Let’s stop calling it “crazy” or “soft.”

They are in danger of extinction and it is not by attributing “abnormal” behavior that we will help them. In short, this is the message that the Swiss zoo La Garenne wants to convey through its director, Michel Gauthier-Clerc. The latter just sent out a press release explaining why treating the grouse for insanity or slack has absolutely no scientific basis.

Without pathology

“The term” soft “would mean that the roosters thus designated suffer from a pathology that makes them listless. However, most of the time, the grouse does not do long. It is resting, it is eating … And it is very well! As for the term “crazy”, it designates a psychiatric pathology that does not have a proven medical reality. These interpretations, by man, of unusual behaviors lead to qualify the animal as consanguineous, abnormal, degenerate … This type of description is not good for no one. Even less so for the grouse! “

In his press release, the veterinarian is concerned about the use of these two words that “designate sick animals, which can lead to their elimination.” And remember that “since 2015 we have carried out a monitoring program for these individuals in the Jura Massif, validated by the Center for Research in Bird Population Biology, Department of the Natural History Museum. In the veterinary medical sense, there is no evidence that these tetras are diseased. “

Fiery young males

The droppings are studied in particular. No parasites were found there. The weight of these individuals does not indicate anything abnormal either. “Most of them are young males, born in the spring, who leave their territory in the fall and are not shy. In the collective imagination, the wild animal must be. But if he is not attacked, he has no real reason to fear the man. “

In terms of behavior, what these roosters have in common is that they are confident. So let’s stop calling them crazy or soft. After all, we have all of our days without!

What we know

The press release of the La Garenne Zoological Park Foundation recalls the data currently known to scientists about the atypical behaviors of grouse. “Most are young males, 1 to 2 years old, therefore inexperienced and exploring their environment. Dating, and sometimes aggressive, individuals are over two years old and can maintain this behavior for several years in a row. “

“This type of behavior is observed everywhere: Scandinavia, Austria, Russia …”

“There is no evidence of hormonal imbalance. This is still a hypothesis. “

“In zoos, if the grouse is very scared outside of the breeding season, it can become much more reckless and attack during breeding, probably under the influence of hormones. You should also know that if the peak in terms of exhibitions is between mid-March and mid-May, this does not prevent the rooster crowing and parading at other times.

“These roosters tend to have a shorter life expectancy due to their confidence. Therefore, they are exposed to cars, beatings, poaching … ”