Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kansas City Zoo 1959

Bennie Henry with Casey A and Lady A.  The only exhibit of it's kind where a male and female African Elephant roam together.

Does any one know why they had letter's at the end of their names?


Jim A. said...

Who donated the elephants to the Zoo? I don't know but it probably would explain their names.

I saw Benny Henry work these two elephants in a wet, muddy yard they shared with zebras and antelope (eland, I think)in 1967. It was at an AZA Regional meeting at the Zoo. Benny had two tubs that were tall but relatively small on top. Both elephants climbed right up on the tubs even though the tubs wiggled in the mud. They did a few behaviors, they worked well. Gary Clarke stepped toward me and said, "didn't expect that, did you." Benny was one of those intuitive animal guys that could get around most anything. Benny told the group that he trained the Africans because animal dealer Fred Zeehandlar told him they couldn't be trained and he just wanted to see if Fred was right.

Ryan Easley said...

The two four year old animals arrived in 1955 from Fred Zeehandelaar. They were named for the Kansas City Athletics baseball club, whose mascot at the time was an elephant. Arnold Johnson, then-owner for the team, donated the funds for the female. Other citizens supplied funds for the male.

Mark Wilson ,DVM said...

You got it the GREAT KC Atheletics . Finley moved them to Oakland.
Bennie was one of the nicest, most generous of my KC ZOO mentors. Casey Died a few years ago and was a sight to behold.
Before the elephant barn was built ,he walked them everyday a 1/4 plus mile to the Veldt. The Veldt was built i an old rock quarry and shaped like Africa complete with Lake Victoria pool. THE BEST MIXED ANIMAL DISPLAY IN THE USA . Decades before the Dallas Zoo . The "new" brillant zoo designers butchered the Veldt and now it is a hodge podge elephant yard with a properly built area for a bull(which the zoo lacks?) for mighty Casey.