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article imageRussian Stray Dogs Travel for Food Via Subway

By M Dee Dubroff     Aug 14, 2009 in Lifestyle
Stray dogs have learned to use the subway in their search travel for food. They board the trains daily and travel back and forth without paying any fares; quite a feat for supposedly “dumb animals.”
According to Russian biology professor Andrew Poyarkov, dogs in Moscow have learned to use the city's underground rail system. he told the press that he has seen them travel into the center of the city, where they can more easily find food, each morning and travel back to where they live each evening.
In his words:
“They do not just go to the subway station, they actually board the trains. They seem to have learnt how long they need to stay on the train to leave at the right station. Sometimes they fall asleep and miss their stop. Then they get off take another train back to the centre.”
Moscow ecologists believe that this phenomenon began in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed and Moscow fell into the hands of new class of Russian capitalists. This commercial revolution, which was marked by the removal of Moscow’s industrial complexes that had served as shelters for homeless dogs, eliminated access to habitual feeding places like trash bins. The dogs were forced to make lemons out of lemonade, so to speak, and find new ways to reach different feeding grounds.
It is as if the animals commute in the same manner as their human counterparts; they travel to the center in the morning and back home again in the evening. Amazingly, these dogs have the ability to usually not miss their stop while traveling by subway. Biologists feel this talent relates to an innate sense of timing. They also know to cross the street on a green traffic light, which scientists feel has more to do with the picture that appears on the light rather than the color. The dogs usually choose the first or the last car on the subway, which are generally the least crowded.
Despite their desperate existences, the dogs often play while they travel back and forth. They often jump into the train just seconds before the door closes and risking injury to their tails.
This is a sad commentary on the lot of stray animals but its message is clearly one of survival. The world may be going to the dogs but not without the dogs adjusting to it and marking it with their own particular stamp of animal ingenuity.
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