Stray Dogs Master Complex Moscow Subway System

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Another trick the researchers report seeing is the bark-and-grab: a dog will suddenly jump up behind a person in the street who is holding some snack, enough of a surprise that the food gets dropped for the grabbing.

The female we followed on the Kievskaya Line seemed at ease as she traveled among all the people packed in around her, and with reason: Moscow's subway strays even have their own statue in the Mendeleyevskaya station.

It commemorates Malchik, a stray who lived there until he was stabbed by a fashion model in 2002 who didn't like how Malchik barked at her terrier.

Learn How to Live With Them

Outraged Muscovites erected the statue. Passersby now rub the Malchik's shiny bronze nose for good luck.

Despite this public admiration for the strays and their survival skills, many Muscovites still see the tens of thousands of homeless dogs as a big problem.

"We have to solve it," Anastasia Markina of the Alliance for Animal Rights of Moscow said. "They're not guilty that they became homeless. We should solve this problem in a humane way."

There have been sterilization campaigns, and city dogcatchers manage to get some strays into pounds, but it's all had little effect on the overall stray population.

Vereshchagin thinks that Moscow's residents need to accept the dogs as a part of life in the city.

"It's not really easy to completely move the dogs out of the streets," he says. "I guess we just have to... learn how to live with them."

The stray dogs of Moscow - including those who use the subway - have themselves already done a lot to work for peaceful coexistence.

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