Good Morning!! Today is J day and it stands for Jambo, Binit Jua, Judy and Jock.
I’ll start with the biggest animal first – Jambo! This fellow is a silverback gorilla and a resident of Durrell Wildlife Park on Jersey, an island off the coast of England. On August 21, 1986, a 5-year-old boy accidently fell into the gorilla pen. He was knocked out and lying in a pool of blood while the gorillas in the enclosure hooped and hollered their alarm. The leader of the troop, Jambo, came over to investigate and started patting the young boy on the back. When the other gorillas tried to come in close, Jambo would run them off, protecting the injured boy. After about 10 minutes the little boy woke up and started screaming; this frightened Jambo and he ran to the back of the enclosure. Thankfully, by this time the keepers had corralled all the other gorillas and a safe rescue was conducted.
In 1996 another gorilla, a young mother named Binti Jua, encountered a little boy who tumbled into her enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago. He was knocked out cold. Binti, with her 17-month-old baby clinging to her back, went to the little boy, scooped him up, cradled him in her right arm and walked through the enclosure to the back and waited by the zookeeper door for help to arrive. While she waited, she protected the little boy from the other gorillas who wanted to look at him. When the zookeepers got there, she laid him gently on the ground and walked away.
Now, we’re going back in time as well as a bit down the evolutionary scale – that’s right – we’re going to learn about a dog. But as much as I hate to admit it, this dog, Judy by name, is pretty special. She was the only dog to be officially registered as a Japanese prisoner of war during WWII. She was just a basic mutt who was a British naval mascot of both the HMS Gnat and the HMS Grasshopper. After the Grasshopper sank she ended up in a POW camp registered under the name of “81A Gloergoer, Medan” and spent more than two years as a POW. Judy was awarded the Dickin Medal for morale-boosting courage. (The Dickin Medal is a British commendation for bravery and is only awarded to animals.)
And finally, we’re back to the more superior of the animal kingdom—cats. Winston Churchill, an illustrious prime minister of Britain, loved all his cats but Jock was his favorite – and why not? He was a very handsome orange marmalade mancat! Mr. Churchill and Jock ate their meals together and Jock was at his side when the old prime minister died. In his will Churchill specified that there should always be a marmalade cat with a white bib and four white feet named Jock at his home (called ‘Chartwell’) in Kent, England. On March 10, 2014, Chartwell’s trustees welcomed Jock VI to the stately home. Jock was rescued from the streets and at 7-months-old he came Chartwell to take his place in a long line of noble cats honoring the first great Jock.
I love it when I can feature another ginger mancat!! Jock VI is very handsome, isn’t he? Thursday is the letter “K”. I’m certain you will find it Kinda’ Kool, so be sure to come back tomorrow!!!!
Jammin’ on the J’s, Toby