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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cute Baby Elephant Death

posted by on December 13 at 14:44 PM

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.

RSS icon Comments


It comes from dirty elephant toilet seats.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 13, 2007 2:47 PM

I'm guessing they get the semen the same way they get it from other large animals: electrically jolt their prostates.

Posted by Fnarf | December 13, 2007 2:50 PM

And from those crazy elephant swinger parties, too. Just stay out of the hot tub. Seriously.

Posted by tsm | December 13, 2007 2:50 PM

Oh my gosh! that link!

That elephant is totally trunking the other one!

The onlookers are funny too

Posted by Lake | December 13, 2007 2:51 PM
How do people masturbate elephants?


Posted by keshmeshi | December 13, 2007 2:51 PM

Well, I think either Scientific American covered exactly how masturbating an elephant worked a few years back (complete with picture of necessary apparatus installed on elephant + 6 technicians to hold it and use it). I remember it taking a couple of hours.

Too lazy to search for the issue though; someone else not taking finals might have the time.

Posted by Jason Petersen | December 13, 2007 3:08 PM

Sounds like a job for the Stranger Public Intern!

Posted by Jake of | December 13, 2007 3:08 PM


Posted by Scottie | December 13, 2007 3:18 PM


Well, that's how they get it from me.

Posted by Baby Batter Donor | December 13, 2007 4:03 PM

I once had the good fortune to visit a donkey semen farm, and they would lead the boy donkey into a barn and show him a girl donkey in heat. Once he had an erection, the handlers led the boy donkey over to a dummy of a girl donkey (complete with an artifical vagina) and the boy donkey got up on her and had sex and then everything was neatly contained right there in the AV. Everybody wins.

Posted by Elephants semen collectors take note. | December 13, 2007 4:16 PM


Boy, they sure know how to take the romance out of it, don't they...

Posted by COMTE | December 13, 2007 4:54 PM

HO-kay, here's pictures of how they collect from a boar. NSFW.

Posted by Fnarf | December 13, 2007 4:54 PM

More ace pictures, this time a bull (did you know that the "teaser" is usually a steer (castrated male), not a cow (female)? Them cow's're gay!

Alternate methods, including a picture of the electroejaculator probe (including one for ferrets):

"Sucessful electoejaculation of an animal demands skill. It is not simply a matter of punching buttons and turning knobs, but requires finesse in determining the proper timing and amplitude of pulses to apply to a given male".

Posted by Fnarf | December 13, 2007 5:01 PM

That is sooooooooo gay.

Posted by Whoa | December 13, 2007 5:05 PM

If you want one, it's going to cost you. This one is $950 for the device, and the probes run up to $245, depending on whether you want the 1-inch (ram and goat) or the bull probe, 2.5 or 3 inch. Heh. God knows what size an elephant uses.

Posted by Fnarf | December 13, 2007 5:15 PM

there should be no elephants in a zoo.

Posted by me | December 13, 2007 9:56 PM

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