Sixth Sense? Zoo Animals Sensed Quake Early

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More recently, witnesses reported that elephants and monkeys in Sri Lanka and Thailand moved to higher ground before the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 150,000 people. Cattle, dogs and other domestic animals also showed signs of distress.

"Very few humans notice the smaller P wave that travels the fastest from the earthquake source and arrives before the larger S wave," said a report from USGS. "But many animals with more keen senses are able to feel the P wave seconds before the S wave arrives."

Animal lovers, for their part, already seem sure. A new AP-Petside.com poll reveals that approximately two-thirds of American pet owners believe their pets have a sixth sense about bad weather. Seventy-two percent of those who subscribe to this belief are dog owners. Sixty-six percent own cats.

Even beyond weather, the poll indicates that approximately half of Americans think their pet has a sixth sense about something bad happening. Forty-seven percent of dog owners and 41 percent of cat owners insist they have been alerted by their pets on such occasions in the past.

The successful evacuation of Haicheng, China, in 1975 granted the theory of animal premonition a degree of legitimacy. But more research is needed before into animals' "sixth sense." If it's true, animals could give a a quick warning of something yet to come.

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