[Paleopsych] Did animals sense Tsunami was coming?

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Tue Apr 19 14:17:27 UTC 2005

Did animals sense Tsunami was coming? 

[This is sensational and grants should certainly be awarded.]

    The horror of the Asian Tsunami affected everyone, and we extend our
    sympathies and thoughts to any reader personally affected by this
    There have been many reports about wild and domestic animals sensing
    the impending tragedy and trying to escape before the giant waves hit
    the region.
    According to eyewitness accounts:

    o Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground.

    o Dogs refused to go outdoors.

    o Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas.

    o Zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to
    come back out.

    We have reported before the belief that animals possess a sixth sense
    - specifically Rupert Sheldrake spoke about this issue at our 2003
    Animal Sentience conference.
    Wildlife experts believe animals' more acute hearing and other senses
    might enable them to hear or feel the Earth's vibration, tipping them
    off to approaching disaster long before humans realize what's going
    Whether it is a sixth sense or other senses we felt it was worth
    reporting some of the experiences witnessed in South East Asia.
    Relatively few animals have been reported dead, however, reviving
    speculation that animals somehow sense impending disaster.
    Ravi Corea, president of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society,
    which is based in Nutley, New Jersey, was in Sri Lanka when the
    massive waves struck. Afterwards, he travelled to the Patanangala
    beach inside Yala National Park, where some 60 visitors were washed
    away. The beach was one of the worst hit areas of the 500-square-mile
    (1,300-square-kilometer) wildlife reserve, which is home to a variety
    of animals, including elephants, leopards, and 130 species of birds.
    About an hour before the tsunami hit, people at Yala National Park
    observed three elephants running away from the Patanangala beach.
    Corea did not see any animal carcasses nor did the park personnel know
    of any, other than two water buffalos that had died, he said.
    In the southern Sri Lankan town of Dickwella, reports have been
    received of bats frantically flying away just before the tsunami
    Along India's Cuddalore coast, where thousands of people perished, the
    Indo-Asian News service reported that buffaloes, goats, and dogs were
    found unharmed.
    It was also reported that Flamingos that breed this time of year at
    the Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary in India flew to higher ground
    Alan Rabinowitz, director for science and exploration at the Bronx
    Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, says animals can
    sense impending danger by detecting subtle or abrupt shifts in the
    "Earthquakes bring vibrational changes on land and in water while
    storms cause electromagnetic changes in the atmosphere," he said.
    "Some animals have acute sense of hearing and smell that allow them to
    determine something coming towards them long before humans might know
    that something is there."
    At one time humans also had this sixth sense, Rabinowitz said, but
    lost the ability when it was no longer needed or used.
    Some U.S. seismologists, on the other hand, are sceptical. There have
    been documented cases of strange animal behaviour prior to
    earthquakes. But the United States Geological Survey, a government
    agency that provides scientific information about the Earth, says a
    reproducible connection between a specific behaviour and the
    occurrence of a quake has never been made.
    "What we're faced with is a lot of anecdotes," said Andy Michael, a
    geophysicist at USGS. "Animals react to so many things--being hungry,
    defending their territories, mating, predators--so it's hard to have a
    controlled study to get that advanced warning signal."

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