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Don’t pack that trunk for Mexico just yet….

31 July 2008

One hundred  protesters in Dallas waved signs reading “No to Mexico!” and demanaded sanctuary in the United States for… Jenny, a 22-year old African elephant now housed at the Dallas Zoo.  The protesters are demanding Jenny be sent to a private “Elephant Rehabilitation Center” in Tennessee, while Zoo (and municipal officals) want her sent to the Africam Safari Park in Puebla.  Africam is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The protesters are complaining that Mexico is too noisy for elephants (uh… are elephants known to be quiet?) and that African elephants need African elephant friends.  Africam has Asian elephants, but one reason it has agreed to take the aging Jenny is to provide companionship for another aging female African elephant it plans to acquire.

The “Concerned Citizens for Jenny” website seems most concerned that Jenny won’t be inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture.  You know, the guys who don’t inspect meat. And, as far as I can tell, there are no plans to eat Jenny.

My only worry is that THIS Jenny might follow in the very large footsteps of the legendary rebel elephant Jenny, the Sparticus of the circus world, who (it is said… I’ve never been able to track the story down completely) masterminded a breakout from the Barnum and Bailey circus train when it was at Buenavista Station in Mexico City in July 1954.  Tired of working for peanuts, the elephants ran amok through Santa Maria de la Ribera, making it the only urban neighborhood to be attacked by rampaging elephants in North American history.

The PRI had their headquarters in Santa Maria at the time, and the party press secretary also became a first (and only) in all the Americas… the only political press hack ever stomped to death by an elephant.

Most of the elephants surrendered after trashing the PRI parking lot, stomping a few police cars and eating a city park, but their ring-leader, Jenny, wouldn’t go without a fight.  She was eventually machine-gunned and carted away by tow truck to the Mexico City zoo, where she was used to supplement the lion’s diet for the next several days.  I used to have a photo of Jenny I being dragged down Calzado San Cosme by that tow truck, but I’ve never found it on-line.  Anyone having access to the 1954 la Prensa archives could do a favor to Mexican history by downloading the story and photos.

By the way, this is the second Jenny the Elephant story I know from Mexico.  The first was from 1952, when a Barnum and Bailey train unloaded the elphants at the Buenvista Station and the elephants — tired of working for peanuts (and spooked by lightening) stampeded through Santa Maria de la Ribera.

The other famous African-American elephant in Mexico was Benny, smuggled INTO Mexico in January 2001, who took up a new career playing the harmonica in a circus.

Raj “elephant boy” Bhaktra, a hapless Republican Party congressional candidate from Pennsylvania tried to make some point about elephants crossing the Rio Grande, but he was going the wrong way… or was drunk… or just a Republican.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Rushing permalink
    31 July 2008 10:30 am

    Animal rights activists are so lame… Who cares where they send it? It is just an elephant!

  2. ... permalink
    31 July 2008 11:28 am

    It’s nice that they care, but the Africam is a good place. Animals aren’t caged and they’re well looked after. Besides, it’s isolated enough to be quiet and peaceful.
    They should have done their research =P

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