Just like you, but different
Straight from the top shelf of nonsense is this dumb-is-as-dumb-does shockingly stupid story in the press about Mila the Elephant.
Elephants killing their handlers isn’t as uncommon as you’d think. They’re a bit big, and we’re not.
The story starts here and carries on here Mila The Elephant ‘Had Motive’ – Ex-keeper | Stuff.co.nz. From the story today it starts:
Mila the elephant most likely intended to kill her keeper at Franklin Zoo, says her former owner.
Robin Ratcliffe, brother of Mila’s former handler Tony Ratcliffe, said they warned officials that someone would get hurt if her transition to the zoo was not handled correctly.
“This tragedy was in the making,” he said. “We didn’t have any doubt. It was only a matter of time.”
Tony and Robin, neither of them noted Elephant Handlers brought Mila, for reasons of their own, and it seems never to be mentioned, when she was 5 years old, imported her from Hawaii, and sent her to work in a traveling circus.
I’ve no idea why you’d buy an Elephant and import it into NZ to be a circus animal, but I could make some guesses;
There is no mention if Mila was a bit unpredictable and moody at 5, but after having “cared” for her by making her perform cheap tricks for amusement, for 28 or 31 years (depends where you read) you come up with a revelation that you’ve actually no idea what you’ve done, and how your pet is going to behave in any situation and it’s all got a bit dangerous.
The SPCA had expressed concerns about the elephant’s physical and mental well-being before Mila went into the zoo’s care.
Robin Ratcliffe indeed right when he says “This tragedy was in the making,” he said. “We didn’t have any doubt. It was only a matter of time.” And as CactusKate2 on Twitter said of Mr. Ratcliffe “he’s like an angry ex wife isn’t he?”
So the idiot of a reporter chooses the “romantic” notion of “talking to the animals” and makes it appear as if the Ratcliffe brothers used to stand outside the zoo wringing their hands in worry, Why then did the Ratcliffe brothers abandon their Elephant? Did they want a free gig at the sanctuary zoo? Like that was going to happen. Franklin Zoo had a motivation to care for the Elephant in a sanctuary not keep it associated with it’s previous owner who’s speciality was making it kneel and perform like a Pavlovian dog. You don’t adopt a rescued pet from the SPCA and invite the previous owners to take it for a walk.
Training an animal and making a animal perform tricks are different. Not being an Elephant trainer myself have no proof but I doubt they understand English, and that direction and encouragement is by way of bamboo stick, prodding, poking and physical means. I’ve been to Thailand and ridden Elephants I’ve seen the way handlers get them to do things. It’s not with a nod of the head.
An Elephant (any animal) will do what an Elephant does, I don’t know what they think. In many instances I can predict their actions and behaviours. Domestic cats for instance, are very regimented, and you can associate their routine for human like behaviors. It isn’t. However I didn’t have to physically encourage my cat to sit on my lap by command.
I’m saddened by the sugar coated performance of the reporter in this news story,it’s poorly written, poorly researched and has no opinion, except they seem to believe that Animals have human emotions and that you can associate human emotions to animals.Perhaps they think their writing a story about Barbour the Elephant, or Dumbo with Jiminy Cricket. Mad.