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.
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.