On Being Smarter by Ken Decroo

Reblogged from Baja Moto Quest:

congo

Ken Decroo and Congo, African Elephant, Photo by Gale Cooper, 1981

Concerning the training of wild animals, I often speak on the importance of being smarter than the animal you’re training. When asked to elaborate on this concept, I immediately think of Congo, an elephant I worked many years ago.

While all elephants are smart, Congo was a genius. He was a big African male that stood almost twice as tall as my six feet.  At the time I met him, he lived at an animal safari park in California. I first met him when I was asked to work him for a photo shoot promoting the book, Animal People by Gail Cooper. I was featured in one of the chapters and Gail Cooper wanted a dramatic photograph.

After that meeting, Congo and I developed a friendship that lasted for many years. I often came to visit and work with him. Our relationship grew into one of mutual trust, respect, and love.

It is very important to understand that you don’t use fear and intimidation with an animal the size of Congo, or for that matter any wild animal. Congo stood almost twelve tall and weighed several tons. Besides building a relationship, it also helps to be a little smarter. By that, I mean to be able to predict what an animal is going to do before he does it. The importance of this is what keeps you alive. I humbly admit this wasn’t always easy, especially with Congo!

Infrequently, I would come out to the park where Congo lived. Sometimes, months would go by between our visits, especially if I was working on a movie location. But, it never failed, that when I came driving up the driveway, he immediately recognized my convertible sports car and would go to his water tank, full his trunk and run to the fence and drench me. He would trumpet in delight and almost dance to meet me at the gate. Congo had a sense of humor, and he enjoyed it so much, I just couldn’t deny him the pleasure, at least in the summer.

Continue reading here: On Being Smarter

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Friendship, Humour and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On Being Smarter by Ken Decroo

  1. chris jensen says:

    The brilliance of Mrs. Natures family,
    often surprises,
    even those
    of
    us,
    whom believe we know
    her well!

    Sweet loving kisses chris

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for the reblog. I’m honored to be in your circle of writers.

    Like

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