Schillings, who was a complete stranger, seemed immaterial; and this went farthest, perhaps, in disposing of all talk of 'collusion' between master and beast."
Now, by the bald records of the case the fact was fixed for all time that Hans was the most wonderful mental prodigy that ever bore the form of a four-footed animal. His learning and his performances were astounding, and even uncanny. I do not care how he was trained, nor by what process he received ideas and reacted to them! He was a phenomenon, and I doubt whether this world ever sees his like again. His mastery of figures alone, no matter how it was wrought, was enough to make any animal or trainer illustrious.
But eventually Clever Hans came to grief. He was ostensibly thrown off his pedestal, in Germany, by human jealousy and egotism. Several industrious German scientists deliberately set to work to discredit him, and they stuck to it until they accomplished that task. The chief instrument in this was no less a man than the director of the "Psychological Institute" of the Berlin University, Professor Otto Pfungst. He found that when Hans was put on the witness stand and subjected to rigid cross examinations by strangers, his answers were due partly to telepathy and hypnotic influence! For example, the discovery was made that Hans could not always give the correct answer to a problem in figures unless it was known to the questioner himself.
To Hans's inquisitors this discovery imparted a terrible shock. It did not look like "thinking" after all! The mental process was different from the process of the German mind! The wonderful fact that Hans could remember and recognize and reproduce the ten digits was entirely lost to view. At once a shout went up all over Germany,—in the scientific circle, that Hans was an "impostor," that he could not "think," and that his mind was nothing much after all.
Poor Hans! The glory that should have been his, and imperishable, is gone. He was the victim of scientists of one idea, who had no sense of proportion. He truly WAS a thinking horse; and we are sure that there are millions of men whose minds could not be developed to the point that the mind of that "dumb" animal attained,—no, not even with the aid of hypnotism and telepathy.
The bare fact that a horse can be influenced by occult mental powers proves the close parallelism that exists between the brains of men and beasts. The Trap-Door Spider. Let no one suppose for one moment that animal mind and intelligence is limited to the brain-bearing vertebrates. The scope and activity of the notochord in some of the invertebrates present phenomena far more wonderful per capita than many a brain produces. Interesting books have been written, and more will be written hereafter, on the minds and doings of ants, bees, wasps, spiders and other insects.
Consider the ways and means of the ant-lion of the East, and the trap-door spider of the western desert regions. As one object lesson from the insect world, I will flash upon the screen, for a moment only, the trap-door spider. This wonderful insect personage has been exhaustively studied by Mr. Raymond L. Ditmars, in the development of a series of moving pictures, and at my request he has contributed the following graphic description of this spider's wonderful work.
"The trap-door spiders, inhabiting the warmer portions of both the Old and New Worlds, dig a deep tunnel in the soil, line this with a silken wallpaper, then construct a hinged door at the top so perfectly fitted and camouflaged with soil, that when it is closed there is no indication of the burrow. Moreover, the inside portion of the door of some species is so constructed that it may be "latched," there being two holes near the edge, precisely placed where the curved fangs may be inserted and the door held firmly closed. Also, the trap-door of a number of species is so designed as to be absolutely rain-proof, being bevelled and as accurately fitting a corresponding bevel of the tube as the setting of a compression valve of a gasolene engine.
"The study of a number of specimens of our southern California species, which builds the cork-type door, including observations of them at night, when they are particularly active, indicates that the construction of the tube involves other material than the silken lining employed by many burrowing spiders. In the excavation of the tube and retention of the walls, the spider appears to employ a glairy substance, which thoroughly saturates the soil and renders the interior of the tube of almost cement- like hardness. It is then plastered with a thick jet of silk from the spinning glands. This interior finishing process appears to be quite rapid, a burrow being readily lined within a couple of hours.
"The construction of the trap-door is a far more complicated process, this convex, beautifully bevelled entrance with its hinge requiring real scientific skill. Judging from observations on a number of specimens, the work is done from the outside, the spider first spinning a net-like covering over the mouth of the tube. This is thickened by weaving the body over the net, each motion leaving a smoky trail of silk. Earth is then shoveled into the covering, the spider carefully pushing the particles toward the centre, which soon sags, and assumes the proper curvature, and automatically moulds against the bevelled walls of the tube.
"The shoveling process must be nicely regulated to produce the proper bevel and thickness of the door. Then the cementing process is applied to the top, rendering the door a solid unit. From the actions of these spiders,—which often calmly rest an hour without a move,—it appears that the edges of the door are now subjected, by the stout and sharp fangs, to a cutting process like that of a can opener, leaving a portion of the marginal silk to act as a hinge. This hinge afterward receives some finishing touches, and the top of the door is either pebbled or finished with a few fragments of dead vegetation, cemented on, in order to exactly match the surrounding soil."
THE RIGHTS OF WILD ANIMALS
Every harmless wild bird and mammal has the right to live out its life according to its destiny; and man is in honor bound to respect those rights. At the same time it is a mistake to regard each wild bird or quadruped as a sacred thing, which under no circumstances may be utilized by man. We are not fanatical Hindus of the castes which religiously avoid the "taking of life" of any kind, and gently push aside the flea, the centipede and the scorpion. The reasoning powers of such people are strictly limited, the same as those of people who are opposed to the removal by death of the bandits and murderers of the human race.
The highest duty of a reasoning being is to reason. We have no moral or legal right to act like idiots, or to become a menace to society by protecting criminal animals or criminal men from adequate punishment. Like the tree that is known by its fruit, every alleged "reasoning being" is to be judged by the daily output of his thoughts.
Toward wild life, our highest duty is to be sane and sensible, in order to be just, and to promote the greatest good for the greatest number. Be neither a Hindu fanatic nor a cruel game- butcher like a certain wild-animal slaughterer whom I knew, who while he was on earth earned for himself a place in the hottest corner of the hereafter, and quickly passed on to occupy it.
The following planks constitute a good platform on which to base our relations with the wild animal world, and by which to regulate our duty to the creatures that have no means of defense against the persecutions of cruel men. They may be regarded as representing the standards that have been fixed by enlightened and humane civilization.
THE WILD ANIMALS' BILL OF RIGHTS
This Bill of Rights is to be copied and displayed conspicuously in all zoological parks and gardens, zoos and menageries; in all theatres and shows where animal performances are given, and in all places where wild animals and birds are trained, sold or kept for the pleasure of their owners.
Article 1. In view of the nearness of the approach of the higher animals to the human level, no just and humane man can deny that those wild animals have certain rights which man is in honor bound to respect.
Art. 2. The fact that God gave man "dominion over the beasts of the field" does not imply a denial of animal rights, any more than the supremacy of a human government conveys the right to oppress and maltreat its citizens.
Art. 3. Under certain conditions it is justifiable for man to kill a limited number of the so-called game animals, on the same basis of justification that domestic animals and fowls may be killed for food.
Art. 4. While the trapping of fur-bearing animals is a necessary evil, that evil must be minimized by reducing the sufferings of trapped animals to the lowest possible point, and by preventing wasteful trapping.
Art. 5. The killing of harmless mammals or birds solely for "sport," and without utilizing them when killed, is murder; and no good and humane man will permit himself to engage in any such offenses against good order and the rights of wild creatures.
Art. 6. Shooting at sea-going creatures from moving vessels, without any possibility of securing them if killed or wounded, is cruel, reprehensible, and criminal, and everywhere should be forbidden by ship captains, and also by law, under penalties.
Art. 7. The extermination of a harmless wild animal species is a crime; but the regulated destruction of wild pests that have been proven guilty, is sometimes necessary and justifiable.
Art. 8. No group or species of birds or mammals that is accused of offenses sufficiently grave to merit destruction shall be condemned undefended and unheard, nor without adequate evidence of a character which would be acceptable in a court of law.
Art. 9. The common assumption that every bird or mammal that offends, or injures the property of any man, is necessarily deserving of death, is absurd and intolerable. The death penalty should be the last resort, not the first one!
Art. 10. Any nation that fails adequately to protect its crop-and- tree-protecting birds deserves to have its fields and forests devastated by predatory insects.
Art. 11. No person has any moral right to keep a wild mammal, bird, reptile or fish in a state of uncomfortable, unhappy or miserable captivity, and all such practices should be prevented by law, under penalty. It is entirely feasible for a judge to designate a competent person as a referee to examine and decide upon each case.
Art. 12. A wild creature that cannot be kept in comfortable captivity should not be kept at all; and the evils to be guarded against are cruelly small quarters, too much darkness, too much light, uncleanliness, bad odors, and bad food. A fish in a glass globe, or a live bird in a cage the size of a collar-box is a case of cruelty.
Art. 13. Every captive animal that is suffering hopelessly from disease or the infirmities of old age has the right to be painlessly relieved of the burdens of life.
Art. 14. Every keeper or owner of a captive wild animal who through indolence, forgetfulness or cruelty permits a wild creature in his charge to perish of cold, heat, hunger or thirst because of his negligence, is guilty of a grave misdemeanor, and he should be punished as the evidence and the rights of captive animals demand.
Art. 15. An animal in captivity has a right to do all the damage to its surroundings that it can do, and it is not to be punished therefor.
Art. 16. The idea that all captive wild animals are necessarily "miserable" is erroneous, because some captive animals are better fed, better protected and are more happy in captivity than similar animals are in a wild state, beset by dangers and harassed by hunger and thirst. It is the opinion of the vast majority of civilized people that there is no higher use to which a wild bird or mammal can be devoted than to place it in perfectly comfortable captivity to be seen by millions of persons who desire to make its acquaintance.
Art. 17. About ninety-five per cent of all the wild mammals seen in captivity were either born in captivity or captured when in their infancy, and therefore have no ideas of freedom, or visions of their wild homes; consequently their supposed "pining for freedom" often is more imaginary than real.
Art. 18. A wild animal has no more inherent right to live a life of lazy and luxurious ease, and freedom from all care, than a man or woman has to live without work or family cares. In the large cities of the world there are many millions of toiling humans who are worse off per capita as to burdens and sorrows and joys than are the beasts and birds in a well kept zoological park. "Freedom" is comparative only, not absolute.