Canada’s Manitoba Wildlife Center has a crow with quite an exceptional skill – he speaks.
The crow, lovingly named Jet, can’t fly, but Jet can talk and utter phrases. The crow can also mimic his caretakers. Jet arrived at Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Center in Ile Des Chenes, Man., as an injured fledgling about four years ago. The local staff assessed the poor creature’s condition and discovered something horrible.
One of the wings was not only badly injured in the recent past, but had healed incorrectly, rendering the crow unable to fly. Realizing the crow would never fly and might become a quick morsel for any scavenger; the staff decided it was best the crow stayed at the facility and live his life in sheltered seclusion from nature.
Despite his disadvantage, Jet was quite lively and the staff decided to spend more time with the bird in the hopes of humanizing the crow. The Center hoped Jet would eventually be completely at ease with humans and would represent the organization as its goodwill ambassador.
The staff wanted to use Jet as an education tool in the community. Jet would travel to schools and community centers, bonding with kids and the elderly, offering them something unique – a chance to interact with a crow.
Crows are wild creatures and are seldom considered as pets. These birds are considered a classic example of urban scavengers. Crows are known to be omnivorous. Besides consuming fruits and berries, crows will readily eat small rodents, birds, eggs and even road-kill. Crows may be wary of humans, but they certainly aren’t afraid and are known to lash out or attack when they, their territory, or their brood is attacked.
Hence for Jet to be used as an ambassador on remote locations, he would have to be taken there in a cage. The animals that are meant to be taken on tours are supposed to be caged. Animal caretakers refer to the process as ‘crate training’. But when it was Jet’s turn, something amazing happened – Jet spoke.
Shauna Hewson Co-coordinator of Educational Programs for the Centre was alone with Jet in the barn when she heard someone say, “Who’s outside?” The volunteer was amazed to realize it was Jet, mimicking a phrase the volunteer often used.
Today the crow speaks in high pitched tone and laughs a lot, thanks mainly to the volunteers who are majorly female.
What’s surprising is that Jet doesn’t respond to treats as a stimulus to talk. Apparently, all this crow wants is human contact. Jet quickly gets tired of the snacks and craves the social contact with his favorite people, revealed Hewson.
[Image Credit | Huffington Post]