Sunday, May 8, 2011

For Radar--Toledo Zoo

This seems like a fairly useless graphic and waste of fund's in an apparent effort to "beautify" an otherwise ugly pre fab building.

The photo above has "1950's" written on the back. I only mention I could find in the data base of a male Asian at Toledo anywhere near this time was Babe who died in 1943 at the age of 66. This elephant doesn't look that old. Jim Clubb mentioned yesterday that possibly Salt and Sauce were not as "tough" as they were rumored to be as they were worked up into the 60's. Babe killed a guy in 1914, yet was worked in free contact exclusively by Toledo Zoo Director Lou Scherer for 31 years. Was Babe over publicized or was Lou Scherer an incredible elephant man? Allen W. Nyhuis co-author of "America's Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans and Families" mentioned a couple of weeks ago that "animal husbandry" is not at the top of a good zoo director's list of priorities, and I suggested that "animal husbandry" should be # 1 on a good zoo director's list of priorities. How many Directors, theoretically the leader/General of the zoo, can anybody name today, who could step up to the plate and "get er done" by showing staff under him or her how to deal with an issue like Babe, as Lou Scherer appears to have done years ago, apparently without a make up staff or script writter?

The year is unknown for this postcard. I don't know if elephants were kept in this building, or if it was just a convenient building to pose the elephant in front of?


Ryan Easley said...

Thank you for sharing Wade. I wonder if the picture has a scribe error and is from the 1960s instead? As we have previously discussed we are no strangers to that dilemma. It does further my belief that the studbook was incorrect about the gender of the elephants and she may have been rotating out the males. I have seen on Buckles Blog quotes that she was only working four in the act at points in time.

Bob Cline said...

The Toledo Zoo's "Babe" came from Wm. P. Hall in 1912. He was known as "York" then. The earliest findings I have of this elephant are on the Pan-American Circus in 1908. Mr. Hall bought the circus in 1909 thereby acquiring YORK and a female Asian named JENNIE.

YORK / Babe died at the Toledo Zoo in 1945.

Jim A. said...

Maybe Director Lou kept a tough elephant around for job security -- who would want the job. There a few more tales of zoo managers keeping the jobs with their ability to get around a tough animal.

As to does the Zoo Director have to be great at animal husbandry. It would be nice but I'd be happy if a good finance and marketing guy was the Director BUT knew their second in command was an excellent husbandry person and supported them. Zoo management has become multi-facetted. Best to be good at something and then know what you don't know (and admit it).