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11 March 2010 @ 11:48 pm
Can suck brains through trunk!  
Very busy and exhausting week this one, I'll be glad when it is done! I suspect I have only made it through without committing homicide thanks to Beethoven and Sigur Ros on the iPod (I like my angst orchestral). Sigh. Though it looks as though I am about to inherit a new mag to do a rescue job on, which will be fun!

The BIG news in Sydney this week is our Zombie Baby Elephant. There are a group of Thai elephants at Taronga Zoo who are the source of many inches of copy in local publications, both for and against. On the whole, I prefer my elephants in the wild. However, given the choice between harbourside setting and used as industrial power source in Thailand, harbourside is better. A lot of money has been put into the Taronga enclosure and a lot of support staff, too. Having visited a number of elephant sanctuaries in Africa and Asia, the Sydney set up is not bad.

All of which is preamble to this week's events. One of the elephant cows was pregnant and expected to give birth last week. She went into labour, but nothing happened. After several days of this, she was given an ultrasound, and the calf was found to be upside down in a position that meant it could not be born successfully. Worse, it was showing absolutely no signs of life. It was announced the calf had died, and the vets, like the other elephants, relaxed and stopped shadowing the mother, as stillborn calves can take weeks and months to finally be delivered (elephants, like kangaroos, have complex and fascinating reproductive systems.)

Very early yesterday morning, a keeper went in to check on the mother. She was looking a bit stunned, and the keeper noticed blood on her leg, so assumed she had delivered the dead calf. She saw a lump and went over to check. The lump raised his little head. The keeper, who I imagine had a minor freakout at that point, started calling for vets and help and went over to give assistance to the newborn. Mum elephant has allowed the keepers and vets to help get the baby up and about, and, despite being poorly, baby has been walking unaided and suckling, so may even survive long term!

People are calling it a miracle elephant, but obviously it is a Zombie and will be using that prehensile trunk for the new and improved brain extraction through ears method. It's damn cute, though, take a look: 

In other news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to powerflower11 , and for yesterday to absdax  and lilliputian722 . I hope you all have the luck of a Taronga elephant and an absolute absence of the undead! Well, Abs can have Ianto, but that's it!

Oh, and re my last post: I should have known that a warning of  'OH GOD THIS IS AWFUL DO NOT READ' would see you lot clicking in droves.
Catscatsintheattic on March 11th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
I just finished reading a book about dead people coming back and being kind of undead - your post fits in every possible way. :-)

Yay for the baby zombie elephant. Or is it a zombie baby elephant?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 11th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
Since Mum is not a zombie, I decided to go with the latter ;-)

Did the people in the book turn out well? I have hopes for the little elephant, though they are tempered with the hard fact that elephant calves do often die.
Catscatsintheattic on March 11th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
No, not really. They went a little crazy, and the living went a little crazy, too. In the end, it was important to let their soul go in the right way.

Let's hope that the little elephant will survive. *crosses fingers*
Admiral of Strange Shipsnoeon on March 11th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
Beethoven *and* Sigur Ros? That is lovely angst.

I can't believe they couldn't figure out that it was alive.

The zombie baby elephant angle is verrrry funny. "Can suck brains through trunk" made me think of travelling thought. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 11th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
It appears that it was in what amounts to a coma, so its signs of life were pretty much invisible. And have you ever tried to ultrasound through several tonnes of elephant? Me either ;-) But they assure me it's not easy!

I turn to the Icelandics when I need a little bit of calming, Beethoven when I need a lot ;-)
Admiral of Strange Shipsnoeon on March 11th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
And have you ever tried to ultrasound through several tonnes of elephant?

Definite no. In fact, the very thought of it is more than mildly disturbing.

I suppose it shouldn't be surprising, but I'm always amazed by what we don't know with machines.

It's bombastic melancholy and very sweet at times (Sigur Ros at least).
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on March 11th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
From the comments to the article:

My daughters have just finished reading a famous book about a boy wizard. They realise that it's too soon to name the young calf, but have suggested "Harry Porntip" - The Elephant Who Lived!
Drew - March 11, 2010, 12:18PM

So cute!
It's a Deensedeensey on March 11th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 11th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
It's so obvious!

Is it wrong that I can imagine the keeper maybe having a little wee when the baby lifted his head?
It's a Deensedeensey on March 11th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Possibly, but only in the right ways.

Also, walk sunday. with the feast saturday my life is too crazy.
Ann: stewie!dracotsosh on March 11th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
The Attack of the Zombie-But-Supercute Baby Elephants!
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on March 11th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Hah, playing dead to make the awful peoples go away kthxbye and now I can finalle get out of here to keeel you. Coincidence once again - inadvertendly defended art installation against aslödfkjasdlfkj woman saying there aren't metal sticks but hundreds of straws sticking out of the deflated globe and the bandaged continents, pretty clear artistic message about sucking there, too, that she wanted us to loudly proclaim as being sucky.
E McGeemelusinahp on March 11th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
That is a beautiful story. Beautiful for the zombies, at least. They need good news now and then. They're zombies.

Maybe less good news for Australia at large, though? I mean, once the baby starts indoctrinating other elephants -- adult elephants -- and they attack on mass. Well, it will be over for you, no?

I see it all as a metaphor for your Draconian pornography laws.

I wonder how they could tell the elephant looked stunned?

I am on a lot of cold medicine
this mundane stuff called lifewinnett on March 11th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
EEEH! Zombie Baby Elephant is so cute! I have a thing for elephants, have for as long as I can remember. Seeing them in cages always breaks my bleeding heart, though.
lee: Fleursnegurochka_lee on March 11th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
All right, I'm having a dreadful day, but your elephant story just made life infinitely better. If the lump had not lifted its head I think I would have just broken down sobbing. :)
silent hallucinationalex_s9 on March 11th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
I wish I had as wonderful a story as yours when my week-from-hell finally ends (on Sunday, hopefully).
Leni Jess: Forget who? (design Powerhouse museum)leni_jess on March 11th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
The ABC news homepage yesterday had about three minutes of baby standing, moving his feet a bit (supported by four keepers and a stomach sling), and inclining somewhat to one side. He was also waving his trunk about vigorously, and investigating everything in reach (including the shorts leg of one keeper); I took this for a hopeful sign. *crosses fingers* (http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201003/r529078_2994196.asx)

[Had to use this icon. Sorry!]
elanna9 on March 12th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Yay!!! :) I think baby elephants are adorable. I hope this little one makes it! :)
( ̄ー ̄)☆☆ ジュンジュワ!under_an_oak on March 12th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
There is something to be said about my naivete if only for the fact that I actually thought Zombie Elephants do exist. I was going to Wiki it until I realised, oh! You meant in that the baby was a stillborn but...wasn't.

trichinopoly ash: zac: pink beeniealdehyde on March 12th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC)
awh, the zombie elephant is indeed very cute! <3
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on March 12th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
Please reassure me that the story that zombie elephant has been named Mr Shuffles is a hideous lie.....
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2010 09:08 am (UTC)
It's one of his baby nicknames, because he is rather shuffly at the moment. But he will have a proper Thai name when he grows up.
Hueyphoenixacid on March 12th, 2010 12:41 pm (UTC)
I haven't read a newspaper in days and that's such a :D news! Wonderful! We need more zombies in this world. XD
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on March 12th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
your mind is a scary, scary place *lach*
jolinar_rosha: Jack crazyjolinar_rosha on March 12th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
that's just... weird. utterly and completely creepy, and quite weird.

I suppose if it *does* start sucking the brains out of the rest of the elephants, and people, and spreading the zombie... thing, we'll hear about it.
Jaeenchanted_jae on March 13th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
Snape's Angel: happyangela_snape on March 13th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, go Zombie Elephant! What a great story of survival.