The Null Device

Cat befriends bird

Today's heartwarming story of interspecies friendship: In Brazil, a cat has befriended a bird which hurt itself when it fell out of its nest; the cat then raised the bird as its own. It is there that the story becomes somewhat twisted: the bird helps out its new friend and stepmother by luring other birds where she can catch and eat them, and has also learned to eat meat. (Whether the meat comes from other birds was not mentioned.)

There are 4 comments on "Cat befriends bird":

Posted by: steff http:// Sat Feb 4 03:08:07 2006

Saw a documentary once where a lioness adopted a young wildebeast. Two different instincts fighting it out. So much for eat or be eaten...?

Posted by: acb Sat Feb 4 21:33:13 2006

But was the cat in question unusually soft-hearted, or just uncommonly forward-thinking?

Posted by: steff http:// Mon Feb 6 10:02:47 2006

I believe the theory forwarded was that the lioness had lost her cub (cub?) and "out of grief" (!) adopted another species' young as replacement. The lioness was starving herself watching and guarding the wildebeast, while the wildebeast was starving being cut off from its mother. Apparently this has happened several times and was not a one-off freak accident.

Posted by: acb Mon Feb 6 10:34:02 2006

So the cat didn't reason that the bird would be a good tool for catching other birds?

I wonder whether there have been any instances of predators reasoning that, in some cases, it may be better to adopt a prey animal and use it as a lure than to eat it.