When you may have an itch, and no one else can relieve it for you. As this impatient elephant would attest, when that ᴅᴇᴀᴅly tickle takes hold, you’ll try anything to put an end to it. At the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas, the cheeky pachyderm was taking pleasure in his regular brushdown from the keepers when he suddenly developed a small itch in the center of his forehead.
But instead of remaining calm and waiting for the handler to strike the target, he seized the broom out of his hands and vigorously put it to his head. He took the broom with him back into his enclosure because the timely scratch had made him feel so good.
Fort Worth Zoo had its second elephant calf in less than 30 days in August. After an almost 22-month pregnancy, Bluebonnet, the Asian elephant at the zoo who is 14 years old, gave birth to Bowie, her first calf. At the time, a zoo representative stated that the Asian elephant is ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛened by significant habitat modification and has been listed as ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀed since 1976.
Due to the poaching of male elephants for their ivory tusks, it has also been questioned whether the species can procreate in the wild to reduce ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ rates. Reproduction rates are a major concern in zoos all over North America because Asian elephant birth rates are not keeping up with elephant mortality.
Given the numerous ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛs the elephant population faces, it is crucial that zoos continue to breed Asian elephants to ensure the species’ long-term survival. Staff at the Fort Worth Zoo were overjoyed in 1998 when Bluebonnet arrived. With a third successful birth, the Zoo solidifies its position as a pioneer in elephant conservation and breeding.
Read more at Elephant World category