The Paris News from Paris, Texas on March 20, 1985 · Page 12
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The Paris News from Paris, Texas · Page 12

Paris, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 20, 1985
Page 12
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Page 12 article text (OCR)

12A Th» Purl* N«w*. Wml.. March 20. 19M F O C U s A Lot of Hoop-la Tomorrow, NCAA regional basketball tournaments begin. The first 5-man college basketball game was played on March 20,1897. Yale defeated Pennsylvania, 32-10. Many people claim James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 at the Springfield, Massachusetts, YMCA. Players tossed a ball into peach baskets at either end of a court. Some people say the game comes from the 16th-century Aztecs. The winner of that game received the clothing of everyone present! DO YOU KNOW - Which team won the 1984 NCAA Division I championship? TUESDAV'S ANSWER — The swallows usually leave San Juan Caplstrano on October 19. 3-20-85 = Knowledge Unlimited, Inc. 1985 Zoo in elephant breeding business Donkey, mule society run by Denton couple DENTON, Texas (AP) — Donkeys and mules respond to affection and aren't the stubborn jackasses bad publicity portrays them to be, say the world's leading experts on the subject. The animals aren't stubborn — they're just very smart and avoid dangerous places. And they rarely kick. Paul and Betsy Hutchins know what they're talking about. The Denton residents have lived and breathed the long-eared Equus asinus since 1967, when they founded the American Donkey and Mule Society Inc. "If they think there's anything that's going to put their body in danger, you might as well forget it," Hutchins said. "The only reason a donkey will kick is out out of fear. A donkey is not a kicking animal." But when a donkey kicks, he said, "he will always hit you." The Hutchins run the 2,800-member society from an office at El Bum to Farm, their 71-year-old home on North Elm Street. They own four pet donkeys and one mule — Platero, Midnight Mischief, Cupid's Beau, Stormin' Norman and Firebrand. "When you have to break the ice and haul the water that's five animals too many," Hutchins said. Platero, a 17-year-old donkey, has been part of the Kving nativity scene at First Presbyterian Church on University for 15 years. He participates in pageants at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, was a guest on a Tennessee Ernie Ford television special, and "did some bit parts in a couple of movies," Hutchins said. He also was part of the cast in several plays at North Texas State University, Texas Woman's University and Cooke County College in Gainesville. Platero, who occasionally strolls through the Hutchins' home, has retired "because he's getting tired of it. He taught all the neighborhood kids to ride and he's tired of it. They (the donkeys and mules) are like kids to us. When we get them we keep them." On one occasion, Hutchins said, they found Platero in their kitchen. "He had munched down two loaves of bread and was having a good time. "You can train them to the Nth degree. Anybody can go out with tender loving care and get them so a kid can ride them. You don't break them the same as you do a horse. A donkey will respond to affection." he said. The stuffed heads of two mules and one stallion that died in the 1920s gaze over the society office from one wall. Thousands of ribbons won in shows cover another wall, and filing cabinets and bookshelves laden with information about jacks, jennets, mules and ninnies line most of the other walls. "They are historical artifacts, even if they look ugly," Mrs. Hutchins said of the heads. One of the mounted mules, she said, was the first recorded fertile mule. Most mules, crosses between horses and donkeys, are sterile. The Hutchins claim to have the largest collection of donkey memorabilia in the world. It includes more than 1,000 figurines, pictures, a collection of burro shoes, carts, harnesses and saddles. A picture of a donkey head adorns their mailbox and a "Donkey Xing" sign is nailed to a tree near the road. Hutchins, professor of speech and drama at Cooke County College, used mules as a child on his parents' North Carolina farm and Mrs. Hutchins owned a donkey as a child. When they decided to become experts on the animals Ihey couldn't find printed information about them. They wrote horse magazines for information and soon published 11 copies of their first newsletter. At the end of their first year in the business, they printed 400 copies of the newsletter. "Well, after a while 400 mailings was a little exorbitant," Hutchins said. "Finally it grew so large ... that we were able to secure the services of a professional printer." The newsletter eventually evolved into The Brayer, a quarterly magazine published by the society. In addition to The Brayer, the ADMS offers The American Donkey Registry and The American Mule Registry, a library, award programs, a schedule of shows, the Hee Haw Book Service, donkey key chains and jewelry, and information about regional opportunities around the United States. Mrs. Hutchins said 1,351 donkeys and 570 mules are registered with the society. Members include judges, prisoners, a brewery, a distillery, dozens of doctors and lawyers and dentists," and a private detective, they said. By BETH FULTON Gainesville Daily Register GAINESVILLE, Texas (AP) Gerry II, Asian elephant at the Frank Buck Zoo in this North Texas city, will be the first female elephant zoo officials hope to breed at Fort Worth Zoo's elephant facilities when they are completed this summer, says Dudley Brown, assistant zoo director in Fort Worth. The $1.25 million facility, which includes 3.7 acres, is expected to be finished in June. It was financed as part of a bond package approved last year by Fort Worth voters. The idea was to incorporate a good breeding facility within the elephant park. Brown said he thinks Indian elephants like Gerry II need to be bred in North America because they are an endangered species. "The emphasis is to try to breed what we have with what we have," he said. "My feeling is that they need to breed and reproduce, or we're going to run out of them. We're fortunate that we will have a facility." The Fort Worth Zoo also has tentatively arranged to get a female for breeding from the Tyler Zoo and two females from the San Antonio Zoo. F.E. Schmitz, member of the Gainesville Zoological Society, is one of the moving forces behind the Frank Buck Zoo, which was created when the Gainesville Community Circus had a fire and needed a place to house animals. Schmitz has promoted all animals in the zoo for the last 40 years and worked out most of the details with the Fort Worth Zoo for the breeding loan. "In a breeding agreement between zoos — if it's successful and you have a baby, it's half yours and half theirs," Schmitz said. "If it lives and is healthy, one of them gives the other the first choice of buying the other out." Gerry II is an Asian elephant named in honor of Gerry Murrel, who started the Gainesville Community Circus in her back yard. Gerry II is now 15 years old. She came to the Gainesville zoo when she was 2%-years-old and was bought for $3,500. "We had to feed her with a bottle for six or eight months," Schmitz recalled. Asian elephants are the most expensive and Schmitz said they are tamer than African elephants with a different temperament altogether. "During all the centuries, African elephants have been slaughtered. In India it's just the opposite — they are friends to humans," he said. "It's something that's born in them. Brown said Gerry II's breeding will be taken "slow and carefully. She's really a nice animal, I was up there on a Sunday (March 3) to see her," he said. "She's sure a nice animal and appears to be well- mannered and well-trained." The Fort Worth Zoo has one African bull elephant, which is currently housed in an exhibit built in 1923. Brown said zoo officials requested the bond election partly because their elephant facilities needed updating and upgrading. The zoo is acquiring Buke, an 18-year-old bull Indian elephant owned by Bucky Steele of Seagoville, as the first male at their breeding facility. Brown said Steele has had problems with Buke when he was in "musth" — a period in which some male elephants become hard to manage — and at one point considered destroying him. Musth is a period some male elephants never experience, while some have it two or three times a year. It may last from a few days to months. Trainers have no way of telling when it will occur. They go out to the animal one day, and he is uncontrollable, Brown said. "If he (Steele) donates his animal to the Fort Worth Zoo. we'll make it our breeding animal," he said. The new elephant facilities at the Fort Worth Zoo are designed to handle an elephant at any time, including during musth. Brown said. "A big part of the expense is the hydrolically-operated doors that will enable us to move an elephant like a lion, from room to room, so we can clean and put out new food," he said. Breeding elephants is not a simple task. Brown said he has heard of only 10 adult bulls that have been successfully bred in North America. n 95 DIVORCE NO PROPERTY - NO CHILD WAIVER PLUS FILING FEE JACK 0. HERRINGTON ATTORNEY 33 N. Main 785-8754 LICENSED BY SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS FOR GENERAL PRACTICE. NOT BOARD CERTIFIED AS TO ANY SPECIALIZATION For only $99.07*a month, you can have 6,000 today. 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Some exceptions may apply to the inclusion of insurance which will reduce these annual percentage rates. $2,500 $3,000 $4,000 $5,000 36 month 48 month 48 month 48 month $ 99.55* $ 99.07* $132.09* $165.12* Other amounts and terms also available. Call for details. Commercial Credit COMMERCIAL CREDIT FINANCIAL NETWORK Paris: 225 Twelfth St., S.E., 785-1646. The electric company can help me take care of myseli 1 (Iflev^rneedanyhelpi) Lets face it, at my age things can sneak up on you, and you may need some help The electric company understands that Thats why they'll arrange it so your bill payment can wait until your social security check arrives. And their Special Friend Program makes sure someone doesn't overlook monthly bills. Theres even a program to help provide essential energy services in a real emergency. Right now, 1 don't need all this help to take care of myself. But I get a kick out of knowing its there. 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