Sex Cute Baby Elephant Death
posted by December 13 at 14:44 PMon
This story about whether to artificially inseminate one of the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo is days old, but I’m just catching up. Briefly, there is a lady elephant, named Chai, whose daughter Hansa died in June from elephant herpes.
Here’s a photo of the cute little Hansa:
And here’s a photo of a cute little kid crying over Hansa’s death (courtesy of KOMO):
Now the zoo wants Chai knocked up again (they say because breeding is good for the worldwide elephant population; cynics say because baby animals are good for ticket sales). The zoo wants to import semen from a Toronto stud named Rex but animal rights groups want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to seize the semen at the border.
Nobody knows much about elephant herpes except that it’s gross: it causes lesions and excessive internal bleeding, especially in the elephants’ hearts. Nobody knows how it’s passed, how Hansa got it, if Chai or Rex has it—but the animal-rights people would rather not risk another cute baby elephant death.
The story is inspiring colorful headlines—”Elephant’s semen stirs controversy,” courtesy of the Victoria Times Colonist— but it’s deeply unsatisfying.
Are the animal-rights people kooks? Are the zoo people being greedy? How important is it to keep breeding elephants in captivity? What’s up with this elephant herpes? Why can’t they just test Rex and Chai for it?
And more importantly—the mechanics. How do people masturbate elephants? What kind of container do you ship elephant semen in? If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife people seized the semen, what would they do with it? And if they don’t, how are the people at Woodland Park going to get it inside Chai? With some dirty Animal Kingdom videos1 and an elephant-sized turkey baster?
The public demands to know!
1 Here’s a candidate.