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Moscow Host To Huge Population Of Strays

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posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 05:15 PM
Found an interesting article about the stray dog population Of Moscow. Some scientists estimate the population around 35,000

Source Article

He quickly found that the strays were much easier to study than wolves. “To see a wild wolf is a real event,” he says. “You can see them, but not for very long and not at close range. But with stray dogs you can watch them for as long as you want and, for the most part, be quite near them.” According to Poyarkov, there are 30,000 to 35,000 stray dogs in Moscow, while the wolf population for the whole of Russia is about 50,000 to 60,000. Population density, he says, determines how frequently the animals come into contact with each other, which in turn affects their behaviour, psychology, stress levels, physiology and relationship to their environment.

Some of the dogs actually use the public transportation system-

Neuronov says there are some 500 strays that live in the metro stations, especially during the colder months, but only about 20 have learned how to ride the trains. This happened gradually, first as a way to broaden their territory. Later, it became a way of life. “Why should they go by foot if they can move around by public transport?” he asks. “They orient themselves in a number of ways,” Neuronov adds. “They figure out where they are by smell, by recognising the name of the station from the recorded announcer’s voice and by time intervals. If, for example, you come every Monday and feed a dog, that dog will know when it’s Monday and the hour to expect you, based on their sense of time intervals from their biological clocks.”

In a much publicized incident, a stray was killed with a knife...The killer went to jail and the city erected a statue in the dog's honor-

Romanova was arrested, tried and underwent a year of psychiatric treatment. Typically for Russia, this horror story was countered by a wellspring of sympathy for Moscow’s strays. A bronze statue of Malchik, paid for by donations, now stands at the entrance of Mendeleyevskaya station. It has become a symbol for the 35,000 stray dogs that roam Russia’s capital – about 84 dogs per square mile. You see them everywhere. They lie around in the courtyards of apartment complexes, wander near markets and kiosks, and sleep inside metro stations and pedestrian passageways. You can hear them barking and howling at night. And the strays on Moscow’s streets do not look anything like the purebreds preferred by status-conscious Muscovites. They look like a breed apart.

Interesting how the city has learned to live with and love these dogs....many residents are thankful they keep the rat population under control.

Any Russian ATS Members aware of this or would care to comment on it?

posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 05:23 PM
Dogs have lived symbiotically with us for a long time. It's interesting how even 20 of them figured out if the rode the train it would take them to where they wanted to go. It's more astonishing that they are accepted by the city, and I'm sure they play a vital role in their urban habitat. (as they control pest populations).

What I want to know is how many of them became feral? Or did they adapt to living along side us so well that they are no longer aggressive towards us? (I'm sure there are some vicious dogs)

It may seem mundane to study dogs but in this case I think we could learn a lot.

I wouldn't be surprised if they are no longer aggressive to humans. Any dog owner has seen the friendly side of the species.

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