Thursday, March 3, 2011

More history, mentor

I don't know if old photos are interesting to anyone except the people who knew those in them, but I will share anyway.

I had a mentor in dogs and horses, Jennie, who lived an interesting life.  She had many stories from her days as an elephant keeper/trainer at the Louisville zoo.    From her, rather than TV or anywhere else I learned how scary smart elephants are.  How they will hold a grudge against a particular individual who mistreated them and they should always be treated with the utmost respect and fairness.  How they would wait for the right time with elephant patience for the chance to get even.  After that I never looked at any news stories of mad elephants attacking keepers without thinking what must have been going on that was not in the story.   How they are unlike horses in that a horse can hurt you but it is generally out of fear that it reacts and throws you or steps on you.   An elephant will be very careful unless it means to hurt you. 

Jennie and Sneakers, a mustang
 There was the story of how keepers at one zoo did not know the physics of bird wing clipping and on the flamingos they clipped both wings of each bird.  This of course leaves them perfectly balanced and able to fly.   For a while there were flamingos all over the city. 

Jennie had a kind of a genius ability with all animals.
She sadly passed away much too young from a heart problem in 1995. 

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