The Parrot Who Knew Too Much

Her’s another piece from JSTOR, about a parrot that may have witnessed a crime and could mimic the sounds it heard, which rises all sorts of questions as to whether animals, especially those with good mimicking skills, can be used as witnesses or as evidence in criminal trials. Talking birds can be highly intelligent, and some can mimic human and electronic sounds, machinery etc. But as they are not human, these cases raise problems as to whether they are reliably relating sounds, if they know what they are doing, and it also opens up a whole can of worms in terms of animal rights.

The paper mentions how animals were put on trials in the past, with some bizarre examples. Some of these were not so weird, as in a world controlled by god, then a death that had a visible cause – e.g. a vehicle accident – had an agent, e.g. a bad driver, that could be put on trial for it, hence a runaway animal could be charged with murder.

So, here’s the article, with some pretty impressive birds doing impersonations.


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