SWITZERLAND: An Elephant with Imagination

Eleven years ago, Chang was bundled into the Zurich zoo's elephant pit, a fat, ludicrous baby only ten months old. He had been bought as the future mate for Mandjullah, an older female. Rapidly he became the zoo's star attraction and the pride of his keeper, Hans Rietmann. When Mandjullah took the kids for a ride on her back, Chang trundled awkwardly behind, amiably accepting peanuts. Sometimes he would even snuggle his trunk into a pocket to pluck out a piece of candy.

Chang had some elephantine whims. He showered his audience with water and occasionally picked up his empty tub...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!