A family in Vogar has raised three ravens in the past. The last one, Kashmir, has just flown the nest. In a Fréttablðið article, the family recalls some of their favourite memories of their feathered friends.
Gunnar Júlíus Helgason and his family have always kept animals. In the summer they run a zoo in Reykjanesbær. His daughter loves birds and has raised a goose and a baby raven who was kicked out of its nest. And it seems she got her love of birds from her uncle, Jón, who himself raised two ravens before he died in 2006.
He’s a big football fan
The latest bird taken in by the family was Kashmir, who made something of a name for himself in the local area, attending parties, going to the gym and watching football matches. Gunnar recalls: “He took one trip to Grindavík some time ago, and went to a football game. He seems to be a big fan of football. He’s a huge socialite and enjoys having a lot of company.”
Ravens are very sociable creatures and are often seen in pairs. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Kashmir however, who shunned the company of fellow ravens in favour of human interaction. “He knows nothing but humans. He’s met other ravens but has no interest in talking to them,” Gunnar says.
The raven mourns
Perhaps the most touching tale of the family and their corvid companions is that of the death of Gunnar’s brother, Jón. Gunnar explains: “My brother died a year after bringing a baby raven home. After the funeral, the raven came and sat on his coffin until it was lowered into the grave. The pastor was a little scared of the raven, but he was a great comfort to the family.”
The raven has since been seen sitting on Jón’s gravestone.
“I know ravens are very sensitive,” Gunnar says. “There is a strong connection between these birds and people. I do not know if he knew it was Jón’s grave or not, but he sat there for a long time.”
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