Dominant male is leaving the zoo, but females are leaving with him

HIGHLAND PARK -- There’s good news and bad news for three young male elephants at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Their romantic rival, Jackson, is leaving in the fall, but three new females from Philadelphia are going with him. They will be among the first residents of the new International Conservation Center in Somerset County.

The young males had previously complained that Jackson, a six-time father, would not stop bragging about his conquests (see story here). “Thank God we won’t have to listen to him anymore,” said Timbuk, who has acted as spokesman for the young males in the past. “Do they need any help building the building over in Somerset? I’m sure we’d all be willing to carry stuff for the construction workers. We’ll do anything to get him out of here faster.” Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the females are thrilled. “We’ve heard a lot of good things about Jackson,” Petal, the oldest female, said. “Word gets around, if you know what I mean. Bette and Callie [the two breeding-aged females] are already dreaming about him.” At 51, Petal is too old for breeding, but, “I’m not exactly dead, either. Maybe Jackson appreciates more mature females.”

Back in Pittsburgh, Timbuk says he realizes the remaining females may be a little depressed after Jackson’s gone. “Savannah and Moja will be pregnant until 2008, and the others will probably cry a lot at first. But eventually they’ll come around. Limited options work to our advantage.”