''One Lucky Elephant'' (OWN, Dec. 1 at 9 p.m.) chronicles David Balding's 10-year struggle to say goodbye to his beloved circus elephant Flora. Along the way, he teaches viewers about our pachyderm pals

By Stephan Lee
Updated November 25, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

One Lucky Elephant

  • Movie

Elephants can be prima donnas
After performing for crowds in her circus act, Flora gets ”cocky and pushy” and demands her dinner right away. A diva knows what she wants.

Elephants eat a whole lot — and don’t feel bad about it
Flora eats the types of natural foods Dr. Oz would approve of: apples, carrots, onions, bran, bananas, and watermelon as a special treat. Before trying the pachyderm diet, however, take note: She eats 450 pounds of that food a day.

Getting a circus elephant into a good animal reserve is as hard as getting your kid into private school
Balding considered putting Flora in a Botswanan reserve, but health, political, and personal factors kept her out. The first time he brought Flora to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, she was turned away because African and Asian elephants apparently don’t mix.

It’s a girl thing
Only female elephants live in groups, and there’s always a queen bee who’s not a fan of the new kid on the block. A she-elephant (termed ”cow”) would be advised to approach the alpha female rump-first to display submission. She should not, under any circumstances, fan out her ears unless she’s ready to tangle tusks.

Elephants need other elephants
The moral of this story: Humans may have the best intentions for keeping an elephant for themselves, but these are social animals who need to be brought up with their own kind.

One Lucky Elephant

  • Movie
  • 84 minutes
  • Lisa Leeman