Thursday, 19 April 2007
Re-learning Women's Solidarity from the Elephants
"Gott, ist der süüüß! Oh God, how cute!" writes one local newspaper,
was the most heard expression when the newly born elephant was
presented to the public at the Cologne City Zoo last Tuesday, April 17.
If Berlin has its star Knut, the cuddly polar bear, Cologne has also its
own mega attraction, the elephant calf, son of Mother Elephant Tong Koon.
Sharing the same birthday with the present pope, the elephant calf is
now being christened unofficially as Benedetto.
The excitement at the zoo from Monday to Tuesday reached me
through hubby`s blow-by-blow account of the birth of the mini jumbo.
"Did you know that cows were assisting in the delivery of that
baby elephant?" hubby asked me last Tuesday morning.
"What are the cows doing in there?" I asked back.
"Those are the female elephants," he patiently explained. "They
cordoned off the mother elephant until she gave birth and
protected the calf all the time, no kind of assistance from the
zoo helpers," he continued.
"of course," I retorted, "female solidarity, what else?" while thinking
of my next posting title "Re-learning Women´s Solidarity from
the Elephants." And to be more scientific, I googled for reasons
why female elephants are manifesting more
damayan or solidarity than some female groupings I know.
Here are some findings from the San Diego Zoo
"Both African and Asian elephants live in close social groups
called herds.A herd is usually made up of related females,
called cows,and their offspring.The leader of the herd is
called the matriarch. The matriarch is usually the oldest
and most experienced female in the herd. She decides
when and where the herd will eat, rest, and travel. Adult males,
called bulls, don´t live in a herd. Once male elephants become
teenagers,they leave the herd. Only after they become adults will
they visit other herds, and that is only for short periods of time
to breed. Bulls do not take part in caring for the young."
"Do you know how much Benedetto weighed when he was born?"
asked hubby Wednesday evening. I answered, "10kilos," thinking
how thin he looks."100 kilos," hubby exclaimed like he
has just won in a state lottery. I have no idea why he got so
fascinated in this elephant story.
"Oh, I thought you were asking about the pope," I answered
bursting into laughter.
Well, to make our Pachyderm loaded marital conversation short,
I told hubby before going to bed this morning of Thursday:
"Well, who knows, the calf will be so loved and popular that he
will get the name, Papal Bull. I think, I should join this name
the elephant contest which runs until this coming Sunday and
win a year free ticket to visit the zoo."
Pinay von Alemanya