Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Miss Bets


Miss Bets is a baby elephant. She is an African elephant. Her weight at birth was 263 lbs and she is 35 inches tall. She is strong, healthy and nursing. Her mom, Amy, is a first time mother.

Amazingly, she was born here in Arkansas at the Riddle Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary on December 8, 2007.

Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary was established by Scott and Heidi Riddle in 1990 on 330 acres in the Ozark Mountain foothills in Arkansas as a non-profit home for elephants needing one for any reason. It is the only internationally recognized sanctuary that accepts any elephant regardless of species, gender, or disposition. This Arkansas elephant sanctuary currently houses Asian elephants and African elephants. Elephant care and elephant management are taught at this elephant haven. Programs include Elephant Experience Weekends and an annual International School for Elephant Management. Major goals of the sanctuary include the care of the resident elephant herd, but also elephant conservation in general, helping to ensure the long-term survival of these magnificent and highly endangered species. You can visit their site to learn how you can help elephants or to "adopt" an elephant!

Now for a little science--did you know that elephants don't sweat? So how do these warm blooded mammals regulate their body temperatures? One way is their ears! I think that is wonderful.

"Elephants have large ears which are packed with capillary structure through which sizable quantity of blood flows. Whenever there is excess heat that needs to be released, warm blood flows through these capillaries, while the elephant chooses a cold spot (like that of a shade) and uses the favorable thermal gradient to release the excess heat. In other words, the ear flaps of the elephant serve as an enormous convection fin - a flapping one at that - to enhance heat transfer from the elephant body to the environment."-- from Arunn Narasimhan post Elephant Ears And Thermo Regulation

5 comments:

Deborah said...

I beg you to do more research before plugging this "sanctuary". Google the name "Scott Riddle" and see the history of hideous elephant abuse and deaths that come up. This place is not a sanctuary; a true sanctuary would have the elephants living as natural a life as possible under the circumstances, not chained and in tiny pens. Note the frequent listless swaying of the elephants at this place. This behavior stems from stress and/or boredom. It is not natural, and it is not healthy. Further, a true sanctuary would not be breeding its animals; this is not conservation - this baby will NEVER be able to return to the wild. This has nothing to do with conserving populations of wild elephants. This baby, who in the wild would spend her entire life with her mother and extended family, will doubtless be torn away within a couple of years to be sold to the highest bidder. If you want a true elephant sanctuary to support, go to www.elephants.com or www.pawsweb.org; the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and the Performing Animals Welfare Society in California provide true sanctuary to captive elephants in this country - but do not go there looking for a cute baby to ooh and aah over; they will not be breeding more elephants to endure the unnatural and unhealthy life of a captive elephant.

rlbates said...

Thank you for your comments Deborah.

Dreaming again said...

What a beautiful Elephant!

I collect elephants, so this caught my attention! I'm one of 'those elephant lovers' ;)

I've had a thing about elephants since Dr. Suess ...Elephants are faithful one hundred percent!

Bongi said...

sorry to also put a dampener on the story, but as far as i'm aware, african elephants aren't endangered. in fact where i live, the discussion is on how to prevent them from breeding. culling seems to be the best option. i personally think hunting may be an alternative.

rlbates said...

Thanks Bongi. So if they did "cull" them, is the meat edible like our deer meat when those herds are culled by hunting?