Policing is life

Posted in Friendship.

 Every living individual is inherently conscious of the other one.  The older individual often looks younger one with a caring instinct.  Too young ones are under excessive vigil of mothers and this is true for all species, may be reptiles, birds, and mammals. The mother snake never allows any one to approach even nearer when eggs are cracking to expose a new life; so does the mother bird. She takes “vigilant rounds” around the nest. In order to feed, there is an honest sharing of such rounds between male and female parents when either one goes for gathering food. Any one can see the behaviour of house sparrows ( Passer domesticus) in his/her household. Not only the place of overnight stay in your corridor is fixed, the male bird takes a round before landing at the point. Recent ecological and behavioural biological studies in African safaris have proved beyond doubt that be it a tiger, panther, a herd of  any animal species, there are internally “agreed upon” monitors whose job is also to take vigilant rounds and make sounds or cries cautioning other individuals of their group. And above all, there are hawks flying on our heads, far away though, who take extra care of informing about required food for their flock. Often vultures reach animal earlier than the death.

Prevalence of such humane instincts among animals is only a proof that all our basic instincts have been animate in origin. I have stood almost motionless on many occasions in the wild, on the road side or in the garden to see the extra caring and vigilant behaviour of small animals.

One such immediately striking incidence is of a wounded big rat (In Bhopal we have big rats resembling a small cat in size, living underground, technically called Bandycoot( Bandycoota bengalense ). This big rat was trying to run sluggishly in the  Arera colony road side garden around 9.30 AM when I was just riding my bicycle to go to the university. As a natural observer, I stopped and looked on that slow moving limping bandycoot. With in a minute, a black crow attacked on its face by piercing beak, fell like an arrow; and before the big rat could even scream in pain, the same crow again attacked like a jet plane on the neck. This was almost an end for the rat, neck was bleeding and it lay in   blood. I looked above on the trees where many crows made inviting calls; to my surprise, the only attacking warrior crow tried to lift the big rat catching it on the tail and attempted flying. Hardly the crow could take it to the height of 4 feet above the ground but fell on account of rat’s weight. In about ten seconds a street dog which was by now, probably behind the bushes, jumped on the crow.

 Hey!! as I could not even pause, in another 2or 3 seconds, flying-waiting crows above the scene, near the middle of the tree, fell on the dog like rockets and the poor dog started typical crying, bleeding on the eyes and ran away.  

“What a grand display of love for own creed”, I realized, but then a few crows flew away while a few sat near the kill and started sharing the feast with the first one ( I think so?).”

“I must witness the whole episode  which was not over,” I thought.

Yes, I was right. Within two minutes, one crow ( probably, the original hunter ) lifted the big rat holding the tail and flew comfortably to the next building side across the road. ” How can one alone go away with his own prey without sharing”!! I thought.

Soon then, I noticed about two or three crows were still taking rounds and with a different noise (probably sending message—-that’s all, its over–) they went away.  Temperamentally a behavioural biologist, I must have witnessed in the past fifty years, a dozens of natural episodes on (natural sites) many grasshoppers, mantids, moths, wasps, bees, snakes, lizards, Varanus (a rare reptile), birds, rats, kittens and monkeys which had exhibited superior intelligence, collaboration and cooperation, hatred as well as love and fight, but never had had such a glimpse of “team work of supervising protection, sharing and legalized distribution” among crows. House rats( Rattus rattus ) are well known for stealing and eating with full cooperation.  Many such incidences become unforgettable.


A curious mind is like a wet soil, everything leaves an impression on it.

I have often thought of inherent biological philosophy inside many such natural instincts and community response therein. To keep carefully vigilant is the prime attribute of intelligence. But why be carefully vigilant, and what for? Because there is always action dependent counteraction at all levels of living and even in the non- living systems. While teaching various science subjects at schools, college and university levels I have had realized that the concept of “watching for protection” is inherent everywhere guided by uncontrolled mission

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