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Tag Archives: animals

Emotions, not just for humans

  SCIENTISTS studying animal behaviour have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans. Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality. Professor Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are “hard-wired” into the brains of all mammals and provide the “social glue” that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups. Wolves live in tight-knit social groups that are regulated by strict social rules. Wolves also demonstrate fairness. During play, mature wolves will “handicap” themselves by engaging in roll reversal with younger wolves, showing submission and allowing them to bite, provided it is not too hard. Prof Bekoff argues that without a moral code governing their actions, this kind of behaviour would not be possible. If an animal bites too hard, it will initiate a …

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Magical month for animals

TO the ancient Celts, the year had two ‘hinges’. These were Beltaine (the first of May) and Samhain, (the first of November), which is also the traditional Celtic New Year. These two days were the most magical, and often frightening, times of the whole year. The Irish and Scots Celts began celebrating Samhain more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marked the time cattle were brought in from their summer grazing to their winter fold. By that stage, the harvest was done and food stored. The gods were petitioned to protect the cattle during the long, hard winter. Samhain is also the night of the Great Sabbat for the witches (Ban-Druidh, in Scots Gaelic). On Hallowmas, all the witches of Scotland gather together to celebrate, prophesy and cast their spells. Tradition has it that on this night, they can be seen flying through the air on broomsticks with black cats, ravens or horses on their wild Hallowmas Ride. Some say the …

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Arrest made following dumping of horses and cattle

A MAN in his sixties was arrested this morning under the Waste Management Act, in connection with the discovery of animal carcasses at Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg earlier this year. Earlier this year, the gardaí, Clare County Council, the Department of Agriculture and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals all began investigations after carcasses of at least 16 horses and cattle were discovered by a person out walking in the area.

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Swans make Sunday visit to Angela

A FAMILY of swans going on a Sunday afternoon ramble in Clarecastle held up traffic this afternoon before Angela Kelleher managed to divert them into her front garden. The family, two adult swans and seven cygnets, are currently resting there while local authority staff are expected to arrive later and take them away. “They were all walking along the Ennis-Clarecastle road and all the cars were stopped behind them, it was unreal to see it. We managed to veer them off the road, got them into the driveway and closed the gate after them,” said Angela. Her father and some neighbours assisted her and she says the swans seem very tired after their afternoon walk.

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