Letter | Published:

Intelligence in Animals

Nature volume 30, page 170 | Download Citation

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Abstract

THERE is at Walham Green a daily illustration of intelligence in a donkey which may interest those of your readers who collect such facts. Old Bob the waterman has been known for so many years that it is impossible to say how many. He is one of the few surviving carriers who take round for sale water in a tub on wheels, which is drawn by a donkey. Bob, the tub, and the donkey are one of the institutions of Walham Green. Years ago Bob used to guide his donkey to the pump near the church and then drive him round to his customers. How long the donkey was learning his rounds I do not know. Three years ago Bob used one shaft as a sort of movable crutch, and seemed to trust much to his donkey to go the right way. Now he appears quite blind, for a few days ago he was noticed going into the yard where the pump stands, when the donkey stopped. He asked a boy what his donkey had stopped for, and was told that a cart was in the way. It is interesting to note that the donkey conducts by his own intelligence all the business of water distributor, while Bob has sunk to the condition of mere pumper and of money collector attached to and led by the shafts, which latter duty might be done by an intelligent dog.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/030170d0

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