Monday, June 27, 2005

Pachyderm in a pool

This is an elephant, almost completely immersed in water:

Immersed elephant

You can see the tip of his trunk near the bottom.

I love the Toronto Zoo and hadn't been in years, so I was thrilled when Kim rented a car over the weekend and drove a gang of us up there. It was awfully hot, and a lot of the animals were flopped out in the shade. This elephant was a notable exception. We watched for a while as he immersed himself completely (except for his trunk), then filled his trunk with water & squirted it over his back, then made big splashes by smacking the water with his trunk, apparently just for the hell of it. Clearly, a trunk is the best water toy in the world.

Visiting the zoo at this time of year means blazing heat and hordes of little kids, but it's also a good time to see young animals, many of which are born or hatched in the spring. Here, Leslie encounters a curious baby mandrill:

Leslie meets a baby mandrill

I'll be going back sometime soon, as I sprung for a membership. Student memberships at the Zoo are only $35; for that you get free admission for a year, various discounts, and a quarterly magazine. The summer 2005 issue has an article on zoo diets, including this factoid:

The vampire bats' diet consists only of blood. The blood is poured into ice cube trays, which the bats all line up around as if it were a dining room table! The bats will only eat cow's blood, which we obtain from the University of Guelph. On rare occasions, when the cow blood supply runs low, they will drink camels' blood -- and we ask our Bactrian camels to donate.
. There's also a "Diary" page; some highlights:

January 31: Siberian tiger, Tonghua, caught and ate a wild Canada goose in his exhibit.
February 22: Pygmy marmosets given a mirror. At first they were afraid of it but now they are spending a lot of time looking at themselves.
March 24: Western lowland gorilla, Jomo, in the day room with a TV set up in the hallway. He "watched" 3 wildlife specials: Urban Gorilla, Gorilla, Among the Wild Chimps and part of Gorillas in the Mist. He seemed intrigued by it all -- lots of gorilla vocalizations coming from the programs.
More zoo photos on flickr!


Blogger ~ HiMY! ~ said...

How do you know if an elephant has been inside your fridge?
There are footprints in the butter.

How do you know if the elephant is still inside your fridge?
The door won't close.

7:02 p.m., June 28, 2005  
Anonymous ward said...

Field Marshall Blucher, the Prussian commander at the Battle of Waterloo, believed he had been impregnated by one of Napoleon's soldiers and was going to give birth to an elephant.

He was, like, insane.

He also won the battle.

1:48 p.m., June 29, 2005  

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