Oz teen elephant pregnancy sparks protests
Pachyderm underage rumpy-pumpy outrage
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." ®
I think I'll print out the article
and carry it on me so that the next time some volunteer pedestrian-botherer waves some printed matter at me and tries to make me feel guilty for not donating to (nor signing up and making regular donations to) their worthy cause of "land rights for gay black whales" or whatever, I can wave it under their nose and say "You're all a pack of loonies, fuck off before I douse your bicycle with hydrocarbons and set fire to it."
Had some great laughs at a lot of the posts - still have images in my head of some poor sod of a keeper trying to keep two randy elephants apart...
As for Erica Martin, if she really wants to be of help to animals, I understand that one of the biggest problems facing cheetahs in the wild is that they're so fucked after chasing down their prey they don't have the energy to eat it immediately, nor the strength to defend it - thus they end up getting their food stolen by hyenas and they don't get to replenish the energy they expended making the kill.
What Erica - and many others like her - can do to help is to provide a nice, low-energy-outlay meal for the cheetahs. As there's no way she could run as fast as a healthy gazelle, the cheetah should have ample energy after killing her to eat AND smack down any hyenas that come sniffing about. WIN-WIN situation - for the wild cheetahs and us...
She's probably a vegan and Nature only has one use for herbivores....
@John A Blackley
Have pity on her. She has to justify her extortionate salary somehow !! Otherwise, people will stop donating towards these charities and she wouldn't get paid !!
How can they tell?
What a spoiled brat that female must be to call the pregnancy of an Elephant disgusting. Females of any species become pregnant when they are ready and be they Human or Elephant they will do just as they wish. Let us remember that it is not too long ago that humans "declared themselves married" when they felt ready to breed, they had children from 11 years of age onwards and usually died before they were 35 years old. It was only the intervention of the Salvation Army in the 1900s which brought about the "age of consent" legislation and that was to save very young girls from exploitation as prostitutes. Animals breed when they can and the earlier they do so the better is the issue.