Intrepid intern Katie Minchew ran away with the circus—for the afternoon. Read up on her adventures with the elephants at the Dallas Farmers Market:
The Shrine Circus is in town at Fair Park Coliseum until Sunday.
Yesterday, despite the unseasonably chilly weather, three of the show’s Asian elephants—Cindy, Betty, and Bo—presented a little side show at the Dallas Farmers Market where the public was invited to “lunch with the elephants.” Cindy and Betty worked up their appetite giving the kids (and policemen) rides around the ring while Bo lounged behind the scenes awaiting the feast of fruit supplied by the Dallas Farmers Market.
Larry Carden, son of the George Carden of George Carden Circus International, talked me through the feeding of these magnificent pachyderms. They eat 150 squares of hay per week, one thousand dollars of produce each week, and 20 bags of feed every day. They don’t usually get this much produce at a time so “this fruit table will be a treat for them,” said Carden.
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Watching the elephants feast was the most entertaining event of the afternoon. With one swoop of her trunk Cindy swiped all the pears in her section to the ground for easier access while Bo curled a pile of whole bananas and carrots into his mouth before sticking his trunk over Cindy’s mouth to check for scraps.
Halfway through the feeding, Bill Cunningham, executive director of the circus, announced his PR speech of the day: “Bo, Cindy, and Bo only eat produce from the Dallas Farmers Market when they’re in town, and you should too.”
After the show, I briskly strolled the market. The colors of the fruits and vegetables were so bright that I never wanted to step in a Target or Tom Thumb again
You can catch Bo, Cindy, and Betty and their colleagues of the Shrine Circus through Sunday (www.2011circus.com). You can find the ripe fruit and vegetable at the Dallas Farmers Market seven days a week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. (www.dallasfarmersmarket.org).