I am not surprised. I think that this sort of thing is well known.
Please consider the following, also about animal cognition, with some emphasis on anthropomorphic thinking.
excerpt from, “Mind of the Raven” by Bernd Heinrich (Harper Perennial: 1999,
“At dusk on September 7,
1997, a cougar crept up on Ginny Hannum as she was working at the back of her
cabin at the head of Boulder Canyon in Colorado. The cougar crouched low among
the rocks, facing her from about twenty feet, and it was ready to pounce. Hannum,
at ninety-eight pounds and
four-feet-eleven-inches tall, was a well-chosen target.
“Although Mrs. Hannum was unaware of the cougar’s presence, she had become “somewhat annoyed” by a raven “putting on a fuss like crazy.” “I never paid much attention to ravens,” she told me, but this one was so noisy that it was downright irritating.” The noisy raven kept coming closer, having started its commotion twenty minutes earlier from about three hundred yards away. Hannum had never before noticed ravens “cackling like crazy.” Was this raven trying to say something? She started to listen more closely.
“The cougar was ready to make its kill, but the raven was closed and it made a pass over the woman, calling raucously, then flying up above her to some rocks, where she finally saw the crouching cougar. As the cougar glared down with yellow eyes locked onto hers, Hannum quickly backed off and called her three-hundred-pound husband. The surprise attack had been averted. She had been saved. She recounted, “The lion moved his head just a little bit as the raven flew over it. That’s when I saw him. I never would have seen him otherwise. He was going to jump me. That raven saved my life.” The event was declared a miracle in the news.
“A miracle is any even the natural cause of which we do not understand. That provides an adequate number of miracles to some of us—certainly to me. Why did the raven call? To the religious Hannums, it seemed a miracle that a raven would go out of its way to deliberately save a human life. To me, raven behavior is still a miracle, although I have faith that this raven’s behaviors was within the realm of what ravens normally do. They are alert to predators that could potentially provide them with food, as well as to anything strange in their environment. Perhaps the raven had been luring the lion to make a kill, alerting it to a suitable target. If the lion had feasted, so would the raven. That is, both would have benefited, as expected in communication.”
“A similar account with a possible similar scenario appeared in the Anchorage Daily News (December 29, 1998). In this incident George Dalton Jr. came face to face with a grizzly bear on a hunting trip near his village of False Bay. George had wounded a deer and he followed its blood train into the brush where the deer went to die. The bear found the deer and also wanted to lay claim to it. After some tough negotiating with the bear, who was stomping angrily in the ground, George told him (in Tlingit) to please leave him alone. The bear came closer nevertheless. Soon George could smell the bear’s breath, and fearing for his life, then said to it: “OK, you can have him, he’s yours,” while backing away and retreating into the brushy muskeg. George recounts that the bear made a charge: “Ravens were following me and squealing. I thought they were guiding me and telling me that the bear was still following me.”
“My interpretation here is also precisely the opposite. I suspect the ravens were not warning the man, but informing the bear of a potential victim instead. The ravens have a lot to gain if a bear makes a kill. They were probably guiding it to an intended, perhaps prechosen victim. Everything I know about ravens, as well as folklore . . . is congruent with the idea that ravens communicate not only with each other, but also with hunters, to get in on their spoils.
“Whatever else these two incidents illustrate, they show the difficulties of interpreting communication, and how much interpretation can depend on the mind-set of the receiver. The Hannums and George Dalton thought the ravens were communicating with them. Instead, the ravens were probably informing the predators. To make sense of communication, the first relevant questions to ask are: What are the costs and the payoff to the givers and the potential receivers of the signals given?”