So which of our British animals have the skills to compete in the various Olympic events? This is something that has been talked about in circles far and wide (OK, just the keepers mess room) and with great input on our facebook page of 6 comments, and I thought the 100 inches sprint for the weasel was brillinat!, I was asked to do a post today.
But do we just cover mammals? All animals? Just animals that are at the BWC? It was decided just to go for one idea from each keeper and see what they came up with.
Of course there are the obvious examples of hare for sprinting, otter for swimming, frog for jumping, stag beetle for wrestling, ant for weight lifting and pine marten for beauty, if that was an event, but let's see what the keepers came up with.
First up Izzy, and after saying she wanted the Hare for sprinting, long distance, steeplechase, 400 hurdles and just about every other running event we knew we had to stick to BWC animals. So Izzy went for the above photo... the Harvest Mouse for the event of Parallel Bars.
"I think the harvest mouse would be good at parallel bars because it is very agile at climbing thin stems, and you have a lovely photo of this that you can use for the blog too." Who am I to argue?
Next up Leonie decided to go along with the Badger and Wrestling. "Badgers have always been one of my favourites, and I really think they would be good at wrestling. Why? Because they are strong and grumpy, just like me, and often have squabbles trying to push each other around with their bums"
Kate Ford decided that it would be the Hedgehog for her and in the Walking event. When the rest of us pointed out that they don't really walk that fast, she claimed "They do walk very far each night though looking for food, sometimes up to 2km!.. That's a long way for a hedgehog." No arguing about that, and no arguing either that Kate has now definitely confirmed herself as being just as crazy as the rest of us here.
So what about Rich? After thinking of the wildcat for decathlon because "they are just so %$?@ing amazing at everything!" we persuaded him to think of something a bit more realistic. So he went for Red Deer and fencing because "it looks a bit like they are fencing when they are rutting"... yep, well done Rich.
We went through a lot of options for the red squirrel, such as gymnastics and... well actually that was it. But eventually Tom settled for the Red Squirrel for the Long Jump. "They are really good at all acrobatic things, but can in particular jump a long way. Also, our long jump gold medalist was a red head so that has to count for something."
Katie simply said "Well, being the crazy bird lady that I am I have to pick a bird! The Kingfisher has to be the best bird for Diving as it is so elegant in the execution and entrance of the dive that it has to score a perfect 10."
I know, we don't have kingfishers here unless you count the wild ones on the nature reserve. But I do have a soft spot the the kingfisher, and I thought it better that than Katie getting one of her owls to do the diving.
And for me... I went for the Red Fox for Decathlon! Why, because apart from humans they are the most widely distributed mammals and have thrived in numerous conditions... and in all honesty, it just winds up Rich too since he wanted this event for his wildcats.
Don't fret, back to the serious posts next week.