Photo: Wikipedia/Mesch~commonswiki

Tokyo crow that tried to buy a train ticket gets illegally captured

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

With service for two train lines and one subway line, Tokyo’s Kinshicho Station has a lot of people buying tickets every day. But for the past few weeks, they’ve been joined by a crow, who, lacking any money of his own, has taken to stealing human commuters’ prepaid cards and attempting to purchase a ticket of his own.

Following the most highly publicized incident, which was captured on video, the crow once again stole a person’s card, and this time, instead of sticking it in the ticket machine, dropped it on the roof of a nearby taxi. But despite its apparent interest in vehicular transportation, the crow almost ended up going for a very long, unintentional ride.

Earlier this week, “Ticket Crow,” as he’s become known, was captured, as shown in the photo tweeted by Japanese Twitter user @yuruhuwa_kdenpa.

Photo: @yuruhuwa_kdenpa

It wasn’t animal control officers who caught the bird, either, but a woman who lives in the area. Seeing the crow hanging around Kinshicho Station, the woman felt it would be happier in a more natural environment than downtown Tokyo, and took it upon herself to capture it. After looking after it for a month or so to make sure it was in good health, she planned to “take it into the mountains, where the air is clean, and release it,” citing Nagano Prefecture as a possible candidate for the bird’s new home.

However, while Ticket Crow ended up in a cage, the woman has ended up in trouble with the law. The woman didn’t catch the crow because her methods were more effective the station staff’s, but because the rail workers weren’t actually trying to catch it. Capturing crows without legal authorization is a violation of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Law, and carries a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of one million yen. Since no permission to capture the crow had been handed down from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the station workers had simply been chasing it off whenever it appeared.

What’s more, taking the bird into the wild may not have benefitted it at all. For one thing, it seems to have been thriving in its urban environment. The animal stockpiled bread crumbs in a bush and, displaying the powers of intelligence and memory retention that crows are known for, even seemed to remember a friendly human who often rode by the station, following him before returning to the station with a sausage in his mouth, presumably a present from the bicyclist, which the crow then left on the roof of a subway entrance to eat later.

Shoei Sugita, a biology professor at Utsunomiya University, went so far as theorize that the crow was “almost definitely” kept as a pet at some point in its life, as it appears to be especially relaxed around humans, even occasionally perching on the arm or shoulders of people in the area (he also speculates that it isn’t stealing the plastic prepaid cards because it actually wants to go anywhere, but because of crows’ inherent interest in shiny or reflective toys). Fellow professor Hiroshi Higuchi, a University of Tokyo ornithologist, also expressed doubts about Ticket Crow’s ability to find its own food in the wild, saying “If it’s used to being fed, even if you release it in a natural environment, it’ll just searching for a rural human community to live near.”

The authorities haven’t said whether they plan to press charges against the woman who caught the crow, and even if they do, the penalty is likely to be light, as she didn’t intend to cause the animal any harm, and possibly wasn’t even aware that what she was doing was illegal. As for Ticket Crow himself, his fate is now in the hands of animal control, but it sounds like he won’t be getting kicked out of Tokyo for the time being.

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News/FNN Prime Online, Twitter/@yuruhuwa_kdenpa via Hachima Kiko 

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Why, hello there, crow! How may I be of service?

-- Crow, rat, and garbage capsule toys huge hit; perfect for creating “trashy” scenes

-- Osaka resident follows Twitter suggestion and befriends neighborhood crows with shocking result

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Waste of time to spend Tax Payers money on this, what a joke.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

With idiots like this in the government, Tokyo deserves every filthy mess of the thousands that crows produce every morning as they ravage plastic bags full of tasty trash.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I picked up and helped a crow once and it definitely remembered me. It and its friends followed me around for a long time after that. What a beautiful and intelligent animal.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I spotted a crow and a hawk chilling one next to each other the other day while I was on my bike ride through the countryside. They were just there, doing nothing like two friends just passing the time talking. I thought it was odd as they're both different species of birds and hawks are usually more on the aggressiveb side.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I guess the crow rescuing woman did not notice the recent news (couple of months ago maybe?) of a well known actor who rescued an injured bird (maybe a sparrow?) and ended up adopting it as a pet. After posting photos and messages about the bird online, he found out what he’d been doing was illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I picked up and helped a crow once and it definitely remembered me. It and its friends followed me around for a long time after that. What a beautiful and intelligent animal.

Last time I checked, Crows weren't hanging around on street corners begging for help. I wonder how much more fauna would be living in Japan if these pests were exterminated and brought to reasonable population levels.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Crows are very intelligent creatures!

pidgeons are the real nuisance!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are way too many crows (and pigeons) in the cities of Japan. They should do something about reducing their numbers. They have displaced all the native birds from cities and urban areas.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We have plenty of crows round these parts. Beautiful birds.

We also have plenty of other wild birds - swallows currently nesting under our porch right outside my study window, sparrows, tits, pheasants, thrushes, the occasional hawk and a kingfisher, plus many others I don't know the English names of.

Having lots of crows doesn't displace other birds. Their diets are different.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

We have hundreds of them here, next to a small mountain which I call Crow City. Went up there to have a look, hundreds of large nests high up in the trees. The noise was fearful as loud as a pachinko parlor. Somedays from my window I watch arial battles between a large hawk which fly much higher and a crow. The hawk comes down like a fighter jet. We use nets to cover the plastic bags of garbage but they don't stop the crows 100% nor the feral pigs and cats. Just before a storm or typhoon the crows disappear and all goes quiet, a sort of warning.

In the roof eves there are two families of sparrows, one family of thrush. There are the beautiful white eye which love the sakura blossoms. The black and white tits.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Having lots of crows doesn't displace other birds. Their diets are different.

Tell that to the crow who snatched a sparrow out of sky in front of me the other day. I'm pretty sure the sparrow didn't appreciate that difference in diets.

There really are too many crows in places. Smart bird or not, they do chase away other birds. I think you live in the countryside, Cleo, where there bird populations are more balanced. It's a different story in the city.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Crows' lives matter.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

agree with @bones. many crow stories to tell. they are super smart. they usually work in groups or family units. near my house, all the separate groups meet once a week, about 30, for a discussion. maybe rubbish collection tuff and how to deal with tomb

0 ( +2 / -2 )

turf and kites, sorry.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Love those crows! Absolutely brilliant birds. They never attack me on my roof or when I am walking. I think they can sense that I am no threat and actually like them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In my country, on my own land, I can shoot as many crows as I like. They are carrion birds, pests, aggressive and disease spreaders. Then they meet my 12-guage, and it's goodnight times.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Too many crows is really bad news for other bird species. They know where all the nests are and snatch the eggs and hatchlings when the parents are out gathering food.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Photo: @yuruhuwa_kdenpa

This photo by this guy is not a Japanese crow. They could have at least used one of the two common crows here. I know them well, as I mentioned before.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi: Those birds you think are Hawks might actually be Kites. Look at the shape of the tail to tell and research it.

The crows down at Shonan have a great relationship with the Kites there. The kites dive bomb and steal food, even off of hot grills, and anything that falls to the ground, the crows immediately go after it.

They perch together as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They could be Black Kites

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'e seen the video of it nicking a woman's card off her and looking as if it wanted to buy a ticket. Hilarious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I like crows and the roles they play in many cultures. That said, I had to construct a scarecrow last summer to keep the gurriers off my vegetable patch...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some native birds adapt well to urban environments, some don't. To say that crows displace other native species is missing the point. It's the urban environment itself that's done that. Crows and ravens, being intelligent and adaptable, just do better in cities than most other species.

It's important to distinguish between those native species which manage to adapt, even if they do become dominant (or even a bit of a pest) in a given habitat, and those introduced species such as Feral Pigeons which become established pests in a country (many countries) in which they don't really belong. And don't forget, the crows also keep down mice and rats.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oh common give that woman a break. not just she had a good intention but also with all of these animal eating human society it is just too hypocrite to think wether the government pursue to put her into jail or not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The authorities haven’t said whether they plan to press charges against the woman who caught the crow, and even if they do, the penalty is likely to be light, as she didn’t intend to cause the animal any harm, and possibly wasn’t even aware that what she was doing was illegal.

So if you didn't know something was against the law, the penalty would be lighter?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@quercetumMay 14  10:22 am JST

It should. In fact, the whole ignorance of the law is no excuse has always been something of a theoretical thorn in the side. There are a number of rationalizations for it which basically come down to We have to Pretend it is Such because otherwise criminal law won't work.

Amusingly, while we teach calculus that few would use, history that few would remember ... and even a smattering of the Constitution, nobody feels the need to make even the basics of criminal law part of compulsory education.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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