Tales from the Zoo, Part Four
Some of you have mentioned that you really like elephants and were curious as to how intelligent they were. Well, not only are they intelligent, but they can be sneaky sons-of-bitches too. For example: Every zoo keeper would carry a set of keys. 15-20 keys on a ring on a belt hook.
The elephants were notorious for stealing these keys. They are the worlds largest pick pockets. One time we had the elephants inside and were laying out their feed. After you chained them you'd break open a bale of Timothy hay in front of each elephant then dump 50 pounds of grain and veggies on top of the hay. This meant you were literally standing under there heads sometimes. They weren't aggressive at all so this was no big deal. Plus the public was standing not 5 feet away, and this made for a great show. Day in, day out people would ogle and take pictures and all you were doing was your job. One day I'm dumping the hay. I'm standing next to Clara's head when someone asks me a question. I stand up and start talking to the person. I have Clara's head rubbing against me and I'm scratching her cheek as I talked. As you stood there, the elephants would always have there trunk all over you. They'd lay it on your shoulder, or on top of your head. The audience would go insane laughing.