But Where Do They Keep Their Subway Tokens?

As urban areas extend further and further into rural areas, we know there is a loss of natural habitat for the native wildlife.  However, rather then taking leave, more often then not the wildlife learns to adapt to the world around them, learning to scavenge from human garbage, find refuge in roofs, garages and sheds, and generally just carry on with their lives.  So who would have ever thought that the creatures among us would learn to take public transit?  From cats a dogs, to opossums, pigeons and even a coyote, animals have been seen using subway trains for transportation, and not just by accident.Image

Birds on a train? Believe it. Pigeons have been known to take the A Line on the New York City subway. According to a 2002 New York Times article, when trains lay over at Far Rockaway Station at the end of the line, pigeons walk onto the trains in search of crumbs.

“But being pigeons, they do not listen for the announcement that the train is leaving, and the doors close on them. They ride generally for one stop, exiting as soon as the doors open again,” the Times reported.

But they’re not total bird brains: The article reported that a train conductor would see them promptly fly back to the Far Rockaway terminal for more free food.

In Russia, where feral dogs are common, they have learned to use the subway system as a way to get from the rural areas where they live to the urban areas where they scavenge for food.  It is quite common to see them curled up on a seat, resting after a long day of garbage picking!


In 2002, a coyote hopped on the light rail at the Portland, Oregon airport, and got comfortable on a seat—but wildlife specialists removed and released it before the train took off.



This cat looks like he does this on a regular basis.

So next time you get on the train, make sure to have a look around, and under your seat!  You never know who is riding with you.





Maybe Time Share is the Best Solution.

Recently I wrote a blog regarding off-leash parks and the rights of those who hate them.  I discussed how in no time at all, off-leash areas become gross, muddy swamps where nobody wants to take their dogs.  I guess the municipalities, in their infinite wisdom figure that if it’s just an area for dogs, why should they look after it.  So we go back to the problem of people letting their dogs off-leash in the regular park area.  Whether it be forest trails or a little spot of green in the heart of the city, it’s becoming a problem.

Our local newspaper just published yet another article about the rising anger of the non-dog owners, who have to deal with all these animals running free.  The SPCA does not have the manpower to keep on top of loose dogs, nor should they have to….  So what would happen if we shared the park?  What would happen if there were dedicated times throughout the day when dogs could run free?  Would it be so bad?  Well, the haters will tell me that the dog owners will not be responsible and will not clean up after their pets, and I will have to disagree.

Imagine a sign.  It reads “Warning:  There will be dogs off-leash in this park between the hours of 7-8 am 3-4 pm and 8-9 pm.  Dog owners, please pick up after your pets.”  Since the municipal workers will now have more time on their hands as they do not have to clean the off-leash areas, they could use this time to put more garbage containers around the park.  Since the SPCA will no longer have to be patrolling all over hell’s half acre trying to catch people breaking the leash laws, they could actually be doing more important things like saving injured animals.  And as for the folks who are terrified of dogs and don’t want them running free?  Well, you have 21 hours to use the park, feel free to use it at anytime during those 21 hours.  Would it be so bad?  I don’t think so.