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Asian Elephants

08/19/13 at 12:00pm in Asian Elephants (Latest Edit: 11/14/13 at 08:29pm by Shane.)
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While were hanging out with one of the keepers and watching the elephants systematically destroy our handiwork (see Elephant Keeper experience), she mentioned to us that the park is expecting to get a male Asian elephant soon.

Apparently a zoo in Canada (in Calgary, I think) is having to close their Asian elephant section, and BGT agreed to take the bull. They hope to breed him with the girls in their existing herd. BGT staff have already worked with the Canadian elephants in the past, as part of a zoological exchange and training program. The keeper said that they hope to be able to expand in the future, so BGT can take the rest of the herd, as well.

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08/19/13 at 12:02pm in Asian Elephants
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Just found this article. I guess this is now "News" and not "Rumor?"

http://globalnews.ca/news/736283/calgary...o-florida/

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08/19/13 at 12:32pm in Asian Elephants
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Yup, moved to News.

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08/19/13 at 07:22pm in Asian Elephants
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(08/19/13 12:00pm)Nic Wrote:  ...the park is expecting to get a male African elephant.

It's an Asian elephant, not an African elephant. The elephants already at BGT are also Asian elephants.
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08/19/13 at 07:34pm in Asian Elephants
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Just read the article and it says he was originally at the Miami Zoo but was moved to Calgary in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew wrecked it. I may have seen him as I visited that zoo a couple years before Andrew hit.
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08/19/13 at 07:37pm in Asian Elephants
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(08/19/13 07:22pm)gardener14 Wrote:  
(08/19/13 12:00pm)Nic Wrote:  ...the park is expecting to get a male African elephant.

It's an Asian elephant, not an African elephant. The elephants already at BGT are also Asian elephants.

Totally right. I was really tired when I wrote this.

Fixed .

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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10/07/13 at 08:42pm in Asian Elephants (Latest Edit: 10/07/13 at 08:44pm by Bill.)
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The male elephant arrived at the park recently, and is currently in "quarantine". Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with him, but they will run a number of different tests to make sure he is physically healthy before anything else.

Hopefully, by the end of the year he will be brought out of quarantine and be slowly introduced to the herd of females, on a one at a time basis to start. The hope is that he will be able to mate with the youngest of the female herd at the park, but the trainers also hope that interacting with all of the herd will be a positive experience for all the elephants.

At this point, however, it's unclear if the public will ever see the male elephant on the habitat. The trainer I spoke with this evening said he's "on loan", so to me that means he's not necessarily going to be at the park permanently.

Assuming his interaction with the female herd at the park is positive in the months ahead, another physical hurdle would have to be overcome. While the habitat is female Asian elephant "proof" (meaning the gates can handle their weight if they pushed, etc.), the trainer said the entire habitat would have to be "bull proof" for the male to be allowed out there. She explained the largest elephant they have in the herd now is approximately 9,500 pounds - the new male is around 13,000.

Those that take one of the tours that go behind the scenes at the elephant house, however, might get a chance to see the new guy in the months ahead.

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10/07/13 at 10:26pm in Asian Elephants
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How exactly do you transport an elephant gently? All I can think of is a tractor trailer, but wouldn't that be uncomfortable for the elephant?

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10/07/13 at 10:33pm in Asian Elephants
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I take it you've never seen Smokey and the Bandit 2? How about Operation Dumbo Drop?

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10/07/13 at 10:37pm in Asian Elephants
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Nope Tongue

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10/07/13 at 11:41pm in Asian Elephants
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(10/07/13 10:26pm)Evan Wrote:  How exactly do you transport an elephant gently? All I can think of is a tractor trailer, but wouldn't that be uncomfortable for the elephant?

This site explains one process in transporting an elephant.

http://www.elephants.com/flora/floraTrip.php
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10/28/13 at 06:36pm in Asian Elephants
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Spoke with another trainer today at the park about Spike and his progress.

At this point, all of the necessary tests have been performed, and the samples taken and sent out to be tested as part of the quarantine process. There is no timetable on when Spike will come out of quarantine, but everything so far has been fairly smooth.

The elephant is actually located in a section of the park north of the Serengeti, completely unconnected with the current elephant habitat or housing just to be safe. Even the trainers can not interact with Spike and then go into the elephant habitat in the same say without washing their clothing, etc., all to be extra careful in case there are any issues with the new elephant.

Trainers have been introducing themselves to Spike, and the trainer I spoke with today said the elephant has been very receptive. They are learning what works and what doesn't, and also teaching him new behaviors that they have seen work at the park with the current herd. The trainer said Spike is very intelligent, and learning quickly.

Discussions are still taking place on whether or not the current habitat will be modified to allow Spike to come out and be viewed by the public. The trainer said there were several areas that would have to be changed in order to allow the larger male elephant to be out on the habitat safely, including raising some wall sections and likely the elephant interaction area.

The trainer also said that the plan is to have Spike become a permanent member of Busch Gardens if all goes well. If that's the case, hopefully the park will make the investment to the habitat so that the public will be able to see him in the future.

Also worth noting - at this point Spike is not able to be seen by the public at all. In the future, it's possible that he may be able to be seen on the backstage tours involving the elephants, but at this point nothing is official on that front.

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11/20/13 at 08:55pm in Asian Elephants
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Spoke to a trainer again today (the trainer has now begun to remember me for asking about Spike!) and he's still in quarantine, and expected to remain there for several weeks more at least.

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12/13/13 at 09:59pm in Asian Elephants (Latest Edit: 12/13/13 at 09:59pm by Bill.)
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The park posted these two photos in responses to questions on facebook about Spike. Basically, a few people were convinced of a conspiracy that Spike is actually dead, and the park is trying to hide it. Even though I've responded several times to similar questions (as has the park) to how Spike is doing. I'm waiting for the responses to the park's photos saying they're not current... or real... or something else silly.

   

   

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12/17/13 at 11:18am in Asian Elephants
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Remember year ago in my army days was on a transport while on leave and the air force was transporting an elephant in a cargo plane for a zoo. It was an interesting smell of an experience
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