Tails of the City

Tails of the City

Rosemary Jean-Louis

Inside Animal Minds and My Bionic Pet

By Rosemary Jean-LouisPosted April 9, 2014 12:19pm (EDT)
  Credit: Courtesy of Kevin Bachar  Producer: ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Credit: Courtesy of Kevin Bachar Producer: ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC


On “Inside Animal Minds”, NOVA’s new animal mini-series, we get a glimpse of how birds think. While “My Bionic Pet” shows pets overcoming injuries and disabilities through the use of prosthetics.

What is remarkable about both programs is the imagination shown by bird subjects and human caretakers.

You can watch both starting tonight at 8 p.m. on GPB. You can watch them online tomorrow.

For example in “Inside Animal Minds: Bird Geniuses”, we meet brainy birds who solve puzzles so fast their abilities need to be captured by high speed cameras in order to be believed. We see crows fashioning sticks into weapons in order to go hunting. Who would have thought crows would think to do that?

On “My Bionic Pet”, that question should be asked of the human caretakers of physically challenged animals. Who would have thought to put a two wheeled harness on a pig? Dr. Len Lucero, from Tampa, Florida would and did.

Lucero saved the piglet, now named Chris P. Bacon, from being euthanized because of its two deformed hindlegs. The pig dragged himself on his working front legs to get around.

Lucero created a harness from children’s toys to help it get around. Now a year old, the feisty, piglet accompanies Lucero on vet visits and is a YouTube sensation.

Who would have thought to give a horse with a lame leg, a prosthetic one? (Most of the time horses are “put down” when a leg goes bad.) But, Molly, a pony in New Orleans, has an artificial front leg because her caretakers had the imagination to get her one.

Molly lives an active life now and is a source of inspiration and joy to the physically challenged adults and children who visit her.

So is Journey the therapy dog. Born without a paw, he sports an artificial one and does just fine. Furthermore, through his therapy practice, he helps disabled veterans know that they will do just fine too.

Watch the show tonight or online tomorrow and tell us what you think.

Here is an interview with Journey the dog’s caretaker.

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