Depression: Not just for humans
We've known for ages that animals are sentient beings, albeit on a lower level than humans. These stories provide insight into animals' thought processes and emotions, how they cope with sadness and disappointment, and how they can recover when conditions improve.
Our first story is about Gigi, a Doberman Pinscher, who became depressed after losing her litter of two puppies following birth complications.
The second is a modern take on The Lion King: Agence France-Presse and Brazilian media report that a pair of lion partners were reunited at a zoo in Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil, after the male became so depressed by their separation that he stopped eating.
Gigi's owner, Lynn White, noted that she had become despondent, stopped eating, and had to be force-fed. "She was very depressed. She loved her babies," White said. [CBWT-TV (CBC Winnipeg)]
At the same time, Lynn's friend Bev had puppy troubles of her own: Taylor, her Boxer, had a difficult pregnancy, and died two hours after giving birth to six healthy Boxer puppies. They agreed that they would try to pair up Taylor's now-motherless foster puppies with Gigi.
White described the arrangement as perfect:
It worked out fabulously. She took to the puppies right way and it was like a match made in heaven.
The six boxer puppies have been living with Gigi for four days now. Gigi has suddenly perked up — almost as if she had a reason to live again, according to White. The Doberman immediately took to cleaning the Boxer puppies and feeding them, although White had to help Gigi with nursing the puppies, to ensure the pups could continue to feed.
It's so important the puppies have the interaction with the mom. It doesn't always work out. Sometimes the mom just refuses,
For the next few weeks, the puppies and their new mom will be living at Bev's house, an hour outside of Brandon, Manitoba. All are doing well.
Dengo the lion was sedated for his transfer from Niterói's ZooNit – which lost its license due to non-compliance issues – to a facility in Brasilia. The herculean effort included eight men loading the tranquilized lion out of his cage, and flying him from Niterói to Brasilia via a Brazilian Air Force plane (as reported by O Globo).
The eleven-year-old feline, and his friend, ten-year-old Elza the lioness shared a cage in Niterói for eight years, before they were seperated. After Elza was transfered, Dengo spent most of his days lying down, without an appetite. However, things are looking up, as Dengo and Elza will share a large open space with several other lions and Bengal tigers.
The reunion was undertaken by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, as part of a larger animal relocation from ZooNit on Thursday. Some 490 animals are due to be transferred this month. [The Calgary Herald]