And Now… Dancing Chickens!
While not hot news, this tale of dancing chickens has just been retold, and reveals a fascinating back story. Dancing and performing animals were a mainstay at American amusement parks until comparatively recently. An investigation by Andrew Amelinckx has revealed links to a top-secret programme to train pigeons to guide bombs, and a revolutionary programme to help treat developmentally disabled people. Two students, Keller and Marian Breland, on the pigeon-bombing team during World War II used the techniques they picked up to set up an animal show to sell farm-feeds. The Brelands also set up an IQ Zoo of trained creatures and made plenty of cash by training animals to perform in parks, on film and TV. They continued their serious research too, helping develop self-care techniques for developmentally disabled people.
It’s a wonderful and weird story, read it here.