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150258.  Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:28 am Reply with quote

There's a possible elephant-related General Ignorance question at post 150257 - regarding General John Sedgwick's famously confident estimation of the enemy's range.

151067.  Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:38 am Reply with quote

“Manketti nut, or mugongo nut (Ricinodendron rautanenii) is borne by trees growing in tropical Africa. The nuts are about the size of a hazelnut but resembles cashews. The nutritious kernels can be eaten raw or roasted. The raw fruit pulp tastes like dates but less sweet, and, when boiled down, turns maroon in colour and tastes like apple sauce. What makes this nut so remarkable, and may diminish its appeal, is the fact that it is usually gathered from elephant dung. Elephants are good at picking the fruit and greedily eating it, but their digestive systems cannot utilize the very hard nuts. Therefore, when these nuts emerge about a week later, they are ready to germinate. People then collect, clean, crack, and eat the nuts.”

151072.  Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:54 am Reply with quote

In 217 BC the Battle of Raphia (aka the Battle of Gaza) pitted 73 African Forest Elephants (in the Egyptian corner) against 103 Asian Elephants (for the Seleucid Empire). The Egyptians won. Some sources suggest that the Seleucid elephants did a runner and treat the battle as a test of what sort of elephant one should be recruiting for one's army, but others say that it wasn't really a fair test because the elephantine bits of the battle were really a draw and the outcome was down to the PBI (poor bloody infantry, in soldier-talk).

Any other instances of elephant-on-elephant action that we know of?

151074.  Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:03 am Reply with quote

The outer board Elephant thread starts here: post 74304.

152994.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:47 am Reply with quote

Elephants are good climbers - which prompts a delightful mental picture - but they avoid doing it whenever possible. In fact, they avoid even the gentlest of slopes, scientists have found, because going uphill is terribly costly is terms of calories.

Possible question: “If you were fleeing an elephant, why would you run upstairs?”


153201.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:45 pm Reply with quote

Elephants can be trained to go upstairs though - there's an advert for Bombay Sapphire showing one at the moment over here. The advert has drawn some flak from animals rights protesters.

153319.  Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:29 pm Reply with quote

You can still buy elephants at Harrods according to its owner:

race : Mr A-F can you still order an elephant at Harrods?

Mohamed Al Fayed : Of course you can, but you have to be very specific - do you want a male or female elephant? Or a crocodile!

153325.  Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:24 pm Reply with quote

So the Alps must have been a bit of a struggle, then.

154548.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:49 am Reply with quote

Picture of an elephant fetus.

more here

156058.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:41 am Reply with quote

I was fascinated to read in the Daily Telegraph this morning that “five men have been arrested after being caught smuggling two elephants into Thailand from Burma. They now face up to 15 years in prison on charges of elephant trafficking.”

(I know Flash says we mustn't come up with clever questions, but technically he hasn't told us to stop coming up with clever forfeits, so I’ll just add: F: “By wrapping them in condoms and swallowing them.”)

Is elephant smuggling - which really does sound like a jokey way of describing something impossible; “herding cats,” that sort of thing - very common?

“Poachers now roam deep into the neighbouring jungles of Myanmar and Laos in search of young calves and then bring them back across to sell them in Thailand, animal welfare groups say. "The main source of wild calves is Myanmar. Some come from Laos and some from local jungles. Thailand has become the main place for elephant laundering," Sorida said.”

Elephant laundering. There are some phrases you just never expect to encounter outside a Spike Milligan script ...

156067.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:00 am Reply with quote

Yes, that's very good, especially if there's a memorable way that they've invented for smuggling or laundering elephants - which would mean that we could ask "how would you smuggle an elephant?" and have an answer up our sleeves.

156068.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:00 am Reply with quote

The answer, it seems, is that elephant smuggling is a big problem; there are plans to introduce microchipping to combat it.

Would an elephant microchip be bigger than a kitten microchip?


156071.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:01 am Reply with quote

Sorry, Flash - crossed posts; I was answering myself, not you. I will try and find the answer to your Q ...

156072.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:08 am Reply with quote

THere was a story last year about a politician smuggling an elephant and a marching band into the US from Mexico.

Here it is


“If I can get an elephant led by a mariachi band into this country, I think Osama bin Laden could get across with all the weapons of mass destruction he could get into this country,” Bhakta said.

I'm not sure that they were entirely successful, having read that story though. Also, I'm not sure I know what a mariachi band is. "El Mariachi" was the film which inspired the Godfather wasn't it?

156073.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:12 am Reply with quote

It doesn't involve Vaseline at all, as far as I can tell - but there is a rather nice “’Ello, ‘Ello” aspect to it: it seems the smuggled elephants sometimes travel on false papers:


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