Tag: saudi arabia
They haven’t saddled them up and landed them gigs at halftime shows, but a group of baboons in Saudi Arabia are reportedly “keeping dogs as pets.”
And, if this video is any indication, the baboons, like humans, can be alternately cruel and loving when it comes to the dogs with whom they co-exist, in this case in a garbage dump outside of Ta’if, not far from the Red Sea.
While the baboons seem to treat pups, or at least the unfortunate one in the beginning of this video, pretty roughly, rest assured nothing too awful happens, and the video goes on to show the two species living, playing and sleeping together, and even grooming each other.
The clip is from a British nature series called “Animals Like Us.”
It came to my attention via Hal Herzog, author of “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard To Think Straight About Animals.”
Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University, has been studying human interactions with other species for two decades — and says he has never run across a species other than humans that truly can be described as keeping pets. So he was stunned when he came upon the video of the Hamadryas baboons and what seem to be their pet dogs.
At least that’s how the documentary’s narrator explains the relationship. The baboons and dogs eat and sleep together, and travel as a pack. The dogs chase off predators and the baboons treat them as members of the family, he says.
Herzog, as he explains in Animals and Us, his blog for Psychology Today, doesn’t seem to totally buy it. He did some quick research, but thinks a lot more is needed before being certain the dogs and baboons of Ta’if have a pet-and-petkeeper relationship.
“In short, are the Ta’if baboons really keeping dogs as their personal pets or is the YouTube clip just another example of Animal Planet type TV bullshit?
“… Some authorities are doubtful. The anthrozoologist Boria Sax, author of the wonderful new book City of Ravens, wrote … ‘You can’t tell just what is happening from the video alone, and we have only the word of the narrator that the dogs are kept as pets. I am skeptical.’
“Eniko Kubinyi, a canine ethologist at the Family Dog Project in Budapest was more blunt, ‘Dogs as pets of baboons? Science fiction. Baboons and dogs share the same environment, and they are socially plastic, so they enjoy the company of others…’
“I am skeptical, too,” Herzog said. “But I have been obsessed by the video for a week. It raises a host of questions in my mind.”
Might the relationship, for example, be less peaceful if there wasn’t abundant food for all in their shared environment, he wonders.
I wonder whether the baboons use any positive reinforcement to keep the dogs in line, or, as the early part of the video indicates, they opt for the dominant, Millan-esque, pack-leader approach.
Desolate as the landscape looks, the connection between the baboons and dogs in a desert garbage dump seems some fertile ground for research.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, animals and us, animals like us, baboons, behavior, chimps, dogs, dump, environment, hal herzog, humans, interaction, monkeys, nature, pet-keeping, petkeeping, pets, psychology, psychology today, saudi arabia, shared, some we eat, some we hate, some we love, species, ta'if, video, youtube
Worried that dogs may be helping bring members of the opposite sex together, Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious police have banned the selling of dogs and cats — and walking them in public — in the capital city of Riyadh.
Ma’assalama, babe magnets.
I’m normally not one to criticize an entire culture, but this bothers me on several levels.
For one, it’s hard to walk a dog in private, and dogs need their walks, and Riyadh is going to have a bunch of very cranky canines on its hands.
For another, some of us guys â€“ whether our name is “Yasser” or “Doug” â€“ really need all the help we can get.
The prohibition went into effect on Wednesday in the Saudi capital, and authorities said â€“ unlike previous pet bans in Mecca and Jidda, which had little impact â€“ this one will be strictly enforced.
Violators found outside with their pets will have their them confiscated by agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the official name of the religious police. The violator will be forced to sign a document vowing not to repeat the act. If he does, he will be “referred to authorities.”
According to a Fox News story, the commission’s general manager, Othman al-Othman, said the ban was ordered to combat “the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families” as well as “violating proper behavior in public squares and malls.”
The Saudi-owned Al-Hayat announced the ban in its Wednesday edition. Read more »