by Eugene Linden
This is another book full of anecdotes about animals displaying intelligence. "True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, " the long subtitle informs. Stories in The Parrot's Lament have been collected from zookeepers, animal researchers, gamekeepers, hunters and pet owners. Although most of the focus subjects are dolphins and great apes, there are also examples of many other species including parrots, pigs, leopards, dogs, housecats, etc. Animals are shown displaying playfulness and creativity, understanding others' state of mind and practicing deceit, ingeniously making tools and finding means to escape enclosures, altruistically assisting other species in need of help or comfort and making friendships with dissimilar animals, sometimes even those who are usually their enemies. Some of the stories are rather far-fetched and hard to believe, but most were entertaining and though-provoking. To balance it all out a little bit, Linden also includes some information from research on animal cognition and emotions. An enjoyable read, especially if you're an animal lover!
Rating: 3/5 ........ 224 pages, 1999