Saturday, September 8, 2012

Elephant Hunting Part V

The hunt for the elephants continued.

The next port of call, after a ferocious week at work, was the Botanical Gardens. Yet another elephant that was trying to pose as a tiger was found. These guys were a little harder to find - placed right in the middle of the gardens - with the light fading it took a tracking app to find the suckers.

Of the other two in the Botanical Gardens, this one tried in vain to blend in with the gardens without much success. The hibiscus behind its ear sort of gave it away - like the ones with red toenails that try to hide in strawberry patches with little success.

The last one found in the gardens wanted a quick escape. Covered in flutterbies, I don't think it understood that it was a bit to heavy to fly, especially carried by flutterbies. Maybe if its ears were bigger it might have got away.

A few days later, with seven elephants to find, I managed to escape work a little early and go on a hunt in the North of the city - not somewhere that I go very often. Catching the tram outside of work, I made my way up to the Children's Hospital. I found this one looking rather happy and waterlogged, despite being in a hospital.

Walking down the road a bit, I found this clever elephant outside the Medical School at the university.

Then, wandering through the back streets of Carlton, another tiger inspired elephant (what is it with tiger stripes - are they all from Dandenong or Broadmeadows?) This one was only half a tiger, the other half was stripes. Looked a bit like a test pattern that Kath and Kim would design.

A few streets away on Lygon Street, two more of these pesky creatures were found. This one was obviously dressed by its mother so it wouldn't get lost in shopping centres.

And its mate, which stood next to it looked like it had hit the tiles the night before and as a bit defiant and green around the gills.

I reckon it had plants on it because like cats and dogs, they need to eat the stuff when they have an upset tummy.

So here I was, left with two elephants to find. I knew where they were  - but as they were stationed outside of the zoo, a place I have been twice, it would mean a special trip.

Luckily, I got an early half hour from work on Friday. My boss said something about it being a hard week for all and that buggering off would be a good thing. Which it was. After a week of fine proof editing, I needed an escape.

Regardless, I hopped on a strange tram once again, made even stranger by the chatty people I was sitting next to - a barmaid cum beauty therapist, an ex-taxi driver who smelled like he'd smoked two pack of Marlboros a day for the last twenty years. Smelly, but pleasant enough.

Half an hour later, I was deposited at the back gate of the zoo. 

There wasn't an elephant in sight.

I went up to the ticket office and knocked on the window. It was five to five. The zoo was about to close.

The attendant - a kindly faced man in in fifties appeared from behind the screen.

"Where are the lellyphunts?" I asked.
"You're too late."
"Sorry, where are the painted elephants. I have 48 elephants and I need to get the last two."
"Oh - the Malis. They're out the front gate. This is the back gate."

I pouted. It was a cold, damp evening. The zoo perimeter is about three kilometres in length. 

"If you cut through, you'll be there in a few minutes. Go that way." He pointed through the zoo grounds.

Kissing the fellow on the cheek, I skipped my way through the empty zoo. Every time I've been to Melbourne Zoo, it's been filled with people and I've been wrangling other people's toddlers (last time I was there I was with Blarney and Chance and Lance) It's quite a surreal place being the only person in the zoo, being there with nobody but the animal noises. I saw the lions out of the corner of my eye. I also resisted the temptation to go and visit the seals - I'd never tire of visiting the seals - they're great fun.

A few minutes later, I made my destination. Two minutes later, the elephants had been found. This one, covered in birds and stones, just like the ones in the wild.

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And the last one that resembled an African sunset.

Pandora Behr, elephant hunter extraordinaire had completed her mission.

So what was all this elephant hunting about? To be honest, it was just something silly to fill some time and get some fresh air after work. I can be a bit OCD when I get a bee in my bonnet. I love elephants, I just wanted to make sure I saw all of them. My workmates have been teasing me about this for the last fortnight - driving them mad with my tales of elephant hunting.

The elephants are dotted around the Melbourne CBD and Carlton until 21 September when I believe they will be taken to the zoo for a stint and then auctioned off to the highest bidder later in the year. If I had a garden I'd still love to have the one covered in rusty nuts and bolts or the Mirka Mora one or the Saggy Baggy Elephant that is in a knitted suit.

The elephant initiative has been done to celebrate Melbourne Zoo's 150th birthday. The elephant mascot is Mali, the zoo's two year old elephant calf that was born at the zoo (and is one of the star attractions)

(  or  for more information)

For those in Melbourne, or those who want to have a better look and have a smart phone, there is this great app that gives you more information about these wonderful beasties. Typing in "Mali in the City" in a browser will give you more information. Downloading the app and going hunting elephants is great fun (and to its credit, the app is really cool.

So there, the lellyphunt hunt is over.

I'm going to have to find something creative and silly to do after work now.

Ideas welcome.



The Elephant's Child said...

Mega, mega thanks. I have enjoyed your hunting sorties so much. And am a bit sad they are over. I have a garden, and would love a heffalump - but am pretty sure I don't have the necessary cash.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

So your hunt is finally over.

Well done you.




Jackie K said...

Great post, I loved it!
Aren't the elephants beautiful - hope I make it back to the city to see a couple before they go. Pity - I thought they were staying forever.
I'll download that app anyway.