European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Jun 2 1968, Page 10

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - June 2, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseSawdust a Bones by Walter Hennessey is new York Bureau hate s a Nice boy weighs Over 600 jul pounds understands Spanish pretty Good is plenty healthy and figure Hope he stays that that was or. J. Y. Henderson speak ing. He s a soft spoken texan with a great big reason for wanting his Nic Fooy Gargantua ii a powerful Gorilla with a head As big As a wastepaper Basket to stay fit. When Gargy feels Blue it s Doc Henderson s Job As chief veterinarian with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus to do some thing constructive about it. Henderson has been practising Jungle Medicine with the big show s travelling menagerie for nearly 27 years tack Ling the kind of medical problems you just Don t find in the textbooks. He has operated on Lions with broken jaws treated giraffes with King sized sore necks sawed off elephant tusks and sat up nights with Colicky the Only thing he has t gotten around to and who s to blame him is developing a bedside manner for ail ing gorillas. Yet it bugs the Doc that such magnificent beasts Are such impossible Well remembers the frustrations involved when his most famous patient the original Gargantua one of the top circus attractions of All time Lay fatally ill on the floor of the glassed in air conditioned Gorilla Cage. Although thereat ape was literally an Arm s length from medical help the animal remained too distrusting too vicious even though weakened by sickness to accept it. What made me doubly sad the vet recalled As Gargantua s successor glared out at him from the rubber tired Cage was that there was so much that might have been done. What killed him was bilateral Lobar pneumonia complicated by a kidney Dis order and four completely Rotten wis Dom it was t until Gargantua heaved final breath at the age of 22 that an autopsy could at last provide the in formation. I have always been asked Why i Twain t possible to Anes Thetie him for an examination said the circus it was impossible to get close enough to give him an injection of an kind he was too powerful to be immobilized in a squeeze Cage and be fore we could put something in his food or pump an aesthetic through Theair conditioning it would have been necessary to know his exact the tranquillisers used to Day would have been of limited value since no one knew the proper dosage to produce a tranquil Quarter ton Goril la. In the years since the great Gargantua passed from the circus scene the practice of Gorilla medi Cine has t changed much. And Al Doc Henderson of Ringling Bros. No bedside manner for ailing gorillas. Though Gargantua ii was but a cuddly Ball of Black fur at arrival 17 years ago it s hardly surprising that the vetoes much of his Gorilla doctoring by Remote control. Gargy ii has t been weighed lately and it s possible that the animal with the massive head an Frame is As much As 100 pounds heavier than its famous 550-Pound i la take a pop bottle and mix it half soda and half Castor Oil said the Doc discussing a favorite ploy. Hell gulp it Down so fast that the stuff s in his stomach before he re Alizes he s been tricked. Then he get mad As if an Eye irritation is the problem the vet has an answer for that too he stands a Safe distance off acid solution smack in the patient s face. To the great ape Ivas literally at Arm s length from medical help the animal remained too distrusting too vicious even though weakened by sickness to accept it. Here s even a hands off Way of putting a Gorilla in it s place. Hender son recalled How it used to reduce the mighty Gargantua to a quavering Massof Jelly. Gorillas Are terrified of snakes he explained so we always kept a stuffed one Handy and whenever we dropped it into his Cage Gargantua would bound into the Small compartment at the fared and slam the door but even with the Snake treatment available the Doc and everyone else including the big animal s keeper stay Well Clear of Gargantua ii. Despite the isolation the animal is fascinated by a television set kept tuned in out Side the Cage and has even Learned to understand some commands in Spanish. Henderson s first Rule in dealing with any of the circus 200 animals is to use Only Way to stay healthy around wild animals is to keep you distance and respect them he said As he showed a visitor around Back stage at the new Madison Square Garden where the circus was cats Are trained circus per formers the Doc went on As he a preached an area where a dozen Tiger were pacing about their Box like cages. Ill Tell you one thing though the Yare not tame and they never will be. I m not afraid of any of the Ani Mals but i respect All of them and i Don t go around asking for , the Doc explained does he per Mit himself to become too fond of an circus animal regardless of the tempt kept a pet Leopard once and Ive always loved horses. Bui making pets out of circus animals would be a Baa thing when 1 have to give them some pain to make them Well it would de too much like a Friend hurting Friend said the 60-year-old vet who gave up private practice in sine Erport la., to go with the circus. It All started on a september morning in 1941 when Apo in so from circus impresario John r 8 a North routed him out of Bod in e wee hours with an offer of one o he world s most demanding Etui Navy ver a Quarter Century of pricing his Brand of Jungle Medicine has of evinced Doc Henderson tha c j bears and tigers make Toug left in mainly because they can be some times gentle sometime Tiea he 01 Lions Are noisy but Cason the camels Aren t very Danous but they be got acid stomach. They More than spit at yj"-1, p stomach acid that in uns i those camels hold Gallons and of it which might be Tine o a ice Custre desert but it s rough m to w c when you re trying to pump a into a sick by healthy the elephants stay go l they Are p1 ft1"1. Dur variety of ailments mostly Nonoi ing hot weather. My suck when an elephant get , the Doc s got a Acu Tient. An elephant with of h for example does t usually to doctoring the Mouth can t 10 the stars and stripes sunday june 2, 1968

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