So all five of us — me, Thorn, her husband, and their kids — stood there gaping as they jumped around yelling and making that distinctive guffawing mockery nose. When they calmed down and were quiet, we were all very excited at each other over the fact that we'd never heard such a thing before. And then a woman walked up to us and said "Oh, they're just agitated because my son played them a YouTube clip of another kookaburra." And the teenager next to her pulled out his phone and played this video:
And 10 seconds into it, the kookaburras started going nuts again, throwing themselves from side to side in the cage and screaming and laughing their heads off. It was no less impressive the second time, but now it had the unpleasant tone of watching an animal freak out because someone is jabbing it with a stick through the bars of its cage. The teenager wandered off, but the noises continued for another couple of minutes before the birds settled again.
It all reminded me a lot of the fascinating YouTube video where a man showed a cuttlefish an image of itself through his reversible eyepiece, and it darkened and started stalking the image, and every other cuttlefish in the tank came over to see what the big deal was. In theory, it shouldn't be hard to call up the sound of a lion's mating call or territorial roars and play it at a zoo lion to see if he responds; I wonder if a lot of that goes on all day at zoos at that point. And I wonder how long before there are prominently placed "Do not torment the animals with technology" signs to go with the "Do not feed or tease animals" signs.
I'm-a feelin': annoyed