Favorite

The Observer, July 3 

MAGIC CARDBOARD RIDE: Kids enjoy new Peabody Park.
  • MAGIC CARDBOARD RIDE: Kids enjoy new Peabody Park.

Jahari, the Little Rock Zoo's black rhinoceros, is finally going to get some satisfaction.

For the past year, the 13-year-old rhino has been making love to his Boomer Ball. His keepers now call the Boomer — an indestructible toy created with big animals in mind — “Girl Ball.”

Jahari, zoo spokesperson Susan Altrui revealed in a brief tell-all interview, is one horny rhino.

Now, Altrui says, relief is on the way, in the form of a female rhino. The two will meet in what Altrui calls a “howdy situation” — allowed to sniff and do “light touching” through bars.

Here's how a female rhino selects her mate in the wild, Altrui said: She rams him at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. That takes a running start, which won't be available in the black rhino area of the zoo. Fortunately, Jahari won't have any competition. 

There is a pair of white rhinos at the zoo, Sue and Dudley. They are constantly getting it on, Altrui says. Dudley is 40, and Sue wears him out. Here's the kicker: Sue's past her childbearing years. She just finds Dudley irresistible, and vice versa. Who knew rhinoceroses (their name translates to horny nose, of course) were so lusty?

 

The big attraction at Peabody Park, the new playground in Riverfront Park just west of the Junction Bridge, is a water spray feature, a large circular plaza whose 20-foot waterspouts shoot up in unpredictable directions and patterns.

But if it weren't for that and the space net and giant tube slide and the giant red sculpture “Together” donated by the late Jack Fleischauer, a casual visitor might not recognize the park as playground. The earth has been scooped out and piled up into natural play areas: big grassy bowls connected by tunnels.

Peabody's most daring features are the boulders. They are piled high and meant to be climbed on. Real rocks with real lichen — for real kids. The Observer was astonished. Wow, we remarked to a city employee at last week's dedication of the park. Kids could actually fall down — like we did when we were kids. Yes, the employee said, the city attorney is throwing up in a bucket right now.

It won't be exactly like a fall in the 1950s. The land surface is covered with a super bouncy material. But close enough.

That's what City Director Dean Kumpuris observed approvingly as he watched the horde of kids who'd broken through a paper wall to initiate play at the park. They were sliding on cardboard down the grassy slope, bouncing off one another, running, climbing up the rocks to get to the top again.

Over in the water, a little boy missing his front teeth, running from the waterfall that appears from underneath the new Ozark Pavilion back through the spray to his mother on the side, yelling “Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!”

Work started in 2006; labor was provided by city crews. Some bond money, $250,000 from the Peabody Hotel, private contributions and the lcity's in-kind were worth an estimated $2 million.

To come: Two more sculptures, signage and bronze ducks.

The Parks Department has figured out a way to discourage some of the overnight guests at the park from snoozing in the tunnels: Sprays of water will go off inside intermittently throughout the night. There will be round-the-clock security as well, parks people say.

Will the children come? Will they play beside the wetland created along the water feature runoff? Will they sit in the “Tree Room”? Will they work off the junk food? Build some muscle? Sprint to the Junction Bridge for a view of the river? That's the big idea.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Arkansas Traveler

    The Observer gets letters from folks, either directly or through the grapevine. Recently, somebody forwarded us one written by a former schoolteacher, writing to her granddaughter, who is a new student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs.
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • The Grand Old Flag

    The Observer, like nearly everyone else with access to an internet connection, routinely sees our personal lighthouse battered by Hurricane Outrage, which — on a planet where billions of people struggle to find water and a crumb of daily bread — seems more like a tempest in a teapot inside a series of other, progressively larger teapots the longer we weather it.
    • Sep 1, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Latest in The Observer

  • The Talk

    By the time you read this, Valentine's Day will be receding into the rearview for another 360-plus days, much to our satisfaction. The Observer has nothing against love, having been in it for over 20 years with a wonderful woman we met several professions for both of us ago. But we do have a bone to pick with Valentine's Day, that holiday that seems to be designed to make everybody making an attempt feel both financially poorer and a bit inadequate.
    • Feb 15, 2018
  • Memoir

    The Arkansas Times got a visit this week from some folks teaching a class for LifeQuest of Arkansas, an outfit that puts on continuing education courses for older folks.
    • Feb 8, 2018
  • 45

    Arkansas Times Senior Editor Max Brantley, who hired The Observer as a pup a few eons back, recently took to the Arkansas Blog to mark his two score and five years so far in the newspaper business. It tickled many of our own heartstrings about Little Rock, this profession, and what it all means in 2018 A.D.
    • Feb 1, 2018
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28  

Most Viewed

  • Pharmacy reimbursement fight prompts special session call

    Since Jan. 1, Brandon Cooper, a pharmacist at Soo’s Drug Store in Jonesboro, has turned away a number of patients seeking to fill routine prescriptions. The problem is not that the pharmacy lacks the drugs in question or that the patients don’t have insurance, Cooper said. It’s that the state’s largest insurance carrier, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently changed the way it pays for pharmaceuticals.
  • Locked away and forgotten

    In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation