Feeds

Oz teen elephant pregnancy sparks protests

Pachyderm underage rumpy-pumpy outrage

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Animals rights groups are none too pleased that Sydney's Taronga zoo has allowed a nine-year-old Asian elephant to get up the duff a full two years before what they consider is the captive pachyderm age of consent.

Elephant Thong Dee is is apparently five months into her 22-month pregnancy, something which has delighted the zoo since, should she go to term, it'd be Oz's first captive elephant birth. The zoo's director, Guy Cooper, enthused: "The zoo is proud to announce this historic event."

However, Erica Martin, Asia Pacific director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, claimed that "under captive breeding plans elephants should be at least 11-years-old before conceiving", and that letting Thong Dee become heavy with calf was "the equivalent of allowing your 12-year-old daughter to become pregnant".

She thundered: "It is completely irresponsible."

Cooper countered: "The well-being of all animals in our care is of paramount importance and our breeding programmes are carefully managed to exacting standards that ensure our specialist staff employ the latest advice and scientific research."

Thong Dee was one of a group of eight Asian elephants imported from Thailand in November 2006, Reuters notes. Taronga Conservation Society Australia explained that the female elephants, Porntip, Pak Boon, Tang Mo and Thong Dee, were "assessed by reproductive specialists from Germany and found they were eligible for breeding".

The zoo defended that "the earliest Asian Elephant pregnancy in a European zoo was five and a half years", but Bidda Jones, chief scientist with Australia's RSCPA, warned: "We know that calves born in zoos have double the mortality rate in the wild, and this pregnancy will put both mother and calf at great risk.

"Still birth, infanticide and rejection of calves are the main causes of infant mortality and Thong Dee's age and lack of maternal and social experience make this pregnancy very risky." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.