Thursday, 31 October 2013

Elephant No. 59: Trick or Treat!

Trick or treating was a really big deal in the neighbourhood where I grew up, with most of us filling at least one pillowcase full of treats before the night was done. Some of the more adventurous would even cross the Great Divide (also known as Meadowlands Drive) to cadge sweets from the even richer neighbourhood.

I was a ghost a couple of times as a kid, but this wasn't for lack of imagination on my parents' part. For example, one year my father—an engineer by trade, but a senior civil servant by day—made my sister a huge robot costume from foil-covered cardboard boxes, complete with all kinds of light-up parts, including swirling airport lights on her shoulders.

So, in homage to those days, I decided to dress up one of my elephants as a ghost for Hallowe'en today. Mostly because a ghost costume is super simple.

This was the elephant I used, given to me by a friend a couple of years ago.

To dress him up, I cut a large piece of cotton from an old sheet, and draped it over him.

Because trunk was high in the air, I cut a hole for it to poke through.

Next, I felt for where his eyes were, marked them, then cut out eye holes.

I draped his "sheet" over his tusks, and pinned it together so that he wouldn't trip when he climbs up people's front steps.

And, because a trick-or-treater needs something to contain all that loot, I gave him a small plastic jack-o-lantern filled with little candies. Although I was tempted to give him a pillowcase.

Elephant Lore of the Day
Elephants love pumpkins. Although some elephants will eat smaller pumpkins whole, most of them like to roll the pumpkins around before stomping on them and eating the resulting pieces.

Many zoos provide their elephants with pumpkins in the fall, as both an elephant-enrichment activity, and as a tasty treat. The video below shows elephants at the Oregon Zoo enjoying pumpkins—the youngest of which seems to be in a sort of pumpkin-induced delirium.

To Support Elephant Welfare
Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary (Thailand)
Wildlife SOS (India) 
The Elephant Sanctuary (Tennessee)

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

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