Previous Return to Timeline Next

1996

The day that Karha was bored

By Amanda Horley

I live on the south coast so can only get up to the zoo once or twice each year. For me, my favourite memory of the zoo has to be when Karha was being hand-reared by the elephant keepers in 1996. I visited the zoo in the summer that year, and was enchanted by the young elephant. Towards the end of my visit I returned to the elephant enclosure and Karha was indoors with the keepers who were taking a coffee break. Karha kept wandering over to their table and trying to attract their attention. Nosing them with her trunk and rubbing against them. She was getting pats and rubs. She then looked around for something else to occupy her and started playing with things on the table.
She wandered away from the table and after a couple of minutes of aimlessly wandering around spotted a sack full of carrots that was stood to one side. She went over to it and it may have been my imagination, but she seemed to look towards the table before she leant against the sack, tipping it over. Carrots were scattered everywhere, and very quickly the keepers were on their feet and rushing over. My only regret is that it was before the days of digital photography. I had taken a lot of pictures of her earlier in the day so didn’t take any more at this time. These days, without the expense of film and processing I would have a photographic record of the incident.

See more: Mammals, Special Zoo Moments