Each year, elephants in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park trudge down a migratory path to feast on the ripened fruit of some especially productive mango trees. Not even a new hotel built over the path has stopped them. Unfazed by the construction of Mfuwe Lodge in 1998, a small herd of 10 elephants has taken to walking directly through the open-air lobby of the Mfuwe Lodge in late November to reach their favorite spot for fresh mango. In recent years, hotel director Andy Hogg says the pachyderms have become more sociable with the hotel staff and guests-though humans typically give the wild beasts a wide berth. “This is the only place in the world where elephants freely get so close to humans,” Hogg told the Daily Mail.
As countless schools embrace technology, one Canadian preschool says it’s going back to the basics. Way back. The Carp Ridge Forest Pre-School of Carp, Ontario, will introduce its all-outdoors, rain-or-shine preschool in early December just in time for blustery weather. Administrators from the preschool say that outside of lightning storms and temperatures below 14 degrees, 3- to 6-year-olds will bundle up and spend the day tromping through the forest, tending a garden, and going on nature hikes. School coordinator Marlene Power-Johnston criticized typical indoor preschools, telling CBC News, “The toys, the activities, and the environment [are] institutionalized, and also very manufactured.” A few outdoor preschools have existed in Europe for a few decades.
Just when banks worldwide were falling like dominoes either to government equity stakes or to financial collapse, one United Kingdom town council has set in place its own dominoes. Despite teetering on the brink of economic crisis, council leaders in Bournemouth Borough dropped nearly $120,000 on a sculpture of two giant domino-looking blocks of granite. Months ago the same council voted down a new elementary school over fiscal concerns. “I’m sure a lot of residents will be annoyed as they nervously wait to see how much their next council tax rise will be,” one local opponent told the Daily Express.
Some might say Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth, Mass., is for the dogs. Speaking literally, they’d be right. On Oct. 5, the church began a weekly “woof ‘n’ worship” service devoted to dogs and their owners. Rev. Rachel Bickford said the idea comes from an invocation in Psalm 148: “Let all wild animals, creeping things and flying birds give God praise.” Bickford explained, “So I thought wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to let all things praise God together and have families bring their dogs to church.” Bickford said parishioners who bring dogs to the 5 p.m. service will be responsible for cleaning up any messes created by pets.