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People can train animals to do almost anything, whether it's sit or fart on cue; however none of this stuff is of any real use to the rest of the world. As hilarious as it is to train your dog to sing along to the radio, Fido sure isn't going to be contributing to society anytime soon.
However there are some animals out there desperate to teach humanity that not only can animals be useful, they can also be far superior to that of anything humans have come up with so far. Animals like...
Parrots are popular amongst pirates, Jimmy Buffett fans, and people who like feeding things crackers. Their ability to mimic human language makes them entertaining pets when taught rap lyrics or phrases like “cock and balls”. Their ability to understand language, however, is not only impressive and creepy as hell; it also makes extremely popular with drug smugglers.
A Columbian gang trained parrots to shout “run, run, the cat is going to get you” in Spanish whenever they saw a police uniform. One of the parrots, Lorenzo, would alert the smugglers before the police closed in on their hideout. “You could say he was some sort of watch bird,” Officer Hollman Oliveira said after Lorenzo was taken into custody.
When police raided the building Lorenzo was guarding they seized over two hundred weapons, arrested four men and two other parrots. You read that right, they arrested the parrots. The police snuck by Lorenzo the easiest way possible-by sending undercover cops. After the raid, when uniformed police showed up, Lorenzo went into overdrive. He started squawking his warning and wouldn’t stop. “He spent the whole morning saying that,” police Colonel Freddy Veloza told reporters.
Lorenzo isn’t the only lookout parrot. Columbian authorities say they have captured over 1,700 parrots trained to shout warnings. The authorities declined to comment on how many of their shouted warnings were “cock and balls,” but we must assume it numbers in the hundreds.
Seized lookout parrots are turned over to environmental authorities, and what they do with them is unclear. Most likely they are sold as pets or released into the wild, but we hope (and if the Columbian police are reading, suggest) they are trained to perch on officer’s shoulders and sing the theme song to Cops.
It may come as a huge surprise to you, but crows are able to recognize human faces, and will attack people who pissed them off. They are also able to pass on human descriptions to other crows, and those other crows will attack them as well.
The US military heard of this and had one thought: manhunts.
They contacted John Marzluff, the researcher who ran the study linked above, and asked if he could train crows to hunt Bin Laden. “if a group of crows knew bin Laden as an enemy, they would certainly indicate his presence when they next saw him” Marzluff said. He explained that they would teach the crows that Bin Laden was an enemy by having people wear Bin Laden masks, harass or kill crows, and then waiting for the description of Bin Laden to spread by word of caw.
Marzluff says the military funding for the program ended a few years ago, and he doesn’t know if the military continued training crows on their own. It’s doubtful their still training crows to find Bin Laden because, if you’re not up to date on current events, he’s dead. He also says the military was interested in training crows to help with the search and rescue of missing soldiers, which we at Weirdworm have to point out could go horribly wrong. It would presumably involve making a Mission Impossible style mask of the missing soldier, then having someone wear it and piss off a lot of crows. After word gets out and the crows find the soldier, they’re not going to radio back to base. They’d dive bomb his ass. The soldier’s “rescue” would be an attack by a shitload of angry crows. There’s a reason a group of crows is called a “murder”.
Seeing Eye Mini-Horses
Like all animals, horses differ in size. Smaller horses are ponies, but horses under three feet are called miniature horses. They’re normal horses in every sense, except they’re classified in the adorable kingdom.
People have them as pets, and some people go overboard. There are miniature horse shows, competitions and specific judging characteristics. It was only a matter of time before people trained them to lead blind people around.
Miniature horses can be trained to guide the blind, much like seeing eye dogs. Horses are herd animals, and will stick by their owners through instinct. They won’t bolt after birds or drag their owners into traffic by chasing cars.
Horses live longer than dogs and can be trained to do things dogs can’t, like point out the walk button at intersections. Some Muslims find dogs to be unclean, but will allow horses in their homes. Most important, horses will wear some adorable shoes.
However, there are downsides to guide horses. Horses eat more than dogs, so having one means dealing with a lot of shit. They can startle, or rear up and flail their hooves. If Lord of the Rings to be believed, it sucks to be kicked by a horse. They’re also larger than dogs, so they’re harder to transport in cars or airplanes.
Although service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities act, some areas are reluctant to classify horses as service animals. Sometimes they’re labelled companion animals, exotic animals or livestock. This has led to lawsuits from mini horse owners, whose complaints probably stated “What the hell guys, I’m blind. Let me use my damn horse.”
Camels are known for two things, their humps and their toes. They’re capable of surviving for long times without water so they’re suitable for desert climates. They’ve long since been domesticated and been used as pack animals. It’s their docile nature that makes them good with humans and great wrestlers.
Turkish tribes discovered they could make two male camels wrestle if a female was nearby. When the males smell the female’s scent they get jealous and fight for boning rights. Camel wrestling contests became a tradition that has been passed down through the centuries.
There’s more to it than just putting two camels in a ring and watching them fight. Good wrestling camels are specifically bred and taught fighting techniques, including headlocks, pinning the opponent’s knees and leg sweeps. One camel, Crazy Ozer, is considered unbeatable because of his intelligence and technique.
A match is won when a camel is forced to the ground or, what happens most often, one runs away. Before any animal rights activists start going nuts, the wrestling isn’t dangerous. The camels wear muzzles so they can’t bite each other and they don’t wear blades like cockfights. If anyone is unclear, cockfights are between two roosters, not a game guys play in group showers.
The Turkish government banned the games in 1923, but they were legalized in 1980 for being an important part of Turkish culture. In the 1850’s, when Jefferson Davis decided to import camels to use as cavalry mounts, an Army Lieutenant tried to make camel wrestling popular in America. Unfortunately, his efforts were disrupted by a minor event known as the Civil War.
So if you’re wondering why you’ve never seen two camels wrestle, blame the 1860’s. Thanks a lot guys.
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