November 6, 2018
- as seen by -Betelhem Petersson
This Election Day, it’s wise to remember that the right to vote is nothing to sneeze at — unless you’re an African wild dog. Researchers in Botswana observed that these clever canids reach consensus through sneezing before deciding whether to hunt.
To test their theory, scientists from the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust collected data for one year from five packs of African wild dogs in and around the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta. They found that the more sneezes that occurred, the more likely it was that a pack would move off and start hunting. The sneezes acted as a voting system but unlike human election systems, wild dogs were able to sneeze more than once to influence the vote and dominant members’ sneezes carried more weight in the final decision.
So, as you head to the polls to exercise your Constitutional right to vote, I’ll repeat exactly what I said to the African wild dogs: Bless you!