Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ghost Zoo-- Belle Isle Zoo Elephant

This photo is dated 1969, and show's the elephant Sukie apparently by the looks of her "body english" being loaded into a crate, none to willing. Does anyone know who the man is in the picture? He must know Sukie well and trust her, because that is sure a tough place to be in with an upset elephant.

5 comments:

Jim A. said...

Looks like a typical zoo loading operation. The participants probably will only load one elephant in their careers. If they did it twice it would go much better the second time for all concerned.

Wade G. Burck said...

Jim,
It is amazing how much better you get at something, the more you do it. When Eddie Novak, whom I respect greatly, and has loaded more of different kind of animals then most anybody alive, came to get Gyp and Nic, he climbed out of the tractor and said, "how are we going to go with this, Cap? I told him what I had in mind, and asked if he had insight. He said, "the only thing I would do different is use rope instead of chains." I said, "I agree, but I don't have any rope." He replied, "I have 4 coils 150 foot long in the truck." An hour and a half from the time he drove in the gate, he was heading out. Having to do something tough with someone of Eddie caliber assisting, not only gives you additional courage, but it becomes a pleasure. Not for one second did I doubt if the thing went South, and Nic put me down, that Eddie would have had my back in an instant.
Wade

Radar said...

If this was 1969, this would mean Suki is leaving Detroit, purchased by Paul Kelly. The studbook states she was at the Detroit Zoo. Where was the Detroit Zoo in relation to the Belle Isle Zoo? Does anyone have more information on the elephant history of the Belle Isle Zoo?

Jim A. said...

Belle Isle was Detroit's first zoo, a menagerie. In the modern era it was an aquaruim and children's zoo. I believe it was managed by the Detroit Zoo. Probably had baby elephants at Belle Isle and moved them to the Zoo in Royal Oak as they grew up if they didn't get moved elsewhere sooner.

Radar said...

Thank you very much for clearing that up, Jim.