Sunday, September 1, 2013

When Elephants Fly

Strike that.

It should read

when elephants "swim"!


Groucho "swimming" at the Denver Zoo.
Friday, August 30







Groucho is a 43 year old Asian Elephant. He is Denver's largest elephant, standing over 10' tall and weighing a mere 12,400 pounds. Groucho came from the Ft. Worth Zoo when Denver opened its new "Elephant Passage" exhibit last year. About 10" of the ends of his tusks were sawed sawn* off in preparation for travel as there was concern that the tusks might get caught up in the bars of the crate he was shipped in, or, that he might jab himself, since the ends were close to his trunk. 

So, Mr. Postmaster, I have a package I'd like to ship.... 

We were told that Groucho is very independent-minded. He will enter the swimming pool if he feels like it, otherwise, he will turn and go back into a quieter area of the exhibit. Groucho is also a jokester. He decided to spray a young girl who was standing up by the glass fence. He also turned, while in the pool, and farted passed gas! He may not have thought it was amusing, but those of us who were still watching were tickled by the bubbles rising behind him!

Animals at the zoo are trained for husbandry purposes, not for entertainment. Each 'trick' prepares the animals to allow the keepers to examine, clean or take care of the animals' medical needs. 


sawed off? sawn off? 
Google says 'sawn' is proper because it is an irregular verb, however, creating the past tense by adding "-ed" has taken precedence and 'sawn' is losing ground to 'sawed' - also, 'my dictionary resource indicates that sawn' is how the Brits would make the past participle and Americans would use 'sawed'. 

17 comments:

  1. I am so thrilled to see him is such a wonderful habitat. It is a long way from the rocking elephant chained to the floor...Thank God.

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    1. The exhibit area is new and is state-of-the-art. There are many large areas for the animals, all with their own pools. I know that at least one of the pools is heated - I'm not sure about the others.

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  2. I haven't been to that exhibit yet, but I've been meaning to go. Thanks for reminding me that it's there. Maybe once it cools off a bit more, Jay and I will head down there.

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  3. I would love to go to the zoo just to see the elephants...I adore pachyderms!!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  4. What fun! Groucho looks like a blast to visit!

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    1. This was my first time seeing Groucho and he seemed like quite a character.

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  5. Were there other elephants in the exhibit with Groucho too? Looks like the zoo has provided a very nice habitat.

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    Replies
    1. Groucho is one of 5 elephants. The zoo just received a new male elephant from Belgium a month ago. This new "Elephant Passage" has a total of 10 acres. There are 5 one-acre 'enclosures'. The unique thing about the exhibit is that the handlers move the animals around, so they have the opportunity to explore the different exhibits. The movement happens during zoo hours so folks get to see the animals going from one area to another, through safe, secure pathways - one of which goes over the people path! It is delightful to visit.

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  6. That sounds like a fun animal ....seems he has a bit of a sense of humour. A well run zoo is always a good day out. Part of me doesn't like the idea of them but then another part of me believes for the right reasons and with good environments created the animals are sometimes better off than dodging poachers and trying to survive in the wild.
    Another wonderful zoo well worth a visit is Australia Zoo ....just north of Brisbane. It was created by Steve Urwin and is amazing

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  7. How fun. He looks like he really enjoys his pool. I would love to go visit him. I used to love to go see the elephants at the San Francisco zoo when I was a kid. When we visited the SF zoo last year, there were no elephants. The whole zoo was kind of sad and lacking. I figured it was due to California's financial issues. But I'm glad to know there are elephants in Colorado.

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  8. This post reminds me that I haven't been to the zoo since I retired from teaching. I went there with my school kids for many years. In Canada we would saw "sawn off," like the Brits. I enjoyed learning Groucho's story. Have a good week, Dreaming!

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  9. Hi, just found your great blog, we would say sawn off in Australia. Haven't been to a zoo in years but had a Elephant ride in Thailand this year.

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  10. Loved the post. How awesome you got to see him swim.

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    Replies
    1. I thought so, too. Lucky for us it was warm and he wanted to get the treats the trainer threw into the water to entice him in!

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  11. How fun!! I've really enjoyed these pictures, I feel like I was with you!

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  12. What a beautiful elephant and I am glad he gets the chance to swim and play, and not be bored all day.

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