Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Frederick George Richard Roth--1909

These two bronze's were done by the same man who sculpted the elephants and camels in the beautiful work below. Mr. Roth is most famous for his sculpture of Balto, the sled dog located in New York Central Park.

My vote for the greatest animal sculpture of all time.

The stunning statue above was created for and exhibited at the San Francisco, Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. It is called Nations of the East, Court of the Universe. This amazing piece was created with the collaboration of the gifted A. S. Calder, who did the walking men, Fredrick George Richard Roth who did the elephant and camels and L. Lentelli who did the mounted horsemen. Breathtaking what great talent can do when it works together for a common cause.

French Congo--1898

These elephants look awful young. I wonder what the purpose was of shooting them? Obviously not for trophy, and surly not part of any culling program. He looks like an old buffalo hunter. Maybe after decimating the American Bison he just decided to take it to Africa.

French Congo--1908

African Elephant Domestication Centre at Garamba National Park near Gangala Na Bodio--1972

Garamba National Park is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the border with Sudan. It is the only park in Africa where a tourist can go on safari on the back of an elephant. The park was established by Belgian royal decree in 1938 as one of the fi rst national parks in Africa and was closely tied to the Elephant Domestication Centre, established in the early 1920s at Gangala na Bodio. King Leopold II of Belgium started the African Elephant Domestication Program in 1906, with the hopes that they could be used to haul cargo between the Nile, to the east of the park, and the Congo river to the west of the area. In the forties the camp was managed by belgian Major J. Haezeart, but most most training was done by Zande tribesmen. At one time, over 80 elephants were being used for work in the area, maintaining roads and plowing fields. Today(1972 only 4 remain. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

"Zoological Consultant" Peter Stroud

Peter Stroud of Peter Stroud Services is a paid Zoological Consultant. That means he say's what the people paying want him to say. His bias and personal agenda is so think it would choke a horse. Not a single one of his assoications or affiliate organizations of which he "consults" and is paid for said "consults" advocates the proper captive husbandry of animals. Everyone of them advocates no animals in captivity. That is their agenda. Some bury it deep and you have to look for it, and some have it right on the surface, but every single one of them have wrong facts, designed to "polish their agenda apple." If Peter Stroud will be kind enough to put down his books and stop writting/reading highline research papers for a moment I would like to offer him a "just common folks" education. In his letter to the Washington Post on August 22, 2010 regarding the new elephant habitat at the National Zoo, Peter Stroud say's this:

"Elephants need exercise. There is what the zoo calls an Exercise Trek — a there-and-back route up a hill — but it seems to be designed for elephants to be walked, circus-style, up and down, under the control of a handler. Elephants have soft feet and should never be made to walk any distance on concrete or asphalt, but the route is paved."

Then he say's: "There are sweeping green lawns." Then he ask's: "Why all this close-cropped green grass?" Because you, you nitwit in your one sided consulting capacity advised it. What do you want Peter Stroud, "Elephants have soft feet and should never be made to walk any distance on concrete or asphalt, but the route is paved" or do you want "There are sweeping green lawns," or do you want "Why all this close-cropped green grass?????" Or do you want elephants completly out of a captive situation? The organization's paying you to parrot them would seem to suggest that.

Now here is where you get the free education. You ask, "Where are the piles of loose earth and sand? Where are the scratching posts? Where is the varied terrain, the boulders and logs and mud wallows?" If you look to the left of the photo above and to the extreme back in the barred enclosure you will see what is commonly refered to as loose earth and sand. You will note patches of said loose earth and sand around the pool which should facilitate the elephants making a dandy "mud wallow" in short order. Which should "engage or challenge an elephant" in your esteemed suggestion.

Do you note that wavy wall? That can be interpreted as "varied terrain", and although not a bolder in the true sense, I don't think the elephants will know the difference. But you are right about log's. Apparently the goof's forgot logs as I don't note any. Speaking of "Where are the scratching posts?" that referenced wavy wall is about the finest "scratching post" any elephant could ask for. The exuberant one's will love the "scratching post" in the third picture, as they will be able to "scratch" from on end to the other without having to weave around corners. In the second picture is a great "scratching post" if they just want a leasurly ass scratch or just a tad on the head/shoulder. They can use the post beside it at their discression. In the first photo you can see a real dilema, surely designed to make an elephant nuttier then a rat in a tin shit house. What in the world should we scratch on???(lucky for them they don't have to chose a shampoo on the drug store shelf) I can't decide, you decide. Oh my God, I can't decide either. Let's just stand here in the middle and sway and console each other. Freaking zoo folks are trying to make us nuts!!!!

Viewing angles--The Fénykövi Elephant

So that someone doesn't suggest the elephant is uncomfortable with being looked down upon(there are some real nut jobs speaking for animals out there) let's view a dead elephant. Many animals are uncomfortable being looked down upon, notably hoof stock, but an elephant is not if the distance is great. But he is unhappy if there is no offering of a treat when he does look up, lol, and Peter Strouds suggestion that he is uncomfortable is wrong, and I believe only knee jerk BS to get his point across. But his suggestion that looking down offers a poor perspective and real appreciation of the animal is right, and David Hancocks brilliantly made that point with the Woodland Park Zoo Gorilla Habitat. What is the best "visual/viewing angle" to appreciate the wonder of this elephant. From above in the Rotunda, from below from the photographers perspective, or at eye level in the photograph below. You decide, to me it is quite obvious.