I’ve been doing some research on animals and have become simply amazed at some of the incredible things I’ve discovered. Animals are a big part of our lives whether it be as domesticated pets, or animals we visit in zoos and even the animals of the wild. But most of us aren’t aware of the marvels that nature has bestowed upon us when it comes to the animal kingdom. I wanted to start this series to allow my readers to discover some of the amazing animals I’ve read about and some of the talents and oddities some of them posess.
The series will be in multiple parts, I’m not quite sure how many parts it will be as of yet, but I will post a new part to the series each week with new and exciting animals for you all to discover. I hope you enjoy the series. Since this is Part 1, I guess we better get to the goodies.
Amazing Animal Stars
Gargantua the Great
Let’s start off with Gargantua the Great! Gargantua the Great was considered to be the world’s most terrifying living creature. One journalist described him as the fiercest looking thing he’d ever seen on two legs! He was an African Iowland gorilla and weighed in at an astonishing 600 lbs. To give you a comparison, the average Iowland gorilla weighs around 450 lbs.
He was actually captured as a baby in the Belgian Congo back in the late 1920’s. He started off as the ship captains pet and traveled with him on his journeys. Then one day a drunken crew member threw acid in his face that scared his face up pretty bad. Not only was he left with massive scars, but this made him quite aggressive as you can imagine. He was later adopted by a woman that nursed him back to health and took great care of him. She even had plastic surgery done on his scaring, but this left his face looking as though he was always sneering.
He suddenly became home sick and escaped in hopes of finding his Mother, so they assume. After finding him and realizing she could no longer care for him, she chose to sell him to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, this was in 1938. They made quite a star of him and this is where he acquired the name Gargantua the Great. He continued on with the circus until he died of pneumonia in 1949.
Jumbo the Elephant
This elephant was a star at the London Zoo in England for 17 years. He was born in 1861 and stood 11 ft. 6 in. tall, weighin in at 6.5 tons. Due to great controversy they sold the elephant to once again Barnum & Bailey Circus for $10,000 and he journeyed to the U.S. Three years later he wound up dying after being hit by a train while leading a young elephant to safety. He has left a legacy behind with a common name we’re all familiar with, “Jumbo”.
Chi Chi the Giant Panda
Chi Chi was also a member of the London Zoo. She arrived there in 1958 all the way from China. She was actually the only giant panda in the Western World. The London zoo was actually against the capture and keeping of wild pandas, but since they already had her in custody they made an exception. They tried having her mate with Moscow Zoo’s giant panda many times but she never would allow it. But at least she was the inspiration for the Wildlife Fund logo.
Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion
Clarence was discovered at Africa U.S.A., a wildlife park in Soledad Canyon, California. He was discovered by TV producer Ivan Tors and he made him a star by giving him his own movie called Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion. He also stared in a TV series called Daktari.
Congo the Chimpanzee
Congo was a chimp at the London Zoo from 1954 to 1964. He was actually a painter and had created 400 paintings by the age of four. He was very keen to when a painting was either finished or incomplete. If he didn’t feel it was finished, he would quickly throw a tantrum until he was allowed to complete the painting. Pablo Picasso actually hung one of Congo’s paintings on his studio wall, and was a big fan of Congo’s!
Bart the Kodiak Bear
Bart, a male Alaskan Kodiak bear trained in Utah, stood 9 ft. 6 in. tall and weighed 1,500 lbs. Bart appeared in several movies, some even staring great actors like Brad Pitt, Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins. He was filming the movie Growing Up Grizzly when he passed away due to cancer.. This was in the year 2000, he was 23 years old.
Keep an eye out next week for Part 2 of Amazing Animals of the World, where we’ll discover more awesome creatures of the wild.