Pack Animals: Pet Travelers in History

1274 B.C. Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II brings his pet lion, Slayer of his Foes, into battle against the Hittite army.

218 B.C. Hannibal ferries 37 elephants across the Rhône River on wooden rafts, marches over the Alps, and stomps the Romans in several battles.

1960 Stray Russian dogs Belka (Squirrel) and Strelka (Little Arrow) crew Sputnik 5, becoming the first creatures to survive space flight.

1964–67 Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train, attends parties with pet snails in her handbag. She later smuggles them into France.

1953 Author Truman Capote flees Sicily with his pet raven, Lola, when the people of Taormina accuse her of casting malocchio—the evil eye.

2005 Wisconsin kitty Emily hides in a box bound for Nancy, France. An airline returns her for free.

Myth The cars in the next lane are going faster than mine.

Reality Drivers in simulations thought their own lanes were slower even when they moved at the same speeds as other lanes overall.

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This article was first published in March 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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