Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elephant Extravaganza

Once upon a time, we were all young and loved the circus and the zoo. Where did that go? I don't think it went anywhere, and that's why we all are enjoying Water for Elephants.

Last August, I went to the Erie Zoo for the first time in more than 10 years. My, how it changed! It has alligators, penguins, rhinos, orangutans, and more. They still have Samantha, the gorilla. But they no longer have the elephant.

Martika was moved from the Erie Zoo in 1997. Apparently, not only was the space she was kept too small, but also being the soul elephant can make the animal go crazy as it ages. She now resides at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and was just moved into it's new African Elephant Crossing exhibit in early May.

Marika was born in 1985 in Zimbabwe. She weighs 8,620 pounds. According to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Martika is the most playful of the herd. She enjoys splashing water around and making bubbly noises with her trunk when her keepers give her a bath, and she's known to tuck hay and other treats between her trunk and tusks to save for later.

The new African Elephant Crossing marks Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's largest ever investment in preserving the future of elephants. This world-class elephant habitat and conservation center quadruples the amount of indoor and outdoor space dedicated to these majestic animals and provides them with stimulating surroundings similar to their native savanna.

Spread over five acres of lightly wooded grasslands, African Elephant Crossing features two large yards for roaming, ponds for swimming, expanded sleeping quarters, and a heated outdoor range. The naturalistic habitat is capable of housing up to 10 elephants at a time, including at least one bull and eventually calves. African Elephant Crossing also will house meerkats, naked mole rats, African rock pythons and a spectacular collection of colorful birds.

1 comment:

  1. hmm . . maybe we should go there for book club! ;-)