Feeding the Elephant at the Zoo

Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo.
I do believe it, I do believe it’s true.
(At the Zoo, Simon & Garfunkel)

I love that song although I disagree with the line “And the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb.” They’re intelligent animals!
And with this particular elephant, we made acquaintance in 2003 when I threw him some kecapi fruits (Sandoricum koetjape) fallen from trees nearby. Agatha Christie said that elephants can remember or translated “gajah selalu ingat“, so I pronounced my name clearly and asked what his name is. Everyone need no get mad at me feeding the elephant. It was breakfast time and I asked for the guard’s permission to do so. This poor guy seemed constantly hungry. Animal Planet Reveals Asia said that adult elephants eats up to 300 pounds of plants daily. I don’t want him to be underfed.

So this week I had a time to visit him. I came early because the guards will allow you to help them during feeding time. So feeding the elephant was the first thing in mind. Sad to see that he was displaying an odd behavior (I assumed he was in a heat period but too bad he lives alone in the cage!). He repeatedly banged his head against the wall. I called him to distract his “self-bashing”, but it din work. The guards told me to ignore him. I said, please do something, he can hurt himself!

The guards heaped lots of rumput gajah (Pennisetum pupureum) next to his cage, so I asked for their permission to feed him. That’s the least I can do. Seeing me, he happily threw his trunk and I was like, gajah makan rumput gajah (elephant eats elephant grass)!

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