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This woman wanted to fly with her peacock as she claimed it's her 'emotional support animal'

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A slightly strange choice of animal for love and support

Andreas Kirkinis

08 Mayo 2018 11:59

Emotional support animals are those that have been prescribed to a person with a disability by a medical professional because they've concluded that it would be beneficial to them in some way. This disability could be intellectual, physical, or psychiatric. Animals for emotional support are most often dogs, given how close they are to humans and how attuned they are to us, but cats and other animals have played the role as well.

The woman in the video was in for a rough awakening when the airlines she was due to fly with didn't agree that her peacock could be considered her 'emotional support animal'. She showed up with the beautiful bird - with its huge plumage - at a New Jersey airport, only to be told by United Airlines that she can't board with her colourful buddy.

The airline said that the peacock 'did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size.' The spokesperson for United Airlines also said that they tried to explain this to the peacock's owner on three different occasions before they even got to Newark Liberty International Airport.

The airline also made a statement to specifically address their policy on emotional support animals, which said that they were 'dedicated to providing convenient and comfortable service to all of our customers.' They finally said that they are aware that some of their customers need their emotional support animal to get through their flight but, due to government regulations, they would need two things to allow one of those animals on board: medical professional documentation and 48 hours' notice.

Even though the bird is colloquially referred to as a peacock, that's actually a term for just the males of the species, with the females being called 'peahens'. Three different species are called the 'peafowl': two Asian species, the Indian or blue peafowl, in the Indian subcontinent and the green peafowl of Southeast Asia; and one species from Africa, the Congo peafowl, which only exists in the Congo Basin.

The peacock's impressive tail feathers develop as they grow older. For the first six months after hatching, male and female peachicks look identical to their peahen mother. After that, the males shift in colours and start developing their fancy trains.

When a peacock uses its irridescent train to attract females during mating season, scientists recently found that it quivers and produces a low-frequency sound that humans can't hear. Depending on if they want to attract the interest of a female that's close or far away from them, they can shift the sound they produce by ruffling different bits of their tail feathers.

The development of emotional support animals is obviously very important for the inclusion and comfort of disabled peoople who might have a hard time dealing with the 'outside world'. That being said, these animals probably should probably be something that's easier to manage than a giant show-bird!

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