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Why are animals scared of humans?

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Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:07 pm Unread post
As usual, I went outside the office to have a puff and as I neared the bird feeders, all the birds flew up into the trees. Now compare this with a scenario I witnessed in Chobe, Botswana. An Elephant came to drink and after drinking, just stood there with one of his hind legs lifted up. A dove came to sit on his foot as if it was the most natural thing to do. Now why was the dove not scared of such a big animal whilst the dove would have flown away if I was there.

And, why are some animals more scared of humans than others? You can walk past a Hadeda, and it will just sit and look at you, but a weaver will take to the air immediately.

Is it in their genes or DNA to be scared?
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Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:14 pm Unread post
I think it is a nature thing. :hmz:


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:58 pm Unread post
because they have a good memories... of our bad "manners" :rtm:


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:47 pm Unread post
anne-marie wrote
because they have a good memories... of our bad "manners" :rtm:


:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:10 am Unread post
I have been feeding the garden birds for the past 12 years with fruit, leftover rice, bird seed, etc., and every time I go out to feed them, they all fly away. One would think they have become used to me by now, but no way! The only ones that don't fly away are the Crested Barbets. :D

@ Rooies: Even the Hadedas fly away when I go out! Then they sit on the roof, screaming at me! :lol:


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:15 am Unread post
anne-marie wrote
because they have a good memories... of our bad "manners"


I think this is true, perhaps they know or feel the dark side of human nature (as a collective) :hmz:. But I think they loose some of their fear when they start to trust individuals.


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:23 am Unread post
I've heard that it is a primal fear of an apex predator.

Ive also heard they recognize us as a general predator due to our forward facing eyes.

I don't know what to believe. :)


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:49 am Unread post
Species evolution provides for behaviour that gives the best chance of an individual passing on genes to the next generation. To do that you first have to survive.
The dove and the elephant sharing a long history of co-existence have an understanding of each other's behaviour which allows for the interaction which Rooies described.
In places which saw no evolution/habitation of humans (like I think the Galapagos?), species evolved with no innate fear of homo sapiens.


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Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:10 am Unread post
picnic wrote
I think it is a nature thing. :hmz:


What else can it be? :shock:


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:26 am Unread post
when I went to Ngorongoro, I was near a troup of Lions (6-8) and suddently all stood up... a group of Massaï with cattle went down the slope...
so there is a "connection" between human, the hunters we was, and animals need lot and lot of generations to forget... and it's better like that !
(hope you understand what I mean... :doh: english)


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:20 am Unread post
Stark wrote
I've heard that it is a primal fear of an apex predator.

Ive also heard they recognize us as a general predator due to our forward facing eyes.

I don't know what to believe. :)


Does this imply that they will also be scared of monkeys and chimps?


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Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:29 am Unread post
Chimps can certainly be predators as can baboons, they eat meat when they can, although Gorillas do not. I am not sure how many of the other primate species are omnivores?


Re: Why are animals scared of humans?

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Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:44 am Unread post
Whilst some apes eat meat I don't think they are anywhere near apex predator levels. Chacma baboons tend not to eat meat but as they are so adaptable they have been known to eat small mammals and the ones on the Cape Peninsula have adapted to eat shell fish!
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