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If I Could Put Tai in a Bubble*

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Stunts come in all shapes and sizes, but the one planned for next week at the Santa Ana Zoo is absolutely elephantine--at least for one pachyderm named Tai.

According to "Artist Fan Yang plans to briefly envelop the elephant in a giant soapy bubble at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana on Tuesday as part of the center's annual Bubblefest."

Admittedly a strange stunt--and one that will "set a world record for the largest living land mammal in a bubble"--animal activists are up in arms (or Dumbo-sized ears?) about the cruelty the time in the bubble will inflict on 39-year-old 8,800 lb show-elephant Tai. Those opposed claim the stunt is an example of unnecessary showmanship, but have not voiced any specific concerns about the animal's safety. Tai's handlers and the Zoo insist the animal will be in no danger and say there is "little chance that Tai would be spooked by the orb because it wouldn't even touch her as she stood on a platform," according to the LA Times. They also insist the stunt is educational. Frankly, the stunt seems to be not excessively showy, nor educational, nor dangerous, but just really lame.

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Tai is no stranger to controversy; though not quite the Britney Spears of the animal kingdom, she was last making headlines for being the "elephant in the room" in a Banksy show. Elephant activists most recently lost the battle at the LA Zoo to halt the development of the current pachyderm exhibit. Maybe next Christmas they can find success opposing unnecessary White Elephant gift-giving.

*a very poor play on words using the folk-errific Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle"

Photo by Heather on the go! viaLAist Featured Photos Pool on Flickr

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