Image Source: Global Animal.
Among reports on the earthquake, tsunami, nuclear plants and radiation, devastation of coastal towns, tales of survivors and mass death, news is surfacing about Japan's lost pets that have survived the disaster. As if on time delay, the world's concern for Japan deepened as pictures of stranded animals made the rounds on the Web today. Nippon SPCA is here. Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (a coalition of three groups — HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata, and Japan Cat Network) is here. In addition, there are some reports circulating about animals' sensitivity to these terrible events - with some pointing to the superstition that animals respond to coming earthquakes before we anticipate them (as with my post here). In both cases, our perceptions of animals mirror our anxiety and emotions surrounding this intensifying crisis.
Image Source: AP via Global Animal.
Video Source: Youtube.
Updates on the dogs depicted in the above video are here.
Image Source: AFP via Global Animal.
Caption for the above photograph: A man carries his dog in the city of Ofunato on March 15, 2011. Rescue teams from the US, Britain and China began assisting in the search for survivors following the devasting earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Image Source: Dogtime Blog.
Tsunami Rescue Cats. Image Source: Animal Planet.
Man reunited with his dog. Image Source: Friend Burst.
Image Source: Tumblr.
Image Source: Confessions of a Badboy in Japan.
Image Source: Peoplepets.
Image Source: Red Star Cafe.
Image Source: Red Star Cafe.
Frogs moving en masse (5 May 2008) before the 7.8 Chinese earthquake of 12 May 2008, considered an omen. Image Source: Weird Asia News via Bush Warriors.
In recent weeks, 10 specimens have been found either washed ashore or in fishing nets off Ishikawa Prefecture, half-a-dozen have been caught in nets off Toyama Prefecture and others have been reported in Kyoto, Shimane and Nagasaki prefectures, all on the northern coast.
According to traditional Japanese lore, the fish rise to the surface and beach themselves to warn of an impending earthquake - and there are scientific theories that bottom-dwelling fish may very well be susceptible to movements in seismic fault lines and act in uncharacteristic ways in advance of an earthquake - but experts here are placing more faith in their constant high-tech monitoring of the tectonic plates beneath the surface.
"In ancient times Japanese people believed that fish warned of coming earthquakes, particularly catfish," Hiroshi Tajihi, deputy director of the Kobe Earthquake Centre, told the Daily Telegraph. "But these are just old superstitions and there is no scientific relationship between these sightings and an earthquake," he said.
Rare video of a beached oarfish in California (2008?). Video Credit: Dr. L. Schwartz. Video Source: Youtube.
A dead oarfish washed up on Malibu beach in California in early December 2010.