17. Dec, 2017


I find myself now watching less television and wanting to listen to far more radio. We are lucky in having the BBC that provides such an enormous range of ad-free and therefore undumbed-down content.

The other day, for example, sandwiched between a rugby commentary, a Sibelius concert, an episode from a detective series and a Cabinet Minister being forensically taken apart, was a programme entitled "Something a Female Must Never Do". What greater incentive to listen?

It turned out to be a talk given by a remarkable lady zoologist who had spent the last 30 years in Kenya raising her own family while studying and being accepted into another-the same herd of elephants.
Her accounts of their social responsibilities towards each other were humbling and should be beaten into the skull of every gun-toting moron set on shooting one. For example, the chances of a calf surviving are greatly enhanced by the presence of a grandmother in the herd."
The speaker was very much of the Mary Beard school of presentation-erudite, intelligent and very earthy.
So what must a female never do?

This came from her personal, rueful experience..."Never pee near a male elephant!".

In elephant circles it is considered socially ok for a male to sniff a female's urine to see if she is in season, obviously by using his trunk...modesty forbids me finishing the zoologist's experience other than to say that squatting down in the middle of the Serengeti she claims “it gave me a shock.”

So, Elizabeth, next time we go to Chester Zoo…

Good old "Beeb" radio. Fox TV it ain't!