The Oregon Supreme Court this month issued two landmark rulings that gave animals protections previously reserved for humans. Now police can intervene without a warrant to save an abused or neglected animal from its owner. Animal abusers are also subject to harsher punishments.
“As we continue to learn more about the interrelated nature of all life, the day may come when humans perceive less separation between themselves and other living beings than the law now reflects,” wrote Oregon Justice Martha Lee Walters in one of the decisions. “However, we do not need a mirror to the past or a telescope to the future to recognize that the legal status of animals has changed and is changing still.”
In other words, animals are more like us than we think. Here are five that are brainier than most people realize.