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Dan

Elephants bading in the freesing Scandinavinan cold...

My hands shook with cold as I shot these pictures. It was 5 degrees Celsius "warm" in the air so I guess that the elphant pool had just about the same temperature. Yet the calf and one of the 11 year old ones, Kungarou, if I have gotten their names straight by now, did not hesitate for a moment to take a plunge. Actually not one but several! I love watching the Copenhagen elephants bath, whatever the temperature, but at the same time I´d like to mention that I have NEVER watched the two old members of the herd dare to go into the pool. I would love to be told otherwise but my theory is that that Ida and Indra are so old that they cannot imagine the fun of going into a pool. They have to gotten used to concrete floors, being chained for 16 hours a day FOR DECADES and being showered with a hose once a day. They simply do not no of this concept, I would assume? Which is why I see them - at the most - dipping their trunks into the water and watching the young ones go about their business? The young ones have memories about the joy of bathing from their infant days in Thailand and the calf learns from them. God, this is sad!

Elephants bading in the freesing Scandinavinan cold...
Dan, 6 Dec 2009
    • Dan
      My hands shook with cold as I shot these pictures. It was 5 degrees Celsius "warm" in the air so I guess that the elphant pool had just about the same temperature. Yet the calf and one of the 11 year old ones, Kungarou, if I have gotten their names straight by now, did not hesitate for a moment to take a plunge. Actually not one but several!

      I love watching the Copenhagen elephants bath, whatever the temperature, but at the same time I´d like to mention that I have NEVER watched the two old members of the herd dare to go into the pool. I would love to be told otherwise but my theory is that that Ida and Indra are so old that they cannot imagine the fun of going into a pool. They have to gotten used to concrete floors, being chained for 16 hours a day FOR DECADES and being showered with a hose once a day.

      They simply do not no of this concept, I would assume? Which is why I see them - at the most - dipping their trunks into the water and watching the young ones go about their business?

      The young ones have memories about the joy of bathing from their infant days in Thailand and the calf learns from them.

      God, this is sad!
    • Yassa
      Thanks for these pics! Actually it`s not uncommon for elephants to go swimming in european winter if they have the chance. Most zoos empty the pools in winter, but in Cologne and Leipzig where the pools are always full the elephants regularly go swimming in cold weather. I`ve once seen the Cologne elephants going into the pools while it was snowing. Elephants are loosing much less heat when swimming in cold water then humans because their body mass is so much larger in relationship to the amount of skin they have, so it`s no problem at all.

      I have to disagree with your conclusion re Ida and Inda - conditions in the old elephant facility were bad, but not THAT bad. At least the last years before moving to the new house the elephants were not chained! Young elephants are always more playful then older females and it is nothing unusual that only the young members of the herd use the pools regularly.
    • Dan
      TRUE - but for DECADES these two unfortunate animals were chained up 16 - 18 hours a day...

      I feel ashamed to look into their eyes when I visit the zoo.
    • PAT
      At Melbourne Zoo I've never seen Mek Kapah the oldest of their 5 elephants venture more then ankle deep in a pool and I've seen Bong-Su, the male swim on one occasion and that was to get some pumpkin before he got straight out after the food was retieved. I've often seen the three youg females playing in the pool and even going completely under water.
    • Toddy
      I am affraid that I will have to shot down your theory (again:p). The females' outdoor enclosure in the old elephant house did in fact have a small pool even if it was not full except occasionally in the summer months. I am not defending the old enclosure here but merely stating that the old females have used a pool on occasion.

      Inda and Ida simply are not as playfull as they used to be because of their age. But they both have been in the pool. I have seen Inda comming out myself and Ida had a rather bad accident around the pool. When comming out of it she took a fall because of her leg conditioning. It was considered to put her to sleep if she could not be raised again. However, the got on her feet and her venturing into the pool again would probably be a bad idea...
    • Dan
      I was actually always qurious about that little concrete hole in the ground in the old enclosure. Over the years I have never seen it filled with water. Not once. But it did happen occasionally, then?

      And you have seen both eles in the new pool? Good as far as Inda is concerned, probably not so good when it comes to Ida, just like you say.

      Actually I have also always wondered about her appearance. She is very thin and one of her legs does look really bad. Do you know the story behind this?
    • Toddy
      Yes, I have seen at happen. I even believe that I have a few photos of the elephants using the pool on file.

      She has a leg-condition that I do not know the same of but all of her legs are affected. She has always had it but it has become worse with age. She is receiving acupuncture and is otherwise in good health.
    • Dan
      The elephants bathing in the small concrete hole in the old enclosure? I would truly and honestly love to see pictures of that. I always wondered if it ever happened and, if so, why I never saw it.

      No hurry at all, but if you do have pictures...............
    • Toddy
      That would require a large scale search since my old photos are not very organized. I will look if I get the time to do it
    • Dan
      Only IF and WHEN you feel like doing it, Toddy. If you say that you have seen it, then I believe you of course. It is just that over the years when I have stared at that little concrete hole in the ground I have always wondered why it was never filled with water.

      I always assumed that there was some kind of technical problem that the zoo did not bother to adress, drainage... whatever....
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  • Category:
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    Date:
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