The little red ball in the middle of the elephant barn at the Oklahoma City Zoo is actually a big, heavy piece of drilling equipment that makes a great elephant toy.
The pipe pig weighs about 200 to 300 pounds and is a great toy for Asian elephants Asha and Chandra, pachyderm keeper Dorothy Forman said.
â€œBecause they're as big as they are and as strong as they are, they need big, strong toys,â€ Forman said.
Most ball toys for elephants are easy to pop, Forman said. Some only last a few minutes; one elephant stomp can waste all the money spent on the toy.
But the dense drilling ball is too thick and heavy for the elephants to smash, Forman said. They can push it, kick it and even put thousands of pounds of weight on it, and the big red ball stands up to the elephant-size force.