Pooh Reflecting

Pooh Reflecting
Pooh Reflecting

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Riding An Elephant

Yesterday I had the District Nurse here to flush my Port - she brought a student nurse with her, who originally came from South Africa.  We were discussing native animals and the nurse asked the student if she had ever seen an elephant (among other animals) in the wild.  She replied she had, but to answer another question, had never ridden one.  I said I had - at the Melbourne Zoo.  When I was a child I clearly remember having a ride on the elephant.  An internet search provided the following information:
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Park received its first elephant in 1883 from Calcutta, a year after opening an institution modeled after the London Zoo. The female Asian elephant, named Ranee, died 21 years after her arrival. The zoo’s most famous elephant, Queenie, arrived in 1902 and gave rides for more than forty years until she killed a keeper in 1944 (possibly by accident). The following year she was put down by zoo management due to a food shortage stemming from World War II. In 1962, the zoo discontinued elephant rides. The two oldest residing elephants at the Melbourne Zoo, Bong Su and Mek Kapah, arrived in 1977 and 1978, respectively. They would remain together until the import of three juvenile females from Thailand in 2006.
Elephants at the Royal Melbourne Zoo
It may be that I had a ride on Betty or Peggy.  These were two baby elephants who arrived at the zoo in 1939.  Betty died in 1973 and Peggy in 1988.


(Click on this image to view a video of the baby elephants)

I can't find a photo of either of these elephants giving rides, but here is one of Queenie.  I remember that when I had a ride we sat in a seat just like in this photo.

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